Why going vegan is important , right here, right now in this generation.

Some of the most credible critics are long time agricultural farmers and ranchers like Howard Lyman. People who grew up farming, milking cows and have been absolutely horrified by by the animals that have been turned into nothing but mechanical devices that, pumped full of drugs, the only emphasis is producing animal products as quickly and as cheaply as possible. The number of slaughtered animals world wide is over 60 billion annually. Just try to imagine the perverse plight of a farm animal that’s going to be slaughtered. A deeply sensitive, intelligent being. A cow, a turkey, a lamb, a pig for example. Once who knows what’s about to happen but he’s trapped, he cannot escape. Try to envision such a life if you dare call it that. Even for a few moments. Put a face on the ‘meat’. See who the being actually was on your ‘steak’. See who the being actually was on your ‘chop’. See who the being actually was on your ‘drum stick’. There are other beings in the world who are aware of the world and they are aware of what happens to them. And what happens to them matters to them. It makes a difference to their life from the inside. They have a biography not merely a biology, that they are somebody not ‘something’ and what happens when you have that awareness, you understand that those beings have no voice. They have no power. They have no constituency among themselves to speak for themselves , and so you understand that if they are to be heard, you must do the speaking for them. With animal consciousness you understand that your commitment to the vulnerable extends beyond the human family.

We’ve heard a lot of talk about evil, and we tend to have this vision of evil as fanatically passionate people, people who are either religious fanatics, or who are crazed and commit evil deeds and that’s all on our front pages and these are terrible things and we know that this is a terrible thing but having said that we tend to ignore the other kind of evil. Cold evil this is evil not done out of passion or out of prejudice or religious fanaticism. These are the cold institutional systemic evils that we see for instance in factory farming where billions and billions of animals are treated in an absolutely evil and terrifying way and yet it’s systemic. It’s hidden from view. No one is passionately stabbing them. It’s the system that’s evil. If the average person were to see what happens to create that ‘meal’ , he would be horrified. You need to continue to create that awareness.

TSE diseases have very long incubation periods and cannot be detected in their early stages and largely go diagnosed however are 100% fatal. The statistical information regarding these diseases is almost totally obscured. There ought to be mandatory reporting of CJD for example (to name but one), and consideration for autopsy ought to taken on anyone who passes from dementia for example. Proper studies are still not being done. Would you really know if you were eating a full blown BSE animal? A dangerous chance to take don’t you think? Think too about your family and your loved ones. Do you really want to continue to risk feeding them diseased ‘meat’ thus making yourselves ill constantly and open to diseases? With an incubation period that can last anything up to 40 years, you really do not want to watch your loved one suffer with any of the diseases passed on through the consumption of any animals and their bi products.

Turn to history for life’s lessons and encouragement and instruction. Be warned by what has happened to others and how much they suffer daily. If we look at how native American people were once fueled and treated by the conquistadors. When they were viewed as non-human beings, and when their blood was used to fertilize fields. It’s unthinkable today. When we look at slavery, when you could buy and sell and beat with impunity people of African decent. Unthinkable today. When woman couldn’t get divorced or own property or get an education or vote. Unthinkable today. What history teaches us is that a few good people who are determined and who are persistent, who don’t give up can change the world. So what we have to believe as activists is that we’re not going to do this tomorrow. The wall of oppression has to be taken apart a brick at a time. When we get a critical mass of people change will come. That’s how we ought to go to sleep at night and that’s how we ought to wake up the next morning. That ought to be our faith!

If we are going to deal with the problems that we are having whether they are health, the environment or the animal issues we have to do it in this generation. We are now up against the wall and we cannot afford to take a pass. We cannot say that it is up to somebody else to take care of this problem. It’s up to us right now to get involved. If we don’t there may not be a future for our children and grandchildren. All of those animals that we are killing are killing us. This is about the absolute survival of the human species. Spread this message for as long as you have breath in your body. Animals are waiting for us to become informed and to become enlightened. We have no choice but to go vegan.

The conflict within humans.

