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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)

SHARK Exposes Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE)

October 2, 2017

Source YouTube SHARK

Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE) claims to do science-based evaluations of animal protection organizations, however, SHARK is exposing that as being false. The problem is that ACE reviews – which are important because those who receive “top Charity” status can potential make millions in donations – appear to be biased in favor of one particular person, an activist named Nick Cooney. How is it possible that with over 20,000 animal organizations in the US alone, only organizations connected to Nick Cooney receive “Top Charity” status? Harrison Nathan’s essays about ACE:

SHARK’S letters to ACE:

For more information about waste, incompetence, laziness and fraud in the animal protection movement, please go to *We have been alerted that Vegan Outreach was once, at the very start of ACE, briefly listed as a Top Charity. What’s interesting is that we could find no mention of this on ACE’s website, but it was found on an internet archive website with ACE’s old website. Apparently ACE was caught in a controversy about a study on leafletting involving VO (see Mr. Nathan’s essays) and we have been told that information was removed from the ACE site because of this. We must also note that Vegan Outreach had ties to Mr. Cooney as well, including him having his own page on the VO website, so this only adds to our claims about his relations to Top Charities. We will have more on this in a future video. On August 9, 2017, the blog Animals 24-7 posted an article about SHARK’s efforts to expose ACE. You can review the article at:

Order a FREE vegan 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

Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click on the 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

is there no place where the corrupt
and greedy
do not take away from
the kind and needy.

Karen Lyons Kalmenson


Lauren Gazzola – Human Supremacy: What Does the Animal Rights Movement Mean?

September 25, 2017

Source YouTube: Direct Action Everywhere

SHAC 7 defendant Lauren Gazzola delivered a keynote address at the 2017 National Animal Rights Conference, urging conference attendees to think about the meaning of the animal rights movement. Help us caption & translate this video!

human supremacy
a joke that failed
and we will make sure
that cruel ship
has sailed
and in its place
a kinder face!!!

Karen Lyons Kalmenson


How Co-option of Grass-Roots Activism Played Out in Kansas City’s First VegFest

September 18, 2017

Source JoAnn Farb


When I heard that a new group, Voices for Animals Kansas City (VFAKC) was planning to host Kansas City’s first VegFest, I was thrilled.  Although it seemed odd that they didn’t reach out to the longest running animal right’s group in the area, Animal Outreach of Kansas, and invite them to participate, I didn’t start to have concerns until AOK’s founder, Judy Carman inquired about tabling at the Vegfest and was informed that to have a table would cost her 300.00 dollars — the same as for food vendors, even though she wasn’t selling anything, and didn’t have that kind of budget.  My concerns grew when I found out HSUS and Whole Foods (one of the largest meat retailers in the US.) were both sponsors.  

How would messaging at the vegfest be impacted by its sponsors?

Sponsors provide money expecting to get something.  Non-profits typically sponsor expecting to expand membership and increase revenue.   In the case of VFAKC’s Vegfest — HSUS wasn’t just a sponsor, but also provided one of the speakers — Paul Shapiro.

KC’s first VegFest was free and open to the public, and my family went and mingled with other attendees.  Our intent was to support and promote veganism by talking with others. When we talked with non-vegans, we shared literature that encouraged veganism.  When attendees told us that they were already vegan, we discussed the issue of co-option within the movement and provided them the flyer pictured above (front) and below (back).


Overwhelmingly the people we met expressed gratitude that we were raising awareness of this issue.   At no point were we loud or disruptive in any way.  We simply spoke respectfully one on one with individuals, and heard no objections.

But in weeks following the Vegfest we heard from a number of people that the Vegfest’s main organizer, Dave Swarts, was upset when he learned after the fact that we had been providing this literature to people and he was seeking to block us from attending next year’s Vegfest.  Dave told others (incorrectly) that we were distributing  “Humane Watch” literature. Humane Watch is a well-known front group for animal exploiting industries, that also is very critical of HSUS.  Mischaracterizing our hand-out and the website it linked to in this way, may cause those supportive of HSUS  to not even look into the substance of what we were saying.   After hearing how upset Dave was and that our actions were being misconstrued, my daughter reached out with an email to Dave asking to set up a phone call to discuss what happened, hoping that they could better understand each other’s perspective.

