MERRY CHRISTMAS LEE!
And a Merry Christmas to you too!
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS?
I'm having a cruelty-free Christmas.
IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE A 'CRUELTY-FREE' CHRISTMAS LEE!
That may be true but I'm reducing as much harm as I can and being as cruelty-free as is possible and practicable.
What about you?
Ah so you'll no doubt be stuffing herbs and spices up the arsehole of a deceased, selectively-bred, baby bird that was hung upside down, dragged head-first through an electrically charged water bath and then had their throat slit?
WE'LL BE EATING TURKEY, YES.
You'll be eating A turkey. It blows my mind how most self-proclaimed 'meat eaters' insist on cooking a Turkey for Christmas each year in the name of 'tradition' but will only eat it in very specific ways.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN?
Well you don't like the head to be left on do you?
THE HEAD OF THE TURKEY?
BECAUSE IT'S WEIRD!
What and eating a dead body isn't?
What about the other bits? Why so picky? What about the giblets?
WHAT ARE GIBLETS?
Giblets include the bird's liver, gizzard, neck, kidneys and heart.
They are often found wrapped in plastic and placed inside the carcass of the dead bird.
Most people heave at the sight of the giblets and wouldn't dream of consuming them.
The same people scream bloody murder (ironically) if they accidentally cook these giblets whilst they're
still inside the corpse.
THAT'S BECAUSE THEY'RE GROSS.
AND EATING A DEAD BODY ISN'T?
You also have to cook the flesh thoroughly don't you?
And why is that?
BECAUSE WE'LL GET SICK OTHERWISE.
Spoken like a true 'omnivore'... Yes, you can get food poisoning.
A turkey's flesh and blood can be contaminated with germs that can make you and your family sick.
It can contain Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, Campylobacter, and other germs.
OI! YOU'LL PUT ME OFF MY DINNER AT THIS RATE!
You mean your dead body?
Sorry. Can you do me a favour this year?
Please just take a moment to think about who and what it is you're eating this Christmas.
Please consider who it is that's paying for these birds to have their lives unnecessarily taken away from them like this.
Please think about where this 'food' comes from. Consider how it gets there, the journey taken and what the animals themselves have to endure to be on your plate for that 15 minute meal.
Please contemplate whether the animals themselves would want any of it to happen to them, if they had a choice.
Please think of the animals this year.
Before you eat their flesh, think of their faces.
Before you drink their milk, think of their faces.
Before you wear their skin, think of their faces.
Before you steal their eggs, think of their faces.
Before you pay for any of this to happen, think of their faces.
Ask yourself: Is your appetite more important than their suffering?
This Christmas, we can either choose to be cruel or choose to be kind. Being kind is a choice. Please make the right one.
You have endless food options to choose from this Christmas. They have one life.
Be kind. Go cruelty-free. Go vegan.
Happy World Vegan Day!
It's a day where kind, caring, empathetic and compassionate animal-lovers from all over the world celebrate the greatest social justice movement that has ever existed!
OH GOD. HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT?
It started in England in 1994 by animal rights activist Louise Wallis who was looking for a suitable setting to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Vegan Society.
As President of the Vegan Society, her aim was not only to emphasise the continued existence of a vegan association, but also to draw attention to the fact that the word ‘vegan’ had found its way into the English language.
It's also a way to celebrate the life of non-human animals as well as all the humans wanting to live
alongside them, rather than hurt, abuse and exploit them.
After all, you can't love animals if you pay for them to be hurt and killed can you?
I LOVE ANIMALS!
Prove it. Stop eating them. Eliminate speciesism. Go vegan today.
Happy World Animal Day folks!
I know I bang on about animals ALL THE TIME lately but it's because a) I love animals and b) they need us to. I'd bang on about you all the time too if I knew you were trapped and were being harmed.
If you have pets, you're already an animal lover otherwise they wouldn't be in your life.
You wouldn't welcome them into your home. You have compassion and a huge love for animals.
But do you love all animals or is it just pets?
Please consider all the animals out there right now who don't get the same love and respect from you
as your pets do.
They may not look the same, feel the same, act the same or have names, but morally they are the same.
They are all babies.
They are all conscious and they all have their own personal experiences.
They all have eyes, lungs, hearts, brains, personalities, emotions and sentience.
They all (every single one of them) want to live their lives and none of them want to be hurt or
chopped up for your dinner, clothing or entertainment.
It's unnecessary and cruel and it doesn't need to come from you.
If you truly love animals like you say you do, then please prove it to them.
Defend them, rescue them or at the very least, protect them.
Luckily, in 2023, we no longer need to pay someone to kill animals for us in a slaughterhouse anymore.
We can be plant-based. We can be healthier, kinder and more compassionate.
We can go to bed at night knowing we haven't hurt any animals today
and we can be better people because of it.
This #WorldAnimalDay, what will YOU do for animals?
DO MY KIDS KNOW WHAT?
Any of it?
WHAT DO YOU MEAN?
My son came home from school today upset because his new teacher asked the class, “What’s your favourite food?”, and whilst this may appear an entirely innocent question to others, hearing his best friends reel off answers like, “Ribs”, “Bacon”, “Chicken nuggets” and “Double cheeseburgers” was really difficult for him and he put his fingers in his ears and started to cry. He then had to sit outside for a while to calm down.
You see, he knows what happens to the animals on farms, in zoos, Sealife centres and in slaughterhouses.
He doesn’t know all the gory details, but he knows enough about what animals have to go through and how cruel and badly they’re treated by humans.
When you love animals like he does, and he really loves them, it’s hard to imagine the people closest to you, paying to have them harmed and killed – especially when they don’t need to, yet just simply choose to.
It’s a problem vegans have to encounter every single day. And not only that but people try and actually justify their actions with ridiculous excuses and justifications like, ‘We’ve always done it’, ‘We need to kill animals for protein’ and ‘Our teeth are designed to eat animals’... Blah blah.
None of which morally justify taking the life of an animal that doesn’t want to die.
Pretty much every child on the planet loves animals, nature, and wildlife. We were born loving animals –
we didn’t arrive into the world wanting to hurt, kill and eat animals. Our eating and using them for pleasure and for entertainment is a LEARNED behaviour – passed down by us – inherited from our parents who fed us animals because they simply didn’t know any better.
If these children at school knew EXACTLY what it was they were eating – or rather WHO it was they were claiming was their favourite animal to eat, I’m pretty sure they would be mortified and would never want to eat it ever again.
It poses the question - if we can’t sit our children down and explain to them where their food comes from and how it gets there - should we be feeding it to them? Why can’t we explain that their favourite flavours and textures come from the bodies of murdered, innocent beings who didn’t want to die but who wanted to live their lives just like we do, just like our pets do?
Morally there is no difference from our dogs, cats, budgies, gerbils and guinea pigs - to the cows, pigs, chickens, sheep and ducks we consume.
You either love animals or you don’t.
Who are we to pick and choose which animals are worthy of life and which animals deserve to die?
I would happily show my child videos on how his food gets to the table – how the fruits and vegetables grow from seed into food and how plant-based meals like his favourite burgers are made,
how his bacon is created and how his milkshake is prepared.
Could you say the same?
Could you show your children footage from the inside of factory farms - the gas chambers used to suffocate young chickens to death, along with piglets after they’ve had their teeth pulled out and their tales docked,
all without anaesthetic?
Could you show them the gestation and farrowing crates the constantly pregnant mothers are kept in for months on end, unable to turn around - unable to spend time with their babies?
What about the conveyor belts used to macerate male chicks, immediately after hatching, deemed ‘unprofitable’ by the egg industry because they can’t reproduce or lay eggs?
Or the windowless barns full of thousands of starving female chickens, covered in faeces and ammonia burns and who are unable to walk due to their osteoporosis from having to lay 300 eggs a year when naturally they should only lay 12?
What about the acid ‘sheep dip’ machine, where farmers fully immerse sheep into a toxic cocktail of chemicals used to rid them of external parasites (which in turn poisons nearby waterways and kills fish)?
Or the live shackles, electric water bath and 'mechanical neck cutter' used to electrocute and slice the throats of chickens who are tied up by their feet, causing them severe pain and distress, before they're needlessly killed?
The pumping machines the constantly pregnant female cows are enslaved in where their pus and
mastitis-ridden udders are forced to produce milk day in, day out, all so our kids can have milk on their
cereal, or in their chocolate bars and ice creams?
Could you show them the footage of happy farmers forcefully violating female cows by shoving their fists inside their backsides, every time they ovulate, and injecting bull semen into them via large metal rods, forcing their pregnancy over and over and over again (sometimes for up to 20 years) until they can no
longer produce young or create milk and so are sent to slaughter for our kid’s favourite
If this shit is totally normal to you - (and it used to be normal to me) - yet you can’t show your children these things for fear of traumatising them – what does that tell you?
Should we keep that information from them and continue paying for these immoral acts to happen?
Should we continue feeding our most-loved humans these chopped up body parts and secretions that belong only to the animals themselves and are not ours to take?
Should we lie to our children and hide the truth so as not to upset them or should we be able to be open
and honest with our kids, no matter how difficult it might be for them to hear?
If these things are too difficult for our children to hear, then perhaps we shouldn’t be causing them in
the first place. Farmers are not the cause. Slaughterhouse workers are not the cause.
WE are the cause because we’re the only ones paying for these things to happen and the longer we
demand it, the longer these horrors will continue.
In the future, do you think our children will thank us for feeding them chopped up animals all this time? Particularly when it’s causing so much damage to the climate, to the planet and to our health?
Will they appreciate us never telling them the truth until it’s too late?
If we care for our children, truly care about them, why on earth are we still feeding them processed meat that is a class 1 carcinogen (the same as formaldehyde) which LITERALLY causes stomach and bowel cancer further down the line. Not to mention heart disease, type 2 diabetes and strokes.
Red meat is a group 2a carcinogen (the same as tobacco and asbestos) which can also cause cancer.
Don’t believe me? Just Google it. It’s all there. We feed our babies these things.
If you’re fine with that, if you’re ok with your children consuming these things then tell them – sit them down and explain to them where their meals come from. They have a right to know. But tell them honestly.
No bullshit, no lies. No beating around the bush.
Tell them truthfully what happens to the animals in order for them to have their dinner.
Explain what a slaughterhouse is and what goes on there. Explain to them how, if your dog or cat ever had to be put down, a slaughterhouse is not a place you would want to take them.
We have a duty, as parents, to protect our children – we would do anything for them – but as it stands, included in the word ‘anything’ is to feed them rotting animal flesh, pregnant cow’s breast milk, bee vomit and chicken ovums. Despite many, many leading scientists, nutritionists, and climate specialists pleading with us to stop. So, when are we going to listen?
Being vegan isn’t a diet. And animal abuse isn’t an ‘opinion’. Just like child abuse isn’t an 'opinion'.
Nor is racial abuse an 'opinion'. Being vegan simply means you acknowledge that ALL animals have the right to live their life free from harm and suffering. It’s really that simple. I’m pretty sure you agree with
Then your morals are there, you’re just not aligning your actions with them.
If you saw a puppy in the street being kicked, you would no doubt jump in to defend them right?
If you saw a kitten being attacked – you would most probably do the same.
What if you saw a piglet being smashed against a wall?
Or a calf being shot in the head?
Or a chick being beaten?
Would you jump in to help then, or would it make you hungry?
Would you save that chick's life or would you pay the person with the knife to ‘finish the job’?
If you’re not vegan, unfortunately that’s essentially what you’re doing, every single time you eat.
This isn’t a ‘ploy’ to make you go vegan. This isn’t me ‘shoving my lifestyle choices down your throat’ etc.
It’s me airing my frustration about this hypocritical, conditioned, so-called nation of ‘animal lovers’ who inexplicably pay to have animals murdered in a slaughterhouse and then who feed the remains to their children. This is me getting frustrated that my son has come home from school upset, simply for being the only one in his class (and possibly his school) to speak up, to step up and to defend and care for animals.
And his reward for simply being compassionate in this very cruel world, is to feel isolated and alone.
I asked my son what his answer would have been to the food question today and without any hesitation he said ‘Vegan Margherita Pizza’ – proving that you don’t need to kill anyone in order to have a favourite meal.
My god it’s hard giving a shit about animals sometimes.
It must be amazing to be able to live your life without acknowledging any of the suffering or harm they have to go through for our meals, clothing, cosmetics and entertainment.
Hats off to those of you who can do it. Ignorance is truly bliss.
It's true! I don't want to be vegan.
I wish it didn't exist. I wish I didn't have to be vegan.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN?
Well veganism was a philosophy (see more on it's history HERE) created in order to protect and defend animals. The victims of humanity.
But imagine living in a world where that didn't have to exist...
Where humans lived alongside animals, and they were here with us, not for us.
A world where humans respected and cared for ALL living beings, and where animals lived freely from
harm, abuse, slavery and oppression.
It's a real shame we have to invent an ethical movement in order to simply stop people hurting animals
- the animals we all claim to 'love' so much.
I SEE. SO YOU DON'T REGRET IT?
God no. I love being vegan. It's the best decision I ever made. How could you not love saving animals?
I wish I'd have done it sooner.
WHY DIDN'T YOU?
I was conditioned, brainwashed and ignorant.
Back then, I never once thought of the victims and I never once thought of their journey.
I had my eyes closed and my fingers in my ears. I only ever thought about myself.
I thought an animal's life was like a Disney movie.
Yeah. I'd convinced myself all the animals were happy, being taken care of and were looked after
(before they were needlessly murdered in a slaughterhouse). I was naive.
If I accidentally came across footage of animals being harmed online, I'd look away and quickly
close the window down. After all, I 'loved' animals - I didn't want to see them suffer or be hurt.
I WAS AN ANIMAL LOVER.
I'd also come up with ridiculous statements to try and justify these things like,
"Well that doesn't happen in this country", "I only eat 'grass fed' beef so this doesn't happen" or
"That person should be locked up for doing that!" - all whilst being the one paying them to do it.
I also didn't have anyone to show me the way, or to introduce me to this much kinder, compassionate lifestyle.
No one made me think, or question my own morals and my actions, which were totally out of line
yet I couldn't see that.
WAS IT DOWN TO SOMEONE ELSE THEN?
No, it was down to me solely but when you've eaten and exploited animals since childhood, it's extremely difficult to see any other way of living. We take our animals, our food, cosmetics, clothes, entertainment...
we take it all for granted.
They're ALL at the expense of animals. Beautiful, conscious, breathing, innocent animals that simply
want to live their lives, which we so thoughtlessly and needlessly take away from them.
SO WHY DON'T YOU WANT TO BE VEGAN?
Because I don't want to feel anger or resentment towards people I care about.
People I love are exactly where I was and are still paying for animals to be harmed, every single day,
without ever being held accountable.
It's hard seeing wonderful, loving, good-natured people unwittingly and unknowingly
(or perhaps sometimes knowingly) causing harm to animals.
Not to mention slowly damaging their health along the way.
I don't want to witness my friends consuming animal products. Products that cause cancer,
heart disease, strokes, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's and Dementia.
I don't want to see supposed 'animal-lovers' posting pictures of their non-vegan meals -
which as we all know, consists of a young animal that had experienced torture, mutilation and
death before it got to their plate.
An animal that had, without any doubt whatsoever, died afraid and alone.
It's hard seeing friends and family sharing an 'ice cream' or a cooked 'breakfast' made with a
female animal's stolen breast milk or a female bird's stolen, unfertilised ovum.
YOU MEAN EGGS?
Eggs are the result of a hen's reproductive cycle. These are secretions that have come from a
tortured mother, just to satisfy your 'taste buds'.
It's difficult seeing vets, climate activists, GP's, scientists and conservationists 'fight the good fight'
whilst STILL murdering animals and eating them. Doing everything they can to fight pollution,
stopping plastic and planting trees and seeds for pollinators - all whilst funding the
leading cause of climate change - animal agriculture.
These people are (quite literally) attempting to put out a fire with cups of petrol.
I don't want to hold them accountable - it's not down to me. I want them to wake up and realise.
To understand, themselves, the harm they're causing, and still continue to cause, three times a day,
I don't want to be arguing with friends and family, bickering with people on the internet, losing followers
and supporters of my work - all because they don't see animal abuse the way I do.
But I can't not act on it. I have no choice. My heart is with the victims.
What would YOU do?
Yes. What would you do if you saw animals being abused? Or the elderly? Or women? Or minorities?
Or those with disabilities?
Would you sit back and say nothing just to avoid conflict?
Or would you put yourself in the position of the victim (in this case, the animals)
and would you jump in to defend them?
Would YOU be their voice?
What if it were your pet then? Or your child? Would you stay quiet then? Or would you be angry?
Would you be frustrated and upset?
Would you want to do whatever you could to stop this from happening?
To make people see? To get them where you are?
To bring down the oppressors and the abusers who are causing this suffering?
BUT IT'S NOT MY PETS. OR MY KIDS.
But morally they're the same. The animals being killed all have, or have had, mothers.
Mothers who yearn to spend their first few hours, not to mention the rest of their lives,
with their newborn babies but who never get to.
Surely you can empathise with other mothers, aside from your own?
Babies (they're all young) are out there now being beaten, butchered and are waiting in line for
their time to be killed.
SO YOU DON'T WANT TO BE VEGAN?
I don't want to have to see chickens, ducks, pigs, cows, lambs, goats, fish, whales, sharks, foxes, gorillas, rhinos, dogs, cats, parrots, elephants, eagles, wolves, polar bears, badgers, etc. be hunted, slaughtered
and killed by humans - all for greed, money and entertainment.
I don't want to have to check every packet, every box, every ingredient, to make sure it doesn't contain
dead body parts or growth fluids from dead animals.
I don't want to have to 'make a scene' in restaurants or cafes simply because there are no
cruelty-free alternatives available.
I don't want the stares, to feel judged or to be looked down on for having compassion and
for simply wanting to defend animals.
I don't want to have to stop buying my favourite toiletries, aftershaves and luxuries because they've been cruelly and needlessly tested on animals in laboratories.
I don't want to have to witness horrific and scarring animal abuse videos, or the endless footage of
humans being needlessly cruel to animals, all in the name of entertainment
- but I owe it to the victims to see it.
If we don't see these things and put ourselves in the position of the victims, how can we ever raise
awareness and hope to change things for them?
How can we ever stop it if we always look away? How can we ever save them?
Ignorance is very much NOT bliss. Not for the animals.
I don't want to have to do any of these things. But I do. Because to care and show empathy is a CHOICE.
It's my choice and I can either make the moral one or the immoral one.
If I do truly LOVE animals, then I have to show it. I have to show them.
I want to make sure I live my life causing the least amount of harm, where possible and practicable.
SO YOU WANT TO BE VEGAN?
Yes. Then I guess I do.
IS THAT A WASP? I HATE WASPS LEE!
Yep they're wasps and love them or hate them (and I know they can make it hard to love them),
wasps have an absolutely CRUCIAL role in the ecosystem and are just as ecologically IMPORTANT
for humanity as bees.
(It's not just cows, chickens, sheep, pigs and fish that need defending from humans!)
SO WHY ARE WASPS SO IMPORTANT?!
Just like bees (who get all the attention), wasps also pollinate our flowers and food crops.
Yet they don’t mind what flowers they visit (unlike bees), and they pollinate so many more flowers
so are more abundant in degraded or fragmented habitats.
Some would say they're MORE important than bees!
Wasps are a health police, they eat other sick animals, kill insects that carry human diseases
and maintain a healthy balance in the ecosystem.
As predators, they’re at the top of the invertebrate food chain and without them, food webs would break down which would then lead to catastrophic results.
Wasps also (unlike bees) naturally control and regulate populations of a wide range of species that some gardeners like to label (incorrectly) as 'pests', such as caterpillars, aphids and whiteflies.
So there's no reason for the use of toxic chemicals when we already have dedicated,
hard-working creatures that do this for free!
THAT DOESN'T MEAN I HAVE TO LIKE WASPS?
I DON'T LIKE MOSQUITOES, SPIDERS OR FLIES EITHER LEE!
They're on your side! A small wasp colony eats up to 3,000 flies, mosquitos and spiders each day!
WHY ARE YOU TELLING ME THIS LEE?!
Because despite bringing huge ecological benefits to our planet, unfortunately the yellow-black insects are UNDER THREAT. They're disappearing at an alarming rate around the world due to industrial agriculture, climate change and habitat loss, among other factors (like idiots catching them in beer traps!)
Wasps are generally apex predators - so if they're not doing well, it indicates that there is something wrong with the world.
They are facing a similar decline to bees - and that is something the world simply cannot afford!
SO WE KILL A FEW WASPS?! SO WHAT? THE WORLD ISN'T GONNA END LEE!
It's not just about wasps. Wasps have their own predators including dragonflies, flies, hornets, centipedes and spiders as well as 24 varieties of birds including blackbirds, magpies and starlings. So if wasps are wiped out, then a hell of a lot more goes with them. Us included. So yes, if we continue as we are, without educating ourselves and without making significant changes, then yes, the world is going to end.
BUT THEY'RE STUPID AND ANNOYING LEE!
You're stupid and annoying. They're super-intelligent insects and they're more like us than you think.
The parallels with HUMAN societies are uncanny: there are specialist work forces, rebellions, policing, leadership contests, undertakers, even free-loaders and anti-social thugs. You name it, wasps have it too!
THEY ATTACK FOR NO REASON LEE!?