There is not one  substantive reasons not to go vegan.  If you care about animal rights, and you care about the environment, your children’s future, your health,  and the health of your family – you are able to come to terms with and make the effort  to find out more to make the switch.  If you’re one of these people,  please read on.

We have spoken with many  nonvegans who say going vegan is ridiculously expensive, or that  it is difficult to buy the ingredients,  or  the ingredients are unavailable where they live,  or  they don’t know how to cook vegan food, or they cannot eat nuts, or that they don’t like tofu,  refuse to read or watch meaningful  literature that will educate them further,  or simply, that they are not remotely interested in vegan food products or going vegan  – let us reflect on these excuses for not going vegan.

When you wrap your head around it – going vegan is no more expensive than any other shopping is these days. Shopping for vegan foods becomes cheaper as you convert your pantry,  with a few minor tweaks here and there.  Buying vegan ingredients is easy (there is a fruit, veg, seed and nut section in every store).  When it comes to cooking vegan – there really is no difference to the methods of cooking either.

Getting rid of all ‘meats’ is easy (you can replace these with any healthy vegan protein). Getting rid of dairy  is  easy, there are many nondairy items available in stores today or,  (you can make your own cheeses and milks etc using a variety of vegan ingredients (making your own is obviously cheaper than buying ready-made – all you need is a blender and a nut bag). Replacing eggs  is a little more tricky if you enjoy baking, but  easy once you know how,  there are more than a handful of healthy options for you to use. That being said – we  bet that you could make a different vegan meal every day for the rest of your life,  and that it would be totally exiting!  You don’t have to be a professional chef to accomplish that – all ya gotta have is love for really good food and, doing what’s right by animals and the planet! Let that be your inspiration.

Some people may have allergies to certain foods and  may have illnesses –  it is important to note that many of these problems are  caused by ‘animal products’  and that  replacing these with healthy vegan foods – many  ‘illnesses’ can improve.  Should you have allergies to nuts, know that many vegan alternatives do exist.  Queenwa, hemp, oat milk etc can be substituted as milks etc.

Tofu may not be everyone’s favourite on first trial however, one learns quickly that tofu has many wonderful uses, adds texture to many dishes, and takes on the flavour of whatever you’re cooking with. When you have used tofu a few times,  like many new items,  ones  palette adjusts.  When we eliminate ‘animal’ foods,  our palettes ‘clear’, we enjoy vegan foods  more at every meal.

Most  who cook,  already have the basics in our kitchen,  blender,  juicer,   processor, nut bag etc – if not, these are  items you may wish to consider for your  kitchen.  They do make life easier and more cost-effective whilst learning  to cook your own food  is healthier,  so much more fun,  and provides clarity to exactly what you’re eating!  Voila!  And away ya go!

Vegan foods is sourced at markets, most stores,  health shops,  and is no more effort in purchasing than any shopping that you may be currently doing – it’s a simple paradigm shift. Once your pantry starts to grow, you become more organised. It’s really easy.  Let us know which products you’re not familiar with – we would be happy to point you in the right direction.  Involve yourself  with vegan events where there will be many stalls for you to peruse,  sample the delicious variety of wonderful offerings, and make great contacts etc –  a perfect opportunity for you to familiarize with vegans to enlighten you further in the right direction.  Try some vegan restaurants .  Have an open mind, your brain won’t fall out!

Moral justice for human and nonhuman beings,  (being vegan),  can never be viewed as ‘arrogant and patronising’ , forceful or militant, when going vegan,  it  teaches humans that violence in all forms against all sentients is morally wrong. When we are clear on the ethics,  less ignorant to our surrounding,  we realize that going  vegan has everything to do with animal rights – it is the most logical course of action that we can take, ensuring  that  all animals basic rights and dignities are intact. It is the very least we can do for them, to do anything less makes no sense whatsoever. Let’s face it – not one individual anywhere  wants to be treated as a slave,  be abused,  be eaten or worn,  be labeled a ‘commodity’ for another’s pleasures – that much is  clear and logical – rational individuals will agree to that.  We all have the capability to be  clear, able,  to equate,  conceptualize  with the ‘conflict’ within,  that  feeds our  own desires, interests, powers, perceptions over others,  and expel  thoughts  of what moral value does not mean.  Our ‘convenience’ should never matter more morally  than that of the lives of others,  it should never ‘seem’ by our  own logic that it is  easier  to simply ignore the pain of others, and  continue to ‘use victims’ for our own pleasures, this is precisely why abuse exists.  Going vegan is just a mind-set away, a paradigm shift – how much do we want to stop violence, how serious are we about the topic, when that changes, everything changes, everything starts to improve.  When more people make an ethical choice to go vegan for animal rights – the laws will start changing for animals – the world becomes liveable once again.