12 days later, Dave Swarts replied to my daughter with the following emailed statement and he copied me too:


It is ironic that Dave used the words, “conflict with our brand” in his statement.  If we are both  working to help animals, why would his biggest expressed concern be his “brand”? Perhaps this definition of co-option HERE can shed some light:


When the vegan movement began in 1944 with the coining of the word, “vegan,” it was clearly defined as the exclusion of all forms of exploitation of animals.  Keep in mind — factory farms were not yet known.  Nearly all animals were raised on family farms like those being promoted as “humane” by organizations like HSUS.  

I’ve been vegan over 25 years and have witnessed messaging from large animal advocacy groups changing in a disturbing way.  Groups, that once advocated for justice for animals, are suddenly steering the conversation away from promoting veganism to endorsing meat, dairy and eggs from farms they now refer to as, “humane,” in some cases even giving their stamp of approval as with the infamous Whole Foods Letter, or when Peta gave an award to Temple Grandin for designing a “humane” slaughterhouse.  To put that in perspective, consider what would be the public’s reaction if Amnesty International gave an award to a dictator for jailing dissidents in more comfortable jails and feeding them a great meal before killing them by lethal injection, instead of a firing squad?  Should animal advocates publicly applaud baby steps that still perpetrate violent injustice against animals?  How would you feel if Amnesty International suggested that the less terrible dictators were our allies in the struggle against the most horrific dictators?

Now juxtapose that scenario with a real conversation that occurred on a vegan Kansas City Facebook group, when a new vegan, expressed interest in holding a vigil in front of a small local slaughterhouse to raise awareness.  The new vegan asked if anyone knew where local slaughterhouses were, and Dave tried to dissuade this individual by suggesting that these slaughterhouses were, “allies” with vegans who work to raise awareness about the injustice of exploiting animals:


​What does it mean if we begin to ally with those who are profiting off of the exploitation and killing of animals?  What is left of our movement, if we are no longer clearly opposed to exploitation and killing of other beings? What does that make our movement a movement for?  

​Does messaging matter?
One of the speakers at KC’s VegFest was Paul Shapiro, a VP at HSUS.  As a segue to his endorsement of cultured meat, (Which I have raised concerns about in my post, Cultured Meat, Yellow Rice, Cage Free Eggs, Have YOU Been Duped?)   Paul told the audience a tall-tale about how whales benefitted from the transition from whale oil lamps popular in the 1800s to kerosene lamps — a tale that I have deconstructed in my post, Dangerous Myths that Threaten AnimalsPaul used that tale as a metaphor for why people who care about animals should now endorse cultured meat.Paul also made the following Orwellian statement while on stage:

“We should accept that not all animal raising is the same…In fact if all animals were raised that way [on small farms] we might go do something else with our lives…because there’d be maybe bigger problems.”
                                                                          –Paul Shapiro HSUS VP

Why is VFAKC providing a platform for sentiments contrary to real justice for animals?   I  shudder to think how this messaging (which also included suggesting that ethically, its better to eat beef than chicken) might have influenced attendees.  How many people on the verge of considering veganism — because a vegan spokesperson/leader suggested that embracing or working for “humane” meat/dairy/eggs is a morally acceptable alternative to veganism, will now become consumers of, “happy meat?” instead of embracing veganism?   Might this translate into economic benefits for sponsors like Whole Foods and HSUS?
IF you are involved with the group Voices for Animals — or for that matter, ANY group that is partnering with entities which might present a conflict of interest, I urge you to speak up and raise awareness.  Go to their events and dialogue with others who attend.  If you are not sure what constitutes a conflict of interest, Tribe of Heart Defined  it Here:


Who is VFAKC advocating for — the animals or their sponsors? 

PLEASE do all you can  to keep the conversation about industry co-option of grass-roots animal advocacy alive!   If you attend VFAKC events, make sure others there know what is taking place and share information.  Share this post on your social media, email it to friends who may not be on FB.  Print out some of the articles that I have linked to and share them with others. The animals need us to speak up!

If you’d like to know more about how conflicts-of-interest are undermining grass-roots activism and decades of work by sincere activists on behalf of other beings, read Invasion of the Movement Snatchers and When Animal Groups Promote Happy Meat, and watch the video, Happy Meatopia. I would also encourage you to read this excellent post by Gary Francione explaining how the Vegan Society of the UK — THE very first vegan society ever — founded in 1944 by Donald Watson has also been, coopted/rebranded.

