Wednesday, 6 October 2010

UK Vegan Festival this month!

festival banner 10
If you are nearby the Midlands, UK this is the place to be for plenty of information on Veganism - It will be incredibly helpful to any of you who have recently gone or are considering going Vegan. Check it out!

Friday, 23 July 2010

TV Ads - Promoting welfare as the way to respect nonhumans:

I often notice TV adverts cropping up one after another and often more frequently now than in the past when regarding animal welfare. Welfare is being used as a way of encouraging consumers to continue with their consuming of animal products, with comments such as, 'Good for the cows' (Ben & Jerry's), 'Our fresh meat never flies anywhere' (Morrisson's) or, 'Thankyou cows!' (Muller). Words such as 'organic' and 'local' are used to make the consumer believe that somehow this means the animal is better off. In reality however, the animal is just nearer to the slaughter house and supermarket shelf, or fed on organic grains, moved from one torture method to another. He or she is still being used by us as a slave. We raise them to be our slaves, take their babies and take their lives, all for a yoghurt, a tub of ice cream, a boiled egg or a slice of get the idea here. These adverts are dishonest and disrespectful.

They make out our use of other animals to be almost humourous and miss the point completely when they promote welfare to be the way forward to help the animals. Abolition is the only way we can help the animals. To help them we must stop using them. Our use of other animals is for convenience and pleasure.

Below are some links to sites from the businesses I have mentioned when discussing the misleading nature of their adverts. I found some incredibly misleading messages and dishonest information being given when looking through their website pages as well as the adverts I have quoted from. They fail to mention the truthes behind the use of nonhumans as they see no problem with it and they continue to pass this attitude onto other people. - Video 24

Minds have to change.
We wouldn't do it to other humans - Don't do it to them.
This form of discrimination - the discrimination of species, is no more morally acceptable than any other form of discrimination.
Start now - leave it no longer. Go Vegan.

A Speciesist Society

We cry over one animal use yet laugh at and create demand for another.
Single issue campaigns play a large role in continuing our selectiveness. One animal is endangered and therefore important, yet another is just a 'farm animal' - our use and harm towards them is 'normal'. But who made them 'farm animals'? At one point, in the past, they were wild just like, for example, dolphins. How is moving dolphins from the wild into captivity any different to taking wild cows or wild sheep, for example, and breeding them for use in a farming system? There is no real difference, only a difference within our minds. A difference created by a society that is based around rulers, economy and discrimination.
I'm not in any way saying that we should do nothing for the dolphins who are endangered and yet still are being exploited, but instead that we should do it properly - not choose to end just some forms of exploitation.
We must end all exploitation - Every single being matters.
To do this we must be Vegan.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

A Guide to Veganism

When speaking to others about Veganism I often hear, 'I could go Vegetarian but couldn't manage Vegan!' Usually for reasons such as not being able to 'live without cheese' and the likes. The truth is, Vegetarianism does not stop the use of nonhuman animals and use is the problem. We will never be able to abolish the exploitation of other beings whilst we continue to consume animal products in any way shape or form. Vegetarianism still creates suffering and death on other animals, you are just choosing who you want to continue to harm and how you will continue to harm them (by taking their secretions instead of their flesh).
In many ways, if you increase you dairy intake when being vegetarian, you will not be reducing the death and suffering of animals at all and may be actually increasing the role you have in creating the demand for death and suffering to occur. Vegetarianism falsely 'clears' our conscience, as we think we are helping when in fact, we are still continuing to create demand for the use of others. It will never help to work towards the strive for abolishing the explotation of nonhuman animals.
We use other animals because we like the taste, feel and look of the products we can force them to produce - There is nothing morally justifiable about this whatsoever.
If you want to stop the use and unnecessary harm we inflict upon these beings then you must become Vegan.

And I'm going to help you!

Becoming Vegan:

You may feel like gradual steps to Veganism work best for you, changing one thing at a time (If this is so, make sure, however,  not to let the gradual changes drag for too long. There is an element of 'just getting on with it' involved). Start off by changing your main meals, followed by all the snacks and drinks you have, then clothes/shoes, any make-up you may use, household cleaning products and so on. Eventually all the animal products you used will have been switched with Vegan ones.
You may feel that it will work better just to change everything straightaway. If this is the case, gather all the research you need and go for it!

It is best to make sure the products you buy are stated to be Vegan or approved by the Vegan Society (or equivalent). Products like these can be bought via online Vegan stores as well as major supermarkets and health stores. It is still important to check the ingredients and manufacturing information on products as mistakes can be made and some products may be stated Vegan even when produced in factories on lines handling dairy and eggs (these products are not Vegan as the lines are not cleaned often enough).

