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Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.

Albert Schweitzer, French philosopher, physician, and musician (Nobel 1952)

Please sign four petitions

February 24, 2020
by
animal_wrongs__by_atomic_ellie
 Artist Atomic Ellie



Please sign the following petitions from OC friends, thank you:

1. Support legislation to end cosmetics testing on animals: Please sign HERE

2. Tell Syracuse University to punish students who commit hate crimes, not peaceful protestors: Please sign HERE

3. Help to remove all YouTubers and videos of Animal Abuse/Cruelty from YouTube: Please sign HERE

4. Support humane science, support HEARTS: Please sign HERE




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Click HERE to search.

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Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click below for nominal, or no, fees to vegan literature that you can use to convince others that veganism is the only compassionate route to being an animal friend:

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Please sign and share, everywhere

Karen Lyons Kalmenson




In Response to Harriet Hall: The White Savior is You, Not Joaquin Phoenix

February 18, 2020
by

Source Christopher Sebastian



Like many people I woke up to the news on Monday that Joaquin Phoenix had made a sweeping speech when he accepted his award for best actor at the 2020 Academy Awards ceremony, and like many people I was moved that he spoke so eloquently about injustice for all marginalized persons including animals. I was, however, disappointed to read Harriet Hall’s hot take the next day in the Independent. Disappointed, but not surprised.

When you have been standing at the crossroad of black liberation, queer liberation, and animal liberation for any amount of time, you know all about the difficult task of convincing allies of social justice that institutional violence against animals and humans does not occur in a vacuum.

The fact that Hall characterized Phoenix’s speech as a “galling juxtaposition” reveals her bigotry toward the other persons with whom we share this planet. The perceived exceptionalism of humans in relation to other animals should be the thing that galls her, not Phoenix’s recognition of it. But the myth of our supreme right to dominate everyone else is persistent, and it replicates the very hierarchy I presume Hall wants to dismantle.

In response to online attempts to educate her, Hall very condescendingly stated, “I’ve been a vegetarian for 15 years and take animal welfare extremely seriously – but comparisons like these do no one any favours and only undermine all points being made. By all means he could have made them separately, but lumping them together was my problem.”

Her problem was lumping them together? I hate to break this to her, but in the words of Yolo Akili, author of Dear Universe: Letters of Affirmation and Empowerment, “Oppression thrives off isolation. Connection is the only thing that can save us.”

Furthermore, Hall presents her vegetarianism as some sort of misguided allyship. But that allyship earns Hall no cookies. Vegetarianism still robs chicken and cows of their reproductive autonomy. Vegetarianism offers no prohibition against violent exploitation of animals for entertainment or fashion. Hall would be well served to read the tireless work of Carol Adams who penned The Sexual Politics of Meat some 30 odd years ago to learn what ecofeminism can teach us about that.

And by shifting the focus to animal welfare, Hall conceals the necessity for animal liberation because welfare relies on the notion that we are entitled to others’ bodies as long as we treat them nicely. Such badge allyship is as fraudulent and toxic as that which white women have been serving up to black people since the dawn of western civilization.

Badge allyship allows co-conspirators to appear sympathetic while holding the perpetrators’ boot in place. It is the illusion of solidarity by altering the material conditions of our marginalization instead of removing them altogether. Animals care about as much for her token concerns toward their “welfare” as I do about her performative outrage on my queer and black behalf.

Hall also inaccurately states that Phoenix compared marginalized groups to bovine animals. That’s not what happened. It is perhaps Hall’s own bigotry that triggered such a kneejerk response. Phoenix merely recognized bovine animals as marginalized persons themselves. It is only insulting to the bigoted imagination that someone should even consider bovine animals to be marginalized persons at all.

But here lies the biggest plot twist. Even if Phoenix did make such a comparison, he wouldn’t be the first. Just two days ago, Chuck Sims Africa was released from prison after an unconscionable 40+ years of incarceration. He was the final member of the radical Philadelphia-based MOVE organization to be paroled. MOVE was a revolutionary black liberation group that advocated for total liberation for all persons, including animals.

Ed Pilkington wrote for the Guardian in 2018, “Black liberation, animal liberation – the two are as one with Move.”