​Something else just bought to my attention is this 2012 article:

Justice For Animals, Respect for Advocates — Ideas too Dangerous for Corporatized Animal Advocacy?

if they could speak
what would they say.
now all they can
do is pray…
and hope some kindness
comes their

Karen Lyons Kalmenson


Planet of the Apes: Speciesism Exposed

September 11, 2017

Free From Harm

Source Free From Harm

The third installment of the epic prequel to the original Planet of the Apes movies came out recently and I was captivated along with everyone else in the theatre. Cheering for the mass extinction of your own species is an peculiar feeling — a little unnerving when you pause to think about it — but so easy to get on board when the human species’ litany of destructive, vicious, and callous actions are on full display as they so expertly were in this trilogy.

These three films are a startling illustration of speciesism, the assumption of human superiority resulting in the exploitation of animals. Many doomsday scenario films fill us with dread of asteroids and trepidation of severe weather events, but this apocalypse — or ape-ocalypse as graffiti on a wall suggests in the third film — is more subtle, emerging from our arrogance, greed, and disregard for other species. I am not the only one to perceive the speciesist themes of the movie that this writer also points out in her article where she explains that “War for the Planet of the Apes” inspired her to go vegetarian.

Starting with the first installment of the trilogy, Rise of the Planet of the Apes in 2011, we meet young Caser, who was born in a laboratory experimenting on apes for a potential Alzheimer’s drug. The death of his mother is one of the most tragic scenes in all three films. Laboratory workers are trying to forcefully take her out of her cage, not knowing that she has just given birth. She was hiding her infant from them and gets violent when she feels she had no other way of protecting him from the humans. After escaping through the building, she is dramatically shot dead on a board room table where the drug company executives were plotting to make billions on the drug that had been tested on her. The symbolism was not subtle.

Please read the rest HERE

if we choose to see
with “blinded” eyes
who will hear
the wounded’s cries
who will reach out
who will go that
one step, far
so we can be better

Karen Lyons Kalmenson


United Poultry Concerns and the Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos

September 5, 2017

Wikimedia Commons

Please sign HERE

United Poultry Concerns and the Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos would like to invite you to participate in our campaign exposing the cruelty of Kaporos. Kaporos is a ritual preceding Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, occurring in late September this year, in which thousands of chickens are “swung” and then slaughtered by certain ultra-orthodox Jewish communities. Practitioners wave the chickens over their heads by the legs or by pinning the bird’s wings painfully backward while reciting a chant about transferring their sins and punishment symbolically onto the bird.

Our campaign seeks to end this horrific cruelty to chickens at Kaporos sites year after year in New York City, Los Angeles, New Jersey, and everywhere the ritual is performed. Prior to the ritual, thousands of chickens are crammed into transport crates without food or water for as long as four days. They are deprived of shelter from rain, heat, and cold. Many die in the crates of starvation, dehydration, heat stress, and fear. More and more rabbis are publicly condemning Kaporos for violating the Jewish values of mercy and compassion for animals.

We would like to encourage you to join our campaign by taking this simple action:

Please send an alert to your members informing them of the inhumane practice of using chickens in Kaporos and encourage them to sign our petition. This petition urges major Orthodox Rabbinical Organizations to oppose the use of chickens for Kaporos and encourage practitioners to perform the ritual with money instead of chickens, an accepted method of atonement. Please feel free to pull copy, text, or images directly from our site to create your own post based on the content of our petition.

Please share our petition on your social media sites and/or website and urge people to sign. Here is the full link to our petition:

Thank you for your collaboration to help end this cruel practice. Let me know if you have any questions and please provide me with a link to any alert or post you create.

With compassion,

Hope Bohanec
Projects Manager, United Poultry Concerns
Office: 707-540-1760

until we see ourselves and animals
on an even par,
we as a species will
not go far!!!

Karen Lyons Kalmenson


91 Thoughts We Had While Watching ‘Okja’

August 28, 2017

Source PETA

Written by Zachary Toliver | July 12, 2017

1. Damn, Tilda Swinton. For a quick second, I thought I was watching The Hunger Games.

2. Mirando is like this universe’s Conglom-O.

3. “Now the rotten CEOs are gone.” Movie speak for “The rotten CEOs are totally not gone.”

