Professor Francione puts it best here. Also, I’m testing Facebook “Embed This Post” feature.
Number of animals killed in the world by the meat, dairy and egg industries, since you opened this webpage. This does not include the billions of fish and other aquatic animals killed annually.
Professor Francione puts it best here. Also, I’m testing Facebook “Embed This Post” feature.
via Prof. Gary Francione’s Facebook page update:
This morning (from the U.K.):
A wonderful book. One of the reviews mentioned that rather than to persuade the reader of your position, you get the reader to see that they already believe carries the implication that they should be vegan. Brilliant! It is clearly written. I loved it and plan on buying a dozen print copies as gifts when they become available. A wonderful job!
And a portion of a new Amazon review:
The prominent theme throughout the book is the connection Francione and Charlton make between Michael Vick’s dogfighting and the similarity to the consumption of animals and their products. From their impeccable logic, the reader realizes that Michael Vick’s dogfighting was wrong because he imposed suffering and death on dogs for no reason other than he wanted to; omnivores consume animals and their products for exactly the same reason – they simply want to. Both dogfighting and consuming animals and their products imposes suffering and death on animals for no ‘good’ reason. Therefore, the only logical response to this is to go vegan.
I received an email this morning from a friend of mine. Very few of them write me about my activity on animal rights, so I thought her letter and my response was worthy of posting online.
It can be tremendously isolating to be the only vegan in your group of friends. Some will, wrongly, expect you to show up at their BBQs and throw buckets of blood on their faces. Or scream, “Meat is murder” at them as they eat their eggs even though you yourself ate meat for many years.
It’s nice when a friend writes me and is genuinely curious. It lets me know my online advocacy is not falling into a black hole.
Hello my beautiful spirited friend! I love your posts about animals and veganism!
I want to ask you: you know how I’m always teetering back and forth between vegetarianism and not. I would full-heartedly love to live the vegan life. I do not know how you do it. It seems impossible to me. Especially living with a meat eater. He’s gone a lot so scout and I stick mainly to fruits and veggies and grains and sadly dairy.
I could so live without meat. But I cannot eliminate the dairy, and you taught me that’s the worst industry.
Can you give me some inspiring words? Kudos to you and your family and for your love and devotion to animals.
Thank you for the kind words! Here are some tips. I hope they help you make some changes that make you feel better and help the animals.
The beautiful thing about being vegan is you get a chance to creatively help the animals, and make a real impact on their lives without having to ever leave your kitchen.
Milk is pretty easy to replace. Think of how many alternative milks there are: hemp, rice, soy, almond, coconut, just off the top of my head. Vegan butters are for sale in places like the grocery near your house. Cheese replacements don’t taste quite the same, so that’s why I say just pull the cheese out and put something interesting in its place: avocado, cashew / basil pesto, etc.
Being vegan with a nonvegan spouse can be challenging but it’s totally doable. Think of it like trying to quit smoking while living with a smoker.
Eating vegan can seem impossible because it can be a totally new habit, but if you take one recipe at a time and put in plant-based alternatives, you’ll inch your way toward a vegan menu in no time.
I’d pick one meal a day to make vegan (breakfast is an easy one). Any recipe you have trouble making vegan, just ask me or check these sites for ideas:
We do not allow animal abuse in our house.
This question only comes up from people in meat-eating households, because only in those households is veganism seen as trivial and flippant a “lifestyle” choice as what hobby to pursue or what color of shirt to wear.
Everyone is welcome to their opinions. The question we must each ask ourselves is: Does my opinion result in actions that harm others?
Many people will not see eating flesh as animal abuse. Somehow, killing an animal does not count as abuse, in that mind frame. In my household, the children will not want to harm cows or chickens any more than they want to harm cats and dogs.
Children have amazingly good bullshit detectors. They “get” fairness. They understand justice. The cognitive dissonance parents cause when they tell children to love one animal and eat the flesh of another is confusing and inconsistent for completely arbitrary reasons. A vegan diet provides a consistent, clear and truly compassionate framework built on honesty, healthy eating, love and, yes, even on justice.