In the same piece, Pilkington shared the words of MOVE’s own Janine Africa, “We demonstrated against puppy mills, zoos, circuses, any form of enslavement of animals. We demonstrated against Three Mile Island [nuclear power plant] and industrial pollution. We demonstrated against police brutality. And we did so uncompromisingly. Slavery never ended, it was just disguised.”

Is Hall equally offended? Is she still galled?

Hall invokes “the injustices of racism, of the experiences of people of colour whose history is steeped in slavery” to express how it trivializes our experiences to recognize that they are shared. But it is dishonest virtue signaling at best, and willful weaponizing of oppression at worst.

Hall condemns Phoenix for mentioning “queer rights, when members of the gay community have been beaten, criminalised and banned from marrying their partners.” Yet it seems that Hall is completely ignorant of the tireless work of authors like pattrice jones, who has written and spoken quite extensively about queering animal liberation.

Could Phoenix be criticized for not elevating the voices of marginalized people who have been saying the same thing for years? Maybe. But we also have criticized straight white men for not doing the work of educating other privileged people like themselves instead of locating that burden on us. In the moment of his speech, Phoenix did exactly that.

It is a great irony that Hall considers Phoenix to embody white savior complex. While there is no shortage of it in the movement for animal liberation, today the only white savior in the room is Hall. So since Hall is so quick to offer pro tips, here’s one for her: Ms. Hall please do the homework assignment before coming to class. The body of literature to educate so-called allies on the commonality of oppression is vast. You may speak for other oppressed people who share your contempt for other animals, and that is indeed your privilege. But you do not speak on behalf of all marginalized people. If you have no desire to go about the work of collective liberation, that’s fine. But please get out of the way for those of us who are doing it.

I lose nothing by expanding the scope of my justice to include other animals. Unfortunately, doing so may cause Hall to lose a glass of milk. I hope that doesn’t distress her too much. After all, several scholars have observed the link between milk and white supremacy, a point that might be lost on Harriet Hall, although such shared oppression was very literally the point made by Joaquin Phoenix.

 

Author’s note: I submitted this to the Holly Baxter, the opinions editor at the Independent who commissioned Hall’s piece. She unfortunately did not respond. But she did, however, have time to rebuke and then literally silence everyone on Twitter who disagreed with her and Hall. So here’s a second pro tip: As a white woman speaking on behalf of marginalized people, you would do good not to shut us down when we speak for ourselves. And do not center yourselves in discussions by crying white woman tears about how badly you’re treated as an ally. Your white feminism? It’s showing.

 

Literally commissions someone to “destroy” an ally…complains on Twitter when held accountable for it.





Order a FREE vegan kit: http://www.peta.org/living/food/free-vegan-starter-kit/

Take PETA’s Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide along with you next time you head to the store! The handy guide will help you find humane products at a glance. Order a FREE copy HERE

Searching for Cruelty-Free Cosmetics, Personal-Care Products, Vegan Products, or more?
Click HERE to search.

Click HERE to find out How to Wear Vegan!

Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click below for nominal, or no, fees to vegan literature that you can use to convince others that veganism is the only compassionate route to being an animal friend:

PETA: https://www.petaliterature.com/

Vegan Outreach: https://veganoutreach.org/order-form/

Get your FREE Activist Kit from PETA, including stickers, leaflets, and guide HERE

Have questions? Click HERE




Ism
Schism
Sabers rattle
We who should stick
Together
Then we would
Win the war
And many more
Battles

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

Why Are We Still Talking About Factory Farming?

February 10, 2020
by



Source Free From Harm
By Robert Grillo



As I was preparing to speak on a panel on the subject of so-called “factory farming,” I felt compelled to question what this powerful slogan even means. My first thought is that it serves to make some kind of important distinction between large scale farming and some kind of viable, ethical or sustainable alternative.  And I feel compelled to question the very premise of this slogan and ask the audience to think more deeply on it. So here are some thought experiments I came up with for the audience.

If I were to describe an egg hatchery that could hatch thousands of chicks a day, most of us would we call this a factory farm? Yes? We’d have to go back 3,000 years in history to ancient Egypt to find this example.