So do you when you see a wasp. Or a bee. Or a spider. Or a mosquito. I bet you don't think twice?
Wasps sting only to defend themselves – this is an evolved strategy to combat vertebrate predators at
the nest and swatting at them like YOU do, may elicit the same innate collective behaviour.
BUT THEY STING YOU LEE!
They're looking for sugar, that's all. Instead of eating insects and spiders (these are only fed to the developing brood in the nest), adult wasps - both social and solitary - only feed on sugars.
Adult wasps don't live very long, so they don't really need much protein. They just need to load up on carbs! So they need the sugar, which they get in the form of nectar from flowers, (transferring pollen from flower to flower), honeydew produced by aphids and the wasp larvae also produce a sugary liquid that the
But when these things aren't always available, there is also a lot of sugar at pubs and PICNICS!
YEAH WHY IS THAT?! WHY DO THEY ALWAYS RUIN MY PICNIC?!
Social wasps only really become a 'nuisance' in late summer. This is because at this time there are no larvae left to feed so instead of hunting for prey, the workers turn their attention to sugar (nectar and your picnic!) Some wasps’ stings trigger the release of an alarm pheromone that attracts more wasps. So perhaps try to isolate the first wasp that appears, under a glass but don’t forget to release her at the end of your picnic.
And definitely don't kill her!
I STILL DON'T LIKE EM LEE!
You don't have to. Just try not to fear them. Or kill them. Try to understand them.
The problem isn't them, it's you.
And some scientists. Considering the lack of research and information about wasps, it's no wonder
they have a bad image. Bees have seen increased level of public interest and support after news of their decline made headlines. Novels have been written about what our world would look like without bees, 'beekeeping' has become a mainstream hobby (despite it being cruel, unnecessary and immoral)
and we're constantly being told to "think about biodiversity and do something good for bees."
This is very true and we most definitely should, however wasps (whether they sting or not),
deserve the same kind of appreciation and public support, as the bees get.
There are about 9,000 species of wasp in the UK.
These include the parasitic wasps, some of which are so tiny, they can barely be seen without a microscope.
Only 250 of the 9,000 are the larger wasps which have a stinger and only nine of these are social
wasps which form the large, social nests we usually think of - the others are solitary.
Many of the 9,000 species are parasites of insects or plants, such as gall wasps which lay eggs on a plant, causing it to form a gall to protect the larva.
SO WHAT ARE YOU SAYING LEE? LOVE WASPS?!
Wasps do so much for humanity and a better appreciation of the ecological, economic, medical and cultural services that our stripy friends provide, might help us see them in a different light.
They serve as predators, act as pollinators and help disperse seeds, among many other useful functions.
They are a gardener's friend, along with bees (some of which also sting when threatened remember!)
and they play a vital role in maintaining harmony in the ecosystem and keeping us and our families alive.
So yes, learn to love them.
There are many other reasons to admire wasps. For one thing, they may be indirectly responsible for the invention of paper. Around 2,000 years ago a Chinese eunuch called Cai Lun noticed a wasp building a paper nest in his garden. Inspired by what he saw, he started to mulch wood and with it made the first paper.
If the story is true, then perhaps we have wasps to thank for much of our rich cultural history and development.
Yep. Now fast forward to today where exciting research is looking into the potential use of wasp venom as a cancer therapy. A chemical found in the venom of the tropical social wasp Polybia Paulista, has been
shown to selectively destroy various types of cancerous cells. An active peptide found in the venom selectively destroys cancerous cells by causing their membranes to leak.
So wasps may have the potential to save human lives.
You're an idiot. SO next time your picnic is disturbed by these black and yellow insects, take a moment to think about their extraordinary world and the contributions they make to our lives before you reach for the newspaper. Without them, the planet would be 'pest' - ridden to biblical proportions, with much reduced biodiversity. They are a natural asset of a world dominated by humans, providing us with free services that contribute to our economy, society and ecology.
A world without wasps would be an ecological and economic disaster and we certainly would not be
able to cope in a world without them.
OK. I'LL TRY. FANCY A PINT LEE?
A wasp sitting on my finger in summer - causing zero harm and definitely not stinging me!
WHAT HELPED YOU GO VEGAN LEE?
Several things helped me to go vegan, including...
Spending time with the animals
Chris Packham was my first huge influence. I was watching a BBC 2 programme during lockdown, which he made with his step-daughter Megan, called Chris and Meg's Wild Summer, where the pair go on a road trip with amazing animal encounters.
Along the way, they often stopped off for an ice cream and it intrigued me as to why Chris always opted
for a 'vegan' one. Would it not just be easier to get the dairy version like Megs?
What's the difference here?
Was he simply being picky or difficult, or was his ice cream genuinely the better choice?
I've been a huge Chris Packham fan for years - I adore him and his wildlife conservation work and so seeing him stick to a vegan ice cream inspired me to look into why.
It didn't take me long before I was convinced.
The vegan ice cream was DEFINITELY the better, more ethical, sustainable, healthier and kinder option!
I also discovered how cruel, immoral, unethical, unhealthy and unnecessary the dairy industry is
(more on this next time). So from that day on, I made the decision to not give another penny
of my money to that industry, and I started to look into the benefits of veganism.
I tried vegan ice cream and it has EXACTLY the same taste, flavour and texture as non-vegan ice cream.
I discovered the same with oat milk and soya milk, as well as vegan cheeses and yoghurts.
There was no difference. So now, like Chris, I always opt for the kinder option.
Going vegan is easy if you try to put yourself in the position of the animals involved and if you look at what happens to them in the meat, dairy, egg and honey industries. And why wouldn't you look at it?
All other social justice movements look at the issue through the eyes of the victim.
Ask yourself this: If we would happily watch footage on how our vegetables arrive to our plate,
why can't we watch footage showing how animal products get there?
A lot of people seem to forget that there is a victim involved.
There was a victim involved in order for you to eat your burger.
There were several victims involved for you to enjoy your KFC bargain bucket.
There was a victim involved for you to be able to enjoy your fish and chips on the beach.
These animals are victims. Of abuse, torture and murder.
Victims, just like our pets, who feel pain, suffering and fear.
Are you religious?
I CAN BE...
Then you must know The Golden Rule?
'NO PETTING IN THE DEEP END?'
No. Although that's a useful one. The Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Translated, this means, you should treat others, like you yourself, would want to be treated.
Before you go to buy animal products, before you pick them up off the shelf, rather than not give it a
second's thought, just pause for a moment and look at what it is you're holding in your hand.
Ask yourself, 'What animal is this?' and 'How did this animal get here?'
If you don't know, don't you think you should? Or is ignorance bliss?
What you're holding won't look like an animal of course. It won't have eyes, a brain, nostrils, teeth, fur, or anything remotely reminiscent of an animal, because it is prepared in such a way that they don't want you
to see an ANIMAL wrapped up in this small packet covered in plastic.
They want you to disassociate yourself from the death and the mutilation so that you don't hold
yourself accountable. But you ARE accountable. Every time you shop.
They have to fool you into buying it. Otherwise they know you wouldn't buy it.
WHY WOULDN'T I BUY IT?
Would you buy some 'chicken breasts' if the chicken's torso, neck and head were still attached?
What about the feathers? If the beak and eyes were still in the head?
What about a 'leg of lamb' with the stomach still attached?
Why do you think 'giblets' inside a turkey's body grosses out so many people on Christmas Day and Thanksgiving?
'Steak' won't look like a cow. 'Bacon' won't look like a pig and 'nuggets' won't look like a chicken.
So you need to do a bit of work here.
You need to remind yourself which animal's corpse lies in front of you and you need to
consider what they would have gone through in order for you to buy that particular animal.
You need to show compassion, decency, mercy and kindness.
You need to show EMPATHY.
You need to imagine what these animals would have seen, how afraid they would have been (because in a slaughterhouse they would have been afraid, without question) and how they would have spent their last few moments on this earth, knowing what was about to happen.
You owe it to them to think about this stuff. After all, they've essentially lost their entire life for you to
enjoy this one 15 minute meal, which you'll simply forget about minutes later.
Remember - they didn't ask to be born, they didn't ask to be treated badly and they didn't ask to be killed. They didn't ask for any of this.
You also need to see the footage and you need to read the books and the articles.
Knowledge is key and if you don't look into how your food and drink is prepared - food which you
willingly feed to your children - then you won't know.
And if you don't know, you're never going to change - which means innocent animals will continue to be abused, exploited and killed because of you.
If it's easier to convince yourself that they died quickly and painlessly, they didn't.
Every animal is killed slowly and painfully. That's the honest truth of the matter.
BECAUSE OF ME?
Because of your inability to empathise and to show compassion.
As human animals, we've been blessed with something called 'moral agency'
(an individual's ability to make moral choices based on some notion of right and wrong and to be
held accountable for these actions) but what good is it, if we don't use it?
Once I educated myself on the practises and 'methods' used in the meat and dairy industry to
oppress and kill animals, along with watching some harrowing farm and slaughterhouse footage,
I was overwhelmingly convinced that this was something I wanted to take no part in and so I changed my lifestyle overnight.
Luckily, I could just eat plants instead but to be honest, I didn't care what I ate,
as long as it didn't cause this unnecessary suffering to another living being.
WHAT FOOTAGE DID YOU WATCH?
There is nothing that convinces you more, than watching actual footage of what happens to our
beautiful animals on farms and slaughterhouses.
There were several things I watched and several things I read when I was looking into veganism that helped me considerably. Some of the footage can be really tough to watch but then we're dealing with an industry based on the abuse, exploitation and death of animals so it's never going to be a walk in the park.
Watch the following movies (if you dare) to see exactly what goes on in actual farms and slaughterhouses
and to see exactly where your food comes from (click the pictures below):
Farm To Fridge (The Truth Behind Meat Production)
What Cody Saw – Mercy For Animals
Dairy Is Scary (Youtube)
David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet (Netflix)
Glass Walls - documentary by Paul McCartney
MILK - The White Gold or The White Lie?
Save Ralph - A short film by Taika Waititi
Challenge yourself. Watch them once, get them done in one sitting, and once you've seen them,
you never need to watch them again. But at least you'll know and you'll be a better person for doing so.
I'M SCARED LEE!
YOU'RE scared? Think of the animals out there, right this second, going through this.
You have no right to be scared when you're the one paying for it to happen to them.
All you have to do is watch a documentary, in the comfort of your own home,
surrounded by family and friends. That doesn't sound all that scary.
If you want to go vegan but are struggling with aspects of it, or if you want to learn more about it then I thoroughly recommend joining some of the many Facebook groups on social media.
They're full of other animal lovers and vegans from all over the world and they can offer advice, insight,
hints and tips on how to do your best, and to be your best, when it comes to defending the animals
and living a healthy and cruelty-free lifestyle.
Making changes can be quite a daunting thing at first, particularly when it comes to our diet, and especially after years of thinking it's ok to eat animals, however you'll soon see that it's no big thing at all.
Nothing really changes, you're just removing the cruelty from your plate and eating plant-based versions
of the things you already ate.
Plus, I'm pretty sure you already ate fruit and vegetables, pasta, beans, bread, rice etc anyway
so you're pretty much there.
I also thoroughly recommend the following videos from some of the best vegan advocates in the world.
Intelligent, passionate, compassionate and determined individuals - all of them! Enjoy!
First up... Ed Winters aka Earthling Ed
Australian animal rights activist and advocate for animal liberation and veganism - Joey Carbstrong
There are also tons of fantastic BOOKS that helped me considerably. They were:
WHICH NUTRITIONISTS/PHYSICIANS DO YOU LIKE LEE?
There are many incredibly intelligent and interesting humans out there including:
Physician, Nutritionist, Speaker and Educator - Dr Michael A. Klaper helps people around the world on their journey to health and well-being through whole food, plant-based nutrition. He is an American physician, vegan health educator, conference and event speaker, and an author of articles and books on vegan
I very much recommend subscribing to his:
Physician, Founder of NutritionFacts.org, and author of How Not to Die - Dr. Michael Greger is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognised speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. A founding member and Fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Dr. Greger is licensed as a general practitioner specialising in clinical nutrition.
I also very much recommend subscribing to his:
Everything on his website is FREE and his new book How Not To Diet is well worth checking out.
The President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and a Fellow of the American
College of Cardiology - Dr. Barnard has led numerous research studies investigating the effects of diet on diabetes, body weight, hormonal symptoms, and chronic pain, including a groundbreaking study of dietary interventions in type 2 diabetes, funded by the National Institutes of Health, that paved the way for viewing type 2 diabetes as a potentially reversible condition for many patients.
Dr. Barnard has authored more than 100 scientific publications and 20 books for medical and lay readers,
and is the editor in chief of the Nutrition Guide for Clinicians, a textbook made available to all U.S. medical students.
I very much recommend subscribing to his:
Dr. Colin Campbell
Dr. Dean and Dr. Ayesha Sherzai
The latest vegan news from around the world covering animal welfare and ethics, environment,
plant-based food launches, health, interviews, and much, much more.
Plant-Based News aims to educate & inspire its audience through unique stories, news, and features
and is the greatest resource on the internet for vegans, vegetarians, or for anyone who is against animal cruelty.
With an award-winning news team and a network of health and climate experts, PBN provide the resources
and information needed to make the shift to a sustainable diet and lifestyle both informed and easy.
The platform uses the art of storytelling to unpack data about diet, climate, and ethics, bringing readers the most important news about the shifting planet. PBN is committed to providing an open-minded approach to news, recognising that its readers are more receptive to new ideas than mainstream media often give them credit for. The platform's editorial team, video producers, and experts are dedicated to speaking truth to power and delivering content that reflects its readers' values & beliefs.
Visit them and be sure to subscribe HERE!
How often do you spend time with animals? Apart from your pets?
No wonder you see these animals as objects. You need to be around them, observe them and spend some time in their company. Go meet them. You'll feel differently.
Yes. You can meet them! Alive. Unharmed, unexploited and unabused. Imagine that!
My local animal sanctuary is Hopefield Animal Sanctuary which is one of my favourite places to go!
(a separate #PlantBraced on Hopefield coming soon!)
Even their cafe is 100% plant-based!
IS IT LIKE A FARM?
No, it's the OPPOSITE to a farm. At farms the animals are enslaved, beaten, raped, abused and
dragged off to slaughter. The entire thing is a lie.
Never take your child to a farm if you want to teach them compassion and kindness.
At Hopefield however, they rescue unwanted, neglected, exploited or mistreated animals.
FROM THE MEAT AND DAIRY INDUSTRY?
From us. From you!
The meat and dairy industries only exist because we keep them going - we keep buying their 'products'
and if places like Hopefield didn't exist, then these animals wouldn't exist, and that would be a real shame.
For the majority of their lives, most of the animals, particularly the cows, sheep, chickens, pigs, goats and ducks, have only experienced fear and suffering so it's a joy to see them all being looked after and
taken care of, living out the rest of their days, free from harm and abuse.
I cannot recommend more, taking some time out of your day to visit a rescue centre, animal shelter
or an animal sanctuary like Hopefield.
Especially if you have children. It's my son's favourite place in the world!
You get to know the animals there. You get to see how happy they can be when respected, loved and cared for. You get to witness their individual personalities and their mannerisms.
You'll see how shy or timid some of them are or how excited and enthusiastic they are at your presence and when you show them some love and some attention.
Just like us, they each have their own personalities. Sometimes they're grumpy, sometimes they're sleepy, sometimes happy...
SO ALL THE SEVEN DWARVES?
Some animals you will instantly form a bond with and there is nothing more special on this earth,
than forming a bond with an animal.
They may not look like us, they may not sound like us. They may not be able to express their emotions quite like we do but look into their eyes and you'll see no difference. They are a someone, just like us.
There is a conscious, sentient, individual inside every one of them so next time you see an animal, take a moment to realise how lucky they are to be alive and more importantly, how lucky we are to have them around.
I hope some of the above things inspire you to go vegan, or at least make you want to learn more about veganism.
If you can't do it for you - do it for them. They need you right now.
You won't regret it.
So, over the last couple of months, several of my friends (or their partners) have been admitted to hospital with heart problems. One very sadly passed away and some of them were rushed to ICU with heart attack or stroke symptoms and are now in hospital or in recovery.
Now it’s understandable, after being discharged, for those people to want to kiss the ground, punch the air and thank the NHS, (of course it is) but what I don’t understand is their returning to the same routine and the same diet of meat, dairy and eggs.
DID YOU KNOW that eating just TWO servings of animal meat a week will dramatically increase your risk of suffering from heart disease?
There are a lot of things out there, beyond our control, that can kill us right now but when it comes to our heart health, this is something we are in control of. Our heart is our responsibility and if it’s in a bad way, it’s because we’re allowing it to be.
WHAT CAUSES HEART DISEASE AND STROKES LEE?
The leading causes of heart disease and strokes are:
high blood pressure (hypertension)
smoking and second-hand smoke exposure
high cholesterol levels
high low-density lipoprotein (LDL)
excessive alcohol intake
Now out of these NINE main causes, SIX of them are caused by consuming animal products:
high blood pressure (hypertension)
high cholesterol levels
high low-density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol is found in trans fats, which is found in processed foods
and naturally in meat and dairy)
WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH HEART PROBLEMS LEE?
Everything. The NUMBER ONE LEADING CAUSE of death worldwide is heart disease (causing more than a QUARTER of all deaths in the UK). Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death globally, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year! Heart disease is responsible for 65,000 deaths each year in the UK alone!
WHAT’S THE SECOND LEADING CAUSE LEE?
Strokes are the SECOND LEADING CAUSE of death globally (each year, almost 14 million people suffer from strokes worldwide; of this 14 million people, 5.5 million will die). Strokes are therefore the third leading cause of disability worldwide.
The British Medical Association, The British Heart Foundation, The University of Oxford, Harvard University, The British Dietetic Association, The American Dietetic Association and many other leading authorities have confirmed that people who consume meat (pigs, cows, sheep, chickens, ducks, fish etc) and eggs and dairy products (milk and cheese), have a greater likelihood of suffering from high blood pressure, blocked arteries, high cholesterol, and inflammation, leading to strokes, type 2 diabetes, diverticular disease, colon polyps, various forms of cancer as well as coronary and ischemic heart disease, than those who don’t.
WHAT IS HEART DISEASE EXACTLY LEE?
‘Heart disease’ is a general term for all types of diseases that affect the heart or blood vessels, and whereby blood flow to the heart, brain or body is reduced. This is due to blood clot (thrombosis) and coronary heart disease (clogged arteries/build-up of fatty deposits inside an artery, leading to the artery hardening and narrowing (atherosclerosis)). These symptoms can cause heart attacks (or myocardial infarction), stroke, heart failure, arrhythmia, heart valve complications, and peripheral artery disease.
THIS IS DEPRESSING LEE!
I know, I know but bear with me… Aside from our ill health, consuming meat and dairy is putting an unsustainable burden on our health services, not to mention our planet, as well as forcing animals to pay the ultimate price.
Substantial evidence from epidemiological studies shows that meat intake, particularly red and processed meat, is associated with an increased risk of premature death from diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers (Pan et al., 2012).
The research analysed data from two large US studies including 37,698 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986-2008) and 83,644 women from the Nurses’ Health Study (1980-2008), giving a total of 121,342 participants. Over 22 years of follow-up, there were 23,926 deaths (including 5,910 from cardiovascular disease (CVD) and 9,464 from cancer). Results showed that a higher intake of both red and processed meat was associated with a significantly increased risk of all-cause mortality:
Just one 85g serving of red meat a day (equivalent to the size of a deck of cards) was associated with a:
13 per cent increased risk of early death
18 per cent increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
10 per cent increased risk of death from cancer
One serving of processed meat (one hot dog or two slices of bacon) a day was associated with a:
21 per cent increased risk of early death
21 per cent increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
16 per cent increased risk of death from cancer
Now there is only ONE way of eating that has ever been proven to REVERSE these conditions and there are many, many studies to show this… a diet centred around whole plant foods!
‘Researchers have shown that a more plant-based diet may help prevent, treat, or reverse some of our leading causes of death, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. Interventional studies of plant-based diets have shown 90 percent reductions in angina attacks within just a few weeks. Plant-based diet intervention groups have reported greater diet satisfaction, as well as improved digestion, increased energy, and better sleep, and significant improvement in their physical functioning, general health, vitality, and mental health. Further studies have shown plant-based eating can improve not only body weight, blood sugar levels, and ability to control cholesterol, but also emotional states, including depression, anxiety, fatigue, sense of
well-being, and daily functioning.’ - Dr. Greger M.D. FACLM
(American physician and author of ‘How Not To Die’)
Now if that’s all a whole-food, plant-based diet could do (REVERSE our number-one killer), shouldn’t that be our default diet until proven otherwise? The fact it may also be effective in preventing, treating, and reversing other leading killers, seems to make the case for plant-based eating simply overwhelming!
Meat, eggs, and dairy are high in cholesterol and saturated fats, which build up in the body, clog arteries, and stop the heart from working properly. Now dietary cholesterol intake is a significant risk factor of death and the intake of cholesterol (only found in animal foods), was associated with living a SHORTER life and the intake of fibre (only found in plant foods) was associated with living a LONGER life.
DID YOU KNOW that consuming the amount of cholesterol found in just ONE SINGLE EGG a day, can cut a woman’s life short as much as smoking five cigarettes a day for 15 years?
