Sunday, November 4, 2012

Canine Teeth: A justification for eating meat?

Originally posted on The Vegan Times as part of their "Speciesists Say The Darndest Things" section, here is my answer to the objection that our canine teeth or ability to make tools justifies eating other animals:

“So what if human beings don’t have sharp teeth, like most carnivores? We can make tools (such as spears) instead. Perhaps our canines started shrinking once they were no longer as useful, but the fact that we have them shows that they were useful.”
Even if humans once had sharp teeth, big claws, and bodies that could actually digest meat easily, does that justify eating meat now? In this day and age, humans can be perfectly healthy without consuming animal products, so unless we’re lost and starving on a desert island where there’s nothing but animals (who somehow survive despite the lack of vegetation), we have no reason to.

Our puny little canines – which, by the way, some herbivores also have, and are more like ours than the teeth of carnivores – aren’t a good justification for continuing to participate in violence towards other animals, just like owning a sharp knife in your kitchen drawer doesn’t justify murdering humans.

The animals we use have no say as to whether they live or die. But we do have a choice. We can choose between violence or non-violence. These are sentient, feeling beings with an interest in continued life. They don’t care about what sort of teeth we have or about our ability to make tools. They care about their lives.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Want To Go Vegan - But Your Parents Won't Let You?

Sometimes it can be hard when you're a young person wanting to go vegan. Your parents are the people who buy your food and cook for you, so what if they say no? I've heard many young people say that they want to go vegan, but their parents won't let them. So for those people, here's some advice that will hopefully help.

Educating your parents is the key.

Let them know why you want to be vegan, that you no longer wish to participate in violence towards other animals.

Research about how you can get all the protein, iron, calcium, etc, you need on a vegan diet. My parents made me do this before they allowed me to go vegan. Parents just want the best for their children, so they might worry you won't get enough vitamins and minerals on the vegan diet. Just like an omnivorous diet, it's possible to be healthy or unhealthy on a vegan diet. For example, if you have a diet consisting of white bread and chips, although it might be vegan, you won't be a very healthy vegan. This will lead your parents and other people to believe that veganism isn't healthy. So a well-planned vegan diet is important. A healthy vegan diet can provide you with the essential vitamins and minerals you need - the only thing it would be best to supplement for is Vitamin B12. The best absorbed form of B12 is called Methylcobalamin - so keep an eye out for that name when you're choosing a supplement. 

If they're still convinced that you need animal products to grow big and healthy - have them read The China Study! See if it's available at your local library. After reading this book, my parents realised how bad animal products can be to our health and finally allowed my two youngest siblings to go vegan. Before, they hadn't been allowed to go vegan because they thought they needed to drink cow's milk for strong bones. Actually it's quite the opposite! 

Your parents might also be worrying about cooking. Having to prepare one vegan meal for you and a meat meal for the rest of the family. There are a few things you could suggest to them. You could have what everyone else is having, replacing the non-vegan food for vegan. Such as, if they're having rice, spinach, carrots and meat, you could replace the meat with lentils, chickpeas or veggie patties. In my early days of being vegan, this is what I did.

You could show them how to 'veganise' family favourites, such as Pizza, Mac n' “Cheese”, Spaghetti and (Tofu, Lentil or Chickpea) balls, etc. Searching online for vegan versions of your favourite recipes will usually bring up at least one recipe you can try. My parents loved to find new ways to cook family favourites that everyone could enjoy. Gradually, they started cooking less of the 'meaty' meals and more vegan meals for the family. It was just easier for them.

If they're not willing to cook vegan for you, find some easy recipes online and see if you can cook your own meals. Once you get the hang of it, you could suggest cooking a vegan meal for the family every week or so. Show them that vegan meals can be just as delicious as their non-vegan meals!

I have some easy recipes here that you can try. More will be added soon!