If I were to describe a method of breeding that involved weeding out and mercilessly killing off thousands upon thousands of weak, deformed, injured and diseased animals and only breeding the strongest individuals, or those with certain traits that farmers find desirable for greatest productivity, would we call this a practice that defines factory farming? And yet this practice has been going on for hundreds of years, long before modern farming.

If I were to describe chickens who lay their entire body weight in eggs every 24 to 30 days during their egg laying prime or dairy cows that have been engineered to produce far more milk than what nature intended to feed a single calf, would we call this a practice that defines factory farming?

If I were to describe the mass disruption of ecosystems through the mass slaughter of wildlife, at times to the point of extinction of certain species, wildlife who present either a nuisance or a threat to raising domestic animals, would we not consider this an example of factory farming? And yet it is a practice that goes back thousands of years.

Please read rest HERE





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Take PETA’s Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide along with you next time you head to the store! The handy guide will help you find humane products at a glance. Order a FREE copy HERE

Searching for Cruelty-Free Cosmetics, Personal-Care Products, Vegan Products, or more?
Click HERE to search.

Click HERE to find out How to Wear Vegan!

Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click below for nominal, or no, fees to vegan literature that you can use to convince others that veganism is the only compassionate route to being an animal friend:

PETA: https://www.petaliterature.com/

Vegan Outreach: https://veganoutreach.org/order-form/

Get your FREE Activist Kit from PETA, including stickers, leaflets, and guide HERE

Have questions? Click HERE




Ignorance is voluntary stupidity

Karen Lyons Kalmenson




Dairy’s ‘dirty secret’: it’s still cheaper to kill male calves than to rear them

February 3, 2020
by
vjeciupx2bpmj5xodhah

Source One Green Planet

 

Please note the use of euphemistic terms and phrases such as “early disposal”, ie., killing infants; “it”, ie, a male, him. Please also note a serious lack of ethics or consideration for sentient beings and the “victimized” farmer who is unable to kill the calves herself but has no issue with hiring others to do so.

Please never forget that caring does not equal killing, if farmers cared for the animals,  they would not exploit or kill them; there is no legitimate way to consider the well-being of an animal if you exploit and kill him/her. Terms such as “red tractor”, “high welfare”, “cage-free”, etc., are phrases meant to console human conscience, while animals are still exploited: subjected to confinement; inflicted with mutilations; separation of mother and child, causing extreme distress and psychological trauma; stealing of milk for other species; and abbreviated lives ended in violent death.

Here’s your dairy:


Source The Guardian



Dairy farms need female cows to produce milk but with little demand for male calves many farmers can’t afford to keep them beyond birth

The number of male calves being killed straight after birth is on the rise again, despite efforts by the dairy industry to end the practice known as ‘the dirty secret’.

A Guardian analysis shows that it can cost a farmer up to £30 per calf to sell it on for beef or veal, while early disposal costs just £9. A growing number of farmers feel compelled to take the latter option, with 95,000 killed on-farm in the most recent set of figures.

Dairy farms depend on female cows to produce milk, so when male calves are born, they are surplus to requirements and farmers are currently faced with few options.

They can immediately dispose of the calf, either by shooting it themselves or contracting a knackerman to do it [licensed slaughter business that will kill or collect dead farm animals]. They can sell the calf to be raised for veal or beef. Or they can sell the calf for live export. A few farms are experimenting with keeping the calves with the mothers for longer, but this is an expensive and rarely chosen option.

Early disposal is known as the ‘dirty secret’ by farmers, and none relish it. But keeping the calf to sell on to be raised for beef or veal means the farmer will have to rear them for two to four weeks to a good enough weight to interest buyers, at a typical cost of around £2 a day, with selling prices at market as low as £25-40. This doesn’t include extra costs such as getting the calf to market, registering its birth or veterinary bills.

In contrast, shooting the calf costs as little as £9, including the cost of the knackerman who will incinerate the body, or in some cases send them to kennels to be turned into dog food. Calves shot on farm cannot enter the human food chain and farmers can only dispose of calves themselves if they have a licensed incinerator.