DID YOU ALSO KNOW that the average total cholesterol level (in mmol/l) is around 3.4 for vegans, 4.2 for vegetarians, and 5.4 for meat-eaters?
ANOTHER FACT: Eating just ONE CUP of oatmeal a day, or just TWO HANDFULS of nuts, appears to extend a woman’s life as much as four hours of jogging a week!
WHY ARE ANIMAL PRODUCTS BAD FOR US THEN?
Why is eating dead animals bad for us? Well, after a meal of eating animal products, our bloodstream becomes awash with bacterial toxins, known as endotoxins (endotoxemia), that are present in the animal products. These dead meat bacteria toxins aren’t destroyed by stomach acid, or pancreatic enzymes or by simply cooking – in fact they’re highly resistant to cooking. So, the reason animal products trigger immediate inflammation is because they’re so loaded with bacteria that can trigger inflammation, dead or alive, even if they’re fully cooked! Saturated animal fat then boosts the absorption of these toxins into our bloodstream. The saturated fat, cholesterol and haem iron in red meat, and salt and nitrites in processed meat, are implicated along with carcinogenic compounds produced by high temperature cooking.
Cholesterol is found only in animal-derived foods – whilst a plant-based diet is 100% cholesterol-free. In fact, its high fibre content also helps wash away excess fatty substances in the body. None of the above conditions are caused by consuming plants. None of them. In fact, a plant-based diet is full of CANCER-BUSTING ingredients such as fibre-filled grains and beans and phytochemical-packed fruits and vegetables.
Vegans are also less likely to suffer from high blood pressure and strokes caused by blood clots preventing blood supply to the brain.
DID YOU KNOW, if you've had cancer, that maintaining a healthy diet can help prevent it from coming back?
Yes. The World Health Organisation (WHO), state that the consumption of red meat, such as beef, lamb and pork has been classified as a GROUP 2A CARCINOGEN by The World Health Organisation which means it can cause cancer. Processed meat (bacon, ham, hot dogs, etc) definitely causes cancer, including 18% of bowel cancer cases and is classified as a CLASS 1 CARCINOGEN by the World Health Organisation. That puts processed meat in the same category as asbestos, arsenic, formaldehyde, and tobacco!
From the largest forward-looking study on diet and cancer ever performed by humanity, the incidence of all cancers combined, was lower amongst vegans to meat eaters, especially some of the fastest growing tumours like lymphomas and leukaemia’s, and for that, the worst meat was chickens. Up to TRIPLE the rates for every 50 grams of poultry consumption. A quarter of a chicken breast TRIPLES your risk!
Meat-eating is particularly linked to colon cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, lymphoma, and stomach cancer. The reason for this is that animal-derived foods contain many substances that can directly increase our risk of cancer, such as haem, nitrates, nitrites, heterocyclic amines, and polycyclic amines.
WAS THERE A STUDY LEE?
Yes, loads of studies. One was done by The Pritikin Research Foundation, whereby they put people on different diets, drew their blood, and then dripped their blood on cancer cells growing in petri dishes and observed whose blood was better at suppressing cancer growth. Now blood fights cancer (one way the immune system fights cancer is by sending out a special form of white blood cells called ‘T cells’. The ‘T cells’ see cancer as ‘foreign’ cells that don't belong in the body and the ‘T cells’ attack and try to destroy the cancerous cells). However, these studies found that the blood of those eating vegan foods, fought about eight times better!
The blood circulating through the bodies of vegans, has nearly 8 TIMES the stopping power when it comes to cancer cell growth, confirming that the blood of those on a vegan diet was dramatically less hospitable to cancer. Lowering animal product consumption, leads to lower IGF-1 (Insulin-like growth factor 1), which leads to lower cancer growth.
DID YOU KNOW that eating one rasher (29 grams) of bacon a day increases your risk of developing bowel cancer by 19%?
Obviously, slowing down cancer growth is great but getting rid of cancer cells is even better and by cutting out animals from your diet, and swapping it for a whole food, plant-based diet, you can make that happen.
What kind of blood do we want in our bodies? What kind of immune system? Do we want blood that’s just going to roll over when new cancer cells pop up or do we want blood that has the power to slow down and stop them, circulating to every nook and cranny within our bodies?
Many studies have proven that vegans have lower rates of cancer, CVD and diabetes and LIVE LONGER than the general population. One Adventist study found that vegetarians and vegans were 12 and 15 per cent, respectively, less likely to die early.
A UK study found vegetarians and vegans combined had a 14 per cent lower risk!
WHAT? VEGANS LIVE LONGER?
Yes. Other large-scale studies in the US, China and Europe have reported the same. The risk of early death increases rapidly at low intakes; just 50g of processed meat a day increases the risk of early death by 18 per cent. Swapping meat for cheese and eggs isn’t the answer as these contain harmful animal protein, saturated fat, cholesterol, and hormones too.
DID YOU KNOW that eating eggs regularly (three to four times a week) is linked to a 17% increase in risk for heart disease and an 18% higher risk of death, owing to their high cholesterol content?
On a global scale, more than five million premature deaths could be avoided by 2050 if guidelines on meat consumption were followed. On a vegan diet more than eight million. Taken together, the research shows a low-fat, high-fibre, vegan diet is the most protective diet against early death.
Now I’m not a doctor (can you imagine?) I’m barely even a comedian but what I have learned is that eating animal meat drastically increases the risk of early death, but by substituting just one serving of red meat a day for a plant-based version, you could reduce the risk by almost 20 per cent!
I know right? I know you love meat and I know you love cheese (I did too – I still do, just not the type made from an exploited pregnant cow’s breast milk!) but you can eat delicious plant-based meats and cheeses right now! They look, feel, and taste the same yet they don’t involve exploitation, cruelty, or a trip to the hospital.
How many people do you know who have been rushed into hospital with heart attack symptoms from eating too many plants?
I promise you this, no one has become ill from eating plants. We NEED to reduce saturated fat intake, which is mostly cheese and chickens, and move to a healthier, more sustainable plant-based diet. The avoidance of red and processed meats (and poultry) and a diet, rich in plant-based whole foods including fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, and pulses, remains a sound, evidence-based recommendation.
Unnecessary animal cruelty aside (despite it being the most important factor here), PLEASE consider moving to a plant-based lifestyle for your own health. Animals and their bodies are not meant to be a part of our diet and were only ever encouraged because people discovered they can make money from them when we buy them. Animals were consumed thousands of years ago in a time of necessity and survival, but that’s all.
We are now currently not in a survival situation; therefore, we no longer need to consume animals. We’re meant to be a nation of animal lovers yet we still pay for them to die horrifically in a slaughterhouse so we can eat them and become ill in the process. How does any of that make any sense?
We cannot morally justify killing animals, nor do we need to.
Plus, medical science overwhelmingly tells us that consuming them is slowly killing us.
I thoroughly recommend watching the award-winning documentary ‘What The Health’ on Netflix and YouTube. Don’t wait, don’t hesitate. Just watch it. Trust me. There’s no animal cruelty in it, just science and intelligence. It’s really entertaining to watch too. If you care about your body and your heart, you need to watch it. If you can’t do it for the animals, and the planet, do it for your health or the health of your loved ones. Encourage them to watch it – they have nothing to lose in doing so.
We NEED to start looking after ourselves, our mental health, and our bodies. If something we KNOW is bad for us, (and we should know if something we’re eating is bad for us) then we need to remove it from our lives, and that goes for all aspects of our lives. Our time here is short and so we should only fill it with the good people and the good things. This is particularly relevant when it comes to what we put in our bodies.
We need to listen to the data, the many peer-reviewed studies and the world’s leading nutritionists, health specialists and scientists telling us what’s right and what’s wrong for our bodies and we must act on it before it’s too late.
Plants heal. They even reverse serious health conditions like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. That’s the truth. The evidence is there. Surely, it’s worth trying it – just in case it helps you?
Being plant-based for over 2 years has already cured my asthma. I no longer have asthma. Imagine that?
A condition I’ve had since primary school. My entire life I’ve been puffing on my inhaler 2/3 times a day yet since I went vegan two years ago, my lungs have healed. No wheezing. No attacks. No tight chest. All gone. All because I changed from cow milk to oat milk and swapped Cathedral City to Plant-based Cathedral City.
It’s so easy!
Going vegan is one of the best ways to keep your heart in shape, lower your cholesterol levels, and decrease your risk of ever having a heart attack. A plant-based diet has also been proven to help you live longer. It also drastically improves your quality of life by helping you stay fitter, healthier, and feeling great - especially because what you’re eating isn’t causing any suffering. People who stick to a diet free of meat, dairy, and eggs regularly report having higher energy levels, a lower incidence of depression, and, of course, a lighter conscience.
If you don’t start looking after yourself NOW… TODAY… you might never get the chance.
Remember, the real leading cause of death is ignorance.
Please take care of yourself and your loved ones... and please look after your heart – you only get one.
HAPPY EARTH DAY!
WHAT’S THAT LEE?
It’s an annual, global celebration and an opportunity to raise awareness and advocate for change, around the issues most impacting our planet - and to celebrate the beauty of Mother Earth!
SO WHAT DOES IT HAVE TO DO WITH ME?
Well you live here too don’t you? This is a friendly reminder that whilst doing things like cutting down on plastic waste, reducing pollution by walking instead of driving and buying second-hand or from ethical clothing brands that use organic fabrics are all fantastic things to do, they're not going to undo, or help reverse the climate crisis we're undergoing right now. Basically, we need to up our game a bit.
The SINGLE BIGGEST WAY to reduce our impact on the environment is to go plant-based.
Yes, and we're not just talking greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use
and water use.
INTERESTING FACT 1: Did you know that you could cut your carbon footprint IN HALF by giving up meat, dairy and eggs? Switching to a vegan diet can reduce your carbon footprint by up to 900 KILOGRAMS of CO2 per year! Producing plant-based foods results in fewer greenhouse gas emissions and requires less energy, land, and water.
INTERESTING FACT 2: If every family in the UK swapped out 1 red meat-based meal for a plant-based meal just once a week, the environmental impact would be the equivalent of taking 16 million cars off the road. - (Oxford University)
DID YOU KNOW? Each person who adopts a vegan diet spares 4,700m2 of land, capable of absorbing 150 tonnes of CO2 and providing habitats for five birds, 15 mammals, 20 reptiles and 100 amphibians?
Animal agriculture is the leading cause of climate change and if we continue farming, breeding, buying and consuming animals' bodies when we no longer need to, then we're adding to the problem rather
than helping to solve it.
The science is there, the peer-reviewed studies are there, the proof is already here.
Our purchasing animals to exploit, consume and wear is the leading cause of:
* DEFORESTATION: If we all went plant-based, we'd need only HALF the land we use at the moment and shifting to a plant-based diet could free up more than 75 PER CENT of the total global agricultural land that is currently being used - an area equivalent to the US, China, European Union and Australia combined, and could still feed the world.
* CO2: Animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gases worldwide; to put this into context, animal agriculture contributes more greenhouse gas emissions than ALL forms of transportation combined. Producing cow’s milk creates 3 times the CO2 emissions of soya milk.
* OCEAN DEAD ZONES: Unless we act now, there will be fishless oceans by 2048.
According to a study, the loss of ocean biodiversity is accelerating, and 29 percent of the seafood species humans consume have already crashed.
The oceans absorb 4x the amount of CO2 than the Amazon rainforest and up to 80% of the world's oxygen comes from phytoplankton - which is fertilised by whales - which we kill. In a balanced eco-system, they play a vital role in the natural carbon cycle, helping to regulate the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and keep the earth’s climate in balance.
* WATER USAGE: One potato requires 25 litres of water for production whereas one hamburger (made from a cow) requires 2,400 litres of water for production.
* WORLD HUNGER: We produce enough food to feed every human on the planet (1/1.5 times the amount needed), yet over 800 million people go to bed hungry each day. We could feed the entire world on the food we feed to livestock).
* SPECIES EXTINCTION: UK nature is in crisis, ranking among the top 10% of most nature-depleted countries, our wildlife faces numerous challenges and over the past 50 years, we’ve lost 38 million birds, since the 1930’s, 97% of wildflower meadows have vanished, and in the last century, 92% of seagrass meadows, which absorb carbon more efficiently than tropical rainforests, have disappeared. Loss of wild areas to agriculture is the leading cause of the current mass extinction of wildlife.
Imagine the number of animals that are saved every month, every year, or over the course of a lifetime simply by choosing a vegan diet...
eg. 3 meals a day = 3 animals a day, that's around 90 animals a month, 1080 animals a year, and thousands of animals in a single human lifetime!
WHAT CAN I DO?
Please, by all means, plant trees, put up bird boxes, leave fresh water and food out for the wildlife, stop mowing the lawn, rewild areas, plant wildflower seeds, build log piles, make a pond, stop cutting down hedges, write to your council asking them to stop cutting down trees, hedges and mowing wild areas of land during the spring and summer months, write to your local council asking them to sign the Plant-based Treaty and don't vote Conservative - they care nothing for the planet, it's wildlife and the animals living upon it - that includes human animals. Please do all these things. But the biggest, most impactful thing you can do is to no longer pay for animals to be farmed, abused and slaughtered which in doing so, is causing detrimental damage to our planet, not to mention our health!
IT'S SATURDAY NIGHT MATE!
I don't like posting these morbid posts - I would much rather post jokes and silly videos.
YEAH, WE'D MUCH RATHER YOU DID THAT TOO LEE!
But I care so much about this planet, about my child's future and the animals we share this massive rock with. Can you even begin to imagine humans being wiped out? Never existing. Everything we've ever created - all gone? Can you comprehend that? If we continue as we are, adding to the climate damage (whilst moaning about it), rather than doing EVERYTHING WE CAN to turn it around, then I'm afraid we may not make it through this. This isn't me being morbid, (I mean it is) but this is real.
Anyone can stop harming animals - anyone can start defending them and our planet. We all know it's wrong. Of course it is. Killing anything that wants to live is wrong. Anyone can make a significant difference. Just one meal can make a difference! Anyone can do things to protect our planet and the future of our children. Anyone can start, anytime. Anyone can fight in their own way. But we must fight.
If you care about animals (all animals, not just pets), if you care about your children's futures, about the next generation and want to leave our beautiful planet in a good, EXISTING, thriving condition for them, then that means we ALL need to do our bit to make sure that happens and by stopping our contributing to the largest cause of climate change is the perfect start.
If you need more information on this stuff, including the science, facts, studies and data, then I thoroughly recommend the below video from Plant-Based Treaty:
What are YOU doing to help this urgent climate crisis, to save our planet and our children's futures?
To cause the least amount of harm you can? Is it enough? Can I do more? Can you do more?
Act now, before it's too late. Go vegan.
VEGANS THINK THEY'RE SUPERIOR TO THE REST OF US!
That's just something stupid people say.
Just kidding. What do you mean?
YOU THINK YOU KNOW MORE THAN US.
About animal abuse and exploitation?
Well, we kind of do. You're not vegan and still consume animals, therefore it's highly likely you
won't have looked into this stuff.
I KNOW WHAT HAPPENS TO ANIMALS.
And you still eat them? Trust me, you haven't done enough research.
If you knew just how badly the animals you eat are treated and killed before you buy them,
you'd be vegan overnight.
YOU STILL THINK YOU'RE SUPERIOR!
That's like calling an engineer 'superior' simply because they know more about engineering than you do.
If I'm vegan and am doing the most I can, to cause the least amount of harm, of course it's highly likely
that I will know more about this stuff than you do.
For example, do you know how many eggs a natural, in the wild, chicken (the ones you don't eat) should
lay in their lifetime?
RIGHT. I WAS CLOSE.
Yep. Now, do you know how many eggs an unnatural, selectively bred, factory farmed hen
(the ones you eat), that have been pumped full of chemicals, antibiotics and growth hormones,
have been confined to tight spaces, left to sit in their own faeces and when their time is up,
are sent to either be gassed, drowned, electrocuted then have their throats slit, lays?
Did you know that?
There you go. No 'superiority', I just know this because I've watched and read the stuff.
PEOPLE WOULD LIKE VEGANS MORE IF THEY DIDN'T TALK DOWN TO US.
Vegans would like non-vegans more if they stopped harming animals when they have no reason to.
Here's Romesh Ranganathan, explaining the real reason why people hate vegans...
YOU STILL ALL THINK YOU'RE MORE SUPERIOR THAN US!
What sounds more 'superior' to you?
Someone defending animals by not eating them, hurting them or exploiting them?
Someone paying someone else to murder an innocent animal on their behalf,
simply because they 'like the taste' and because they couldn't do it themselves?
Someone learning the gory details about how humans treat animals, and in a desperate
attempt to try and stop it, or to lessen the amount of suffering an animal is going through,
they become a bit vocal about it and unfortunately 'ruffle a few feathers' in the process?
Someone thinking it's ok to take an animal's life - all so they can munch on their corpse for 15 minutes of pleasure and forget about it minutes later - three times a day, all when they know it's immoral, unethical
and that they simply they don't need to?
YOU'RE STILL ALL A BIT 'HOLIER THAN THOU'
Ah I was wondering when that old chestnut was going to appear. Whenever a vegan is referred
to as 'superior', it is almost always followed by 'holier than thou'.
By all means, do your own research into farming, animal agriculture, the dairy industry,
Seaworld, zoos, the leather industry, McDonalds, plastics, animal testing, fishing, circuses,
slaughterhouses etc, etc.
Research is free remember. It is not just limited to vegans.
Says the meat eater who sees animals as inferior to their tastebuds!
Look I don't care what you think of me. I don't care what you think of vegans or veganism in general.
All I care about are the victims. The animals.
We want you to stop harming them, by paying other people to harm them on your behalf
and then pretending you're not complicit.
Go vegan. Do it today. Get superior.
Yep! It's my 2-YEAR VEGANNIVERSARY today!
I haven’t eaten an animal, or anything that comes from an animal, for two whole years and I’ve never felt happier, healthier, and wiser.
Just knowing that I no longer willingly pay for people to exploit and harm animals on my behalf is the BEST feeling in the world. We don’t need to harm anyone, it’s unnecessary, it’s immoral and it’s unethical.
If you truly love animals (and not just ‘pets’) then why not show it?
Example: If you were to go vegan for just ONE MONTH, you could save up to 30 animal lives. That’s almost an ANIMAL A DAY that you can save by going vegan! Give up consuming animals forever and you could save countless lives! You could also get rid of around 600 pounds of emissions (carbon dioxide), save 33,000 gallons of water, and protect over 900 square feet of land (forest) in that one month!
Everyone knows that meat, dairy and eggs are created inhumanely (it’s not a pretty sight) but most people don’t realise how switching to plant-based alternatives can save these poor animals - animals that all just want to live their lives.
Remember, it’s supply and demand - it only happens because we pay for it too.
We also need to consider the damage to our health and our bodies that consuming animal products causes over time.
They’re so, so bad for us. Read my other blog posts for more on that.
Make the change. I thoroughly recommend it. You won’t regret it.
In fact, I guarantee you, you’ll say, “Why on earth didn’t I do this sooner?”
I COULD NEVER BE VEGAN LEE!
You pretty much already are! At least your heart is. You just need to stop the 'harming animals' bit.
WHAT? I'M NOT VEGAN!
You love animals (even though you pay people to harm some), you eat vegetables, fruits and plants all the time (more than you eat animals in fact), you're concerned about your health and the wellbeing of your
family and friends and you worry about climate change and don't want the planet to burn.
THIS IS ALL TRUE. BUT I'M NOT VEGAN.
Not yet. But you will be.
I COULD NEVER DO IT.
LOADS OF REASONS...
I COULD NEVER BE VEGAN BECAUSE I LOVE CHEESE TOO MUCH. BECAUSE I LOVE BACON TOO MUCH.
ANYWAY, PEOPLE WHO ARE VEGAN ARE SO EXTREME. STOP FORCING YOUR VEGANISM ON PEOPLE. IT'S MY PERSONAL CHOICE NOT TO BE VEGAN. I RESPECT YOUR DECISION TO BE VEGAN HOWEVER
I AM NOT AND THERE'S NOTHING YOU COULD EVER SAY THAT WILL MAKE ME WANT TO BE VEGAN!
Ok, calm down mate. Look, veganism basically means, being kind to animals right?
Have you tried replacing the word ‘vegan’ with ‘kind to animals’?
WHAT DO YOU MEAN?
“I could never be kind to animals, I love cheese too much!”
“People who are kind to animals are so extreme!”
“It’s my personal choice not to be kind to animals!”
“I could never be kind to animals, I love bacon too much!”
“Stop forcing your being kind to animals on people!”
“I respect your decision to be kind to animals, I however am not!”
“There’s nothing you could ever say that will make me want to be kind to animals!”
I'VE NEVER THOUGHT OF IT LIKE THAT.
I didn't either. If you can't be vegan, at least be kind to animals. What’s stopping you?
WHY ON EARTH SHOULD I TRY VEGANUARY LEE?
Do you care about animals?
ALL animals? Or just pets?
What about humans?
I CARE ABOUT THEM TOO.
Good. What about our planet? Do you care if it survives? Do you want to leave it in good condition
for our children and future generations after you've gone?
But do you?
OF COURSE I DO.
Well by simply trying Veganuary, you...