And lastly, they might be worried that it would be too expensive. Sure, it might be costly if you get a lot of specialty foods such as fake meat products and vegan cheese, however the foods that should make up most of your diet - vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, and nuts, are pretty cheap. If my family of 7 on a tight budget can easily buy vegan - anyone can! My parents even found that their shopping bill went down a bit after they stopped buying animal products. 

I hope these tips will help you show your parents that it's perfectly healthy to be a vegan, it's delicious, it's not expensive, and I hope they realise that if their child wants to stop harming others - they should encourage that! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Welfare vs Abolition

I've seen a lot of discussion on Welfare Reforms vs. Abolition lately, so I thought I'd write about my thoughts on the matter.

Welfare reforms are thought of as a way to "help animals who are suffering now" - since the world isn't going to go vegan overnight. That's why vegans often support and promote welfare campaigns, as well as promote veganism. After all, even though it's far from perfect, it'll reduce suffering in the short-term, right?

My view is that although we like to think new welfare laws will help nonhuman animals, fighting for these laws to come about won't do anything to help them and aren't worth our time promoting. Perhaps a few people will look into the issue of animal use further through a welfare campaign, but for the majority of people, if anything, it'll make them feel better about eating "humanely raised" flesh and secretions of enslaved and exploited animals.

Let's imagine if say, battery cages were banned. Instead of being crowded in a cage, the hens will be crowded in a barn. Their brothers still get ground up alive, their sensitive beaks may still be seared off with a hot blade, and they will still be sent to slaughter at around 18 months of age. But doesn't it at least cause less suffering than battery cages..? Let's look at this through the eyes of a hen. She comes from the hatchery, to this "free-range" farm, crowded in a barn with hundreds of other hens. To her, it's hell. She's not aware that this hell could be worse in a battery cage. For the 18 months of her life, she is living hell.

The view from the welfarist approach is that since we're still a long way from a vegan world, we should be trying to reduce the suffering done to nonhuman animals in the meantime. However, would you say the same for a human rights issue such as child abuse or rape? Even though these issues are sadly far from over, would we ever tell someone that if they aren't ready to stop beating their child, they should do it five days a week instead of seven, or to "rape with compassion"!?

We need to be educating people about why animal use is wrong in the first place. I have met so many people who are buying free-range pork and eggs thanks to welfare campaigns, because they think they're doing something to help those animals, and these people haven't even heard the word "vegan" before. We need to be clear and consistent with our message. Buying or supporting free-range does not help these animals and instead reinforces the idea that they are our property for us to use. And reinforcing that idea is unlikely to help lead us to the abolition of animal use.

If you want do something that will help animals right now, then adopt, foster, rescue, and/or support animal sanctuaries who rescue and provide homes for those in need. These actions will directly make a difference in nonhuman animals' lives.

And please promote veganism, at every chance you get, be a voice for those animals. I know that sometimes a vegan world seems so far away, but changes are happening. Through people like you and me, educating others about veganism and nonviolence, we'll get there. We will. Don't give up. Never give up. Those animals need us.

To finish off, here's a chart that answers some of the common objections to the Abolitionist Approach:

Many people aren't ready for veganism yet, so we should ease them into it gently through welfare and "Go Veg" campaignsTry vegan activism and you'll find there are heaps of people ready to learn about veganism! We don't need to be advocating for anything less.
A vegan world is far away and animals are suffering in factory farms right now. Why do you only look at the bigger picture and don't care about the animals who are suffering now? It isn't that we don't care about the animals who are suffering now. If I could rescue all enslaved animals right now, I would, but I can't - because as long as there is demand, innocent nonhumans will still be bred and killed for us to use. We have to educate people and reduce the demand. It's true that there are people who are unwilling to go vegan, but we shouldn't give them the message that that they could buy "free-range" or "organically raised" because that at least "helps a little bit" (which really it doesn't) - no, we should be clear that if they really care about those animals, they should stop using them. And if they don't listen, just go onto the next person.
Vegan education won't save any lives in the short term. To affect the demand, we'll need a lot more vegans. Vegan education raises awareness on the issue of animal use. While it might take a while for the demand to make any significant difference, we'll have more people adopting, fostering, spaying, neutering, rescuing, donating to animal sanctuaries, and promoting veganism. These actions will make a difference in many nonhumans' lives.
Change will come quicker if we advocate for welfare reforms and single issue campaigns as well as veganismWelfare Reforms and Single Issue Campaigns give the confused idea that *some* forms of exploitation are worse than other forms of exploitation. Vegan education focuses on all areas of animal use. We have no need to be advocating for "happy meat" or vegetarianism or banning fur, we need to unequivocally advocate for veganism.
We can't force people to go vegan straight away, many need to change graduallyWe've never said it's an all or nothing thing. We understand that there are people who will need to transition to veganism gradually, but that doesn't mean we have to promote anything less than veganism. The point is, to educate people about veganism, and then once we've given them that information, they can decide what to do from there, but we don't compromise on our message to fit in with other people's wants.
Why are you picking on vegans who don't fit in with your views?We don't pick on or bully anyone. Our aim is to educate others about the problems of promoting welfare and single issue campaigns, so that they can in turn educate themselves. Please don't be offended if we challenge your position! We speak for the animals. It's about them, not us.

Recommended reading: Books on the Property Status of Animals by Gary Francione

For more on what we mean and don't mean by vegan education, please listen to Elizabeth Collins' podcast HERE.

And by Unpopular Vegan Essays, Ten Myths of New Welfarism.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

"Veganism is Nonviolence" - a short essay

Written for a vegan essay competition:

Veganism is Nonviolence

Right now, someone is crying for help. Someone is mourning the loss of her stolen baby. Someone has just been murdered. Simply for humans to consume.

I am vegan because I do not want to support an industry of violence. I am vegan because discrimination to anyone, whether based on race, colour, class, sex, sexual orientation, ability or species is wrong. I am vegan because these animals are our property; slaves who are denied the right to live their own lives. I am vegan and I am working to put an end to the property status of animals, hoping that one day, they will be free.

What is veganism? Veganism is Nonviolence.

Rejecting violence to your body; as animal products can be detrimental to our health and consuming them can lead to cancer, heart disease or diabetes, among many other preventable illnesses. A plant-based diet isn't the only thing you need to be healthy, eating vegan junk food all day won't do any good, but if you eat right it can have many benefits. It's important that we take care of our bodies for a long, healthy and happy life.

Rejecting violence to the planet; Earth's valuable resources are being wasted in the production of animal products, it's an ecological disaster. Tons of food wasted to feed to livestock. Land wasted to both farm animals and grow crops to feed those animals. Forests home to wildlife destroyed to make room for that land. Being vegan can greatly reduce your carbon footprint.

But most importantly, Veganism is about rejecting violence towards other animals. Over 56 billion land animals are killed for human consumption every year. Calves are being taken away from their mothers so that humans can drink her milk. Thousands of day-old roosters are being ground up alive or thrown away and left to suffocate because they're useless to the egg industry. Lambs are being taken from their mothers and slaughtered for meat. And the only justification we have for using these animals is simply for pleasure; because they taste good, or feel good when we wear them, or entertain us by living in an enclosure or being forced to perform tricks for us. Ask yourself: is a moment of your pleasure really worth their suffering?

It is time to take the next step in humanity's evolution. Time to say “NO” towards violence to anyone. Time to build an Earth that is powered by peace instead of greed.

Going vegan is the first step towards living a nonviolent life. It's easy. I did it. My whole family of seven did it! You can do it too. If it feels like too much, try going vegan for breakfast first. Then a week later, go vegan for lunch. After that, go vegan for dinner. Stop buying products made out of or tested on animals. Stop going to places that profit out of using other animals; such as zoos, circuses, marine parks, and rodeos. Then before you know it, you'll be vegan.