It is incorrect to say that going vegan has nothing to do with animal rights – veganism is about ‘everyone’s’ basic rights. We are not saying that it is wrong to fight for one specific cause, what we are saying is that fighting for that one specific cause is futile if you are not vegan.  Heres why: The logic is clear and simple.  Millions of well-meaning humans who have the capacity to love, to care, and who have emotion,  choose to advocate for one or several causes but fail to see that they themselves are a part of that problem.  We have to ask ourselves : Is it logical that I am abusing animals,  contributing to their suffering and death , whilst I provocate violence and judge others toward others who’s parralel of violence is the dual to mine, with the only difference being in that the species is different.  The species that I am abusing is ‘ justified only by legal terms’ – but does this make it moral. No it does not.  If  agri  dog meat were to be  a legally recognised  industry as is agri for chicken, cows, pigs etc is currently, would that make it morally acceptable. No off course not.  Should everyone just sit back and watch animals suffer? No off course not . So we have the capacity to know right from wrong.  Does this mean that vegans have  right to opinion – off course it does! Going vegan means that abuse for all animals, human and nonhuman stops. If we want change, real change – we have to change how we are abusing animals. We must stop eating, wearing, and using animals completely – they do not deserve slavery and commodity status.

Being vegan is not extreme, what is extreme is animal abuse. What is extreme is the 70 billion land animals, trillions of sea creatures, who are butchered annually for their carcass, their skin and other body parts for human pleasure because the law labels it as legal – that is extreme. What is extreme is that all of that is affecting climate change,  causing devastating  habitat loss to thousands more animals. What is extreme is that those who do want change  make excuses not to change . No one wants to be told how to live their lives but –  but as humans we ought to be able to gauge the differences between right and wrong.  Information, facts are  telling us that participating in the slaughter of innocent beings – eating,  wearing ,  enslaving  and commodifying nonhuman beings  is morally wrong –   we would be doing nonhumans a great justice to  see that, with our own eyes, hear that with our own ears,  feel that with our own emotions – willingly, and act upon it.  Welcome to the real world, welcome to the reality of violence.  If you are not already vegan, please consider going vegan – it is the very best and the very least that we as humans  can do for animal rights.

~ Active Vegan ~

6 more reasons to go vegan.

When promoting veganism, we’re often confronted by claims of care toward humans as though they negate the importance of going vegan. Veganism is trivialized as something for “animal lovers,” not for humanitarians and social justice workers. It often goes something like, “I care about human issues” or “We have too many human problems to solve before we can deal with animal rights.”

If there’s one thing that veganism has taught me, it’s that everything is interconnected. We can’t commit violence over there and then wonder why there’s violence over here. We can’t meditate on inner peace and world peace, while consuming the products of violence. Our values and intentions mean something and we’re selling ourselves short when we act as though we can just overlook a fundamental form of discrimination and violence and still achieve our goals as individuals and a species.

So here are 6 reasons why even those who prioritize human concerns over animal concerns should still go vegan.

1. Do you eat? If you have time to eat in a day, and have access to grains, legumes, and some fruits and vegetables, then you have time to eat a vegan diet while still dedicating all of your other time to humans.