* Stop paying for (and help to end) the needless, mass slaughter of millions
of innocent, sentient animals
* Improve your health considerably (lowering your currently high risk of cancer,
Alzheimer's, type 2 diabetes, strokes and heart disease)
* Help stop the destruction of the planet
* Stop funding deforestation
* Help stop the pollution of our rivers and oceans
* Stop paying for important species to go extinct
* Actively help to stop climate change (as opposed to adding to it)
* Eat a healthier, more ethical and more delicious variety of foods
* Show compassion and kindness
* Align your actions with your morals
AND I CAN DO ALL THAT, SIMPLY BY NOT EATING ANIMALS?
YES! All of it.
Aside from the above, wouldn't it just be nice to know you're doing everything you can, to cause the LEAST amount of harm and suffering to others, during your brief time on this earth?
YES. I GUESS IT WOULD.
There are so many positive reasons why this is worth doing and all you have to do is give it a try.
It's really easy. So what have you got to lose?
I'M NERVOUS. I'VE EATEN MEAT FOR YEARS.
Animals. You've eaten animals for years. And so did I. For 38 years to be exact!
However that doesn't mean it was right to do so, nor does it mean I should continue doing it.
MY LIFE WILL CHANGE.
It really, really won't. Don't be nervous. Take it a step at a time.
Remember - no good thing ever lies within your comfort zone, the good stuff is always outside.
Eat what you did before, wear what you did before, use everything you did before - just replace them all moving forward, with cruelty-free, non-animal derived versions.
There's THOUSANDS of options to choose from when you're vegan and you'll find most of them
are way better for you, the environment and for the animals!
I'M SCARED LEE. I DON'T WANT TO BE LABELLED AS 'VEGAN'.
Don't be then. It's only a word, the meaning is still the same.
Being compassionate and kind towards animals doesn't need a label.
By trying Veganuary, you're simply saying to yourself,
'I am no longer willing to pay for and support animal cruelty and exploitation and I will do my best to avoid it!'
It's not too much to ask for someone to just be kinder, is it?
I GUESS NOT
If you genuinely love animals, and I really believe you do, then you need to show it and what better way
to start than to try Veganuary!
WHAT IS IT THEN?
Veganuary? It's a registered charity that encourages people worldwide to try veganism for January and (hopefully) beyond. The charity encourages and supports people and businesses alike to move to a plant-based diet, to not just improve overall health and lifestyle, but to protect the environment and
prevent animal suffering.
I DON'T WANT ANIMALS TO SUFFER.
Of course you don't, no one does.
Although a lot of people claim this about animals, whilst simultaneously causing them harm.
They refer to themselves as 'animal lovers' yet pay for said animals to be abused.
Their actions contradict their morals.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN?
For example, some people own cats.
So they get sad when their cat kills a bird and brings it into the house.
Yet they themselves pay someone to mutilate birds for them. Then they eat them!
Some own rabbits, yet they buy cosmetics brutally and cruelly tested on rabbits!
Some keep chickens as 'pets', claiming they love them, whilst knowingly stealing their eggs from them
and consuming other dead chickens for dinner.
Our children witness 'chick-hatching' events at school, then as a 'treat', we buy them a
'Chicken Nuggets Happy Meal'.
Some take their kids to Seaworld, before stopping for fish and chips on the way home.
Some would spot a dog being harmed in the street and gallantly step in to save them.
...and then go home and eat a bacon sandwich.
They give a tired bee some sugar water to save it's life, before having honey on their cereal.
They fill up their feeders to try to save birds, before filling themselves with dead birds.
They like to feed the ducks and then order a dead one from the local Chinese take-away.
They lovingly feed their guinea pigs, before feeding themselves actual pigs!
They swerve to avoid hitting a pigeon in the road, whilst on their way to the pub for a 'roast chicken' dinner.
OK I GET IT. WE'RE HYPOCRITES.
But you don't have to be.
Ask yourself this: Can you really love someone if you pay for their demise, so that you can eat them
when you don't need to?
I GUESS NOT
If we don't start aligning our actions with our morals, and begin making changes to our lifestyle
(and they don't have to be huge changes at all),
then our ignorance will only cause more and more harm, suffering, destruction and devastation.
That is a fact.
IF I WANTED TO START, OR AT LEAST LOOK INTO IT, WHERE DO I BEGIN?
Easy. Just sign up HERE (or message me - or read my previous blog posts!)
WHAT IF I CAN'T BE BOTHERED?
To save animals? To stop abuse? To protect our planet? To stand against oppression?
To avoid getting colon cancer? To stop your children getting heart disease?
Why would you not be bothered?
I'VE GOT BIGGER FISH TO FRY
Yes and it's destroying the planet every time you do it.
Look, enough's enough. It's time to take some responsibility for your actions, to acknowledge the harm
your money causes and to know exactly what it is you're paying for.
(see my previous posts to discover what you're paying for)
OK, LET'S SAY I TRY IT. WHAT IF I MAKE A MISTAKE?
Hey, we all make mistakes. Don't be hard on yourself. Just try again and keep going.
Making a mistake and then trying again, is way better than doing absolutely nothing
but knowingly and willingly continuing to fund unnecessary animal cruelty.
WHAT DO I DO WITH ALL MY ANIMAL PRODUCTS?
First, swap your basics (meat, eggs and dairy) for plant-based alternatives.
Finish what you've got in the house, rather than chuck them (animals have already lost their lives for these products, the least you can do is finish them or pass them on) but when they're done, don't replace them.
Swap your cow's milk for oat milk. Trust me.
Oat milk is leagues better, healthier for you, contains everything you need and
has the closest taste to your regular milk.
If you don't like oat milk (I'd be surprised) then try soya, almond, rice, hemp or any of the
other delicious alternatives.
You don't need cow's milk. The dairy industry is one of the cruelest industries of all and we should
play no part in it.
Cow's milk is for baby cows and baby cows only.
Also replace all butters, spreads and eggs from now on with healthier, plant-based alternatives.
My parents are non-vegan however, after introducing them to plant-based Flora butter last Christmas,
they've started to make changes and have bought plant-based butter ever since without a second's thought.
It tastes exactly the same, it's healthier for you, it's cruelty-free and
also less expensive than the dairy one. Why wouldn't you try this version?
I DON'T KNOW?
If you don't try it, then you'll never know.
DID YOU DO VEGANUARY LEE?
I didn't in all honesty. I went vegan overnight after doing an evening's research on where my food comes from and watching some farm and slaughterhouse footage.
That was plenty to make me never want to go anywhere near animal products ever again.
Honestly, it doesn't take much to change your mind when you look at the truth.
EVERYTHING'S CHANGING EH?
It has to. The next generation will be vegan whether we like it or not, so we may as well get involved now.
More and more individuals, businesses, companies, towns and even cities are going vegan/plant-based now
and are signing the Plant-Based Treaty so don't be the only one who isn't.
Do you know what pretty much everyone says after going vegan?
Yep, pretty much.
They say, "I only wish I'd done it sooner!"
Let me ask you a question... Would you feel bad if you discovered you'd upset or caused unnecessary
suffering to someone else because of something you'd unwittingly said or done?
YES. I'D BE MORTIFIED. THINGS LIKE THAT KEEP ME AWAKE AT NIGHT.
Good because if you're not vegan, you're causing unnecessary suffering to someone else every time you shop.
I think most people would feel mortified knowing they'd hurt someone, particularly an animal, I certainly do.
Mainly because I know how horrible that feeling is, if ever someone tries to hurt me.
'TREAT THOSE, AS YOU YOURSELF, WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED'
Exactly! So if you became aware that your oblivious actions were harming someone else,
would you stop doing them?
So if you discovered (for example) that something you regularly purchased, caused animals to be enslaved, exploited and brutally killed in the process, would you stop buying it, if there was a cruelty-free alternative available?
Well by being ‘vegan’ – or whatever you want to call it, you get to fix that.
If there is a way to live your life, causing the LEAST amount of harm as you go about it (and veganism is the way) then you should choose it.
Not only will you feel better for it but you'll sleep better at night knowing you caused ZERO suffering today.
"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi
I'M AWAKE ALL NIGHT ANYWAY WORRYING ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE.
Well give Veganuary a try and you'll be doing your bit to combat climate change!
(Remember: animal agriculture is the leading cause and is destroying our planet every minute)
At some point in our lives, we all need to realise that, whilst we may appear to be a more intelligent species,
we are not superior over animals, and we are not entitled to exploit, commodify or kill them.
How we treat animals is unnecessary, immoral and unjustifiable.
It's time to start being kinder towards animals and to start making a difference, after all,
animals are here with us, not for us.
Right. Have a Happy New Year and if you make one resolution, why not be more compassionate?
Trust me, you won't look back and you won't regret it.
Go vegan for your health, for the planet and most importantly, for the only victims in this... for the animals.
WHAT ARE YOU MOANING ABOUT NOW LEE?
IT IS! MY FAVOURITE TIME OF THE YEAR!
Fabulous! Which animal's life are you going to end this year?
I assume you're going to be having Christmas dinner?
And you're not vegan?
So which innocent animal's corpse is going to be stuffed, dressed, and served up on your
dinner plate this year?
ERM... TURKEY PROBABLY.
A turkey's corpse! Right. And why a turkey?
IT'S TRADITION ISN'T IT?
So's bullfighting. You going to slaughter a bull while you pull your cracker?
What about whaling? Are you going to tuck into a whale with your cranberry sauce?
What about a dog? Could go down well with some marrowfat peas...
Why not? It's 'tradition'!
NO IT'S NOT!
For many people around the world it is.
Is it, why? Why is YOUR tradition ok but other traditions aren't?
Do you think, just because we've labelled something as 'tradition', that it's therefore morally justified?
Ok. Do you think it's immoral to continue doing something you already know is cruel and unnecessary?
I GUESS SO.
Ok. So do you think we have a duty, because we have moral agency, that once we realise something is
cruel and unnecessary, we should stop taking part in it?
OF COURSE, BUT I CAN'T SEE PEOPLE STOPPING THIS ONE.
People are already stopping this one.
More and more people are starting to realise that outdated habits and traditions like this
do not morally justify the murder of other sentient beings.
Some people are afraid to go 'against the grain' and let go of cultural traditions because
they're conditioned to them.
They've been brought up with them, their families have always done them therefore they
feel it must be ok to continue doing them.
They see the ending of tradition as a 'rejection of our culture'. Some even see it as an attack on their identity.
ISN'T IT THEN?
No. It's all a load of b****cks. Most traditions are cruel, tired habits we've continued doing since
the stone age, because society and the money-makers continue to tell us to.
And we lap it up, all in an attempt to try and make our lives seem a little bit less depressing
than they already are.
I BET YOU'RE FUN AT PARTIES.
Says the person who cooks an animal's corpse in front of his nan.
MY NAN'S DEAD.
I bet you're fun at parties.
We LOVE outdated traditions. We're insane. We all need help.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN?
Take Valentine's Day for example. We celebrate the day a maniac massacred lots of diners
and their loved ones in a restaurant, by TAKING OUR LOVED ONES OUT TO A RESTAURANT.
Guy Fawkes' Day - the day another maniac attempted to blow-up parliament.
Rather than celebrate the FAILURE of this mass murder attempt, we like to morbidly recreate what could have happened, by burning fake, homemade men on large fires;
whilst letting off fireworks, (traumatising our pets and local wildlife), as we poorly attempt to reenact the explosion that should have taken place.
I'm surprised we don't celebrate Jack The Ripper's Birthday every year!
THAT'S CUZ NO ONE KNOWS WHEN HIS BIRTHDAY WAS.
Yes. That's why.
SO WHAT ABOUT CHRISTMAS/THANKSGIVING?
For that, we cut down thousands and thousands of trees, only to discard them weeks later alongside
murdering many, many, many beautiful animals.
As well as chickens, geese and ducks yes. Most so-called 'traditions' have a victim involved.
Look at this list of other immoral 'traditions' where animals are needlessly and violently tortured and killed:
Taiji dolphin hunt
Faroe Islands’ pilot whale drive
Gadhimai festival of sacrifice
Wild bird hunting
Burning The Bull Festival
The Pero Palo Festival in Villaneuva de la Vera
The Rapa das Bestas Festival (Spanish for 'Beast rape')
Garrotting The Galgos
The Day Of The Geese in Lekeito
Goat tossing in Manganeses de la Polyorosa
I'VE NEVER HEARD OF HALF OF THESE!
If you're feeling brave one afternoon, click on a few. It's an education.
JUST CLICKED ON ONE... CHRIST!
Yep. These still happen today and all fall under the label of 'traditions'. There's tons more out there too.
Animals are NOT treated well by us humans. At all. I feel so sorry for them.
Despite it being 'tradition', why else do you think you eat turkeys?
BECAUSE THEY'RE TASTY!
What do you think is more important, your tastebuds or the life of an animal?
THE LIFE OF AN ANIMAL.
Prove it. Stop eating turkeys.
What does that mean Noddy?
WELL, YOU KNOW. IT'S WHAT YOU DO ISN'T IT?
I don't. I don't kill or eat anyone that was alive several weeks ago, just because 'it's Christmas'.
Yes. Did you know every turkey killed and eaten is just a baby?
'One month old, downy feathers, eyes still blue, little peeps instead of clucks...
They're curious of us, and the sun and sky that they've never witnessed before'
- Animal Sentience Project
Is that what Christmas means to you? Killing baby animals?
OF COURSE NOT.
What does it mean to you then?
PRESENTS AN THAT?
Christmas, 'traditionally', is a selfless time where we are meant to think about others, where we forgive,
take stock of what's important and become 'better' versions of ourselves. Supposedly.
It's not a time for paying someone to kill an innocent animal,
all for one 15 minute meal,
on one day of the year.
MY FAMILY ARE ALL EATING TURKEY. THEY'LL EXPECT ME TO.
Your family will also expect you to be a compassionate, kind and benevolent human being would they not?
YES, I GUESS SO.
They'd also want to believe you are a person that wouldn't cause any harm or suffering to another living being right? That you're a person who would take care of someone more vulnerable than you and that you would stand up for someone being hurt or caused needless harm.
Does that go for animals too?
I GUESS SO
There we go then. By not paying money for a turkey to be electrocuted and to have their throat slit,
you are being that person.
BUT WHEN I BUY IT, IT'S DEAD ALREADY?
The turkeys you see in the shops will already be dead yes. But they'll also be transformed so that they don't look like turkeys (trust me, if they still had their feathers and heads attached -
everyone would go plant-based!)
But by purchasing one of their corpses, you are calling for a replacement turkey to be abused and killed.
You're saying to Tesco, "Please replace this turkey with another."
Tesco will then go to their suppliers and say, "Please replace this turkey with another."
The suppliers will then go to the farmers and say, "Please replace this turkey with another."
And yet another infant turkey will be selected and sent to a slaughterhouse to die painfully and horribly.
ALL BECAUSE YOU'VE SAID SO.
It all starts with you. With your morals, your compassion (if you have any) and your money.
Besides, if you knew what you were paying for, if you knew what the animals had been through
to get to your plate, you wouldn't buy them.
WHY, WHAT HAVE THEY BEEN THROUGH?
More on that in a minute. First, let me tell you how AWESOME turkeys are...
GO ON THEN.
Here's 10 facts:
1) Turkeys are highly intelligent, social animals, they're affectionate and they love to play!
They enjoy having their feathers stroked and like listening to music, with which they’ll often loudly sing along!
2) Males turkeys' necks change colour depending on their mood!
Their colors can change from red to blue to white, depending on how excited or calm they are.
The more intense the colors are, the more intense their emotions.
3) Female turkeys don't gobble - they purr! Only the males gobble!
4) Wild turkeys are strong fliers (55 miles an hour!) and can fly in short distances (most people think they can't). They can run 35 miles an hour and travel across wide areas in search of food
however 90% of turkeys today are intensively reared for their meat in cramped,
windowless sheds with zero sunlight.
5) Turkeys have three-times better eyesight than we do! They can also see in color,
and their eyesight covers 270 degrees!
6) Abraham Lincoln’s son pleaded that the bird intended for Christmas dinner had a right to live,
just like any other creature, but it wasn’t until 1989 during George H.W. Bush’s administration
that the official pardoning ceremony started.
7) Snoods, the fleshy appendage that extends over a turkey’s beak, is for finding a suitable mate.
According to the Journal of Avian Biology, females (hens) prefer males (gobblers) with longer snoods,
and snood length can also be used to predict the winner of a competition between two males.
8) Wild turkeys sleep high up in trees!
9) Turkeys have great hearing, but no external ears!
10) One certain way to find out if a turkey is male or female is by checking their droppings.
A male’s poop will be shaped like the letter J, while the female’s is more spiral-shaped.
I shouldn't have to explain to you that turkeys are sentient beings. You should know already that
they have distinct and playful personalities and peculiarities. That they experience similar emotional states to humans, including fear, anxiety, frustration, boredom, pleasure and enjoyment.
I STILL HAVE TO EAT ONE AT CHRISTMAS LEE!
You don't HAVE to eat turkey at Christmas - no one is forcing you to but in the name of 'tradition',
if you really must...
LOOK AT ALL THESE ALTERNATIVES YOU CAN CHOOSE FROM!
ALL DELICIOUS, ALL A HELL OF A LOT HEALTHIER FOR YOU THAN ACTUAL, REAL ANIMALS AND ALL MADE FROM PLANTS - MEANING THAT NOT ONE ANIMAL WILL BE HARMED THIS CHRISTMAS, BY YOUR HANDS!
THEY DO LOOK GOOD!
They taste even better. No growth hormones, saturated fats, cholesterol or antibiotics in this lot!
PERHAPS THE TURKEY I CHOOSE WON'T HAVE BEEN ABUSED?
Good point. Perhaps they were one of the millions kept indoors under the AVIAN FLU RESTRICTIONS instead?
HALF of the UK's 'Free Range' turkeys have been culled or have died from bird flu already.
Richard Griffiths, chief executive of The British Poultry Council has confirmed that 600,000 out of around 1.3 million free range birds have died already.
Did you know it was recently allowed for farmers to kill and freeze turkeys, geese and ducks for long periods of time and sell them as 'fresh' closer to Christmas? This is to help producers avoid the risks of losing their flocks in a cull or because of the flu.
I'LL MAKE SURE MINE'S FREE RANGE!
No such thing. Turkeys, just like chickens, are as far from 'free' as you can get.
'Free range' is just something they stick on the label to convince you to buy them, to ease your conscience, and to make you feel better for purchasing and eating these birds.
It gives you a sense of comfort when you're told these birds were 'happy' and 'living their best life',
instead of being told the truth.
SO THEY'RE NOT 'FREE RANGE'?
They're more, 'ENSLAVED RANGE'.
SO WHAT'S THE TRUTH?
The truth is that 9 out of every 10 turkeys found on supermarket shelves will have come from filthy, overcrowded factory farms (holding up to 25,000 birds at a time),
each one responsible for unimaginable cruelty and suffering rarely seen by the public.
Yep. An estimated 245 million turkeys are raised and killed for their flesh every year in the U.S.
46 million turkeys are killed each year for 'Thanksgiving' alone and around
15 million turkeys are killed annually in the UK.
Every single bird is physically and emotionally tormented, having had all of their natural behaviours
ALL OF THEM?
ANY turkey you choose on the shelf, any of them, will have been confined, scared, slaughtered
and will have had their life taken from them needlessly.
YOU DON'T KNOW THAT.
How do you think the turkeys die?
I DON'T KNOW. QUICKLY?
You wish. You asked what turkeys go through?
YES. I REGRET IT NOW BUT I DID.
You ready? It's rough?
GO ON. HOW CAN WE LEARN IF WE DON'T KNOW?
Firstly, female turkeys are IMPREGNATED BY ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION.
WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
It's an invasive and terrifying experience for them. For any animal.
It entails a farmer holding a female turkey upside down and inserting a male turkey's sperm directly into her vagina using a syringe or tube. This violation often causes injuries.
HOW ON EARTH DO THEY GET THE MALE TURKEY'S SPERM?
Exactly how you think they do. Farmers masturbate the anal area until their phallus is erect.
THE TURKEY'S PHALLUS?
Yes the turkey's phallus...
That's just the start...
When born, THE CHICKS ARE HATCHED IN CRAMPED, ARTIFICIAL INCUBATORS
and are then immediately taken away.
WITH THEIR MOTHERS?
No. They never get to see their mothers. They instinctively search for them but they never get to meet them.
In nature, mothers are very protective of their babies.
LIKE ANY MOTHER IS.
Right. Did you know that in the wild, mother turkeys team up, as a group, to watch all of their babies?
It is. However here, the mothers never get to see their chicks, which is psychologically and
emotionally traumatising for them.
Because of this, the chicks cannot be protected or looked after and so are piled onto conveyor belts where they are handled roughly by workers who check them over to see if each chick is healthy and 'profitable'.
Any pieces of shell stuck to their fragile bodies is ripped off causing injuries and
if a chick is too small or sick, (viewed as waste products, deemed 'unprofitable' and titled, 'hatchery waste') they're ground up alive in a macerator or gassed to death - all while fully conscious.
ON THEIR FIRST DAY OF LIFE?
Yep. This goes for male chicks in the egg industry too.
For the ones that 'make it', it's even worse. The overcrowding and hunger also causes aggression and cannibalism which has to be controlled by 'beak trimming'.
Yep. The ends of their sensitive beaks are cut off. In this terrifying procedure, workers hold their faces up to a machine that uses an infrared beam or a hot blade to cut the beak.
They’re given no pain relief either, so they feel everything.
A portion of the toes of male chicks may also be removed, often resulting in wounds, blood loss, and pain.
