Animal Lovers

We proudly wear the title of being a nation of animal lovers. Each year we spend 6 billion pounds on or cats, dogs, bunnies, budgies and guinea pigs. The love we feel for our companion animals is so strong, they become full members of our families and are treated accordingly.

So imagine a scenario. Your cat or dog is taken from you, loaded on to a truck with lots of other people’s pets and taken to a slaughterhouse. You are told that your pet is needed for human consumption, that it’s always been this way, that it’s just an animal.

You are assured that your pet’s death will be humane. It’s explained to you that your pet will line up with all of the others and they will enter the kill room one by one. There it will be stunned, hung upside down and his or her throat will be cut and its blood will be drained. It will be quick and painless, they won’t be aware of what’s happening, it’s just an animal.

There is nothing you can do to stop this.

In desperation you follow the truck to the slaughterhouse. When you get there you see people trying to stop the truck, holding up signs in protest and standing in front of it. You see people looking in the side of the truck, talking to and trying to comfort the animals.

But the truck driver refuses to stop. The police and security guards are pushing the protestors out of the way; many are in tears, begging them not to do this. These are not even their own pets.

The truck pulls into the slaughterhouse and you never see your little friend again.

So you decide this has to stop, you talk to your friends, your family, your neighbours, in fact anyone who will listen but you find almost none are prepared to do so. They tell you that everyone has the right to eat meat if they choose to and you have no right to suggest otherwise. They suggest that you’ve been brainwashed, that you sound like an extremist, a tree hugger, a hippie.

You post on Facebook, on Twitter but get the same response.

Every single day in the UK 2-3 million cows, pigs, sheep and chickens are slaughtered. You don’t know them, but they are every little bit as conscious and as capable of giving and receiving love and affection as your pet. They have every bit as much right to life as your pet.

We do not need to eat animals to live, to survive and thrive.

We call ourselves a civilised society, in the way we treat the animals that should be under our care we are anything but.

They are not just animals, we are all just animals.

Ethics and the Cost of Happiness

I had a conversation only recently with a vegetarian, in particular this vegetarian is resistant to completely giving up dairy. She understands fully that baby cows die for her choices, but has been a finicky eater for years and is in her late 60’s and feels it is too hard to change totally. She will however try plant based milks but has yet to find one that will replace dairy  on a permanent basis. She insists she is trying her hardest but is conditioned to feel milk is comforting and nourishing and makes coffee taste good.

So I asked the question: if cows milk was £10 a litre would she still drink it? And the answer was swiftly no!

So although I believe that dairy farms like the Ahimsa farm, who offer a more compassionate option for dedicated milk thieves, are doing a good thing in one respect, it would take the whole dairy industry to raise its prices drastically and for the government funding to be removed, so dairy could no longer be sold as a loss leader.

Making the  price more accurately reflect the cost of its victims seems key to ensuring widespread change, particularly in an older generation who have been brought up with free milk at school and milk puddings at home and milk tokens for their children.

Dairy is embedded in the lives of many older people who have been brought up on constant propaganda around animal agriculture.

But, as we can see if you make people suffer financially.. they will find alternative options pretty damn quickly. If we cannot convince people with logic, with compassion, with ethics, with environmental concerns about the meat or dairy industry- it would appear the final option will be when meat and dairy price tags reflect the horrific impact these industries have on the world.

Would all the so called civilised ‘animal lovers’ start eating dogs and cats and drinking donkeys milk if meat was £50 per 100g and milk was above £10 a litre? Or would they realise you can live without meat and milk and eggs? And succumb to the joy of plant based meals, full of protein, full of flavour and fibre and vitamins ? Would they learn to love nut milk lattes.. and realise all you give up, when you give up meat and dairy and eggs .. is the cruelty. Cruelty to animals, cruelty to the planet, cruelty to the future generations and also cruelty to your health.

Regardless of the cost and regardless of your age, you are neither a lion nor a baby cow. Step away from the breast milk and corpses and step into the light of vegan cheeseburgers, cupcakes and superfood salads and meals. Be bearable…Be Vegan.