Dairy farmers in the UK have been under extreme pressure to cut costs for the last two decades, with milk long used as a loss leader by supermarkets to draw shoppers into their stores. “Some farmers might do the maths and figure out after rearing, transport and time away from the farm it might not add up,” says Chris Dodds, from the Livestock Auctioneers’ Association (LAA).

The estimated 95,000 calves disposed on-farm represents 19% of the male dairy calves born, according to the most recent figures from the dairy industry body AHDB. In 2013 the number had fallen to 13% of male dairy calves born from a previous 21%. The exact numbers shot on farm is difficult to collate as farmers destroying calves within a few days of birth on farm do not need to register the birth – and neither does the company collecting and disposing of the animal.

One dairy farmer, who asked to remain anonymous, explained to the Guardian that she could not find a market for her male calves. “This year we’re shooting the Jersey crosses, because we’ve not got the space or money to keep them. It doesn’t make me feel good.

“We get the knackerman out to do it. I could never do it. I can’t even feed them if I know they are going to be dead in a few days.” She said the issue was still “kept under the carpet” by the wider food and farming industry and that consumer markets needed to be developed and farmers financially supported to rear the calves.

Another farmer told the Guardian: “I shoot black and white bull calves [the Holstein Friesian breed that predominates the dairy sector in the UK], but am still not hardened to like doing it. We have too many calves here. The space available on the farm [an 800-cow dairy herd] is only suitable for a maximum of 80. The less calves I have the better for the overall farm. This is a business and it has to be financially viable to make it worthwhile.”

A joint NGO, retailer, farming and government initiative to promote markets for bull calves, that closed in 2013, estimated more than £100m was being lost from calves killed before realising their economic worth.

The alternatives to early disposal are not simple. Half a million calves used to be exported from dairy farms via ferries to the continent, which has a larger market for veal.But public protests and industry pressure against animals being sent on long journeys in lorries and lower animal welfare standards in other countries has seen that outlet largely disappear. No calves were exported from England last year, although an estimated 5,000 calves did leave from Scotland and a further 20,000 from Northern Ireland.

Attempts to promote a market for high welfare British rosé veal, championed by the likes of Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty, have met with mixed success with margins for farmers tight and consumer interest low. The RSPCA is calling for the food industry to be allowed to rename veal as rosé beef to end consumer misconception of it as a white meat produced from calves kept in crates and fed milk – a system that was banned in the UK in the early 1990s.

Another alternative is to rear the calves for longer and sell them as beef. One of the companies doing that is Buitelaar, set up in 2006 and which collected more than 35,000 calves from dairy farms across the UK last year. It arranges for them to be reared indoors on a mixed diet and then sold after 12-14 months through UK supermarkets, restaurants and fast food chains. But some breeds such as Jersey cows are not seen as suitable for this option.

There has been a steady growth in the use and effectiveness of sexed semen since the early 1990s, accounting for 18% of total semen sales in 2017. It increases costs for farmers but can reduce the proportion of male calves being born to less than 10%.

Supermarkets could play an important role in reforming the situation and providing a market for meat from bull calves. Tesco, Aldi, Iceland, Lidl, the Co-op and Asda do not ban their milk suppliers from shooting bull calves and it is not outlawed under organic standards. But some of the large chains – the Co-op, Morrisons, Sainsburys and Waitrose – have launched schemes, in conjunction with beef companies such as ABP, Buitelaar and Dunbia, to collect calves and ensure they are reared rather than destroyed.

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) warns that post-Brexit trade deals could make it harder for farmers to find a market for male calves. “A trade deal that allows cheap beef from countries with lower standards of production will most definitely damage many of the positive initiatives that have been developed over recent years to utilise dairy bull calf beef and veal within the UK market,” said NFU dairy advisor Siân Davies.

A small number of dairy farmers are experimenting with trying to make more use of the bull calves. David Finlay, who runs Cream O’Galloway, one of the UK’s largest “ethical” dairy farms in southwest Scotland, keeps his male and female calves with their mothers for the first five months. The male calves are then reared separately before being sold to a veal producer at eight months.