The 'older' turkeys (they're all still infants aged between only 3 to 5 months old) are treated abhorrently and are bred, drugged and genetically manipulated, forcing them to grow as quickly, and as unnaturally, as possible.
Selective breeding of these unnaturally large, 'hybrid' turkeys with huge amounts of breast meat causes hip problems, chronic pain and an inability to mate naturally.
According to an investigative report in the Wall Street Journal on the miserable conditions on turkey farms,
"It’s common in a rearing house to find a dead bird surrounded by four others whose hearts failed after they watched the first one ‘fall back and go into convulsions, with its wings flapping wildly.'"
Due to the sheer amount of birds living in these stress-induced, filthy, cramped conditions (no more than 3.5 square feet of space per bird), many die of starvation as they're too stressed or unable to find food and water in the sheds they're kept in. These birds are known as ‘starve-outs.’
The turkeys that manage to survive, often get ammonia burns and ulcers on their feet and breasts caused by having to stand, or lay in their own faeces all day, every day. They're also prone to several illnesses and diseases such as crippling, lameness, bird flu, turkey rhinotracheitis and bacterial infections, amongst others.
PETA investigations have documented that workers punched and stomped on live turkeys and
slammed them against walls. At one facility, a farm manager bludgeoned young birds with what he called his "killing stick."
Yep. Kind and compassionate eh?
SO THE TURKEYS THAT ARE OK?
There are no turkeys that are 'ok'.
I MEAN, THE ONES THAT SURVIVE ALL THAT?
When turkeys reach the weight at which they’ll be slaughtered, the 'chosen ones' are grabbed by the
legs and thrown into tiny crates and taken to slaughterhouses.
Often, the birds sustain broken legs and severe bruising as a result of the rough handling and
many birds experience extremes of temperature, stress, suffocation and shock.
As many as 2,000 birds can be shoved into a single lorry and they’re transported for hours without food or water, through all weather extremes like frost, resulting in many deaths on this nightmarish journey.
Once there, the distressed birds are hung upside down by their weak and fragile legs and individually dragged, head first, through an electrically charged water bath (a 'stunning tank'),
which attempts to stun them and make them unconscious (however this fails more than it works, meaning each bird feels every inch of pain they are forced to endure)
WHY ARE THEY STUNNED?
The incomprehensible fear and stress each bird goes through means that adrenaline is pumped around the bird's body, which farmers know, affects the 'flavour'. They want to make sure the stress hormone isn't still in the birds' corpses when they go out to customers so they are stunned in an attempt to avoid this.
It also makes it easier for the slaughterhouse workers to kill the birds if they're stunned and unable to fight back.
The turkeys' throats are then slit on a circular blade before being placed in a scalding tank,
which is used to loosen their feathers.
If turkeys are not properly stunned, they often miss the blade and go straight into the tank,
without pain relief.
Turkeys can live for up to 10 years in nature, yet they suffer from the day they hatch,
until the harrowing day they’re slaughtered.
SO, ARE YOU SAYING WE SHOULD STOP CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS?
No. I'm saying we should stop slaughtering innocent baby animals to celebrate Christmas.
Turkeys are beautiful, highly intelligent, wondrous, individual and expressive animals and they should not endure lives of suffering in the cruel factory farming and animal agriculture industries,
all because of us and our simple taste preferences. It's unjustifiable.
The best way to help turkeys and other animals this Christmas, and all year round, is by going vegan.
If you're a so-called 'animal lover' - put your money where your mouth is.
By rejecting the cruelty that takes place in hatcheries, factory farms, abattoirs and slaughterhouses, and by making some easy and delicious changes when you prepare dinner (it's not as if you don't have the choice!), you’ll be sparing the lives of nearly 200 animals a year.
Just try it. Remove all unnecessary violence from your life this Christmas and I guarantee you,
you'll feel all the better for it!
Don't do it for you, do it for them. For the voiceless.
YOU CAN'T FORCE KIDS TO BE VEGAN LEE!
I agree. You can't force anyone to be vegan. It's a choice.
A choice - meaning they should have the option to choose.
So give them a choice.
Ask them. If they could save the life of a plant or an animal - what would they choose?
Ask them what they would rather eat - a plant (that has no brain therefore feels no pain)
or an animal (that can think and feel everything)?
WELL MOST KIDS ARE CHOOSING TO EAT ANIMALS!
Are they being given a choice?
It's impossible to make a decision when you're given only one option isn't it?
As with any choices we have to make in life, whether it be politics, religion, love, choosing schools...
we need to way up the pros and cons and to know as much information as we can, about all the options
on offer, before we make an informed decision.
EVERYONE'S KIDS EAT ANIMALS MATE, IT'S NOT JUST MINE!
Animal flesh has played a big part in all our lives. The reason we’ve all consumed it in the past
(and that goes for us vegans too - our consciences aren’t exactly clean) is because it's fed to us from an early age and we're raised on it. So why would we question it? We’re young, impressionable and we trust our parents to feed us the right things, even if they themselves are being misled.
We eat what we're told and we're told very little.
We're conditioned into thinking certain, specific animals (the ones we can make the most money from) are only here for us to abuse/exploit/eat and so because we believe these things we’re told, and because we've eaten animals for such a long time, it can therefore seem like a hard habit to break.
But it is just a habit. A very destructive and damaging habit.
A lot of people all over the world are raised vegan and can’t begin to comprehend paying someone
to kill an animal for them, let alone eating one.
If we were fed and raised on plants instead, we too would grow up to think killing and eating animals was insane.
But kids will eat what they are given and, until they can learn to cook for themselves,
what they are given is down to us isn't it?
But fear not, (or fear more?) but the world is changing. Most of the new generation will be vegan.
They will. They'll have no choice... Have you not seen what's happening to the planet?
NOT being vegan is causing climate change.
WHAT? HOW CAN 'NOT BEING VEGAN' CAUSE CLIMATE CHANGE?
Because if you're not vegan, you consume animals. Which means you fund animal agriculture
(the farming of animals) which is the LEADING CAUSE OF CLIMATE CHANGE, as well as the number one
cause of deforestation, water pollution, biodiversity loss and species extinction.
NAH, CARS AND TRAFFIC IS THE CAUSE OF THAT STUFF!
Animal agriculture accounts for more direct greenhouse gas emissions overall than the ENTIRE transport sector combined so ALL cars, vans, bikes, buses, trains, ships and planes!
WELL, I CYCLE TO WORK SO...
Yet you eat animals during your lunch-break. Eating animals is way worse for the environment than driving is.
Yes, considerably. So next time you brag about cycling to work for the sake of the environment,
take a good look inside your lunch box.
ANYWAY, KIDS AREN'T GOING TO BE VEGAN.
Kids all over the world are ALREADY vegan. Mine is.
SURELY YOU'RE JUST IMPOSING YOUR VIEWS ON THEM THOUGH?
Imposing the views that all animals deserve to live a happy life, free from violence, abuse, oppression
and exploitation? You're damn right I am!
Just like I impose the views that humans should live a happy life free from violence, abuse, oppression
Why aren't YOU imposing that?
DOES YOUR KID LIKE ANIMALS LEE?
He LOVES animals. Everything from insects to amphibians, mammals to birds - he wants to hold them,
learn all about them and take care of them.
That has nothing to do with me. Nothing imposed there. That's all him.
Mind you, what kid doesn't love animals? They're born loving them.
If children want to hurt animals when they're older, then that's inherited or copied behaviour
but it certainly doesn't come naturally to them - they weren't born with an inherent need to hurt or
to cause suffering to other living beings.
KIDS LOVE ANIMALS EH?
They really do. There isn’t a child alive that doesn’t want to stroke a cat they pass in the street,
meet a piglet on a farm or hold a newborn chick after they've hatched.
AGREED. ANIMALS ARE GREAT.
So why are you feeding them to your kids?
If your kids knew what you were feeding them, do you think they’d like it?
What if they knew HOW their food was prepared?
Yes. I could happily show my son footage on how his food is made (showing how crops are grown,
dug up and made into burgers and sausages) without traumatising him for life.
Could you say the same?
Would you show your kid videos on how the animals they see grazing in fields, end up on their plate?
Yeah? You'd happily show them slaughterhouse footage would you?
WELL, NOT THAT BIT.
Don't you think children today should know where their food comes from?
Why shouldn't they know? After all, it's going into THEIR bodies.
If we’re not prepared to show our kids where their food comes from, for fear of upsetting them or
traumatising them, should we be feeding it to them?
There's also the associated health risks from eating animals.
YES. WAIT, WHAT?
The World Health Organisation has classified red meat (beef, lamb and pork) as a type 2A carcinogen
(the same as cigarettes, alcohol, asbestos and arsenic)
and processed red meat (sausages, bacon, hot dogs) – as a type 1 carcinogen (which causes cancer).
Dairy (milk, butter, yoghurt and cheese) is the top source of saturated fat contributing to the
UK’s leading cause of death: heart disease, as well as type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s
- in addition to being associated with an increased risk of breast, ovarian and prostate cancers.
Although most of these diseases are not symptomatic until adulthood,
they have their beginnings in childhood.
Whilst our kids don't need to know this depressing stuff just yet, we can still protect them
and look out for them. I mean, it's kind of our job right?
By eating plant-based alternatives, as well as whole foods, like fruit, vegetables, pasta, legumes, etc.
we can reduce our kids’ exposure to these health risks.
SO MY KIDS COULD GET SICK FROM EATING ANIMALS?!
Yes, they could.
But by excluding animal flesh, cow’s milk and bird's eggs from your children’s diet, you are reducing their risk of disease and illness dramatically.
And all you have to do is simply NOT FEED THEM DECEASED ANIMAL CARCASSES.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THEIR B12, PROTEIN AND FIBRE LEE? THEY'RE GROWING KIDS!
Everything they need, they can get from plants and vegetables
(see this blog post for more information on B12)
(* SPOILER ALERT * - it comes from the soil, NOT from animals!)
All the good stuff you think they're getting from eating animals, is from the PLANTS the animals have already consumed, not from the animals themselves.
Kids are getting what they need second-hand when it's filtered through animals however, by eating plant-based foods, as well as taking supplements, they will be getting everything first-hand.
The supplements are chewy, fruit-flavoured sweets (which my kid loves to eat alongside breakfast!)
and these top up their B12 (amongst other things) every day.
Think about it - all that unnecessary time growing an animal - all that water (it takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce just 1 pound of beef. That’s a whole lot of water being wasted!),
all that food (which, if fed to the starving, could solve world hunger overnight), all that land, all that time,
destruction and slaughter... when you can just get everything you need from a single chewy sweet!
Well since there is zero fibre found in animal products, eating plant-based foods helps your kids meet their
required fibre intake:
• Children 5–11 years: 20g
• Children 11–16 years: 25g
• Adolescents 16–18 years: 30g
On average, children and teenagers are only getting around 15g or less of fibre a day. Encouraging them to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and starchy foods (like choosing wholegrain versions and potatoes with the skins left on!) can help to ensure they are eating enough fibre.
There is also strong evidence that eating plenty of fibre (or 'roughage') is associated with a lower
risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer.
SO WHAT ABOUT SCHOOLS?
What about them?
WELL ARE YOUR KIDS VEGAN THERE?
Of course. If you're vegan (kind to animals), you're vegan everywhere.
DID YOU KNOW that it's still mandatory for school caterers in England to serve animal flesh and
their secretions to the pupils?
*Ahem* It is MANDATORY, not to mention LEGAL, for our children to be fed Class 1 and Class 2a carcinogens (the same as cigarettes, alcohol, asbestos and arsenic) at their schools.
The current outdated regulations state that schools in England must serve a 'daily portion of dairy',
'a portion of meat at least three times a week', and 'a portion of fish once every three weeks'.
This is out of step with public health advice and is damaging to the environment and to our planet,
not to mention our children's lives.
The National Food Strategy recommended that mandatory servings of meat be removed,
but the government has failed to incorporate this into it's food plan. OF COURSE IT HAS.
WELL WE CAN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT THAT!
Far from it my friend, far from it.
You can take action now to ensure children are offered healthier, more environmentally friendly meals,
by urging your MP to write to the education secretary calling for the revision of the
School Food Standards.
Individual school caterers should have the freedom to meet children’s nutritional needs without
Urge Your MP to End the School Meat Mandate! Click HERE to do that now!
You can also sign the petition HERE!
The School Food Standards need to be updated and the 'mandatory servings of meat', (including fish) and dairy, NEED to be removed. Scrapping this requirement would be in line with the UK’s health goals,
climate science, and modern dietary choices.
THE GOVERNMENT WON'T DO ANYTHING!
They might not but YOU can. YOU don't have to partake in it and neither does your child.
Anyone can create positive change. It doesn't matter where you're from, what your background is
or what age you are. All it takes is a conversation.
Look at Greta Thunberg and Vanessa Nakate.
Look at Genesis Butler!
Genesis’s love for animals led her whole family to veganism and countless others around the world.
Watch her here. She was 10 when she did this Ted Talk. THIS is what 'making a change' looks like.
Read more about Genesis's incredible work HERE!
SO... YOUR KID'S SCHOOL?
Recently, I wrote to my child's school to suggest the incorporation of cruelty-free, plant-based meals to their menu and they were very accommodating. Within only a matter of days, one vegan option per week went from 4/5 options per week, including desserts and snacks.
I took a labelled tub of vegan sweets in so my kid can help himself whenever Birthdays or special occasions arise in the class or when non-vegan sweets (bought in by non-vegan parents) are given out.
I have even arranged for vegan biscuits to be given out during snack-times so that he is catered for at all times, just like the other children are.
I have also expressed my concerns about chick-hatching events, as well as trips to farms,
aquariums and circuses and the school have been very understanding and accommodating.
HOW DO YOU GET THE SCHOOL TO COOK VEGAN STUFF?!
Write to them. Go and see them. Arrange a meeting with them. Or just email them.
IS THAT IT?
Yep. If you want any further help with this, then just ASK ME. I can send you stuff.
(Go to my CONTACT page to message me)
If not, contact Laura Chepner!
WHO IS LAURA CHEPNER?
Laura is a qualified primary school teacher, SENCo and vegan-inclusive education consultant at
Primary Veducation. She is the UK’s first vegan inclusion education specialist and both parents and teachers can call upon Laura to provide a 'Veducation' at any school throughout the UK.
HAVE YOU WORKED WITH HER?
I have indeed and she's FAB!
She holds free vegan-inclusive CPD for all staff at your child's school and provides free consultancy
services and training for schools to improve their inclusion practices.
She will tweak the curriculum, provide long-term and short-term planning and her thorough explanation and clarification of what it means to be vegan from a child's perspective, will enlighten and inspire everyone involved, leaving everyone happy with the results.
She also shares language choices, food information, and useful topic ideas and teaches all things vegan in a friendly and informative way.
WHY DOES SHE DO THIS?
Because it's vital. A vegan child looks at the world through very different eyes to the majority.
For a school to be as inclusive as possible they must understand this perspective and differentiate accordingly.
You can drop Laura a line HERE!
I'd also like to recommend her BRILLIANT book to you (click the link) called,
‘Veducated! An Educator’s Guide for Vegan-Inclusive Teaching’.
I'd also like to introduce you to a company called PROVEG!
TV presenter and conservationist (and all-round legend)
Chris Packham has joined ProVeg UK’s pioneering School Plates programme
as an official Programme Ambassador, urging schools to introduce more plant-based options
on lunch menus. Here he is to tell you a bit more about it:
CLICK THE PICS below to download the booklets about
VEGAN INCLUSIVITY IN SCHOOLS from ProVeg and The Vegan Society
to discover what your school could do to better support your child during their time there.
WHAT IF MY KID'S SCHOOL DOESN'T WANT TO DO VEGAN OPTIONS?
(I DON'T WANT TO BE 'THAT' PARENT!)
Remember that veganism is now a protected belief (as legally required by the Equality Act 2010)
Every school is legally required to have vegan options.
Therefore, all schools have a duty, under the law, to make reasonable changes to ensure vegan pupils are not inadvertently or intentionally discriminated against.
I didn't want to be 'that parent' either but if it means supporting and protecting my child, as well as ending animal abuse where I can, I'll be 'that parent' all day long.
If your school is a little behind the times, you can add them to this MAP - and Vegan Inclusive Education
will write to your school (anonymously, if you'd rather not be involved) with lots of helpful information about steps they can take to make the school more vegan-inclusive.
Below are policies for the school to adhere to, to assist vegan-inclusion:
WHAT'S AN EXAMPLE OF NON-VEGAN INCLUSION THEN?
An example of non-vegan inclusion is when cow’s milk (for example) is being discussed as a 'recommended source of calcium' (when it's actually the opposite). A vegan pupil will know that the cow suffers to produce milk for human consumption. Depending on the age of the pupil, they may know that the cow was forcibly impregnated and her calf taken from her so that people can drink her milk, and that both cow and calf would be killed before their time.
They are also likely to know that drinking cow’s milk is actually damaging to our health as well as the environment - producing three times the CO2 emissions of soya milk.
Or the discussion of cows and sheep happily grazing in fields, living their 'best life'.
A vegan pupil may know that these animals live in crowded, filthy conditions and
suffer through painful procedures like branding, dehorning, debeaking (chicks), and having their tails
cut off (piglets) and their teeth sawed off - all without painkillers.
This knowledge can leave the vegan pupil feeling upset at the unwitting reminder of cruelty, and confused about why their teachers aren’t more aware of the environmental and health dangers, and why they didn’t mention other sources of calcium such as tofu and green vegetables.
A distressed pupil cannot learn as effectively, and will feel less secure in their school setting.
Should you want to write to your child's school yourself, like I did, then explain to them that having all meals/desserts made to the same standard as their current menu but without any animal products in them, would not only be more ethical (saving the lives of countless, innocent animals), and more sustainable (animal agriculture accounting for at least 87% of annual greenhouse gas emissions)
but it would also be considerably healthier for everyone - students and staff alike.
Plus, I imagine, a lot less expensive - particularly from a business perspective.
All schools should be educated about veganism as a protected belief and all pupils should be taught to understand the animal, environmental, and health reasons why people may choose vegan diets.
SO WHAT WILL VEGAN KIDS EAT AT SCHOOL THEN? LEAVES? SEEDS? SALAD?
Don't be silly. They will eat everything they eat now, just delicious plant-based versions.
My kid eats burgers, hot dogs, pasta, spaghetti & meatballs, chilli, jacket potatoes etc. etc.
He eats better than he does at home!
As long as it doesn't come from an animal, they can eat it (i.e. meat, eggs, honey and dairy 'products').
Think about it – there is only a handful of animal flesh that most people eat:
chicken, fish, beef, lamb, turkey, and pork.
Now consider all the plant-derived foods out there: beans, tomatoes, avocados, peas, pineapples, rice, almonds, blueberries, chickpeas, peppers, oats, pumpkins, potatoes, spinach, oranges, corn, mangoes, beetroots, carrots, broccoli, cauliflowers, aubergines, peanuts, grapes, lentils, courgettes, walnuts, olives, bananas, coconuts, cashews, peaches, chocolate (!), and on and on and on.
Think about the foods that you eat every day. Then, imagine ways that they could be 'veganised'.
Beef burritos become bean burritos, pasta with meat sauce becomes pasta with tomato sauce,
chilli con carne becomes chilli non carne, etc. Lots of foods can easily be veganised with simple substitutions of soya milk, plant-based butter, tofu, or vegan chicken or beef.
You, and your kids, are probably already eating lots of vegan foods, such as porridge, guacamole, bread, pasta, houmous, tortilla chips and salsa, vegetable soups, fruit smoothies, some Italian and Thai dishes and many others, without even realising it.
You probably already eat more vegan food than you do non-vegan food!
Are your kids fussy eaters?
Try some of these delicious, 'non-fussy' recipes from the BBC Good Food Guide including
kid-favourite meals such as vegan nuggets, Margherita pizza, vegan burgers, chocolate brownies and banana and peanut butter cupcakes!
Just one of many, many pages of recipes found online!
WHAT ABOUT WHEN I NEED TO MAKE THEM SOMETHING QUICK?
If you need something faster (I always do!) then check out the ABUNDANCE of quick, cruelty-free,
delicious, plant-based meals available today!
SO WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ANYONE ELSE WHOSE KIDS WANT TO BE VEGAN OR
WHO WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT IT?
I thoroughly recommend the following videos by BITESIZEVEGAN on Youtube.
They're informative, kind, tactful and honest - perfect for children to watch and for them to learn about the animals they eat and where their food comes from.
The best thing when talking to kids about these topics, (and we should talk to them about these topics - we should have nothing to hide - they're going to find out sooner or later what happens to animals -
it may as well come from their trusted parent) is that they love to ask lots and lots of questions
so it's wise to do your research, know what you're talking about and to be prepared for any question.
Kids need to know that eating animals is bad for lots of reasons. It’s not healthy, and it kills billions of animals every year. It also takes food away from hungry people—food that could go to starving humans yet instead goes to feed animals, who are raised for meat.
Kids should never be patronised or talked down to and these videos explain everything clearly.
My son loved watching these. Take a look. You might learn something yourself too. I did.
Or watch these little legends show your little legends just how easy it is!
Here's vegan hero, Earthling Ed talking to a class of 10 year olds about veganism:
And here's two for the adults to watch. One by the brilliant Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory) and one by the extraordinary nutritionist, Dr Michael Klaper.