4. The unseen sister being roasted in the speech in the first minute of this film couldn’t possibly have a fundamental role in the plot.

5. How in the hell did super-pigs just go unnoticed in Chile all this time?

6. Hey, it’s the guy from Breaking Bad. What’s his name? This dude frequently plays roles that scream, “Something sinister is going down!” Dead giveaway.

7. I’m going to hate Jake Gyllenhaal’s character, Dr.  Johnny Wilcox. I just know it.

8. You know how super-pigs could leave even less of an impact on the environment? Don’t raise them for food AT ALL.

9. Now I remember that actor played Gus on Breaking Bad.

10. Googled it. His name is Giancarlo Esposito. He played one of Malcom X’s assassins in the biopic. Seriously, so many sinister roles.

11. And here comes Okja! The CGI in this movie is next level.

12. If we can make imaginary animals look like this, why in the world is it legal to use live animals in movies and television?

13. It’s as if Hungry Hungry Hippos came to life and helped you with grabbing snacks.

14. Wagging her tail, begging for food, creating memories with her human. Okja is like a giant dog.

15. I guess pigs do all that stuff, too, when given the chance. So, OK, she’s like a giant … pig. Let’s carry on.

16. Everyone, please go vegan.

17. I’m glad she didn’t take a selfie with that tiny fish.

18. You think dogs make great cuddle pillows? Have you met Okja?

19. Just like pigs in real life, Okja is a remarkable problem solver.

20. Oh, my God—totally hugged my dog after watching Mija and Okja hug.

21. Currently trying to have my companion animals answer to “Okja.”

22. Booze stash under the floorboards—new life goal.

23. All the times I’ve talked about this movie, I’ve been totally pronouncing “Okja” wrong.

24. Dr. Wilcox, that’s too much mustache for any one man to handle.

25. Dr. Wilcox is getting a little too fresh with Okja for my comfort.

26. To make an exceptional healthy pig, he “just let her run around.” Animals thrive when they live as nature intended and not on some filthy, crowded farm. Go figure.

27. Think Okja is just a movie? Have you met Esther the Wonder Pig?

28. Okja > 1,000 golden pigs.

29. “Plans for her in America”—you mean “slaughter and eat your best friend.”

30. Girls don’t like boys. Girls like pigs and moneeeeeey.

31. Her favorite food is chicken stew? I’m going to be bummed if she doesn’t come out of this experience a vegan.

32. It’s no one’s “fate” to have their throat slit before being dismembered and packaged.

33. Oh my pants, that calendar of Okja butts.

34. “No photos.” Yeah, because like all meat industry companies, if the public saw how Mirando treats animals, its business would tank.

35. Anyone notice that dank-looking roof garden when Mija was chasing the semi-truck through Seoul? More life goals.

36. This is, like, the nicest hijacking in the history of hijackings.

37. I bet a lot of people working for the meat industry—which is notorious for treating employees like garbage—feel just like this disgruntled driver.

38. A giant animal running amok in a store, and of course, someone is taking a selfie …. But why the hell is she dressed like a pig?

39. The musical score for this “animal rights activists versus soldiers from Mirando” scene is straight fire.

40. Netflix helped make a vegan movie. Real life is getting wild in 2017.

41. Both of the trucks used to transport Okja are Hyundais. Wonder if that company just has the whole “transporting oddly large animals” market covered.

42. Villains slipping on marbles on the floor … classic.

43. Woah—Okja poops on command?

 44. How many people smashed that “Like” button on Facebook after watching this movie?

45. How many Googled “How to go vegan”?

46. We’ve found ketamine in “all-natural” chicken. “Natural, safe, and non-GMO” means jack all.

47. Totally called the whole B.S. story on super-pigs being “discovered” in Chile.

48. Speaking of B.S., using that “local farmers” crap is exactly what the meat industry tries to do in real life. It survives on propaganda.

49. So does Jay understand Korean sometimes or what?

50. Oh, actor from The Walking Dead, you’re out here lying.

51. LOL, “pig-napping.”

52. Calling it right now—the disgruntled Mirando driver being interviewed has the best lines in the movie.

53. Dear Lucy Mirando, there’s nothing more narcissistic than the human supremacy responsible for killing billions of animals every year.

