We grow up enchanted by them. We spend our childhood years falling in love with characters like The Lion King’s Simba, looking out for squirrels and ducks in the local park and marvelling at the bugs we spot in the garden.
Yet, somewhere along the line, this natural sense of kindness and compassion fades away. For many people, animals become worthy of exploitation. They become clothes and forms of entertainment. They become food.
An unimaginable number of animals (including mammals, fish, birds and insects) are killed every year in the name of human greed. What’s more, this is both accepted and normalised by the masses.
But, if everyone adopted a Vegan lifestyle, we could significantly reduce the harm and suffering that animals face at the hands of humans. Going Vegan is something we must do to live in harmony with nature. Here’s why.
Animals Aren’t Ours to Exploit or Commodify
Animals are independent, living beings - they are not ours to eat, wear or exploit for entertainment. Commodifying sentient life forms means entrapping another being against its will, putting its health and wellbeing second to our own greed, and setting the cruellest fate imaginable.
If, as children, we were given the option to separate a calf from its mother, would we do it? Of course not. We would understand and prioritise the needs of the animals, knowing quite clearly what is wrong and what is right.
Going Vegan means keeping this child-like love and wonder for animals for a lifetime. It means recognising that animals are not ours to eat, ride, hunt or abuse in any way.
Animals Feel Fear, Pain, Grief and Suffering
All life is important. This is something we can’t argue against.
Like us, animals feel a range of emotions. Sheep feel fear as they are sheared aggressively for wool. Cows feel grief as they are torn away from their babies by dairy farmers. Elephants feel stress as they are chained up and forced to carry heavy tourists for hours on end. It’s up to us to be their voice.
It may be a tough pill to swallow, but by not being Vegan, you are supporting and paying for the mistreatment of animals. You cannot claim to be an “animal lover” while living a lifestyle that both benefits and contributes to animal suffering. If you love animals, it’s time to go Vegan.
We Can Live Happy, Healthy Lives Without Animal Abuse
If you could choose to live a happy, healthy life centred around compassion and kindness, wouldn’t you want to?
The fact is, we can live fulfilling lives without needing to harm or kill animals. No matter what you believe about the Vegan diet and whether our bodies are designed to eat meat, the point is that we no longer need to. Today, eating meat is a choice driven by greed - not necessity.
We are intelligent enough to have developed Vegan-friendly alternatives to everything from hamburgers to leather, with the knowledge and resources available to eat a nutritious, balanced diet without animal harm.
The scale at which society breeds, abuses and murders animals has changed dramatically over the last few hundred years. There is nothing natural about the fact that 50 billion chickens, 1.5 billion pigs and 300 million cows are killed for their meat every year when we have a global population of less than eight billion.
We Cannot Love Some Animals and Sign the Death Sentences of Others
Behind the cognitive dissonance, we recognise that animals can think and feel as we do. Many people have simply learned to shield their eyes against the horrors of the animal agriculture and fashion industries while continuing to support them.
This is nothing but a coping mechanism that allows humans to love their pets as members of their own family while cooking and eating innocent animals that never stood a chance.
Some may attempt to justify this by calling into question a species’ intelligence, but this argument is as cruel as it is invalid. Pigs are more intelligent than dogs, but billions are slaughtered mercilessly while dogs are given cushioned beds in front of fireplaces.
Inaccuracies aside, this argument reflects the callousness with which so many view animals. Regardless of a species’ intelligence, all sentient beings should be treated with the level of humanity we would wish for other people.
As animal rights activist Lyn White once said, “the greatest ethical test that we will ever face is how we treat those who are at human mercy.” It’s time for us to start passing that test.
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