2. Eating animals does not demonstrate care for humans, it just demonstrates disregard for animals and disregard for the negative impact that using animals as resources has on humans and ecosystems. In other words, you’re not showing how much you care for humans by not being vegan. You demonstrate care for humans by caring for humans, and by paying attention to the ways in which domination and injustice are intersectional. The principles that guide us to help humans – justice, compassion, peace, nonviolence – also happen to be the foundations of veganism, and they’re better served when one of the greatest sources of violence to which we directly contribute is eliminated: eating animals who are more like us than not, and contributing to the death of 30 land animals and hundreds of marine animals every year while exacerbating resource inequality, climate change, pollution and water scarcity. Veganism is empowering because we can do so much with so little and use the foundation of nonviolence to support other forms of activism.

3. Compassion and justice are not measured quantitatively. You don’t run out of compassion and justice when you use some on animals. In fact, the more compassion you allow yourself to feel and the more expansive your sense of justice, the more you will generate. Imagine if your sense of food justice also protects other vulnerable beings and protects the environmental landscape for future generations. Justice grows. If your heart can cringe at the sight of a cat in pain, imagine what you must feel for a human child. If you feel indignation when someone squashes an insect, imagine how you must feel when humans go to war. Studies show that vegans and vegetarians respond with more empathy to both human and animal suffering than non-vegetarians. Compassion grows.

4. We already agree that unnecessary animal suffering is wrong. If you think it’s wrong when someone beats a dog or kicks a cat, ask yourself why. We tend to respond with moral indignation because these acts cause unnecessary suffering. Even if we think that humans matter more than animals and that we would save a human life over an animal life any day, we still think that it’s wrong to cause unnecessary suffering to animals. Since we don’t need animal products to live healthfully, any amount of suffering caused to an animal raised as a resource is unnecessary. Eating a fish or an ice cream cone or wearing a leather jacket causes no less suffering than kicking a cat; in fact, it likely causes much more suffering. Being vegan is the absolute least we can do if we care even a tiny bit about animals. If you care enough about animals to care for a cat or a hamster, to think it’s wrong when someone kills a whale or steps on a mouse, then you care enough to not eat a cow or a chicken or a fish. It’s that simple. Animals are sentient: they feel pain and pleasure and they have an interest in not suffering and not dying. And luckily, this is all it takes to warrant moral consideration.

5. Violence produces violence. Animal suffering is human suffering. Whether you kill animals yourself or pay others to do it for you, by creating an industry that requires humans to act violently, we contribute to a violent humanity. Individuals who work in slaughterhouses have some of the highest rates of workplace injury, mental illness, suicide, drug abuse and domestic violence. To quote William Blake, “a dog starved at his master’s gate predicts the ruin of the state.” Psychologists interpret violent behaviour against animals as a precursor to violence against humans. The way we treat every living organism is a reflection of our entire world view. We can’t expect justice and peace within our own species while we terrorize others.

6. Animal agriculture affects us all. According to the World Watch Institute: “the human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future—deforestation, erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of communities, and the spread of disease.” Breeding, feeding and killing animals requires tremendous resources that are now being depleted beyond regeneration. This affects the world’s poor most drastically. There are over 7 billion people on the planet, while nearly 1 billion people are currently malnourished or dying of starvation. More than 6 million children will die this year of starvation. 82 percent of these children live in countries where grain surpluses are fed to animals that are eaten by individuals in the developed world. One quarter of all of the grain produced in third world countries is given to livestock (Oppenlander, “The World Hunger-Food Choice Connection“). This affects food prices, food availability and food security for everyone.

After these considerations, we might still be left with one or more of the four common justifications for continuing to eat animals: tradition, habit, convenience or pleasure. But as progressive people, we don’t have a problem condemning traditions or habits that don’t hold up to moral scrutiny. We have no problem saying that if a tradition involves violence against women that it needs to change. Or that if someone derives pleasure from harming children that they need to change.

We know that ethical principles that protect individuals from harm transcend both social considerations: traditions, cultural norms, dominant ideologies; and individual considerations: habits, tastes, and convenience. Social and cultural maxims and individual wants cannot serve as ethical justifications. They always serve as excuses and rationalizations. So instead of responding with knee-jerk excuses or hiding behind concerns for humanity, let’s embrace the intersectional nature of injustice and start fighting for justice everywhere. An easy place to start is on our plates.