54. I bet Mirando is a reference to Monsanto. Off to Google I go!

55. Yup. Search “Monsanto” and “Agent Orange.”

56. Oh, Lucy, you can’t love someone you choose to eat.

57. Director Bong Joon-ho sneaking in some symbolism with Okja staring out the transport truck, looking at all those gravestones. I see you, Bong.

58. The tiny cages they’re keeping the sick and crippled pigs in actually look biggerthan the ones actual pigs are kept in.

59. Go vegan!

60. Are they keeping the sick and injured pigs around for experimenting? In real life, they would have already bashed their heads in and thrown them out like trash.

61. I feel sick to my stomach after that rape scene, knowing that countless animals are forced to breed just like this all around the world.

62. I’m going to dress like Jay for a while. Looking dapper 100.

63. Dr. Wilcox is like the stepdad no child deserves.

64. “It’s just a movie.” Bruh, 110 million pigs are killed for food every year.

65. Why is everyone acting like talking to an animal homie over the phone is weird? Are Mija and I the only people who do this?

66. Like Dr. Wilcox, I wonder how many self-proclaimed “animal lovers” who work at circuses or roadside zoos actually just hate themselves?

67. Did you know Jake Gyllenhaal’s character was based on a few terrible people, including a TV personality who was also a pedophile? That reeaaaally shines through during his interactions with Okja.

68. Honestly, his interactions with Okja are what every meat-eater looks like when they fetishize bacon.

69. I mean, I could totally still tell it was Jay, even with the glasses. I’m sure Mija could, too.

70. “For me, it was like every time he was on screen, I wished he weren’t”—a colleague on the character of Dr. Wilcox.

71. God, he humps the air! Just low-key humping in the face of all those innocent bystanders.

72. Whoa, there’s an actual result on YouTube if you search “Mirando is” … ahem … you know.

73. Black Chalk, aka “Blackwater.”

74. There’s so much pain in Okja’s bloodshot eyes. I’m not crying—you’re crying.

75. Just like all animals, Okja feels pain and wants to live free from harm and the fear of death.

76. This farm looks like a concentration camp for super-pigs.

77. Floors flooded with blood, carcasses hanging from the ceiling, yet, somehow, real-life farms are still more disgusting and disturbing.

78. All this death and suffering, when people could just eat plants!

79. Hats off to Tilda Swinton for embodying the heartless, sociopathic nature of the meat industry.

80. Lives ARE NOT property. Throughout history, we’ve proven this time and again.

81. I feel like, in real life, a meat industry CEO would have taken the golden pig AND killed Okja just for fun.

82. Would have probably killed and eaten Mija, too.

83. OH, MY GOD, those other pigs saved their baby! Okja will be a surrogate mother. OK, this time I am crying.

84. This movie is going to have people crying in the meat aisles of grocery stores.

85. Told you.

86. Imagine how all mother pigs must feel when their babies are torn away from them.

87. I’d hate to spoil this moment with my cynicism, but really, they saved two pigs out of thousands. Everyone, please go vegan.

88. Oh snap, extra scenes after the credits! Marvel changed the game.

89. Jay was jailed long enough to grow a beard. A beard! For simply wanting to save lives through nonviolence.

90. It’s a real website!

Wow, that was quite the ride. Thank you for making it through all this insane hullabaloo, and I hope you enjoyed the movie as much as I did!

91. Seriously, go vegan.

Order a FREE vegan 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

Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click on the 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.


Looking for merchandise? Action for Animals has a very good selection :

Have questions? Click HERE

the heart sees
the heart feels
at the heart of it all
the love

Karen Lyons Kalmenson


Whenever we eat animal foods, we are being exploited

August 21, 2017

Source The World Peace Diet
By Dr. Will Tuttle

The most obvious and non-controversial characteristic of animal agriculture is that it is a system in which humans exploit animals for food. The vast majority of us go along with the internalized cultural narratives that justify this exploitation. We don’t realize that we are also being abused and exploited by the same system that is exploiting the cows, chickens, fishes, and pigs.

