A scene from Death on a Factory Farm:
(Warning: disturbing images of piglets being tossed into wheeled bins, piling up on top of each other, squealing in fear and pain before being fattened and slaughtered.)
NY Times writer Mike Hale wrote a review of the film:
“When I was young, I occasionally had to help load hogs onto trucks for the trip to the slaughterhouse, a job accomplished with the help of prods and two-by-fours. While I was sickened by some things I saw in the film [Death on a Factory Farm] — as was the judge, whose verdict I won’t reveal — I can also undstand [sic] why members of the Wiles’s community would be reluctant to send their neighbors to jail. As one sympathetic farmer in the gallery says, ‘We can’t all eat lettuce.’”
Sigh. Humans can’t survive on lettuce alone, but humans can survive on plants alone. As the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada say:
“appropriately planned vegetarian [including vegan] diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate and provide health benefits”
Just look, it’s not a bunch of salad that vegans eat:
(vegan recipes for the food shown in the video above: http://www.myspace.com/sakura_hi )
People everywhere are making choices more connected with their values.
We are simplifying our lives, buying less and living more because we know that the Earth provides enough to satisfy everyone’s need, but not everyone’s greed.
We recycle because we know the Earth’s resources are limited and that we must share those resources with those yet to come.
We buy fair labor and fair trade goods in order to… well, be fair.
We buy organic to keep chemicals off the land and out of our water, to protect wildlife, to keep farm workers and their children safe and to keep our bodies healthy.
We conserve water save energy, and plug into the power of Mother Nature.
We are realizing that when we make connected choices, we not only build better lives for ourselves — we build a better world for everyone.
But there is one connected choice that sometimes gets overlooked. It’s one of the most far-reaching personal, practical and ethical choices you can make. With this choice we can help…
… feed ourselves and every hungry person on the planet.
… end deforestation – replenish the deep woods of the North and save our disappearing rainforests.
… revitalize our rural landscapes and save family farms.
… stop the number one polluter of water and the number one waster of water.
… return our oceans to thriving underwater worlds teeming with life and wonder.
… make cancer and heart disease a rarity instead of a common occurrence.
… and return wild lands to their rightful owners.
This powerful choice can be done by everyone every day… by you… right now… with this.
Vegan. For the People. For the Planet. For the Animals.
For the People.
We are all connected. The choices we make affect not only our lives, but the lives of other people. If we use more than our share, we’re taking from other people and from those yet to come.
In this day and age, in a world of plenty, it is difficult to understand how, all over the world, nearly a BILLION people are going hungry. And 40,000 will starve to death… every single day. This doesn’t happen because there isn’t enough for everyone. This happens because while people are starving, we are wasting enormous amounts of grain to feed cows, pigs, chickens and other animals so that we may satisfy our desire for meat, milk and eggs.
The Earth can provide only so much food. While the human population is growing and growing, the tiny amount of land on which we can grow food is not. Because raising animals for food takes so much land, water and other resources, the Earth would be able to sustain only about 2 Billion people on a meat and dairy based diet. With a world population of nearly 7 Billion people, it’s easy to see that we need to find a better way.
Vegan choices support a world where ALL may be fed. Vegan choices require only a fraction of the land and far fewer resources than what is needed to produce animal products. The equation is simple: the fewer animal products we consume, the more people we can feed. If we ignore this simple fact, more and more people will be going hungry as the world population continues to grow.
Vegan choices also promote your own health and the health of others.
The number one killers in the United States (heart disease and cancer) are conclusively linked to consuming animal products . Vegan choices work to make these diseases a rarity and refuse to contribute to their escalating spread around the world as animal-based diets are pushed on other countries and upon the poor.
Millions of people, instead of supporting the export of disease and hunger, are taking personal responsibility. They are being the change they want to see in the world. Their Vegan choices are prolonging and bettering their own lives, easing the burden on the planet, and making a life-sustaining commitment to future generations.
Vegan choices conserve land, water and energy. In fact, raising animals for food consumes so many resources that making Vegan choices is one of the most powerful things you can do as an individual to help save the planet.