You could also show them these child-friendly pictures below from PETA Kids:
Have you ever wondered where milk comes from?
I thoroughly recommend clicking this LINK to the parent's section of PETA's website and looking at the useful links there. There's so much useful information for parents here.
Like this one...
Have you ever heard of a 'wet market' before?
IN ONE SENTENCE THEN... WHY SHOULD MY KIDS BE VEGAN?
Because feeding our children dead animals is unnecessary, immoral, unethical and really, really bad for them, like it is for any human being and if you want your child to grow up into a compassionate, benevolent and kind individual, then teaching them to love, defend and respect every living being on earth
is a very good place to start!
Your question should be rather, ‘Why SHOULDN'T my kids be vegan?’
OK. WHAT'S 'WORLD VEGAN DAY' LEE?
Every year on 1st November, vegans around the world celebrate World Vegan Day and champion
their vegan lifestyle.
It is a day dedicated to the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, where possible and practicable, and the wholly unnecessary cruelty and exploitation of animals.
It's a day (or rather a month) celebrating those who want to live a more compassionate, much healthier
and more ethical lifestyle.
It celebrates the people who have decided to make a positive change in their lives, a change that can significantly help others live theirs.
It's a day for people to align their actions with their morals and to finally say NO to animal cruelty and exploitation.
SO IT'S JUST FOR VEGANS?
Nope, today is not just for vegans but for everyone. Non-vegans especially.
Anyone can stop harming animals - anyone can start defending them. Anyone can do things to protect our planet and the future of our children. Anyone can make a significant difference. Anyone can start, anytime.
World Vegan Day is also about encouraging and inspiring others to take action for the animals and for the environment.
ACTION FOR THE ANIMALS?
Imagine the number of animals that are saved every month, every year, or over the course of a lifetime
simply by choosing a vegan diet...
3 meals a day = 3 animals a day, that's around 90 animals a month, 1080 animals a year, and thousands of animals in a single human lifetime.
By refusing to pay for animal products, you reduce the demand for them, which ensures fewer animals are bred to suffer and die on farms and in slaughterhouses.
Going vegan is one of the best things you can do to help stop animal cruelty.
BUT WHY TODAY?
When do you propose we stop hurting animals?
Here's some INTERESTING (and shocking) facts for you to read.
These will explain why today, is as good a day as any, to go vegan...
We kill 83 billion land animals and 0.8 - 2.7 trillion marine animals a year.
If we killed humans at the same rate as we kill animals for food, the entire population would be gone in 17 days. All 7.98 billion of us.
Every 4 weeks, we kill more animals than the amount of humans that have ever existed in history.
We kill 2.7 trillion more fish every year than all the humans that have ever existed.
Although we produce enough food to feed every human on the planet (1/1.5 times the amount needed),
over 800 million people go to bed hungry each day.
We could feed the entire world on the food we feed to livestock.
The oceans absorb 4x the amount of CO2 than the Amazon rainforest and up to 80% of the
world's oxygen comes from phytoplankton - which is fertilised by whales.
Berries (the compounds found in them) kill cancer cells in minutes.
In the US between 2007 and 2014, 400 million fewer animals were killed in 2014 compared to 2007
because less and less people were eating animal products like meat, dairy and eggs.
If every family in the UK swapped out 1 red meat based meal for a plant-based meal just once a week,
the environmental impact would be the equivalent of taking 16 million cars off the road.
- (Oxford University)
One potato requires 25 litres of water for production whereas one hamburger (made from a cow)
requires 2,400 litres of water for production.
If we all ate only plants (went plant-based/vegan), we'd need only half the land we use at the moment.
Shifting to a plant-based diet could free up more than 75 per cent of the total global agricultural land that currently being used.
If humans were removed from the planet, the extinction of humans would benefit everything that exists.
Despite being one of the fastest growing movements in history, vegans currently make up 1% of the population. This means that 99% of humans on this planet are unable to think rationally, logically and empathetically
each time they put animal products in their mouth.
It's true though. You're either vegan (cruelty-free) or you're not (you knowingly and willingly
pay for animals to suffer)
WHICH ARE YOU?
Go HERE to learn more about going vegan... it's easy and by far the best decision you will ever make!
Go vegan today.
For the animals, for the planet, for your health and because you know it's the right thing to do.
HAPPY WORLD VEGAN DAY!
I DON'T EAT MUCH MEAT NOWADAYS LEE.
You mean flesh?
'Meat' is just a term used to normalise it and make it all sound nicer than it is.
Like 'pork' is used for pig flesh. And 'beef' for cow flesh.
But no one wants to admit they're eating flesh.
Flesh from a corpse.
It's animal flesh. Like it would be human flesh if we ate humans.
OK OK I GET IT. PEDANT!
I DON'T EAT MUCH FLESH NOWADAYS LEE!
Fish is flesh.
DOES THAT MEAN I'M PESCATARIAN?
No it means you kill fish.
I used to too. Lots and lots of fishes.
Keep reading and you'll find out... So you eat the little fishes do you?
You make it sound like a good thing.
THEY'RE GOOD FOR MY BRAIN!
Fish? I read that once too. It was soon debunked though. Fish are actually really bad for you.
Yes. But we'll come to that in a moment...
First off... did you know more fish are killed for food each year than ALL other animals combined?
SO? THEY'RE JUST FISH! THERE'S TONS OF THEM!
Well there are tons of them however there won't be for long seeing as we kill and eat
0.8 - 2.7 TRILLION of them a year!
The oceans are home for up to 80% of all life on earth yet we kill and eat so many fish that research has predicted if we don't stop, there will be no fish left to catch, resulting in
barren, fishless oceans by 2048!
That's only 26 years away! Within our lifetime.
ARE YOU GOING TO THROW LOADS OF STATISTICS AT ME AGAIN?
No, I promise.
Did you know 50% of the fish consumed around the world today are actually farmed?
Yep. 'Aquafarming' or 'aquaculture' it's jovially called.
It happens all over the world in coastal ocean waters, freshwater ponds and rivers, and even on land in tanks.
Water tanks. Not World War 2 tanks.
I WAS GONNA SAY...
There are 'intensive farms' where trillions of fish are confined within small containers, nets or concrete tanks for their entire lives - something that's particularly unnatural for fish -
particularly species of fish which would otherwise migrate thousands of miles, like Wild Salmon
(which are already on the brink of extinction I might add).
These farms have around 10 'pools', filled to the brim with fish (so no room for them to swim around
freely and explore their natural habitat).
The water is full of fish excrement (which causes many diseases, infections and parasites),
artificial chemicals such as antibiotics which attempt to combat these diseases and keep the fish alive
(and because fish become so stressed in these conditions, their immune systems shut down).
They are also used to make the fish grow faster and unnaturally larger however, overuse of these
chemicals causes antibiotic resistant infections in those consuming them.
Forced into these conditions, these fish are prone to physical injuries such as
fin damage or spinal deformities and any of these 'sick' or 'unhealthy' fish are removed from the tank
and either slammed against walls (as is, I believe, the 'quickest' method to kill them)
or are hit over the head before being bled out.
The 'healthy' fish are gassed via carbon dioxide, electrically stunned, have their gills sliced without stunning or are simply left to suffocate.
All in all, fish are treated horrifically in aquafarms.
THIS JUST AFFECTS THE FISH IN THE FARMS THOUGH RIGHT?
Nope. Wild fish swimming through or around these farms are also adversely affected by the
faeces, diseases and parasitic infections that come with them.
Wild salmon can spread sea lice, a parasite that latches onto salmons’ bodies and feeds on their flesh and blood, causing painful lesions and sometimes mass death. They can also evolve resistance to the antibiotics.
Other infections include whirling disease, which infects salmon and trout populations and crayfish plague, a water mold that infects and kills crayfish within weeks.
Some fish manage to escape into the ocean and breed with wild fish populations although their weak genetic composition results in offspring who die off quickly, threatening the wild population’s existence.
HOW ARE THE FISH CAUGHT EXACTLY?
There are several methods used, (it's a bit dull this bit but bear with me), the most common being:
Longline fisheries - 40 miles of monofilament fishing line dangling thousands of individually baited hooks,
used vertically or horizontally, to ensnare fish such as tuna and swordfish
(a method that has caused their decline by 90% since industrialised fishing began)
Other methods include:
Beam trawlers - heavy duty nets attached to a steel beam holding the nets open
- the belly of the net is made of chains which are dragged along the seabed disturbing the sand
and sediment in order to scoop up whatever it can
Purse seining - a vertical net 'curtain' used to catch single-species fish like tuna and mackerel
Otter trawling - a large fish net that is dragged behind a research vessel along the sea bottom or the pelagic zone, used to catch round fish living above the sea bottom such as whiting and cod
Bottom trawling - a practice that herds and captures anything on the seabed, like ground fish or crabs, by towing a net along the ocean floor
Gill nets - walls of fine netting in which fish become snared, often by the gills and then suffocate
because they can't breathe or they remain trapped in the nets for hours until they're dragged from the sea, being mutilated in the process
These nets cause the majority of deaths of hundreds of thousands of marine mammals.
Trawler vessels are used in almost every country across the world.
Generally used for small scale fisheries but in some cases, trawlers also go deep sea fishing.
Commercial fishers use vast factory-style trawlers the size of football fields to catch fish.
Miles-long nets stretch across the ocean, capturing everyone in their path.
IS THAT THE 'DULL' BIT OVER?
Yes. Yes it is.
Every time these methods are used, trillions of non-target species of fish and marine life who are simply
in the wrong place, at the wrong time, are also dragged from the sea, alongside the fish these
workers are trying to catch.
Yes, it's called bycatch (how did you know that?) and it causes large-scale death of marine life and ecosystem imbalance, with many predatory fishes like sharks being accidentally caught in fishing nets.
In addition to the turtles, juvenile fish and invertebrates that get swept up in trawling nets,
phytoplankton (which absorbs carbon) and deep sea corals are hidden victims of trawling.
THEY'RE IMPORTANT AREN'T THEY?
Just a bit. Phytoplankton are the base of several aquatic food webs and provide food for a
wide range of sea creatures.
In a balanced ecosystem, they play a vital role in the natural carbon cycle, helping to regulate the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere and keep the Earth's climate in balance.
Deep sea coral forests, are some of the most biodiverse ecosystems with high degrees of endemism (species found only there), and can take centuries to form.
But when a trawler runs over them again and again to catch fish, they’re destroyed, and so is the whole community that had formed around them.
WHY DOES ALL THIS HAPPEN LEE?
Because, again, we pay for it to. Because we keep buying and eating fish. And crabs. And lobsters. And prawns. And squid.
And because this 'business' makes certain people A LOT of money and A LOT of profit...
no matter what the cost.
And guess what they use to feed those farmed fish?
FISH? THEY FEED FISH TO FISH?
Yep. Huge amounts of feed, made from wild fish harvested from the sea.
Many farmed fish are carnivores like sea bass and salmon and are fed fish that are caught in the wild.
So when you're buying farmed fish, you're also causing the suffering of wild fish too.
Farmed salmon in particular are fed pellets made out of (put your fork down) ground-up chicken feathers, poultry litter (poo!), fish oil, smaller fish, genetically modified yeast, soybeans and chicken fat.
This is what the fish you eat, eat.
HANG ON, SO WE'RE TAKING FISH FROM THE SEA AND KILLING THEM, TO FEED TO FISH FROM THE SEA?
Yes. So we can kill and eat THOSE fish. Insane isn't it?
All when we simply don't have to.
All to satisfy something as unimportant and trivial as our 'taste buds'.
THEY'RE KILLED QUICKLY THOUGH RIGHT, THE FISH?
If you call being impaled, crushed, frozen (an excruciatingly painful method that is supposed to stun the fish yet is rarely effective), suffocated, sliced open, bludgeoned, eviscerated, beheaded, gutted,
flayed or boiled - all whilst still fully conscious - 'quickly' then yes.
The reality of it, is that fish have long, slow, painful deaths lasting over very long periods of time
and in fish slaughterhouses, many fishes bleed out for several hours before they die.
Some fish can even remain conscious for 20 to 40 minutes after being gutted.
What’s worse is that many commercial-grade fishes are never even consumed. About 2 billion pounds of fish are discarded every year in the U.S. alone.
WHAT A WASTE!
Of life yes.
Imagine being born into existence, trapped your entire life and then violently
and needlessly killed at the end of it? Wouldn't you rather not exist?
Fish are treated as objects rather than individuals and are cared for a lot less than the other animals in agriculture (and that's saying something considering how badly they are treated)
They are all however exploited, abused, tortured and needlessly murdered.
THEY'RE NOT AWARE OF IT THOUGH?
Of course they're aware of it!
ARE THEY THOUGH? HOW DO WE KNOW THAT?
We don't. Scientists do.
There are many, many studies and trials proving that fish are aware of pain and suffering.
WHERE ARE THESE 'STUDIES' THEN?
How come 90% of being vegan is just sending conclusive, peer-reviewed scientific studies to online wallies,
when they can just as easily Google them themselves? It takes seconds to find this stuff!
Look... fish can communicate, make tools, have emotional states, cognitive abilities and are self-aware, responsive and conscious.
They have social hierarchies, form close friendships between different species and community bonds. They have a highly developed nervous system like land mammals and they have
'access consciousness' - the ability to have thoughts and memories -
to think about things past or present.
In the peer-reviewed journal, Fish and Fisheries, biologists wrote that fish are "steeped in social intelligence, pursuing Machiavellian strategies of manipulation, punishment and reconciliation, exhibiting stable cultural traditions, and cooperating to inspect predators and catch food."
THEY HAVE A 3-SECOND MEMORY THOUGH?
That's a myth.
It's a myth! There is zero scientific evidence to prove that fish have 3-second memories.
It's just a silly assumption we make, based on cartoons of goldfishes spending every day in the same
circular bowl and therefore experiencing the same things over and over again.
They endure monotony and boredom - not a failing memory. They know they're bored.
However there IS significant scientific evidence which shows fish have great memories and can even remember things for up to 5 MONTHS!
(which is more than can be said for the average human - I can't even remember if I've had lunch today or not?)
Scientific studies aside, just spend some time watching a fish! You will see clear examples of sentience.
Yes. That means they are able to see or feel things through the senses.
They have the capability to feel pain (which is why they avoid unpleasant experiences like electric shocks, high temperatures or harmful chemicals)
as well as experience happiness, pleasure, fear and excitement for example.
As a child, I had two pet goldfish (called 'Maggie' and 'Brenda'!) who I adored and I used to spend hours watching them and getting to know them.
Seeing what things they loved and didn't love, what made them happy or sad.
It doesn't take long before you realise there is a 'someone' inside that tiny body of theirs.
We just need to take the time to connect with them and to recognise the signs.
A 'SOMEONE'? THEY'RE A FISH!
They're sentient, therefore they are a someone. They are individuals, each with their own, unique experiences, their own emotions and their own lives.
They are a someone.
Every fish, just like every bird, gerbil, guinea pig, dog or cat, has their own personality, habits, likes and dislikes. Some are happy, some are grumpy. They get stressed, they get annoyed. Some are chaotic, some are calm. Some fish are excitable, some get depressed.
Up to a quarter of fish on fish farms float listlessly at the surface of the water of their enclosures. A study found that these fish were found to have elevated levels of cortisol, the hormone related to stress,
and their brain chemistry was very similar to that of a human suffering from depression.
Fish kept in tanks will sometimes come close to the glass because they recognise you,
are curious about you or may want attention from you.
They swim around like crazy and do tricks, they recognise each other after spending time together,
they play with each other, they hide and they remember what excites them or what hurts them.
They may even swim away and hide as soon as you appear to avoid being hurt or caught.
Dive guides have been known to name friendly fish who follow divers around and enjoy being petted,
just as dogs and cats do.
Fish are highly intelligent animals man. They do what animals do.
THERE ARE STUDIES TO PROVE ALL THIS?
Yes! TONS of them!
One example was a tank study with a group of fish, where a leaver was set up inside which, whenever it was pressed, would release food into the tank. Once the fish discovered the leaver did this, they kept returning over and over again to pull down the leaver in order to get more food.
What’s even more impressive is that the fish learned to press the leaver at a specific time of day.
Researchers in charge of the study, adjusted the leaver so that it would only release food at a specific time of the day. The fish learned this and so came back at that specific time to try pressing the leaver!
SO FISH CAN... TELL THE TIME?
I guess they can yes!
There were other, less enjoyable, studies where Rainbow trout had been injected in the lips with acetic acid
(a noxious substance). The trout were then observed rubbing their lips on the substrate of the tank and displayed a rocking behaviour, as well as a faster breathing rate. It also took them 3 hours before they could begin feeding again.
In a separate study, when morphine was administered to the fish, these effects were reduced.
They also recognise sounds!
Yep. Fish communicate through a range of low-frequency sounds - from buzzes and clicks to yelps and sobs. These sounds, which we can only really hear using special instruments, communicate emotional states such as alarm or delight and help with courtship.
Atlantic croakers, for example, croak when they are frightened. You can listen HERE.
Scientists also use sound for communication between fishes like mating behaviour,
the detection of prey and predators, orientation, migration and habitat selection.
There was another study where researchers played a specific sound underwater every time a group of fish were fed. The fish were then released into the wild.
Five months later, the sound was played again in the water and the fish returned to their original feeding place! These tests have been done before to move fish back to areas with severely damaged coral reefs.
The fish hear the sound they associate with a healthy coral reef and so they return to it.
I know right? You can't do all that with only a 3-second memory can you?
HOW DO YOU KNOW THEY FEEL PAIN THOUGH? THEY HARDLY SCREAM DO THEY?
Just because we can't hear them or understand them, does that mean they can't suffer?
Just because they're silent and can't vocalise their pain like a cow or a pig can, does that mean their suffering doesn't exist?
If they didn't feel pain, why are they given antibiotics and painkillers (Analgesics) to reduce the symptoms of pain that they would otherwise show?
The American Veterinary Medical Association’s guidelines for the euthanasia of animals say that,
"Suggestions that finfish responses to pain merely represent simple reflexes have been refuted. … the preponderance of accumulated evidence supports the position that finfish should be accorded the same considerations as terrestrial vertebrates in regard to relief from pain."
Fish have an elaborate system of sensory cells around their mouths - the very place anglers' hooks are embedded. Are you telling me that doesn't hurt a living animal?
Fish also have 'endogenous opioids' which are substances produced in the brain in order to reduce pain.
Why are they there? If these animals don't experience pain?
Victoria Braithwaite, Penn State professor of fisheries and biology, has spent decades studying fish and said,
“in our experiments we showed that if we hurt fish, they react, and then if we give them pain relief, they change their behavior, strongly indicating that they feel pain.”
She goes on to say, “there is as much evidence that fish feel pain and suffer
as there is for birds and mammals.”
A scientific panel for the European Union also concluded that the evidence shows that fish DO feel pain
Watch this short clip entitled 'Silent Scream' from PETA (it's not as bad as it looks):
Fish have no legal protection from cruel treatment and so are treated worse than any other animal living
(or dying!) today.
These beautiful, complex beings are integral to the earth's ecosystem yet we treat them like mere objects whose only purpose on this earth is to feed us.
But guess what?
THEY AREN'T HERE FOR US.
Just like any other animal ISN'T here for us - we need to STOP thinking that way.
They are NOT our property, nor are they ours for us to be able to do whatever we want to them.
WE BREED THEM SO WE CAN EAT THEM.
Your mother bred you. Can we eat you?
Why not? Your cat was bred, can we eat her?
IF THEY'RE NOT HERE FOR US, WHAT ARE THEY HERE FOR THEN?
What are YOU here for?
To kill other animals? To destroy the planet? To help start global pandemics?
You don't know do you?
What you do know however is that you aren't here to be abused, slaughtered and eaten,
despite there being other animals more than capable of doing so.
So if we wouldn't like that being done to us, why do we feel we can do that to another species of animal?
IT FEELS A BIT MAD TALKING LIKE THIS ABOUT FISH...
Yet here we are. Fish are animals. And you abuse them.
You pay for them to suffer, be killed and then you eat them.
Even if there was no absolute proof that fish feel pain (there is and they do), should we not take measures to
make sure that animals don't suffer by our actions anyway? Just in case?
I mean, would you slam a bird against a wall if you were unsure whether it could feel pain or not?
WELL OF COURSE NOT!
No further questions your honour.
SO FISH DO FEEL PAIN?
They have nerves, spinal chords, pain receptors (called 'nociceptors'), endorphins and brains - so yes,
of course fish feel pain - both physically and psychologically.
Have you ever seen a fish being gutted alive?
NO. YOU'RE NOT GOING TO SHOW ME ARE YOU?
No. It's not a pretty sight. There's a video about it below. You should take a look anyway. One look.
Just so you know.
Some countries even eat fish and other marine animals whilst they're alive - imagine that?
Honestly, if you saw the (real) footage of this stuff, I wouldn't need to write this blog.
Do me a favour and watch Seaspiracy on Netflix?
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
WHAT ABOUT FISHING THEN?
It's animal abuse.
*clears throat* IT'S ANIMAL ABUSE.
You're repeatedly catching wild animals by teasing them with food (made from other living beings),
piercing them with sharp hooks, dragging them from their natural habitat
(causing their internal organs to rupture from the rapid pressure changes),
traumatising and abusing them and all so you can 'have a photo'.
What's 'therapy' for you, is a living hell for the victims involved.