~ Active Vegan ~

World Wildlife Day and going vegan.

It’s time to get serious about Wildlife crime. What has the significance of going vegan, have anything to do with stopping wildlife crime you may ask? Everything is your answer. 

There are several strong parallel links between the two, going vegan will strongly benefit all wildlife, both fauna and flora, and save millions of specie from extinction. Survival of wildlife compliments all ecosystems, which in turn is of paramount and pivotal importance to us.

World Wildlife Day, March 3 – a day which both celebrates the intrinsic value of wild fauna and flora and acts as a reminder of the urgent need to tackle wildlife and forest crime. Join us in the lead up to this important day and use your voice to tell the world that it’s time to take a stand against organized wildlife crime before it’s too late.

Sure we can curse about wildlife crime all that we want, we can march, we can sign petitions, we can scream and shout, and we can become completely embroiled with absolute bitter anger but, how effective is this going to be with growing populations, poverty rise, world hunger and demand for crime?  None of that is going to matter enough to change the annual exhilarated wildlife crime stats. Why not? Because the demand is still there and it’s on the rise. So the solutions has to be looked at and tackled from all and alternative perspectives, a bigger picture. Don’t underestimate the power, the benefits and the differences that going vegan will have on saving wildlife!

We do agree that the fight must go on, and that we are making small differences here and there however, lets make the ultimate difference demanding change at a faster speed. Going vegan is not a sacrifice. All it means is living ones life ethically. Let’s view the bigger picture, embrace the entire effect, and let’s take real meaningful action, educate others, and show and live out our daily lives as though we really mean it and do care, by changing our own lives first, in support of wildlife. Small differences are not enough as they just get swallowed up by ever growing communities. Big differences count the most, are most effective and, when 7 billion people embrace veganism, the demand for violence, and the utter destruction of wildlife witnessed today, shall be an embarrassing closed chapter of the past, a black book locked away safely for all of eternity. A learnt mistake.

There would be no such thing as wildlife crime because there would be no demand for it! 

There would be no demand for trinkets and other left over bone matter, skin, and embalmed dead animals haunting ones walls, shelves and cabinets. There would be no demand for the consumption of unhealthy, decaying flesh tortured on land and violently hauled from our waters, and stolen from the skies. There would be no demand for land, water and air degradation and pollution, destroying the chances of wildlife survival today. There would be no demand for zoos, circuses, aquariums and other forms of vile entertainment which sees so much violence, disrespect, suffering, and disregard to the lives of those stolen from the wild. There would be no demand for poachers, hunters and other criminals and sadists who candidly take the lives of the innocent simply because they can, further fuelling wildlife crime. There would be no demand for jackets, hats, gloves, shoes, belts, bags and purses, and all other ‘accessories’ made from the skins of stolen, captured and tortured wildlife. There would be no demand for pets who are ripped from their homes, their families, their environments. There would be no demand for wildlife trade. There would be no demand for slavery.

Change starts in our own homes.

You see when we change, our mindset and demand changes. When the demand is no longer there, attitudes change, the agenda of corporations change as they follow the money, and the law adopts a new and positive approach because we demand it. We demand a refreshing, new, positive outlook on life. Illegal syndicates will die and die they must. Poachers will look for other forms of income. Fashion houses will create, incorporate, and make use of other more greener, world and wildlife friendly options by demand. Slaughter facilities will disappear leaving the world with cleaner pockets of natural forests, cleaner water and cleaner air for wildlife survival. Greedy corporations wouldn’t dare step out of line. Everyone’s agenda would change dramatically by demand but, only when we ourselves want it badly enough to make the change, and take the lead. So take an ethical stand on Wildlife Day, make a real difference for wildlife by changing your mindset, and become a part of the biggest growing movement today by those who show that they really do care in their everyday actions, in the way that you live, in how you think, in what you wear, and in what you eat, and in whom you choose to support, and in how serious you truly are about change. The choice is yours, the clock is ticking. World Wildlife Day Everyday!

Thank you .

~ Active Vegan ~