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.

Based on 2007 statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations' Global Livestock Production and Health Atlas.

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Posts Tagged ‘peace’

Seeds

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Who could predict this thriving, fantastic outcome based only on looking at the seeds?

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.

Sucking Marrow

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

I had the opportunity to talk about veganism to a professor the other day. He responded without rebutting any one particular statement. Instead, he kept repeating that mankind is the most cunning, the most intelligent, and the most ruthless of all the creatures on earth. He toted these values incessantly (He also banged his fist on the table and raised his voice – but I can overlook that as a personality flaw).  It is thanks to these traits, he said, that we evolved from apes to man. Specifically, he said it was our ability to suck marrow out of discarded bones in the desert that helped us survive famines.

Spider Chasing a Lego Human

"Go back to banging rocks together, human!"

Okay.

He seemed to take a great deal of pleasure in repeating the words “ruthless, cunning,” and “intelligent.” I imagine if we knew him better, we’d find out that he cherishes these aspects of consciousness most about himself, as well. Isn’t that obvious? Why else, with such gusto and satisfaction, would he dwell on them?

He might be right. In a starved, desperate, depraved past, eating marrow may have brought us biologically up from early hominids into homo sapiens. But he is very wrong if he thinks that same kind of behavior will move us forward.

Cunning and ruthless savagery are for war and killing. War and killing is out of control and will cause the extinction of man. Or, indirectly, soak up so many resources that man cannot afford to fight natural pandemics.

Compassion, communication and cooperation are our only hope.

When was the last time you employed cunning and ruthlessness to fall in love or do anything really meaningful?

It won’t be marrow-sucking, lethal cunning and remorseless intellect that keeps our civilization alive. These traits do nothing but threaten our existence. We are apes no longer.

Here’s another way to look at it. Ultimately, even if eating flesh – practically lethal to us unless cooked – nudged us up a branch in the evolutionary tree, we are not obligated to continue doing so. Continued eating of meat won’t help us make the next jump any more than throwing our own feces or swinging from trees will.

The Door is Not the Floor

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Building a Permanent Framework of Peace

There are hundreds of solid, logical reasons to go vegan. You love the environment? Great. Stop eating meat and lessen the demand for mowing down rainforests. You want to lose fifty pounds? Well, you could do that on a meat-eating diet, but, okay. Go vegan and lose fat. You’re abhorred by the zoonotic diseases chicken leaks into your body? Who wouldn’t be?

These are great reasons, but they are only doorways. They let you in but, alone, they won’t keep you vegan. Peace and nonviolence will. Compassion weaves the floor that will support you forever. When you construct your sincere, ethical framework in the well-being of animals, you will never turn your back on it.

I will take the room analogy a step farther. The entrance which piques your interest is also an exit.
You want to lower your bad cholesterol so you go on a “vegan cleanse” for three weeks. Goal met. Vegan agenda ditched. You might pick it up again if your LDL rises.

Some people, upon replacing heavy, fast food with healthy, vegan meals lose weight. And then what? You’re thin, and fit. After a night of drinking, do you order a portabella sandwich or a bacon omelet? If you’ve gone vegan to lose weight, and now you’re thin, what’s to keep you from eating the eggs?

Realistically, in the context of obesity and cholesterol, what is the effect one little piece of bacon per week on a fit, healthy person? It won’t kill you.

But what about something you’re morally opposed to? One rape per week? Is that acceptable? Of course not, it’s atrocious.

Would the following appeal work in trying to convince a serial rapist? “Hey, man. Lay off the rape. Think of all the gas you burn driving to the dark parts of town to find your victims. That’s so eco-unfriendly. Avoid rape for the environment.”

I don’t know any rapists, but I’ll wager it would not deter them, even if they were Eco-Friendly Rapists.

Peace is the unmovable base supporting consistent thoughts and behavior.