Get a list put together of all animal products. This can become rather extensive but it is important, particularly if you decide to look into buying products that could be Vegan but do not have any statement or approval. When I went Vegan I made a similar sort of list and found it very helpful when looking about. It also helped to inform me of what the ingredients actually were. Even since then (2007), options have become so widely available within many major supermarkets and more Vegan shops are popping up.

Clothes - It is pretty easy to shop in the high street shops still if you wish to. Just make sure there are no animal products used to make the clothing, such as wool, mohair, silk, leather (check the labels). Synthetic shoes from high street stores will most likely be held together using a glue containing animal ingredients, therefore Vegan stores will be the way to go here. There are numerous online Vegan shoe stores as well as some you can visit (Please see my links).

Residential Trips - These are something I have experienced numerous times! State that you are Vegan and they will cater. Often eating the basics is a safe and healthy option too - potato, vegetables, fruit and salad. Taking some raw fruit and nut bars along with you comes in very handy too (TREK & NAK'D bars here in the UK are good).

Eating Out - Go to places with Vegan options, or better still, all Vegan places! A meal in is often just as nice if not nicer too! Get some Vegan cook books and make a nice meal.

Vegan Recipe Books: (Just a few cookery book suggestions)

'Animal Free Shopper', 8th Edition, The Vegan Society
'Another Dinner Is Possible', Mike & Isy
'A Vegan Taste of Greece', Linda Majslik
'Vegan Cooking for One', Leah Leneman

Supermarkets Supplying Good Vegan Products: (UK)


Please see my links section, which has some good stores listed.

You learn as you go and you will gradually become more confident. Always keep in mind why you are doing it and who you are doing it for. If you are ever questioned, be confident about it and do not feel like you should keep it quiet. If you, like many, know that nonhuman animals should be given equal consideration and that they should not be, under law or in any other way, classed as 'things' but instead as persons, then go Vegan and tell others why you are Vegan - You may just help them make the shift.

As long as you aim to become Vegan, do it and remain consistent throughout your life, then you have done what needs to be done in order to work towards the abolition of all animal exploitation.

Photograph supplied by Benny

[If you are working on becoming Vegan and would like to talk, please do not hesitate to email me - my email can be found in my profile to the left].

Monday, 28 June 2010

Making a Tourist Attraction from Her Suffering & the Death of Her Calves - Isle of Mull, 'Cheese Farm':

Video of the cows being used at 'Cheese Farm' -
Please take the time to watch.

The cows on 'Cheese Farm' on the Isle of Mull, Scotland spend their days the same as any other dairy cow - kept on a continous cycle of pregnancy throughout their lives as a dairy cow, having their calves taken from them so that we can use the milk meant for their calves, being milked up to three times a day. This does not include the further death and suffering when considering the calves. The calves will either be reared to do the same as their mother or, if male, will be killed (as they are not 'suitable' for meat production) or sent to veal farms not long after birth. You can actually visit 'Cheese Farm' to purchase some local 'Isle of Mull Cheese' and sit in the tearoom to enjoy a milky cup of tea or coffee.

This all paints a pretty picture, to omnivores and vegetarians, of lush pastures with happy cows roaming around, more than happy to let us take their milk. It covers up the truth - the suffering and death caused just to produce the cheese and the milk in those teas and coffees. Just because an animal product is local, organic and the animal being used has stretch upon stretch of lush green fields to wander in a setting as beautiful as the Isle of Mull, does certainly not mean the animals live a life absent of the intentional harm caused by us, humans. To state that consuming animal products that are organic, free range and local is a morally good thing to do is wrong and incredibly misleading. This makes those of us who are unaware of the facts think that we are doing a good thing for the animals when the contrary is actually the truth. We are merely helping to support the use of nonhuman animals. The cows are still being used by us for our unnecessary desires.

On 'Cheese Farm', the cows had white numbers on the top of their thighs. They had yellow tags in their ears and what appeared to be leather collars round their necks. They have been labelled, numbered and tagged just like the products on our store shelves. Why are they less important than ourselves? Differences in cognitive abilities should not in any way lead to someone being used as a slave. The majority of us will agree with that on a human level and the only thing stopping us from agreeing with it on a nonhuman level is our Speciesism. Where is their inherent value? They should not be resources.

They have sentience. They feel the effects of what we inflict upon them and when I was walking past 'Cheese Farm' I could see the effects - Sore udders, weak hips and sad eyes as we deprive them of strength through physical harm and the property status we put upon them. As we take their children from them each and every time. We need the time to come where 'Cheese Farm' and all other locations of animal agriculture no longer exist. Let it be replaced with arable agriculture and let the existing nonhumans find sanctuary while they live out their days as they wish. Let us stop bringing lives into the world who are only ever to be used as slaves - This is immoral.

Go Vegan - It's the least we can do and it will end their slavery.