One of the top contributors to global climate change is… raising animals for food. That’s right, while we’re being encouraged to change our light bulbs (show compact fluorescents) and drive hybrid automobiles (show); the United Nations found that raising animals for human consumption contributes to global warming more than all the planes, cars, trucks on the planet combined. 40% more!
To feed and water farmed animals takes enormous amounts of water. To produce just one pound of meat requires on average 2500 gallons of water; a gallon of cows’ milk — 750 gallons of water. By simply making Vegan choices, you can save over 1.3 million gallons of water every year! That’s so much water that being Vegan you could leave your shower on 24 hours a day 365 days a year and *still* you couldn’t waste as much water as someone consuming an animal-based diet.
Many of us recycle paper because we want to save trees. But the number one reason for cutting down trees, including the destruction of the rainforest, is to clear land to grow food for farmed animals. In just one year, a Vegan saves a full acre of trees.
The billions of animals we raise for food not only use most of our water and eat most of our food… they poop most of it out. In the U.S. alone, farmed animals produce 130 times more excrement than the entire human population — 86,000 pounds per second! Per second! That’s enough to rebuild the Denver sky-line every 24 hours… out of poop. This concentrated slop pollutes our water, destroys our topsoil, and contaminates our air.
We’ve forgotten that the oceans used to teem with life. Whales and dolphins and sea turtles were common and abundant. Schools of fish were so plentiful the waters would tumble and froth with life. But now our oceans are dying… industrial fishing has caused a global decline in fish populations to near extinction in most parts of the ocean. Massive nets, miles long scrape the ocean depths and indiscriminately scoop up and suffocate everyone in their catch – turtles, seals, dolphins, whales and billions of struggling fish. And industrial fish and shrimp farms are creating environmental dead zones – massive amounts of concentrated waste from these factory farms smother the ocean floor and choke the life from it.
It’s not too late… imagine a world of clean air, clean water, millions upon millions of acres of replanted forests and flourishing grasslands, thriving oceans teaming with life and wonder, and vast expanses of wild lands given back to nature and the wild animals who used to call them home. Vegan choices work so that all of this might one day again be the world we all share.
For the Animals.
In order to feed hundreds of millions of people animal products, the factory lines have to move fast… very fast. In the U.S. alone, every year, we kill over 10 billion farmed animals and over 17 billion sea animals. We kill over 3 million scared and helpless animals every single hour of every single day.
How can it be that 95 percent of Americans feel it is wrong to unnecessarily hurt and kill helpless animals, yet 95 percent of Americans continue to unnecessarily hurt and kill helpless animals … so they can eat them? Why the disconnection?
It’s time to connect.
When you make Vegan choices, you stand up for the meekest among us… those who rely entirely on your ability to show compassion. You stand up for farmed animals and refuse to pay anyone to harm them on your behalf. You stand up for the millions of wild animals who are displaced and brutally killed to make room for farmed animals and profits. And you help rebuild the wild lands they call home.
Most of us have had the opportunity to get to know an animal. When you get to know them, you quickly find that they each have their own personalities, their own quirks, their own ways. You can tell when they are happy… or sad… or scared. We forget that this is true… for all animals.
And most of us have felt the unconditional love of an animal… that deep bond that seems to go beyond our human connections. We talk to our dogs and cats and sometimes we connect with them more deeply than with anyone else. They love us… and we love them.
You can feel that connection again and again by giving your love to every animal — those we call our pets, wild animals and those who suffer on farms and in factory farms. Make Vegan choices to align with your true love for animals. Expand your circle of compassion and the love will come back to you a thousand times.
Conclusion: Yes, YOU Make A Difference!
Each of our choices in the past helped build the world we live in today. And each of our choices from this moment forward will help build the world of tomorrow.
There is a way to build a better world – a world in which we would all like to live; a world driven by the innate goodness of people and their values of justice, kindness and compassion for other people, for the planet and for the animals.
Every day you are invited to make choices. Live your values. Change the world.
It’s that simple.
Do your part:
- Go vegan!
- Spread the videos above and other pro-animal videos,
- Share the accompanying Nonviolence United vegan pamphlet and other pro-animal pamphlets,
- Help others do their part: show nonvegans how to be vegan.
(PS, lettuce isn’t that bad.)