In an MSN article today – a headline article – a Pit Bull mourned his friend for fourteen hours after she was killed by a car. Here’s the link, if you want to depress yourself for a while. This is front-page news because people still want to believe that only humans have “higher” emotions such as grief and love, despite all the evidence to the contrary.
When people write, discuss and link articles like this, it is usually because they are saying, “Well of course the dog feels that way,” and “How sad!” It is not until they think about what they eat that people will cite some outlandish fallacy to describe why this dog is different, and eating a pig or drinking cow milk is perfectly fine.
I disagree strongly with the idea that dogs mourn while chickens do not, and science backs up my belief.
When news articles and discussions like this come up, it’s a good time to interject some observations. Before people get to the point of citing inherited cultural stupidity as if it were their own (“Jesus ate fish 2,000 years ago therefore yay bacon and foie gras“), this is an excellent time to bring up a few discussion points:
Many of us accept that animals love, play, fear and fight. We need not eat them to survive, therefore we cannot justify eating them for pleasure.
Inspired by the currently trending #Top10Lies Twitter hashtag, here are the ones I hear most about vegan diets, motives and vegans themselves.
This update is a little grumpier and less polished than most of mine, so if I’ve offended you, please go vegan.
It’s true. Our bowel movements are healthier and typically faster than those of meat eaters, but otherwise we are exactly the same.
Vegans are not super heroes. Although directly reducing the demand for animals to be exploited is a super thing to do, it’s easy. Veganism is a moral baseline; it’s not exactly heroic.
We do not possess superhuman willpower. If you want a demonstration, just tell a recently awakened vegan that Oreos have no animal products in them. See how long it takes before he looks like he just ate, well, a box of Oreos. We struggle with restaurant and junk food marketing like anyone does. We do have it a little easier in that area: most of the ads are targeting a different demographic.
Vegans have no keener empathic abilities than the rest of the world. We are not Cow Whisperers. We do not hear the cries of corn as it’s fed to pigs on feedlots. Vegans are not so delicate and refined that they run in terror from the company dinner table when someone orders steak. Nor do we possess the hardened, bleached souls of war criminals. Seeing graphic video footage of animal slaughter bothers us as much as it does anyone.
Like meat eaters, vegans are not necessarily eating perfectly balanced diets, either. A huge percentage of the United States suffers from Vitamin D deficiencies, despite what the dairy industry would have us believe their fortified products will do.
All seeds for one plant pretty much look alike and, until we engage them, all people’s minds pretty much look alike as well. We sometimes make the mistake of assuming people are completely closed off to veganism when in fact they are not. And sometimes we spend all our time trying to educate completely disinterested captives (coworkers, family members, schoolmates).
But regardless of success or failure, we should never be discouraged, because that next vegan blogger, fitness guru, grandma or executive is probably not going to come from where you imagine.
People will surprise you. The man you would never discuss veganism with because of his demeanor or background might actually be completely disgusted with meat, only able to eat carefully disguised bodies in the form of hamburgers or nuggets. Or you might just catch him at a particularly receptive moment. The sweet vegetarian mother of two active children might just be completely shut off to the idea of animal rights, with no concern for the direct relationship between cheese and veal. We never really know until we engage others.
We should approach every opportunity for advocacy as the sowing of a new seed. Even when speaking about veganism with people who have heard it before, consider that maybe circumstances have changed.
The sprouts from nonviolent, intelligent discussions are fantastically creative and different and inspiring for each person.
All growth requires a little seed, or seed energy, and steady nurturing. As advocates for peace and justice, vegans are asking people to grow and expand their circles of consideration. And if the animal’s lives mean anything to us, they should mean, at a minimum, the willingness to engage people in whatever comfortable way we feel is appropriate.
Let us be kind and honest with people and about the animals we represent. We don’t need bullhorns, we need dinner parties.