Let's carve the way to a better, brighter future. For our children. For other animals' children. One day, there will be peace on Earth. But change won't come if we continue to follow the norm or behave as our parents have taught us to. We must break free from our own racism, heterosexism, speciesism, etc, and extend a hand to those in need. The human and nonhuman slaves, the starving humans who have no food due to animal farming, the animals who are endangered due to deforestation, the victims of discrimination, we can put a stop to their suffering if we work to make it happen.

Be nonviolent. Be vegan.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Vegans advocating for Welfare: Why?

From Sow Stalls to Battery Cages to local slaughter rather than overseas slaughter. I've seen many vegans supporting or promoting better treatment for enslaved animals. And every time I see this, I wonder; Why?

Ok, so less torture is always better. Being killed instantly by a gun is better than having your throat slit and bleeding to death. Doesn't mean it's right. These campaigns are basically saying "It's okay to use other animals for our selfish purposes, so long as it's done 'humanely'". I can understand why animal welfare groups advocate for these campaigns. The public is happy because they're buying "with compassion", the exploiters are happy because more people are buying their "free-range" products, and the welfare organisations rake in a whole lot of money from both non-vegan and vegan supporters of their campaigns. The only losers are the animals.

The thing I can't quite understand are vegans who support these campaigns. I know we all feel helpless sometimes and want to make a difference for animals NOW, but it's not going to help them much if more welfare laws come into place. I mean, we've had animal welfare for 200 years now, and more animals are suffering than ever before.

The only way we can help animals is by going vegan and educating others about veganism. It's speciesist to say that anything less than veganism is morally acceptable. Would we advocate for "humane" rape? Or for better treatment of enslaved humans?

But what about the people who say they'll never be vegan? Isn't it better for them to consume free-range animal products than not change at all? Well, that decision's up to them, but don't encourage it. Make it clear that it won't help the animals, it won't stop them from losing their children, being exploited, or being murdered at a young age. Maybe that person won't change straight away, but a few years down the line, they might have a re-think about it and decide to make the change. But if they're encouraged to consume free-range, and they believe that they're doing something good for animals, odds are they won't change, not until someone stands up and tells them that actually, consuming these "happy" animal products are really not helping any animals.

We wouldn't encourage a mass-murderer, who doesn't think he can completely give up murdering humans, to murder them "nicely". No, that doesn't acknowledge the fact that any murder of a human is wrong. If so-called "Human Rights" activists said that it's alright for him to murder a human, provided it's done "humanely", of course he's going to continue doing it. It's insane when you think about it in human context, so why is it different when it comes to non-humans?

If you want to help animals, go out and educate others about veganism! And if you want to do something now to help animals, adopt a homeless animal, volunteer at a shelter, and/or encourage others to adopt, there are millions out there who need loving homes right now.

Be an unequivocal voice for those who can't speak for themselves. Always remember the victims when doing vegan advocacy. If someone says they'll never go vegan, then just move on to the next person, but don't compromise your message. Be a clear, consistent voice for all animals.

Vegan Education: Working With What You Have

This Friday I went out in Hamilton with pamphlets and a box full of vegan cupcakes to educate the public about veganism. Each cupcake was given out with one of my Cupcake Cards, and I also had Abolitionist Approach and Butterflies Katz's Becoming Vegan pamphlets for people to take as well.

I had three cupcakes on the box at a time, with the pamphlets in front. I positioned myself in front of a shopping centre, where a good amount of people would be walking past, holding the box and saying "Free Cupcake!" whenever someone walked past. It was a great experience. I had a lot of interest, and gave out all my cupcakes within two hours.

This is something anyone could do. You don't need to be a part of any organisation, it's cheap, doesn't require much setting up, and it's a great and fun way to educate people about veganism. When you don't have much, but you want to get vegan education into your community, get creative and work with what you have! 