WE RELEASE THEM AFTERWARDS?
That's what kidnappers say.
IT'S DONE HUMANELY!
The word 'humane' means - 'having or showing compassion or benevolence.'
Does catching something in the wild using 'barbed hooks' sound 'humane' to you?
You're torturing wild animals for 'sport'.
Nothing that involves the painful exploitation and abuse of animals is 'humane'.
I DISAGREE LEE
More than 100 million sharks are killed every year and are the victims of 'finning' in which fishers catch them, haul them on deck, hack off their fins (for expensive 'shark fin soup'), and toss the maimed, helpless animals back into the ocean to die in agony.
Does that sound 'humane'?
In Iceland today, despite six out of 13 whale species remaining either endangered or vulnerable to extinction, whales are hunted for their flesh in extremely cruel ways.
Grenades are attached to harpoons that are fired into the whale’s body. When the grenade explodes the whale is (hopefully) stunned and hauled aboard a ship where it can take hours to die.
However, often the lines will break and the injured whale will sink back into the water where it bleeds to death.
Is that 'HUMANE'?
Question: Why do you think fish struggle, squirm and wriggle like hell when they're dragged out of the water?
No. They are defence and fear behaviours. They are indicators of an increase in fearfulness, wariness, and a generalisation of a bad experience.
SO THEY JUST WANT TO GET AWAY?
Exactly. And can you blame them?
Their behaviour is a conscious reaction to the stress and the pain they feel when a hook pierces their
lips, jaws, gills or body. Not only are they afraid but they're in actual, physical pain.
They're fighting to stay alive.
Their cortisol (a hormone that's released during times of stress) levels are raised when they're taken from their safe habitat and held or placed in a bucket!
Trials have shown that fish such as common carp and pike, after being caught just once, can avoid anglers' hooks for up to a year after.
In another experiment, paradise fish were given an electric shock when they entered a black compartment. They subsequently avoided the black compartment and learned to activate an escape hatch to avoid further shocks.
Anglers claim that fish 'don't feel pain', yet they go to great lengths to hide their hooks with bait and lures. Why do you think that is?
When zero pain relief is given to injured fish, they tend to show hovering behaviour or a
'rocking motion' and they become less active.
Reflex responses are instantaneous. They happen within a few seconds but some of the responses of fish when they're in pain can last 3 to 6 hours!
You can't pass this off as 'reflexes'.
Trust me, (or the science) or the victims themselves... fish know what suffering is.
Despite receiving painful, often fatal, injuries whilst being captured, and because some of these fish can continue with the injuries endured, some fish will come back for more food, therefore anglers tend
to believe that the fish are therefore ok.
That they're somehow able to 're-heal' themselves!?
Thanks to science, we of course know different.
Studies have shown that fish who have been hooked, are unable to suck their food in properly after the trauma and therefore experience a 35 percent reduction in feeding ability, which eventually can lead to them starving to death.
One scientist says, “The physiological stress is enormous. Even if they swim off, a lot of those fish will be easy prey because they’re in a stunned condition when they’re released.”
BUT IT'S A SPORT!
A 'sport' that kills millions and millions of fish every year.
SO IT'S JUST THE HOOKS THAT ARE THE PROBLEM?
If fish are taken out of their natural environment and pulled into ours, there is a sudden change in pressure and so they begin to suffocate.
Their gills often collapse, and their swim bladders can rupture.
So no, it isn't just the hooks. It's humans that are the problem.
I STILL LIKE EATING FISH LEE.
Of course you do. But that doesn't morally justify the cruelty does it?
Do you also like funding animal cruelty too?
Anyway, you're not just eating them. You're also eating everything they eat too.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN?
We eat what they eat and thanks to humans being shite with their shite, fish eat a lot of shite.
WHY, WHAT DO THEY EAT?
What DON'T they eat? Fish swallow:
* MICROPLASTICS - (Plastic breaks down into smaller pieces known as microplastics. Microplastics outnumber the amount of stars in the milky way by 500 times!)
* SYNTHETIC AND SEMI-SYNTHETIC FIBRES - (polyester and viscose are the most common)
* FISHING PARAPHERNALIA - (hooks, nets, lures, etc.)
* DRUGS AND CHEMICAL WASTE - (which settle on the ocean floor, as well as remain inside the bodies of the fish as we consume them)
* LITTER - (there's 150 millions tons of plastic already floating in the sea)
* DYES - (used to make the flesh of salmon appear pinker and more 'appealing')
* FUNGICIDES - (which inhibit the growth of fungus on fish eggs)
* LEAKING OIL OR GASOLINE FROM BOATS
* SYNTHETIC PESTICIDES
* HEAVY METALS
* DOG WASTE
* FAECES - (including human)
* POLLUTANTS - (including dioxins and PCBs that are thought to increase risks of cancer
and interrupt the endocrine system)
WAIT... WHAT? FAECES?
Yep. Where do you think our waste is being pumped?
(Answer: on this occasion, it's Hampshire!)
Here's an interesting fact for you:
* The equivalent of a garbage truck load of plastic is dumped in the sea every. single. minute *
National Geographic reports that most of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (the world’s largest collection of floating trash) is made up of 'abandoned fishing gear'
with 46% of the garbage pile comprised of fishing nets.
Many marine animals such as dolphins have died from asphyxiation after choking on fish who had fishing tackle still attached.
As well as being detrimental to the health and lives of all marine life, non-marine animals are also
adversely affected by fishing.
Discarded monofilament fishing line is the number one killer of adult brown pelicans.
Ospreys sometimes use discarded fishing line in their nests and both parents and their young have been found entangled in it or impaled on fishing hooks.
Thousands of other wading and diving birds become entangled in abandoned fishing line, sometimes struggling for days before they die from drowning, starvation, dehydration or strangulation.
JESUS. IS THERE ANY 'GOOD' NEWS?
Yes! You don't HAVE to eat seafood!
As well as it's enormously damaging impact on the environment, the consuming of fish also has a significant impact on our own health.
Like all animal flesh, the flesh of sea animals contain excessive amounts of protein, saturated fats and cholesterol but also large amounts of mercury, which is impossible to avoid when eating fish.
A study of the nation’s freshwater waterways concluded that one in four fish is
contaminated with levels of mercury that exceed government standards for safety.
Methyl mercury has been linked to cardiovascular disease, fetal brain damage, blindness, deafness, and problems with motor skills, language and attention span.
Pregnant women are advised by the Environmental Protection Agency and the FDA not to eat fish to protect their babies from mercury contamination.
What does that tell you?
It is also advised that children refrain from eating fish such as shark, swordfish, and king mackerel and to consume less than 12 ounces a week of other fish flesh, should they need to (no one needs to)
WHAT ABOUT OMEGA 3?
Fish actually contain a very small amount of Omega 3 and instead contain a dangerous amount of Omega 6 which can cause cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.
CHRIST, HERE WE GO AGAIN...
There are extremely high levels of harmful carcinogenic chemical residues contained in fish like dioxins, Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether (PBDE), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and dibutyltin which can cause thyroid cancer, weaken our immune system
and cause a host of other reproductive and developmental problems.
SO OMEGA 3?
Fish get it from plants! (Plants do anything and everything - they're remarkable!)
So we can get exactly what the fish get but without it being passed through another animal first.
We don't need to remove a fish from their natural habitat, damage the planet in the process,
put our health at risk and slaughter the fish unnecessarily - all just to get that tiny amount of protein.
We can get it easily, and more direct, from plant-based foods or supplements.
I myself, take an Omega 3 supplement every other day - which is derived directly from algae - the very thing the fish are getting theirs from - and that's it!
They have the EXACT same health benefits along with nuts, canola oil, walnuts, flax seeds,
chia seeds and avocados in which we get all the goodness we need without all the
dangerous elements of eating fish.
SO WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST LEE?
I suggest you leave fish alone.
They're yet another innocent animal being abused and exploited by us for our own selfish needs
when they've done nothing to deserve it.
What they actually deserve is some compassion.
"Is the suffering of a drawn-out death something that is cruel to inflict on any animal that can experience it, or just some animals? Just how distant are fish from us in the scheme of life?
Is it a chasm or a tree that defines the distance? If we were to one day encounter a form of life
more powerful and intelligent than our own and it regarded us as we regard fish,
what would our argument be against being eaten? The lives of billions of animals a year
and the health of the largest ecosystem on our planet [our oceans] hang on the thinly
reasoned answers we give to these questions."
- Eating Animals, Jonathan Safran Foer
SO IF WE STOPPED EATING FISH, WHAT WOULD HAPPEN? WE'D BE OVERPOPULATED BY FISH?
You don't live in the ocean do you?
If we stopped eating fish and other marine animals, their welfare and their populations would improve in so many ways. Nature would balance itself out once again.
The amount of fish (especially the big ones) left in the sea would reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions released into the Earth's atmosphere.
This is because when a fish dies in the ocean it sinks to the depths and sequestrates all the carbon it contains with it.
Underwater ecosystems would be able to heal and regenerate after all this time, not to mention fish populations being able to thrive and struggling wild species allowed to flourish once again.
Fish farming and all the destruction it causes would stop due to everyone moving to delicious, healthier, more sustainable, cruelty-free, plant-based alternatives.
Do you have kids?
Ask them if they want to eat a fish.
Ask them if they'd find nourishment in Nemo. Or if they could dine on Dory. Ask them if they could happily munch on any of The Little Mermaid's friends.
Tell me what they say.
Kids LOVE fish. But not to eat. The only reason they eat them (disguised as 'fish fingers' or 'fish cakes') is because we're feeding them to our children, with them being oblivious to what it actually is they're chewing on.
If we hide this stuff from our children, if we can't tell them what it is they're eating, for fear of
upsetting or traumatising them, should they really be eating it?
Let fish, and all other aquatic animals, live their lives as they want.
Not dictated by you and your silly, meaningless taste preferences.
It's unethical, immoral and unsustainable.
The science is there - it tells you that you don't need to be killing fish and eating them anymore.
Therefore you have no morally justifiable reason to do it.
Why risk both yours and an innocent animal's life, when you can BOTH just live them?
“The ocean needs action, not talk. People need to stop eating fish… to be educated that our very survival as a species depends 100 percent on a healthy ocean and that when the ocean dies, we all die
– every single one of us.”
- Captain Paul Watson, the founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Today, for every 10 sharks, tuna and other large predatory fish that were in our oceans 50 to 100 years ago, only one is left and that’s because we are choosing to still eat fish.
All when there are plenty more equally tasty alternatives out there that didn't have eyes, a head, a brain,
a personality and the want to live.
*** CHECK THESE INCREDIBLE ALTERNATIVES TO FISH BELOW ***
(courtesy of The Vegan Society)
Grains, legumes, vegetables, nuts and seeds also provide all the essential amino acids that you need.
Products like mock lobster, mock shrimp and mock crab have all the taste of the 'real thing' but nothing needs to die, destroy the planet or poison you in the process.
How we see fish today is based on outdated opinions - we need to reconsider the ethics of eating fish.
Show them compassion. Eliminate them from your diet.
Eat something else. You can do it.
THERE'S PLENTY MORE FISH IN THE SEA EH?
Carry on as you are and there won't be.
IT WAS JUST A JOKE LEE.
There's a time and a plaice.
'BUT WE'RE MEANT TO EAT MEAT LEE! WE'RE CARNIVORES!'
WHAT? WE ARE!
WELL, WE'RE OMNIVORES THEN!
WHAT ARE WE THEN?
What do you think early man's first ever meal was?
How could it have been meat? We've been evolving as primates for around 57-85/90 million years
and the incorporation of meat and marrow from large animals, only occurred at least
2.6 million years ago.
Early humans had no idea they could eat animals at first, let alone know how to hunt and catch one (remember, this was pre-tools and pre-fire!)
SO WHAT DID THEY EAT THEN, SMART ARSE?
Early humans (hominins) ate whatever they could find to survive and therefore evolved from a
daily plant-based diet which included plants, fruit, berries, tubas, bark, flowers, nuts, grains,
legumes, seeds and some insects.
We have come a long way from how our ancestors once lived.
One thing's for certain, human beings were not born with a natural instinct to kill and eat animals - that has never existed and it doesn't exist today.
If it did, we'd be leaping on every dog that walked past us with a knife and fork in our hands!
Most of us, even as adults, could think of nothing worse than abusing or slaughtering a defenceless animal,
let alone having an innate drive to do so.
We have no carnivorous or omnivorous instincts whatsoever.
We were ALL BORN VEGAN.
Think about it. We loved and respected animals when we were young. We certainly never wanted to harm them or eat them ourselves, we only acquired a taste for meat, dairy and eggs after being fed them
continuously during childhood.
Even today, if a child sees an animal, particularly a baby animal, they want to stroke them, play with them and to love and take care of them. Under no circumstances do they ever want to bite the animal's throat to cut off their oxygen, to tear them open and feast on their insides to obtain the nutrients from them.
“If someone out there truly believes humans are meat eaters, find a 2-year-old child, place the child in a crib, and in the crib put two things: a live bunny rabbit and an apple.
If the child plays with the apple and eats the bunny rabbit, would you let me know, because I’m going to come back and buy everyone in this room a brand new car if that happens.” - Gary Yourofsky
BUT WE'RE APEX PREDATORS LEE!
Tell that to the sharks, bears, wolves, crocodiles, tigers, leopards and lions! Or the killer whale (Orcinus orca) - the world's largest apex predator – and one of the world's largest carnivores!
At the top of the food chain are animals that don't have any predators themselves, with polar bears and orca whales occupying the highest position, so that already rules us out.
In fact, that puts us right in the middle of the food chain. We sit somewhere between pigs and anchovies.
We're not 'top of the food chain', nor are we 'apex predators'. How can we be 'apex' when there were, and still are, genuine meat-eating predators that are bigger than us, stronger than us and could easily kill us?
The only thing we're 'top of' is the 'Species Who Are Good At Wiping Themselves Out' list!
A lot of non-vegans like to (regularly) liken humans to 'lions in the jungle' although 'consuming meat' is the only similarity to lions they can find. After all, lions also rape, sniff each other's arses, and kill their own children so I'm not sure 'we're like lions' is a justifiable excuse for eating animals.
OK BUT WE HAVE SHARP CANINES?
Pah, those little things? They struggle tearing the sellotape, let alone biting through the thick skin or the raw flesh of a pig, a cow or a sheep.
Our ancestors' canine teeth were actually used in battle, when fighting for mating rights against rivals,
rather than for tearing into animal flesh.
Our close relatives, gorillas they use their fangs for warding off competitors in the fight for female companionship and the male with the longest canines often wins the troop of female gorillas.
Besides, not everyone has 'sharp' canines, but we do all have incisors and molars.
Canines are designed for tearing flesh and crushing bones but our teeth are short, flat and blunt for grinding up and chewing fruit and vegetables and for biting into hard, crunchy things like apples, which incidentally, is why our lower jaw can not only move up and down but also from side to side, as all natural herbivores' jaws can.
Carnivores and omnivores' jaws only go up and down for ripping and swallowing.
And our POO!
There is new evidence to suggest there was 100g of fibre in early hominoid poo - which suggests
they ate A LOT of plants!
Also, our SALIVA! We have carbohydrate digestive enzymes in our saliva! Something ONLY herbivores possess. Which means we're supposed to be eating tons of carbohydrates like fruit and vegetables.
Carnivores and omnivores also have strong claws and paws. Where's ours? I even broke a nail typing this!
We're not colour blind either! Most carnivores have only two pigments so are colour blind. Whereas we see in colour and can see all the bright colouration of flowers, fruits and vegetables.
We even sweat through our pores to cool ourselves down - carnivores and omnivores have to pant to do so! We don't pant! Do you pant?
ONLY WHEN I WALK UP THE STAIRS...
Most carnivores hunt their prey at night while they're sleeping and most vulnerable.
We only eat during the day (unless there's something good on Netflix!)
We're 100%, anatomically and physiologically, HERBIVOROUS!
BUT... OUR TEETH?
You're obsessed! Who cares who has the biggest teeth? As if the size of my teeth makes it acceptable for me to pay someone to murder an animal on my behalf!
If you still want to use the 'canine argument', then hippos have the largest canines of any land animal and guess what they eat...
Yippo. PLANTS! They're herbivores. In fact, 75% of animals on this planet are herbivorous.
And did you also know the world's strongest animals are all plant eaters?
Yep. Gorillas, buffaloes, camels, elephants and rhinos (who all have considerably large canines) all eat plants.
WHAT'S YOUR POINT?
We're rubbish! We're speciesist. We're animals who see ourselves as morally superior to any other animal species. We see them as inferior, and we think 'might means right' just because we have more intelligence.
YOU DON'T THOUGH?
I don't what?
YOU DON'T SEE THINGS LIKE THAT?
Oh, I thought you meant I don't have intelligence...
No. I don't see things like that at all. Intelligence doesn't make us more important than anyone else
nor does it morally justify our actions.
I might be more intelligent than you...
Yes. However it doesn't make my life more important than yours does it?
Nor should it mean I can abuse or exploit you because of it.
I SHOULD HOPE NOT!
Pigs are treated horrendously in the animal agriculture industry yet are considerably
more intelligent than dogs and 3-year old children. So the 'intelligence argument' doesn't work.
SO EARLY HUMANS?
As the Earth got significantly hotter and drier and as the temperature rose, the forests shrank and green plants became scarcer. This forced early humans to find new sources of energy and they eventually worked out that they could eat and consume the marrow from inside the bones of animal corpses that had already been killed by predators.
Imagine being that guy? "Kevin, we're all having lunch in the... what on earth are you doing?!?"
They also discovered that they would need to kill animals for food themselves, just like the other non-human animals had been doing and that it was now necessary for their survival.
However, getting lucky in catching and then eating these animals was new to them and so it was a once a month (if lucky), whenever they could, type of experience.
Eating animal flesh was not an every day, with every single meal, all-the-time kind of thing.
That would have been impossible.
These hunter-gatherers soon discovered they couldn't physically do this with their soft fingernails, flat molars and, compared to most other animals, their ridiculously slow speed.
So early humans had to make tools to help them. And when they discovered fire (roughly 800,000 years ago) - it changed everything.
You see, we can't kill animals with our hands alone, with what we have been given - we're not designed to.
We need to make guns, knives and traps in order to do so. How is any of that a 'part of nature'?
If we ARE natural 'omnivores', we are the only 'omnivores' that have to cook our meals thoroughly and
prepare our food properly before we eat it!
Hmm so natural!
I mean, lions and wolves are always carving their own weapons and cooking their deer thoroughly on a stove before devouring them aren't they? *rolls eyes*
If we were MEANT to be catching and killing animals, we would be able to do it naturally would we not?
We would be able to jump on an animal using our animal instinct
and rip it open using our fingernails and our teeth.
Not only that but we should WANT to.
The animal agriculture industry want us to think that the animals they exploit, abuse and kill, all live happy, carefree lives when it's anything but that. So they feed us lies and fakeries to help convince us to purchase these victims and to fund this cruel industry - no matter how unethical, immoral and unhealthy it all is
- all so that they can make money from it.
They do whatever they can to stop people seeing slaughterhouse footage however, if it was 'natural' and we were MEANT to eat animals and if we 'enjoyed' killing and eating them, as is our 'nature' (apparently),
then slaughterhouse footage should be readily available and shouldn't upset or traumatise anyone, should it?
If we were MEANT to eat flesh, the very idea of tearing open an animal's stomach and letting their insides pour out should make us salivate and feel hungry, rather than feel sick (to the stomach).
If we attempted to attack a pig in this way, without 'man-made' weapons, they wouldn't fear us, instead they would most probably roll over at our feet and expect us to rub their belly while they have a kip.
Pigs love doing that!
And our stomachs too.
Yes. Carnivores need extremely acidic stomach juices in order to lyse the protein and to break down animal flesh. They also have strong enzymes in their stomach which break it down and kill bacteria.
Whereas we have weak hydrochloric acid and a less acidic stomach PH to digest prechewed fruits and vegetables. This is also why we get sick if we don't cook our animal flesh properly or long enough.
Our bodies are designed to function on plant-based foods that are full of fibre, unsaturated fat, phytochemicals, and cholesterol-free protein.
Our digestive system is mostly likened to a cow's - another legendary herbivore!
The length of our intestines are between 7 - 13 times the length of our torso - the same length as all herbivore intestines, allowing us to slowly break down the fibre and absorb nutrients from plant-based food, while the length of the intestines on 'real' meat eaters is only 3 - 6 times the length of their torso. This allows the digestion of decaying and rotting animal flesh to take place easily and faster.
True carnivores and omnivores don't waste their food either. As well as the flesh, they consume the organs, brains, intestines, blood, tendons, cartilage, fur, anus, toes, tail and the ligaments. We wouldn't dream of putting any of that stuff in our bodies would we? Would you?
I'lL bE bAcK iN a MiNuTe...
If we were meant to naturally eat animals, raw and quite literally, 'in the flesh', we wouldn't be choosy about which bits we swallowed. If we were hungry, we'd be fine eating the brain, the digestive system, the lot.
Remember how freaked out people were when Gabrielle found a southern fried chicken head in her KFC hot wing meal? There was outrage!
'How dare KFC make me confront the reality that what I'm eating was once a living, breathing being with eyes,
a face and a personality!'
But why was there outrage, if we're MEANT to eat chickens?
How does that make sense?