He loses a large proportion of the milk produced by the female cows, but says his use of a dual purpose breeds of cows (good for milk and meat) means he gains a better market price for the animals. “The message coming to farmers from their peers and the industry is still to chase litres at all costs. But if you are chasing milk there will be a cost in terms of bull calves.”



Click HERE to go Dairy-Free

 


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Click HERE to search.

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Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click below for nominal, or no, fees to vegan literature that you can use to convince others that veganism is the only compassionate route to being an animal friend:

PETA: https://www.petaliterature.com/

Vegan Outreach: https://veganoutreach.org/order-form/

Get your FREE Activist Kit from PETA, including stickers, leaflets, and guide HERE

Have questions? Click HERE





 

how do people such as this guilt free, live
how do they sleep
while the compassionate,
weep!!!

Karen Lyons Kalmenson




Do People Care About the Other Crisis Killing Koalas & Kangaroos?

January 27, 2020
by
koala-being-syringe-fed-in-hospital-768x432

Photo: Saeed Khan/AFP Getty Images

Source Free From Harm
By Ashley Capps



As Australia’s unprecedented bushfires continue to rage, heartbreaking images of scorched koalas and charred kangaroos have devastated viewers around the globe. An estimated 1 billion or more animals have died in the fires, but it’s the pitiful photos of flame-chewed koalas being carried from the blaze like bewildered, beat-up babies that have perhaps most captured our collective sympathy and despair; along with the images of beleaguered kangaroos, their normally genial silhouettes frozen in panic against a backdrop of roaring orange.

It is unbearable to witness.

Thankfully, these same images have also inspired millions of people to donate to rescue groups on the ground retrieving animals from the fires and tending to their injuries. But as the surge of combined sorrow and sympathy for these iconic animals swells around the world, I find myself wondering: What about the other crisis that is killing Australia’s koalas and kangaroos, and in even greater numbers?

The World Wildlife Fund reports an estimated 45 million animals are killed each year in the Australian state of Queensland alone just from bulldozing of their habitat, a crisis they note is driven primarily by the livestock industry.” In just 4 years, between 2012 and 2016, bulldozing of trees killed at least 5,183 koalas in the state. Queensland RSPCA’s Mark Townend notes, “The mass suffering, injury and needless deaths of wild animals caused by the bulldozing of their forest homes is largely hidden but it is Queensland’s greatest animal welfare crisis.”

Queensland had the largest koala population on the continent in 1990, with an estimated 295,000; but in just 20 years that number decreased by more than 40%, while on the Koala Coast, 80% of these animals have been lost. Thousands of koalas continue to be killed each year as more forests are cleared for cattle grazing in response to consumer demand for beef. But it’s not just Queensland. In Australia as a whole, “beef cattle production is the major driver of tree-clearing.”

Millions of Kangaroos Killed for Burgers & Beef

The same industry is also terrorizing and destroying kangaroos en masse. Since the year 2000, an average of more than two million kangaroos per year have been shot by commercial shooters for the meat industry.

Please read rest HERE





Order a FREE vegan kit: http://www.peta.org/living/food/free-vegan-starter-kit/

Take PETA’s Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide along with you next time you head to the store! The handy guide will help you find humane products at a glance. Order a FREE copy HERE

Searching for Cruelty-Free Cosmetics, Personal-Care Products, Vegan Products, or more?
Click HERE to search.

Click HERE to find out How to Wear Vegan!

Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click below for nominal, or no, fees to vegan literature that you can use to convince others that veganism is the only compassionate route to being an animal friend:

PETA: https://www.petaliterature.com/

Vegan Outreach: https://veganoutreach.org/order-form/

Get your FREE Activist Kit from PETA, including stickers, leaflets, and guide HERE

Have questions? Click HERE



this tragic loss of life is harder to deny
when the staggering numbers
are posted daily before
our eyes.

Karen Lyons Kalmenson


John Sanbonmatsu: Why ‘fake’ meat isn’t

January 21, 2020
by

Ripple_chocolate_pea_milk

Source Wikimedia Commons, Vegan Ripple Milk



 

Source St. Louis Post Dispatch
By John Sanbonmatu



Is it fraud to sell “veggie burgers”, “chickenless nuggets”, or “tofu dogs”? What about to call a beverage made from soy beans “soy milk”?