Hand out vegan food, host cooking classes, make videos, write, do a market stall, hand out pamphlets, do whatever you feel comfortable doing - There are many ways you can promote veganism!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Cow in the Field

Today I was watching a cow in the field across the road. She was all by herself, just standing and staring off into space. She was standing there for a while and I wondered what she was thinking about. Had she just lost a baby? Tears came to my eyes as I thought about what she would have had to go through.

Being raped. Giving birth. The emotional pain of having her child taken away from her. Having a machine hooked up to her teats every day to suck the milk from her. Over and over until the day she is slaughtered.

The cow lay down. It looked uncomfortable to do with her oversized udder. And there she lay for some time, staring at the sky. Again I wondered what was going on in her mind. I had to go off to do something, and when I came back, I realised something.

She hadn't just lost a baby. She was about to lose one. Because she had just given birth. Her little baby was right there, suckling from her. I wondered how many children she'd had before this one. I think she knew what was going to happen, because it seemed like she was trying not to look at this baby, like she was trying not to get emotionally attached. The calf nuzzled his/her mother. And for a small precious moment, they were connected with love. But that wouldn't last. And she knew it. She walked away from her baby.

Mother and child eventually went to another part of the field, and I didn't see them again. I felt sad for them. When the farmer discovers the newborn calf, they will be taken away from each other. If male, he will be raised for beef. If female, she will become a dairy machine like her mother. Either way, they will be separated and will never get to see each other again. She will never have the chance to raise her child, all so that a selfish species can take the milk to drink themselves.

It's absolutely horrible what we force these mothers to go through every year. No mother deserves to lose her child like that. Like humans, cows are very maternal mammals and have a strong bond with their young. Imagine the grief they have to go through when they lose their beloved children over and over again. It's no wonder this cow was trying to disconnect herself from her calf to save her the pain. She'd had it happen to her before, and couldn't bear to have it happen again.

If you're not vegan, please go vegan. Then educate others about veganism too. Be a voice for those who can't speak for themselves. They need us.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

"Life's too short to not eat.."

"Life's too short to not eat good food" "Life's too short to not eat cheese" "Life's too short to give up the taste of meat"

Some people can't imagine not eating their favourite foods and have problems trying to give them up. I've read that animal products such as meat and especially cheese release feel-good chemicals in your brain when you consume them, making you easily addicted to them. It's no wonder some people find them so hard to give up. 

If you have an addiction, you're surely going to crave that product for a little while after taking it out of your diet. But don't give in! Remember that the cravings will pass. I had a few cravings at first too. I remember once craving pig flesh. But I got through that by thinking about the poor pig who was killed for someone to eat that slice of ham.

Remember who you're doing it for. If you crave cheese, remember the dairy cows who were separated from their babies and eventually killed after a short life of being impregnated over and over, and the newborn calves who were slaughtered for the rennet in their stomachs, used to make the cheese. When you remember the victims, it's easier to fight the cravings away.

Life may be short, but those animals who were exploited for your food had much shorter lives. Don't let a moment of difficulty put you off doing what's right.

And you don't have to sacrifice good food to be vegan. I always see celebrity chefs on tv calling plant-based food "boring". Far from that, it's exciting and delicious! Google vegan recipes online. You'll find heaps to try.

Don't look at veganism as a "sacrifice". As Gary Francione has said, "You can't sacrifice what you had no moral right to in the first place." Veganism is simply saying "no" to violence and injustice. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Human Rights before Animal Rights

So, I've seen a few people say that they would rather focus on Human Rights issues, and solve those, before working on Animal Rights issues (and even thinking about going vegan, it seems). This position confuses me.

Humans are animals, so in theory, human rights = animal rights. As a vegan, I am opposed to violence towards *all* animals, including humans.

Being vegan doesn't mean you have to automatically care more about non-humans than you do humans. It is simply a rejection of violence. All violence.