There’s basically one primary reason any of us eats animal-sourced foods: we do this because we’re following orders that were injected into us from infancy by well-intentioned people we trusted completely. This indoctrination is literally eaten in the most potent and pervasive of all social rituals, our daily meals. It’s important to understand that when we go to shops and restaurants and purchase animal foods, we are not only sustaining a system of exploitation of animals, we are also unwittingly fueling our own exploitation on many levels, and in feeding these foods to our children, we’re fueling their exploitation as well.

Let’s take cows as a profoundly relevant example. Cows are clearly designed to thrive on grass, but they are fed richer and more complex grains such as soy, corn, oats, wheat, and alfalfa in order to boost milk production in dairies and increase weight gain in beef operations. This causes cows digestive distress and leads ironically to the proliferation of the E. coli bacterial strains that are deadly to human consumers of undercooked hamburgers. However cow exploiters don’t stop with grains. Agricultural scientists discovered long ago that if cow feed is “enriched” with fish meal as well as the rendered flesh and offal of chickens, pigs, cows, dogs, cats, and other animals, this is even better than grain at promoting milk production and weight gain, and thus increased profits for the industries involved.

In sum, cows are fed foods that are not in their interest, but that are to the advantage of their exploiters. With us, if we are eating animal foods, it is precisely the same situation. Like cows, we are created and have evolved to thrive on the food for which we are designed, which in our case is whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Like cows, we can certainly eat other foods, such as animal flesh and mammary secretions designed for other species, and as in the case of cows, this harms our health on many levels, but the significant point is that it increases the profits of our exploiters, and so it continues. The animal exploiters have stolen the sovereignty of cows, and so the cows are powerless to eat anything but what the exploiters provide them. With both cows and humans it is remarkably similar. Exploiters provide the foods that they want the exploitees to consume to maximize their profits and power, and the exploitees dutifully comply. They encourage each other by their shared example, and additionally in our case, we ironically police each other to ensure compliance.


The World Peace Diet

The benefits to the exploiters in these situations are vast. The disempowerment and harm to the exploitees are equally vast. Let’s have a brief look at the consequences of this exploitation on five levels of our health.

First, our physical health. Being compelled from infancy to eat animal-based foods, we are more likely to develop cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, auto-immune diseases, dementia, and the other chronic diseases which fuel hundreds of billions of dollars of profits annually for the pharmaceutical-medical complex, and the banks and financial institutions in the background. This system, and the governmental, academic, media, and corporate complex that is tied in with it, requires a steady flood of reliably sick people. Feeding the population a diet based on animal foods that concentrate toxins accomplishes this. Most of the wealth generated concentrates in the hands of a powerful elite, while most of us endure economic injustices such as exorbitant medical costs that ravage our economy and well-being. Eating animal foods, we become unwitting cash cows for an aggressive medical-pharmaceutical complex.

Second, our environmental health. Animal agriculture is well recognized to be the single most environmentally devastating human activity, destroying forests, oceans, aquifers, soil quality, climate stability, and propelling the mass extinction of species through rampant habitat destruction. Here again, we are being exploited when we purchase and eat animal-based foods. Because animal-based foods require much more petroleum, land, fertilizer, pesticides, and water, we are paying powerful and polluting petroleum, chemical, and agribusiness corporations and financial institutions to not only devastate the precious air, water, soil, and life quality for ourselves and our children, but we are also funding their legendary political power to infiltrate and dominate our governmental, educational, legal, and media institutions. As a result, these corporations are even subsidized with billions of our tax dollars annually to damage the health of our ecosystems, which further erodes our physical health, increasing our disease rates and the profits to the medical complex and the bankers lurking in the background.

Third, our cultural health. Because animal agriculture is profoundly wasteful of oil, water, land, and food, we have chronic food shortages in our world, even though we grow more than enough food to feed everyone, if we ate plant-based food directly rather than feeding it to livestock. Food shortages are well recognized to be the primary driving force behind much of the conflict in our world, and together with this inevitable conflict, is the direct cause of refugees, social breakdown, and many forms of human trafficking. The very first word for war going back ten thousand years is the ancient word “gavyaa” meaning literally “the desire for more cows.” Economic injustice, war, hunger, domination of women, and the arising of a privileged ruling elite are all linked to the ancient invention of animal herding around which we still organize our society. Thus, instead of using our economic surplus to revitalize our ecosystems, rebuild our infrastructure, and assure adequate housing, food, education, healthcare, and opportunity for all, we use it primarily for subsidizing the wealthy military and medical complexes. We sacrifice our children in wars that benefit a ruling class that uses the media and other institutions to propagate narratives that justify and promote an agenda of violence. Eating animal foods, we are fueling continued harm to our cultural health as well as the ongoing exploitation of our children and of ourselves.