According to the meat and dairy lobbies, it is. Alarmed by declining sales of dairy and beef and by growing interest in veganism, agribusiness has been pushing legislation to outlaw the use of “meaty” and “milky” words in the marketing of plant-based foods. Last year, Missouri enacted a “real meat” law, making it illegal to sell plant-based products using meat-like words. Louisiana and Mississippi passed virtually identical bills last summer, and similar legislation is pending in half of the nation’s states.
Backers of the new bills claim that referring to plant-based foods as “meat” or “milk” is unprecedented, and therefore deceptive. However, it is they who are deceiving the public — by ignoring a thousand years of past English usage.

Only in recent decades, in fact, have we come to associate the word “meat” exclusively with the flesh of animals. The word derives from the Old English mete, for food, nourishment or sustenance. As late as the 1970s, the Oxford English Dictionary still gave the primary definition of meat as “food in general: anything used as nourishment for man or animals; usually solid food, in contradistinction to drink.” Meat was therefore synonymous with “meal, repast, or feast.”

Once common, now archaic terms listed in that dictionary include “meat-giver” (one who provides food), “meat-while” (“the time of taking food, meal-time”), and even “meat-lust” (signifying not an erotic attachment to bacon, but merely “an appetite for food”). Even “meatless” (a word we now associate only with vegetarianism) for centuries merely meant to be “without food.”

Potatoes, too, were considered meat, as were “crumbled bread and oatmeal.” A child sent to “collect meat for the cattle” would have been asked to gather provender, not carcasses. “Green-meat,” as it was termed, referred to any “grass or green vegetables used for food or fodder,” whether consumed by humans or domesticated animals. Similar usages of plant meat remained common into the early 20th century.

“Meat” has also long been used in its more restrictive sense, to refer to animal flesh. But again, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, it was more common for “meat” to refer to “the edible parts of fruit, nuts, eggs, etc.; the pulp, kernel, yoke, and white, etc., in contradistinction to the rind, peel, or shell.” Hence the still common expression, “getting to the meat of the matter.”

Why this broader usage? Because for most of human existence, flesh has played only a supporting role in the human diet. Vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts and legumes have oftentimes provided the bulk of our nourishment. It was bread that our ancestors called “the staff of life,” not chicken or pork.

A similar falsification of the history of English usage is now occurring too with “fake milk” bills. In April, the Louisiana Legislature, under urging by the Louisiana Cattlemen’s Association, passed a bill making it illegal to sell as “milk” anything that doesn’t come from a “hooved mammal”.

The Food and Drug Association proposes that milk be defined as the “lacteal secretion … obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy cows.” Chris Galen, vice president of the National Milk Producers Federation, has similarly stated: “You don’t got milk if it comes from a nut or a seed or a grain or a weed.”

In fact, referring to the secretions of nuts, seeds and grains as “milk” has been common since at least the 15th century. The Oxford English Dictionary cites “the milk of cocoa nuts,” the milk of figs, and the “milks of wild-poppies, garden-poppies, dandelions, hawk-weed, and sow-thistle.” “Milk” need not even refer to a foodstuff. At your local pharmacy you’ll still find a suspension of magnesium hydroxide used for upset stomachs, called Phillip’s Milk of Magnesia. (And where would we be without “the milk of human kindness”?)

If we have forgotten these once-common usages, it is only because the animal industry wants us to believe that only foods derived from animals can be truly nourishing. Amid growing public awareness of the ecological and ethical problems associated with raising and killing billions of animals for food, the industry now hopes to obliterate the last cultural traces of these earlier meanings, wiping clean our collective memory. But we should be allowed to have our plant meats and milks — and eat and drink them, too.



Order a FREE vegan kit: http://www.peta.org/living/food/free-vegan-starter-kit/

Take PETA’s Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide along with you next time you head to the store! The handy guide will help you find humane products at a glance. Order a FREE copy HERE

Searching for Cruelty-Free Cosmetics, Personal-Care Products, Vegan Products, or more?
Click HERE to search.

