Animal Lovers

I’m going to publish a few excerpts from a talk I gave recently at a vegan festival. Here is part one.

Here in the UK we’ve always considered ourselves a nation of animal lovers. But how do we show that love, how do we express these deepest of feelings?

I don’t think for one minute they believe we love them and based on the way the large majority of animals live and die in this country, and I’ve looked into their eyes as they were being taken to their deaths, I believe they think that we truly hate them.

We treat the animals that should be under our care far worse than we do the most horrific criminals in our society, who get a way better deal than the innocent animals that rely on us to look after them.

They trust us with their lives and we betray that trust in the very worst way possible.

Just like our pets, these creatures would love us unconditionally, yet we imprison them, we break up their families, we deny them even the most basic of rights, we kill them, we cut them into pieces, we cook them and we eat them.

And what makes it worse, is if we stopped this horrific cycle tomorrow, they would forgive us.

They would forgive us for something even the godliest human that ever lived would consider unforgivable. Yet for profit, taste and convenience, we continue this endless cycle of abuse.

Animals are not like plants or inanimate objects. In all of the most important ways, they are just like us. After all, we are animals ourselves.

Each one is a unique individual with their own personality. They are someone, not something. They are not just alive. They have lives.

With our gifts, our wisdom, our capacity for empathy and compassion, we should be leaders. We should be leading, guiding, caring for and ensuring the safety and survival of all creatures on this planet.

Sadly though, we’re an evil, greedy species, which sometimes makes me wonder if this world wouldn’t be better off without us.

You see we’re all faced with two simple options when it comes to our food choices. Both of which will more than meet our needs.

One causes harm to animals and one doesn’t. Why would anyone choose the one that causes harm? You wouldn’t, would you?

And when you learn that the choice that’s bad for animals is also bad for the environment and bad for your own health, it literally doesn’t make any sense to choose that option, especially when a better option exists.

And it does. And it has a name. Veganism.

Our claim to be animal lovers is the greatest hypocrisy ever spoken and we should be ashamed of ourselves for so casually throwing this around.

And for no reason other than to help us live with the reality of our actions.

I’m deeply ashamed of what we’ve allowed ourselves to become without barely a second thought when it comes to the way we treat animals.

I’m saddened that so many otherwise good people either choose to ignore the truth, are ignorant to it or simply don’t care.

And I don’t understand why I am so completely different from the majority, when in almost every other way we are so similar.

Maybe I actually am the freak, the weirdo, the vegan.

Nick Bean

Environmentalist, activist, writer and public speaker. Decided to "Go Vegan" at the age of four.

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