Right now, people in developing countries are starving to death because they don't have enough food. At the same time, tons of grain, corn and soy are being taken from those same malnourished countries to feed to livestock in wealthier countries. No matter how much food we donate to the hungry, the problem will still remain because the cause is still there and it will stay there as long as there is a demand for it. World hunger is another thing that has to be abolished, and the solution isn't to farm more animals to try to feed them all a meaty western diet (that will just increase the problem, and by the time we have enough farms to feed every human, if that could happen, the Earth would be so damaged that we couldn't live here anymore), the solution is to be vegan and to stop supporting an industry not only of great violence towards non-humans, but that wrongfully takes food that could be fed to humans and feeds it to their "profit machines".

Someone once asked if I was saying to take the food to feed to humans and let the other animals starve. To be clear: no, I am not suggesting that. There's enough grass for everyone ;)

In conclusion, being vegan is about respecting the rights of *all* sentient beings, and that includes humans. Being vegan doesn't mean you have to stop caring about and campaigning for human rights issues, and it doesn't mean caring about only non-humans. In order for us to live non-violently, we must reject discrimination in all forms. I encourage you to go vegan, if you're not vegan already, and advocate for veganism as a voice for all animals, both human and non.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Confused Vegan

During the first couple of years of being vegan, I was a very confused person.

I believed in promoting veganism and was passionate about animal rights. I was a member of Peta2 (PETA for youth), and I supported them, as well as a few other big "Animal Rights" organisations. However, many of their actions puzzled me.

When SAFE in New Zealand got undercover footage of factory farms on tv, I didn't think it was a good thing. Because there was no mention of veganism. Only promotion of free-range animal products.

When PETA campaigned for KFC to use "Controlled Atmosphere Killing" on their chickens instead of slitting their throats, I didn't think that was right. The chickens still lose their lives, either way.

Once on the Peta2 forums, a farmer was complaining that we were trying to put him out of business. I was the first person to comment, and I said that I simply don't support violence, and that the lives of those animals are as valuable to them as ours are to us. Everyone else on the forum, however, reassured him that they loved little family farms where the animals were treated well, and it was only the big mean factory farms that they were trying to get rid of. I actually felt embarrassed, and wondered if I'd said the wrong thing.

Was I being a bad advocate for animal rights because I didn't support campaigns by PETA or SAFE? Should I be advocating for welfare reforms like them? I didn't believe it would help animals, because they would still be murdered in the end, but it seemed like that was what all the vegans and animal rights people were campaigning for. I was very confused indeed.

Then one day, I stumbled across Professor Gary Francione on Twitter. After reading some of his "Tweets" I thought, Finally, here's someone who actually makes sense! Someone campaigning for the end of animal use - not better treatment! I then learnt about the Abolitionist Approach to Animal Rights. I met other vegan abolitionists on Twitter. And suddenly I didn't feel alone, or that what I believed in was wrong.

Now I wonder; how many others out there are feeling the same way I did? How many confused vegans are there who support PETA and the like because they are supposedly "Animal Rights", but don't agree with the things they campaign for? How many vegetarians are there who haven't learnt about veganism because nobody's talked to them about it? How many omnivores are there who pay extra money to buy free-range because they believe they're helping animals?

This is why I urge people to promote veganism, and encourage others to promote it too. You don't need to be a part of a big animal welfare organisation to help other animals. Talk to others about veganism, and promote veganism only. People can make up their own minds about whether to go free-range, vegetarian, or vegan after you talk to them, but I never compromise my message and say that anything less than veganism is okay - that would just be speciesist.

Since going vegan at the age of 13, I have always believed in promoting veganism. I always looked at it from the animal's perspective. If that were me in the slaughterhouse, if I were a slave to another species, I wouldn't care if I got a bigger cage or if I were gassed to death instead of having my throat slit. The thing I would want the most, and would hope for for my children's future, would be to no longer be considered as someone else's property. An individual in control of her own life.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Mother And Her Baby

This is a story from my week at an animation school in 2010. Originally posted to Facebook, I thought I'd share it here.