Click HERE to find out How to Wear Vegan!

Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click below for nominal, or no, fees to vegan literature that you can use to convince others that veganism is the only compassionate route to being an animal friend:

PETA: https://www.petaliterature.com/

Vegan Outreach: https://veganoutreach.org/order-form/

Get your FREE Activist Kit from PETA, including stickers, leaflets, and guide HERE

Have questions? Click HERE



Food for thought
As we all know
Only eat that which
From the ground,
Grows

Karen Lyons Kalmenson




In the inferno – thoughts about selective empathy

January 13, 2020
by


Source There’s an Elephant in the Room Blog



As Australia burns, the media shows harrowing scenes of indigenous species like koalas and kangaroos, injured, burned and dying. We see so many human interest stories, individual koala mothers with infants clutching at their fur being rescued and cared for; we are invited to feel the personal tragedy of a single kangaroo joey tangled in the fence where he was incinerated.  Whether mourned or rescued, they are viewed as individuals, and we are united in hope for their survival, watching with bated breath as we are shown desperate creatures under an orange sky, fleeing through the smoke with the inferno roaring at their heels. The estimated number of 500,000,000 deaths has remained static for well over a week and has no doubt been wildly exceeded by now – possibly by several orders of magnitude – and will continue to climb.

I see occasional comments that wonder why no count is being publicised of those individuals who, as the defenceless victims of nonveganism, were always destined to be slaughtered; those innocent creatures whose lives and bodies were being ‘farmed’. Their plight is consistently downplayed and they are referred to sweepingly, only as ‘livestock‘. Live. Stock.

There are no human interest stories about them, no pitiful images of burned and desperate mothers seeking water from passers-by, no heroic bystanders pouring water on their burned fur and bleeding feet. No heartwarming tales of rescue and medical care.

We are not being shown videos of their desperate flight from the cracking, howling flames. Because they can’t flee. They are sitting targets. They are dying en masse. We see the occasional distance shot of cooked, bloated and unrecognisable bodies fallen in the paddocks where they were burned alive; the occasional image of sheep with their coats frizzled by flames. But even the ‘personal interest’ stories that I’ve seen, notably one where a heatbroken animal farmer was shooting cows individually in his fields, are focussed on his tragedy, his loss of livelihood. It was not a story about the tragedy of those unique individuals who were looking down the barrel of his gun, those sentient creatures who had faced hell and terror and were now injured and suffering unbearably.

There is no mention of the fact that the hell and terror of a slaughterhouse was the only route out of their situation in any case. The real tragedy from the perspective of their exploiter was that as damaged resources, they had no monetary value, and the fire-ravaged land may be unable to support the continuation of his profitable trade. Because before any individual can be exploited as a resource for our species, we must first disregard their every entitlement to consideration as living, feeling, autonomous beings. They become resources, livestock, property. They are then discussed in terms of property loss and damage.

The unfolding catastrophe is referred to a ‘humanitarian crisis’. This focus on the human exploiters and the disregarding of the torment of the individuals they exploit on behalf of nonvegan consumers, is a perfect illustration of the mindset with which we are all indoctrinated from childhood. Almost every single one of us will claim to care about members of other animal species to some extent or another. Few of us will openly claim that causing needless harm to the defenceless, the innocent, and the vulnerable is in any way acceptable. None of us would ever admit to being the sort of person that would do that.

And yet here we are, glancing impassively over anonymous corpse-littered farmland and feeling for those whose trade trapped them there, while pouring out concern and sympathy for the wild creatures with whose suffering we allow ourselves to empathise.

Here is our species, continuing to globally slaughter over 1.5 BILLION land based individuals per WEEK to indulge an unnecessary dietary preference, while watching the results of the planetary destruction this is causing, lay waste to a land that may never recover. Surely the irony can’t be lost on everyone?

Be vegan.




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Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click below for nominal, or no, fees to vegan literature that you can use to convince others that veganism is the only compassionate route to being an animal friend:

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Have questions? Click HERE




Empathy that is real,
For ALL
One should feel.

Karen Lyons Kalmenson




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