Fourth, our psychological health. When, as children, we are compelled to sit at the table and eat animal foods that are harmful to our physical health, we are also being compelled to eat attitudes and beliefs that injure our psychological health. With every meal, we are being colonized psychologically in order to be malleable to the military-industrial-meat-medical-media complex. There are many dimensions to this, but to keep it brief, we’ll just look at a few, for example, the attitude of disconnectedness and desensitization that is imposed on us by being required as children to relentlessly eat animal foods. It’s well understood in systems theory that intelligence is the capacity for any system to make relevant connections and respond to feedback. Eating animal foods reduces this capacity and numbs our feelings both individually and collectively. We learn to stay shallow and avoid looking, listening, and feeling deeply. We avoid making the dreaded connection between what we are eating and what it took to get it on our plate. We are indoctrinated in daily meal rituals to repress our natural empathy and caring for others and this reduction of our cognitive and affective intelligence makes it comparatively easy for us to become gullible and uncritical consumers of narratives and products that reduce, harm, and enslave others and us. Our minds and bodies are also colonized by the poisonous attitude that beings are not beings but are rather mere commodities: material objects that we buy and sell by the pound. Upon reflection, this is shockingly debasing to others and to ourselves, but we both propel and consume this highly exploitive attitude with every meal, sowing seeds of our own exploitation. Finally, we are compelled to eat dairy, eggs, and meat products that require rampant abuse of animal mothers, their forced insemination and stealing of their babies and the destruction of their sacred mother-child bonds. We become easily exploited psychologically by causing and eating this trauma, repressing our feminine capacity, and feeding this to our trusting children. We eat products that are the embodiment of misery, fear, despair, insomnia, frustration, and chronic pain. The pharmaceutical industry’s most immense profits come from people buying drugs for precisely these conditions: despair, trauma, insomnia, depression, and chronic pain.

Fifth, and finally, our spiritual health. This may be the most severe exploitation of all. Every meal corrodes our basic connection with our true nature as eternal expressions of consciousness. By being required to repeatedly and ritually reduce other magnificent expressions of life to mere physical matter devoid of subjectivity and purpose, we sever our connection with the beauty, abundance, and enchantment of the living, interconnected web of life that is celebrating on this Earth. We have unwittingly become, in significant ways, an abusive scourge on this Earth that destroys and consumes as our life-purpose, both individually and collectively.


The World Peace Diet

Our innate spiritual wisdom and our purpose have been paved over and repressed, and as we become sick and addicted, our exploitation increases dramatically. A false purpose and set of narratives has been forced on us by the herding culture into which we are born: that we are here to exploit the garden and consume it. Other animals and ecosystems pay a steep price for our inability to free ourselves from being exploited, as do our children and we ourselves, ultimately.

The animal agriculture roots of our multi-dimensional exploitation have been invisible and unrecognized for too long. Now we can finally see and fully understand the dynamics involved. Being compelled from infancy to eat animal foods has created us to be a severely wounded population with drastically reduced capacities intellectually, emotionally, morally, and spiritually to fulfill our potential and create contexts that nurture justice, cooperation, creativity, freedom, joy, radiant health, and sustainability. Fortunately, this is beginning to change, and the momentum of our healing and awakening is increasing.

We can see two raging infernos on this planet. One is burning and destroying ecosystems, animals, societies, sanity, health, and our children’s future. The other is benevolent and is illuminating and incinerating the obsolete delusions perpetuated by our unquestioned exploitation of animals, and is revealing a new path to a doorway that leads to a positive future.

We will be free when we free others, and there is nothing physically holding us back from the evolution of respect, freedom, and harmony that is beckoning us. Whenever we eat animals foods of any kind—free-range, grass-fed, wild-caught, factory-farmed—it is all the same and cut from the same cloth: exploitation. Our exploitation ends when we awaken from the cultural program of exploiting other living beings and co-create a more aware plant-based way of eating and living, and understand the reasons behind this. Exploiting animals, we exploit and delude ourselves; freeing animals, we free ourselves.

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