It's the same reason these 'true carnivores' can't watch slaughterhouse footage because seeing animals being killed is too upsetting. That and it's so gory and gruesome that it puts them off their food
(which is killed animals).
OH MAN, YOU'VE GOT A POINT THERE...
OK LISTEN... even if we WERE opportunistic omnivores (we're not), who thrive on plants but have the ability to consume and digest flesh too... the whole carnivore/omnivore/herbivore/frugivore debate is irrelevant.
Regardless of what we think we are, the reality is that
none of it provides a moral justification for us to abuse, exploit, kill and eat another living being when we no longer need to.
Just because we CAN do something, does not mean that it is ethical for us to do it.
We CAN eat animal flesh, just like we CAN eat human flesh - we could even eat our pets if we wanted to but it doesn't mean we're MEANT to, nor that we should.
Imagine if someone wanted to hurt, slaughter and consume your dog or your cat?
Would they be allowed to, just because they CAN?
It would be unnecessary, unethical and cruel wouldn't it?
We're no longer cavemen, living in the wild, hunting for food and trying to survive.
We have mortgages, smart phones, pot noodles and ASDA!
Consuming 'meat and dairy' doesn't just harm the animals, it can also harm us.
Would something that's classed as a 'Group 1 carcinogen - the same category as tobacco smoking and asbestos' be something we are MEANT to consume?
Would something that can cause...
Esophagus, liver, and lung cancer
High blood pressure
Chronic Kidney disease
...be something we're MEANT to eat?
ARE ALL THESE THINGS CAUSED BY EATING ANIMALS LEE?
Other things can cause these illnesses to occur such as smoking, drinking and stress but the 4 main things that cause the above illnesses are...
* cholesterol *
* saturated fat *
* trans fatty acids *
* animal protein *
...and they are ALL found in milk, cheese, meat and eggs.
Animal flesh, unless cooked properly, also gives us...
Giving us symptoms such as...
Not to mention all the...
Zoonotic diseases and deadly viruses
Deforestation and forest fires
Abuse of human rights
…and all caused by our unnecessary farming, slaughtering, purchasing and consuming of animals and their by-products.
Does any of that sound like something we should be contributing to?
And if we shouldn't be eating/drinking this stuff,
(note: how we only ever eat or drink the flesh/milk from HERBIVORES, not carnivores or omnivores!)
then should we be feeding it to our children?
(more on this soon...)
I might add that 'REAL' meat eaters (hyenas, bears, tigers, lions etc.) have NEVER suffered from any of these illnesses or diseases.
They NEVER experience clogged arteries or heart disease. What does that tell you?
CHRIST. YOU'RE SAYING ALL THIS TO SCARE ME RIGHT?
Nope. Why on earth would I want to scare you?
TO MAKE ME GO VEGAN LIKE YOU
I don't want to make you go vegan like me.
I would like you to go vegan for the animals. And for you. I want you to stay alive and well.
Besides, I can't MAKE anyone go vegan. Going vegan lies with the individual. Only YOU can choose to remove animal cruelty from your life. All I can do is present you with the things I've learnt.
It doesn't need to be me though. Click the words above - look online, read the peer-reviewed studies, watch the non-biased documentaries (more on these soon...)
It's all there if you look.
IS THERE ANY GOOD NEWS LEE?
A VEGAN diet causes NONE of the things above - not one of them!
No one has ever become ill from eating too many plants! They cannot harm you, they cannot cause a disease (or a pandemic!) and more importantly, no one else is harmed when you eat them.
In fact, a wholefood plant-based vegan diet helps you to stay fitter, healthier and it has even been proved to
help you live longer!
(not to mention help save the planet and all of the animals living on it with us who
simply don't deserve what we do to them)
We know, categorically, that we're able to obtain energy and nutrients from plants (like the animals we eat are) and that we can survive happily without killing animals - plenty of us do it and have been doing it for a long time. Some cultures live their entire lives eating only plants, so we know, without question, that there's no necessity to eat animals anymore and because it's not necessary, it cannot be morally justified.
We have to base our actions on what is right or wrong. Necessary or unnecessary. Moral or immoral.
Killing animals would be justified if we HAD to. It would be forgiven and accepted, as we all need to eat something in order to survive but as luck would have it, plants exist. And thank fuck they do!
I would much rather 'slaughter' a carrot (which has no brain, isn't sentient, has no central nervous system (so cannot feel pain) and has no family - it's a carrot!), than slaughter an animal that has all of these things and that simply wants to live their life. Wouldn't you?
YES. I HATE CARROTS...
Good question. Some people (including pre-vegan me) think that ‘veganism’ means hippies hugging trees, drinking moonshine, wearing paper shoes, snorting flowers and trying to get folk to join your 'cult'...
Cheeky bastards! Here's what veganism actually means:
SO... YOU'RE AGAINST ANIMAL CRUELTY?
Yep. Got it in one! No cult. No moonshine. No paper shoes (they're crap, don't bother!)
We're just simply defending the animals.
AND HOW LONG HAVE VEGANS BEEN DOING THAT?
Evidence of people choosing to avoid animal products can be traced back over 2,000 years!
Whilst the term 'veganism' wasn't used until the 1940's, the concept can be traced back to ancient Indian
and eastern Mediterranean societies.
BIT OF HISTORY?
Sure! As early as 500 BCE, Greek philosopher and maths-legend Pythagoras and his many followers were all practising vegetarianism. Around the same time, Siddhārtha Gautama (aka the 'Buddha') was also discussing vegetarian diets with his followers. Followers of Hinduism and Jainism also advocated vegetarianism, promoting the belief that humans should not inflict pain on other animals.
In 1806, at the age of 41, a chap called Dr. William Lambe (ironic eh?) adopted an exclusively plant-based diet as a result of health problems. At the time, it was common for people following a 'vegetable diet' to consume dairy products, but Dr. Lambe rejected these products as well, making him one of the first 'vegans' as we know it today.
Here he is look...
'My reason for objecting to every species of matter to be used as food, except the direct produce of the earth – as maybe seen in my last publication - is founded on the broad ground that no other matter is suited to the organs of man. This applies then with the same force to eggs, milk, cheese, and fish, as to flesh meat.' - Dr William Lambe
THANKS FOR THAT. DO YOU LIKE BEING VEGAN LEE?
God I love it! It's the best decision I've ever made. Everyone should be vegan!
THEN WHY AREN'T THEY?
Dunno. There are a ton of possible excus... reasons.
'EXPENSIVE!' and 'ELITIST!'
No. Meat and dairy are the most expensive foods available, whereas fruit, vegetables, beans, nuts, pasta, rice, etc. are the cheapest foods available!
(Trust me, I haven't got a plant-based pot to piss in but I still eat like a king!)
Processed foods like nuggets and burgers can be expensive in certain supermarkets but as
more and more people are going plant-based now, the demand is increasing, therefore the prices are falling.
If the government subsidised the more sustainable plant-based organic farming industries,
instead of the unsustainable meat, dairy and egg industries, we'd see huge improvements to the
accessibility of these foods for everyone!
Some people think veganism is 'TOO EXTREME' but it's quite the opposite - after all, how can saving animals be extreme? Killing and torturing animals is extreme.
FEAR OF CHANGE?
Some may see going vegan as a disruptive, inconvenient or difficult change to their currently comfortable lifestyle. But it doesn't have to be.Cooking vegetables and plant-based foods is much faster and healthier than cooking animals and the beauty of a vegan diet is that a lot of staple foods can simply be eaten raw if you can't be arsed to cook! Boom!
For me personally, the only change I made was simply substituting animals for plants. That's it!
Remember, the minor inconvenience we go through when swapping what we buy to something different, to something plant-based, is NOTHING compared to the suffering that that animal must endure.
A meal lasts us 15 minutes but death, for that animal, is eternal.
Almost everything I used to eat, wear or use was made from the bodies and secretions of what were once living, breathing animals. Mad eh? Like that's all we had available!?
Now, in 2022, there's an abundance of choice. It's never been easier to get vegan alternatives than it is today and so now, everything I buy is made from plants and other non-sentient, cruelty-free materials.
Some people just LIKE EATING DEAD ANIMAL FLESH.
They like the taste, the flavours and the textures. It's something they've always done, they feel great after eating it (despite having several 'unrelated' health conditions) and so they don't see any reason to stop.
And I was the same - I LOVED the taste of animal products.
Remember, I didn't go vegan because I stopped enjoying the taste...
"I like the taste" however doesn't morally justify taking the life of someone who doesn't want to die.
Just like basing our actions on something we've 'always done' doesn't morally justify what we do to animals.
Humans have always murdered each other - should we allow that to happen too just because
it's something we've 'always done'?
Besides, you can get ALL those beautiful flavours and textures just as easily from plant-based burgers.
Try a delicious BEYOND BURGER for example and let me know if you can tell the difference... I bet you can't...
FEAR OF SOCIAL EXCLUSION?
Let's face it, vegans get A LOT of bad press for simply trying to be kind, empathetic, compassionate people who just want to save the lives of animals that are needlessly abused, exploited, tortured and killed unnecessarily.
My simple changeover to plants, alone has been referred to as "SELF-INDULGENT!", "A RELIGION!",
"BEING HOLIER THAN THOU", "A HOBBY!", an "EXCUSE TO BE DIFFICULT!" and a "WASTE OF TIME!"
All of which are ridiculous and untrue, however these types of negative attitudes may discourage
good people from making any positive changes to their lives for fear of ridicule, feeling victimised
or 'singled out'.
Being vegan has nothing to do with religion - in fact most vegans aren't religious in the slightest
(after all, would a kind and benevolent God want us to treat his animals this way?)
Putting the animals first can hardly be seen as self-indulgent, nor can saving lives be a hobby.
No one's trying to be difficult - in fact, it's perfectly easy to show compassion.
And if, by simply making a slight change to my meals, it means another sentient being gets to
live their life the way they would want to, then that, to me, is far from a 'waste of time'.
You just have to remind yourself that you're doing this for the animals and that it
doesn't matter what human beings think.
They're not the ones being separated from their mothers or fearing for their lives every day.
It's the animals who appreciate your actions.
Remember, for every meal you decide to swap for a plant-based alternative, an animal gets to live.
And if their lives are still forcefully taken, at least their blood is not on your hands.
I remind myself of that every day.
IS THAT ALL?
Some folk think that by only eating plants, you're not getting everything that your body needs like protein, vitamins, calcium, minerals, magnesium, iron, omega 3, nutrients, etc.
What they don't seem to realise (and neither did I) is that:
a) these beliefs have been planted in our heads by the meat, dairy and egg industries
and b) ALL those things come from PLANTS!
The animals we eat get those things from PLANTS!
Grass, grains, straw, oats, wheat, barley, corn and soya are all PLANTS!
Cows, pigs and sheep are ALL herbivores which means they only eat PLANTS!
They are big, strong and healthy animals because they only eat PLANTS!
In fact, we feed plants to these animals to make them big and strong, all so that we can then eat the animals,
just to get the nutrients from the plants we feed them...
BUT THAT DOESN'T MAKE MUCH SENSE?
Does any of what we do to animals make sense?
WHAT 'BOUT B12 THO?
B12 is a bacteria that comes from the soil. It is carried on root vegetables/tubers when pulled from the ground. Again, it is NOT made by the animals themselves.
Alongside the vegetables, you can also take a small B12 supplement every couple of days just to make sure you're getting enough and for your own peace of mind.
By consuming animals, we're actually getting what we need 2nd-hand - from plants that have already been digested and fed through another living being.
If we cut out the middle animal and go straight to the plants directly - we get everything our body needs
1st-hand, which is much healthier for us, much more sustainable
and it means no one has to die in the process.
WHAT IF SOME PEOPLE SIMPLY DON'T KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT VEGANISM?
Some people don't know enough about it and are blissfully unaware that it has anything to do with animals, thinking that it's mainly about food, lifestyle or the planet.
But all the information is out there, you just need to look (and if you can't be arsed, there's this thing!)
Some folk might not want to look into veganism because they think it might upset them and so are protecting themselves and their mental health. Whilst that's more than understandable, it doesn't help the animals - who, let's face it, are the only real victims in this whole setup.
Would we apply the same attitude and look away, if it was children being enslaved and exploited?
Some people, purposely remain ignorant and DON'T WANT TO KNOW what their money is supporting. Imagine living like that?
SO THAT'S 'VEGANISM' EH?
I think the word 'VEGANISM' can sometimes put people off too.
In all honesty, to me, it doesn't matter what term is used for defending animals.
It could be 'Flannelism' or 'Biscoffism' - it could even be a symbol like the one Prince had.
As long as we all agree that animal cruelty is wrong and needs to be abolished, the title could be anything!
Being vegan means that we see the world in different ways, according to the human, animal and environmental dimensions of our philosophy.
We're supposedly a 'nation of animal lovers' and the majority of non-vegans are likely to feel compassion for animals, but a vegan is likely to feel that compassion in places others might not.
OOH, YOU'RE SO SPECIAL! GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE THEN?
Are you sure?
Ok... You love your dog right? Well every year in Yulin, China - the 10-day 'Lychee and Dog Meat Festival' is held where over 20,000 wild, domesticated and selectively bred dogs are tortured,
(the more torture they receive, the 'tastier their flesh' supposedly), abused, electrocuted and boiled alive.
They are then eaten by paying customers.
Cat flesh is also available at the festival.
It is. It's abhorrent, unnecessary and cruel.
But it's no different to the cows, pigs, sheep, chickens and ducks that this happens to
every single day of the year.
Pigs are sent to gas chambers.
Chickens are electrocuted and gassed.
Male newborn chicks are macerated alive minutes after hatching.
Cows are hung upside down and left to bleed out after having their throats slit.
And not 20,000 over 10 days but over 75 billion land animals and between 0.79 and 2.3 trillion fish and marine animals a year - worldwide!
NOT IN THE UK THOUGH?
Particularly here in the UK. Not that the location matters.
HERE in the UK around 1.2 billion land animals are slaughtered for human consumption every year.
This includes over 1 billion chickens, 15 million turkeys (Merry Christmas!), 14 million sheep,
2.8 million cattle, over 10 million pigs and almost 15 million sheep and lambs.
In addition, almost one billion fish and 4.4 billion shellfish are killed.
WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN?
Because you pay for it to.
WHAT? I DON'T!
Like with most consumables, once a product has been purchased, the seller will immediately replace it
with another. That's how supply and demand works.
When you buy a dead animal to eat (or a meal with a dead animal in it), you're essentially paying for
someone to replace that murdered animal with another one, which leads to another unnecessary death,
paid for by your good self.
I also learned recently that, when the animals are slaughtered (as well as leading up to it), they experience trauma that stays in their cells and so when we eat their flesh, that emotional stress is still present.
This is then passed into our bodies.
I DON'T LIKE HEARING THIS STUFF!
I don't like writing it. Ask yourself why you don't like hearing it?
WHAT'S YOUR POINT LEE?
My point is this. Is it not hypocritical to feel sick, angry and upset about the dogs in Yulin yet not feel the same when it's happening to other innocent animals, much closer to home, every day?
Do we have a right to feel angry at the shoppers in Yulin when we're doing exactly the same thing
here in the UK?
Why is it acceptable for these horrors to happen to some animals but not to others?
Who are we to pick and choose who this happens to?
BUT WE DON'T EAT DOGS HERE LEE!
Do you think there's a difference between eating a dog and eating a pig?
Would you pay for those things to happen to dogs if we did eat them Lionel?
I thought you were?
ERM... ARE ALL YOUR BLOG POSTS GOING TO BE LIKE THIS?
Not at all. Loads of comedy on the way... They won't be this long either.
Just getting this one out of the way early. Besides, you asked for an example...
I DID. LET'S CHANGE THE SUBJECT.
Sure. Here you go... Check out this smashing new t-shirt from www.redbubble.com
NICE. A FUNNY LOOKING SAILOR WHO EATS PLANTS AND HAS ONE ARM BIGGER THAN THE OTHER...
What did you call me?
ARE YOUR FRIENDS VEGAN LEE?
Quite a few are yes. Some don’t like the ‘v’ word. They don't want to discuss it and will simply ignore you or change the subject if it comes up.
IGNORANCE IS BLISS EH?
Apparently so. And sometimes it genuinely is. I get it.
But some people are actually curious and want to learn more. Even if they have no intention of changing their diet from animals to plants, they appreciate that dialogue is important and that's plenty!
After all, how can you make a decision on something if you don't have all the information?
THEY'RE ALL GOOD PEOPLE THOUGH?
Of course. Someone isn't a bad person just because they consume animals. That's important to recognise. The people I love most in the world still eat and exploit animals.
Aside from the fact I was raised eating animals, and because western society, the government, farmers,
the media and all the others who are making money from their bodies told me I needed to eat them
because they were 'good for me'...
when it comes down to it, the main reasons I used to eat animals were simply because:
a) I loved the taste
b) I thought I needed them to survive
c) I never once thought about the animals or considered what they may have to go through
But I was still a good person - it's just that sometimes good people can do bad things.
I have since realised:
a) An animal's life is worth way more than my taste buds
b) We no longer need to kill and eat animals to survive
c) Once you DO think about the animals (and you should),
and once you DO look into what the animals have to endure to get onto your plate (and you should),
not only do you realise how cruel, immoral and unnecessary it all is
but you find that it is impossible not to act on it.
Thanks. 'I'm strong to the 'finich', 'cause I eats me spinach...'
Hello! Welcome to the blog and thanks for asking...
Ok so you love animals right? Me too. WHO DOESN'T?
I went vegan in 2021 after coming to the painful realisation that my entire life I had been proudly calling myself a ‘lover of animals’ whilst simultaneously funding their demise and eating them. Every day. Three times a day.
Not only that but I was willingly, and knowingly, paying for these sentient, living, breathing animals to be exploited, abused, and slaughtered in the process - all for just a 15-minute meal I would forget about immediately afterwards.
When I was young, I would often visit my uncle’s aviaries and help care for the birds there. I would talk to them, form bonds with them and I would yearn for a connection with them. I adored those birds.
Even today, I can often be found feeding the birds that visit, particularly the robins as they come to eat from my hand.
A few years ago, I discovered a passion for nature photography and I would take photos of animals, post interesting facts about them and explain how important they are. I'd watch nature documentaries, sign petitions to help save them, donate to animal charities – all whilst consuming them myself.
I'd get angry at people online and in the media for abusing and murdering innocent animals then I'd order a large KFC bucket full of them and think nothing of it.
SO WHAT CHANGED?
At the age of 38, (and with the help of wildlife conservationist and all-round hero, Chris Packham), I finally came to the conclusion that I was a hypocrite and that my actions were all completely unnecessary, not to mention unethical. I also found that there was no morally justifiable reason for killing an animal, particularly when I didn't need to and not when there were kinder, healthier and more sustainable alternatives available.
My actions (paying for animal cruelty) did not align with my morals (being an animal lover) and I knew it was time to change for the better.
I'm vegan for the animals.
WHAT HAVE YOU SPENT THE LAST 18 MONTHS DOING LEE?
I have spent the last 18 months diligently researching into just how badly animals are treated and exploited on this planet by humans, not only for our food but for our clothes, our cosmetics, our sports, our entertainment…
I also discovered the detrimental effects consuming animals and their secretions is having on our health, not to mention the devastation it is causing to our planet.
WHY ARE YOU BLOGGING THOUGH?
I’m creating this blog-type thing because I want to raise awareness and help stop this needless cruelty that these innocent animals are having to endure every second of every day.
I want to help create a vegan world where animals can live their lives freely, without pain or fear from human beings and instead are looked after and cared for by us, just like our pets are. After all, they’re all animals, they’re all sentient beings, they all want to live their lives and they’re all here with us, not for us.
Here's two questions for you:
1) "Do you think animal cruelty is wrong?"
2) "Do you think we need to kill animals to survive?"
Generally, if you were to ask someone if they are 'against cruelty to animals' they will, apart from a select few, unequivocally say YES.
If you ask them whether they think 'we need to kill animals to survive', they will quite rightly say NO.
If you then highlight that 'in doing so it is an act of cruelty because it’s unnecessary', they tend to see the contradiction. They realise that their actions and their habits are out of line with their morals and beliefs. That’s what happened to me.
But once that connection is made, when your morals and actions are aligned and you abolish all animal cruelty from your life, it's a very special feeling. I only wish someone would have helped me make the connection a lot sooner.
SO WHAT DO YOU PLAN TO DO THEN LEE?
Over the next few months I'm going to post some stuff here. Some of it may be difficult to read (the subject matter, not my writing!) but the majority of it will be factual, eye-opening, useful and even funny!
Some people are under the impression that going vegan is complicated, expensive and depressing and I want to show that it can be none of these things. It's easy, cheap, sustainable and empowering.
Each month I'll be sharing things that had an impact on me when switching to a vegan lifestyle and helped me change from eating animals to eating plants.
Whether it be videos and documentaries, books, animal sanctuaries, vegan influencers, celebrities,
plant-based food and vegan restaurants, etc. - all these things had an impact on me personally and helped me switch over easily and so I'll be sharing all that here.
WHO IS THIS BLOG FOR?
I hope my posts inspire you to go vegan, to be plant-based, to align your actions with your morals, to help defend the innocent, to fight for the vulnerable and to speak up for the voiceless.
They need us now more than ever.
The future is vegan and I'm here to prove it.
Hello! Lee Brace here! Award-winning actor, comedian, writer, photographer and vegan.
Contact me at email@example.com