Feminism and Veganism

Feminism and Veganism

For many years I had no concept of what feminism was or why it was needed, growing up in white affluent Surrey with a female monarch and a female prime minister I naturally thought women mostly ran the world and that men had agreed to this.

Oblivious in my childhood bubble I saw my mother and father both work, both drive cars and have equal opinions in the household. I wasn’t aware of all the steps it had taken for women to be able to vote or own property in the UK, I had no idea women were viewed by some as intellectually deficient. I was a rough and tumble tomboy child with a bmx and scuffed knees, I fought with the boys and played with flower fairies and sylvanians, I cut my hair short and climbed trees. I felt like a balanced person not just a girl. When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up Prime Minister was my answer, I had no thoughts of ‘boys jobs’ and ‘girls jobs’ I may not have wanted to be a bin man or a pilot but I wouldn’t have dreamed that my gender would stop me doing either.

Imagine my horror upon bursting confidently into the workplace to be treated as less than male colleagues, paid less than male colleagues and viewed as a liability due to my gender. In my twenties; Even as a top performer my older male boss would happily tell clients they only kept me around to do the washing up in front of all the other staff and encouraged sexist comments and behaviour.

So even in today’s so called enlightened society in the UK sexism and insults to women are commonplace, being a feminist has really never been more important, There are still so many battles for female humans globally, for education for health rights, voting rights, rights over their own bodies. people around the world are obsessed with women’s attire, in France you can be ordered to take off your clothes on a beach and uncover your hair at gun point, in other countries women risk punishment for being too uncovered! Personally I think some stringent rules across all cultures to ban males in speedos, large basketball shirts when not actually playing the sport and of course socks with sandals would be of more benefit to civilisation!

So how does this relate to being vegan? Of all of the injustices and outrages in the animal agriculture industry the female of all species are particularly exploited, if I am to remain true to my feminist beliefs, that females  AND males deserve to be free and safe and have equal opportunities to live peacefully, then I cannot stand by whilst females of any species are forcibly impregnated, have their babies ripped from them, watch their babies being slaughtered and then steal the milk that was intended for their baby.

I cannot accept that females of any species are herded into massive barns and pumped full of hormones to produce unfertilised eggs for snacks and and as a baking ingredient? Before all of these poor exploited mothers are dragged off to be killed for more snacks.

All mothers bond with the baby growing in their tummy, cells from male human babies have been found in their mothers brain tissue (fascinating!) so it is not a massive leap of the imagination to say that all mothers carry part of their child with them forever.. an invisible cord that connects mother to child. Why would humans be the only species that this applies to? Hens talk to their chicks in the egg so when they hatch the chick knows its mother. IT’S MOTHER ! Not just a hen, not just a pig, not just a cow, not just a sheep- Mothers.

So as a feminist I am proud to stand for all females of all species. We are not humankind if we only look after human rights. We do not give animals rights, we can only restore those we have stolen.

Feel the Fear and do it Anyway

Throughout my life there have been many occasions where I have faced fear and uncertainty (like most people I imagine). There’s been times where I have felt small, vulnerable and alone, yet in my head most of the time I manage to convince myself I am 10 feet tall and all powerful, yet all merciful! No one is more surprised than I when I stand up and I am only 5’3!

Fear can be a useful catalyst for change, a warning, a wake up call .. an emotion to be explored and a reminder of our mortality. But it is a fleeting emotion and should be dealt with and erased, not held on to and nourished.

For a lot of people this is experienced most often as fear of loss. Whether it be a person, a way of life or a belief, humans tend to form attachments. And change and embracing new views about the world can be a loss of sorts, a loss of a certain reality and a loss of comfort and security. It can be upsetting and unsettling to acknowledge that the cultural programming and propaganda that has surrounded us all of our lives, has inescapably coloured our perception of the world, of right and wrong and of legality. It is only when we seek a different point of view and new knowledge that we can be fully engaged in the choices that we make. Ask yourself how do I know-what I know? If the answer is: from school a long time ago, what my parents/priest told me or I read the mainstream news faithfully, this bears more examination!