It was a clear Tuesday morning. While waiting for class to start, I was watching the cows in the field nextdoor. In the field closest to me were 4 cows and a young calf. The calf was lying down next to his mother. It was all peaceful, until the farmer started approaching the paddock on his quad bike. The mother - alerted to danger - got up and stood in fron
t of the calf. The calf, sensing something was up, got up as well and stood close beside his mother. Two of the other cows came to the mother's side, ready to protect the baby from danger. They all watched the farmer approach with wary eyes. He appeared to only be checking up on them, and then he left. But the cows didn't drop their guard until quite a while after that. Only when they were sure it was safe would they go back to doing what they were doing.

You can tell by this story that cows are very maternal animals. They adore their babies. But, in order for humans to drink the milk intended for the calves, dairy cows are denied motherhood. In order to keep lactating, they are repeatedly impregnated, and their beloved children are stolen away from them. Cows produce milk for the same reason all mammals do - to nourish their young. Milk is for calves, not humans. 

Respect the rights of others. Go Vegan.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Want vs. Need

In order to stay alive, there are certain things we human beings need. We need water, we need oxygen, and we need food. And food is the necessity I'm going to talk about in today's blog post.

I have heard that humans need to eat meat for survival. That we need to eat animal products in order to stay healthy. 

Eating other animals may have been necessary for human survival in the past when times were hard and plant food was limited.  But they only ate it because they needed it to continue living - not for palate pleasure like we do now. Quoting an episode from my Vegan for Life podcast:
"Early humans didn't overdo it. They only killed what they needed, in order to survive, and worked in harmony with nature. But look what we're doing to nature now, in order to satisfy the growing demand for animal products. Thousands of acres of forests have had to be destroyed, air and water is being polluted, and so much life is being lost. The earth has provided us with enough resources for all the animals living on it - human and non-human - to survive. But we are exploiting these resources in order to satisfy our taste for flesh. Early humans ate meat in order to survive. Why do we eat meat now? Purely because we like the taste."
For humans now, eating animal products is a want. A want for the taste. It is no longer a need. In fact, it's very easy to stay alive and healthy without consuming animal products. Long-time vegans are proof of that.

In a survival situation, when you're lost and you need to survive, maybe you'd have to eat other animals to survive. Maybe even other humans. In a situation like that, things are different. You wouldn't have a choice, you would have to eat what you can to survive - or die. Like lions, wolves, bears, and other carnivorous or omnivorous wild animals - they don't have a choice of what to eat. They have to eat what they can so that they will continue living. But right now, you're not out in the wild starving (I'm assuming you aren't if you have internet access and are reading this blog), and you have a choice. Over 56 billion land animals and trillions of sea animals don't need to be exploited and murdered for our consumption, clothing, entertainment, and other uses. 

We have a choice. To continue engaging in violence towards other sentient beings, or to go vegan and live nonviolently. If you're not starving, if you don't need it, and it harms others, why continue doing it?

It's easy to be vegan. Vegan food can be DELICIOUS and exciting! And if you really want the taste of animal products (cravings do go away, I promise), they can be replaced with plant-based alternatives. There's no reason NOT to be vegan, so give it a try! Start here:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's Time

Sunshine and a fresh breeze,
Lush fields and tall trees.
Friendship and bonds that will never be broken,
Memories that will never be forgotten.
Families that look out for one another,
Sons and daughters raised with the love of a mother.
A joy it is to live on this beautiful planet,
Healthy long lives lived without regret.

A life of freedom,
A life that we deny them.
Because they are property of humans,
Who enslave them just because they can.
A short life of misery and exploitation,
These sentient beings cry for freedom.
They have no words but their pleas are clear,
"We want to live, we don't want to die here."
Mothers torn from their newborn babies,
Young children slaughtered mercilessly.
They are moral persons, not things,
But we treat them like profit machines.
Over 56 billion murdered a year,
Simply for humans to eat, use and wear.

It's time to stop the killing, violence and oppression,
Time to end all hatred and discrimination.
Time to respect the rights of one another,
Time for peace and love to take over.
We don't need to exploit to survive,
So is it really worth taking innocent lives?
Go vegan, end the use.
They don't have a choice, but you do.

Sunshine and a fresh breeze,
Lush fields and tall trees.
How wonderful it is,
To be free.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Why go vegan? - From a 9 Year Old

This post was written by my brother Eddy about why to go vegan.

My name is Eddy I am 9 years old and I will tell you why you should go vegan.

Did you know, every picture of animals being happy on a meat/milk/egg/fish product is not true if you were one of these animals you would be screaming "help help" and if pictures of animals were real then you would see a very very sad cow/pig/chicken/fish.

Did you know eating a egg is like eating the male chicks that die because they're no use in the egg industry so they are killed just after they are hatched. :(

Did you know more then ten million animals are killed every day for us to EAT?

Did you know milk from cows is meant for the baby cows not humans and furthermore most of the male baby cows DIE because they're not needed just because they don't make milk.

Did you know dairy industries say dairy for life just so people will buy more stuff dairy or more meat.

Did you know honey is really bees VOMIT and that bees don't make it for us they make it for the nest and the baby bees?

You can't make every one happy but you can make animals happy by being VEGAN.

So get your friends and give it a go.

Here's some of the food we eat.

Macaroni and cheese (made out of chickpeas)

Vegetarian sausages

Soy milk


Chocolate fudge/cake/muffins

Vegan food is really yummy.

If you search vegan recipes on Google you can find lots of yummy vegan recipes

Well that's all from me for now I really hope this makes you want to be vegan.
goodbye. :)

"They're all vegans. And you?"

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Message About Discrimination, Love, And Being Who You Are

I would like to write about an issue that I feel very strongly about, and that is homophobia.

I am not afraid to speak out against it, but up til now it's made me afraid to come out as a homosexual. Afraid of what others would think. Afraid that people wouldn't want to know me. But what use is living in fear? I know I'm a great person. I know I'm worthy of being loved, just like everyone else. I am me. I was born this way. Nothing wrong with that.

It makes me sad that there is still so much hate towards gay people in this world. Claims that homosexuality is a sin. That it shouldn't exist. That gay people should go to hell. Hatred. Violence. Bullying. This then leads the victims to depression, self-hate, loneliness and sometimes, suicide.

Why hate on those who are different from you? What good does it do? No one can help being born the way they are. Regardless of race, colour, sexuality, gender, mental and physical ability, species, everyone deserves respect. When we learn to love and respect others, we are happier, and they are happier as well. Win-win.

It really shouldn't be that big of a deal. So someone is attracted to people of the same sex. So what? As long as that person's happy, that should be all that really matters. We have no right to tell people that who they are is wrong. They might not be right by your standards, but they are right for themselves.

Treat others the way you want to be treated. Try to see the world through the other person's eyes. Take a minute to think how your actions and words could affect this person. And if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

I can only hope that those who know me would look at me the same way they did before I came out. I am still the same person, no different. But in the end, their opinion doesn't matter to me, because it's what I think of myself that truly matters. I'm coming out because I'm tired of being afraid of what others might think of me. It'd be easy to keep it in the dark. No one who meets me would ever be able to tell that I'm a lesbian. But this is who I am, so why try to hide it? I am finally true to myself. And I want others to know that it's okay to be true to themselves too.

I want to finish with a message to the victims of bullying, if any of you are reading this post.
  You are beautiful. You are wonderful. Love yourself for who you are. Don't listen to the hateful people. They're the ones with the problem, not you. Don't let them affect your happiness, because you deserve to be happy. Stay strong. It gets better. I promise. And if you feel you have no one, if you feel there's no place for you in the world, email me, and I will listen.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Podcast Ep1: Activism and the Message We Want to Send

Listen/Download HERE 

Welcome to the first episode of the new Peaceful Abolitionist Podcast!

This episode talks about activism and why it's so important we always promote veganism, and never compromise our message.

Thanks for listening :)