The amazing work that the cube of truth and other vegan outreach teams do is invaluable in making people face their fears. Most people view themselves as compassionate animal lovers, yet they shy away from the many undercover documentaries on UK farming. They scroll past ‘that vegan friend’ Facebook posts and they squeal in horror if you mention a baby cow has been destroyed so they can have a flat white.

Most people’s fears come down to the following: Am I good enough? Am I a good person? Have I been lied to my whole life and is the government actually is trying to slowly kill me with air pollution, GMO riddled corpses and animal secretions, whilst taxing me and reducing my freedom if possible?! So the last one probably isn’t that common a fear but it SHOULD be!

We all want to see ourselves as good people, so coming face to face with the reality that animal agriculture and abuse is ingrained in most peoples lifestyle choices; and it does no good at all is hard to face.

Meat eaters – vegetarians FACE the FEAR, see what you buy into, see what your meal choices are doing to this incredible planet, watch the crying babies dragged from their grieving mothers, watch the abuse, the torture, the fear that these beautiful trusting animals face.

Your fears can be conquered, you never have to watch and bear witness again if you are not part of the problem. You can lay your fears to one side. A trembling calf in a slaughterhouse or a piglet being stamped on can only be released from their fear, their misery, their pain and exploitation if you face your fear of change and try some almond milk or any of the many varieties of plant based milks and creams. If you try new exciting dishes with jackfruit, seitan and plant based burgers. You can sample baked delights, burgers, hot dogs .. all the same food you know and love.. minus the fear. The most common regret that vegans have is ‘I wish I had done it sooner’.

Be brave. Be bold, question everything. Find your truth and live it and the world will be a better place for us all. This is the real war on terror and together by making simple food and clothing swaps we can wipe out terror for 56 billion animals a year.

 

 

Vegan Dating in a Carnist World- Tales from the Front Line

So you go Vegan for love and end up hating everyone- sound familiar? Looking for love and companionship as a Vegan really tests your ethical stand points, your tolerance levels and general misanthropy.

After some failed experiments dating carnists and holding vegetarians in fairly high contempt it has become clear that only a vegan will do. But at my age (37) in case you were wondering you tend to have a tick sheet mental or online in a spreadsheet format  (which I would wholeheartedly advise) by the time we approach 40 you know what you are looking for in a partner or at least you have compiled a list of unsavoury habits that are deal breakers.

I know, I know.. there is the argument that by intermingling and living with carnists that Vegans can show them the light and the way, in reality this means storing meat in your fridge and sitting opposite your loved one as they snack on dismembered corpses- sexy huh?

I always say to men who try and convince me to date them as they ‘only eat clean protein- chicken and fish ‘ : Imagine going out with a girl who ordered ‘only puppies paws and kittens ribs when you ate out’ who left dismembered guinea pigs and rabbits in the fridge to fry up for breakfast?? Not cool.

Seriously eating corpses and drinking stolen breast milk from baby cows and eating something that came out of a hen’s backside?! When you wake up and realise what meat and dairy are, you realise you have bought into the biggest marketing con of all.

When you see advertising for lumps of charred flesh between buns, or when your neighbours have a barbeque you have to wonder how people don’t make the connection between burning flesh and tortured screams of all species.

So the dating compromises I am willing to make are things like: watches football, cannot spell definitely, one failed marriage allowed, drives a sports car occasionally (but not as main mode of transport) these are things I can live with.

I cannot live with and love and bare my soul to someone who pays psychopaths to torture and slaughter his food and by his food and apparel choices is actively helping to kill the planet. Being Vegan is not a diet and it is not a religion, I am asking no one to believe in any allegorical tales.

Being Vegan is the LEAST we can do in this beautiful world of abundance that has been turned into hell on earth for billions of animals each year. It is better for EVERYBODY, humans, animals and the environment to tread lightly on this earth and be kind.

Kindness and being able to cook are the two most important qualities in a man to me, if you are not Vegan you are not kind.

So until I find a kind, funny, intelligent man that makes my heart sing- I will stay happily single. Sometimes Compromise is the most offensive C word.