Guest Blogger, Mary Christo
Animal abuse garners more attention when it involves certain animals such as dogs, cats, dolphins or whales. Conversely, animal agriculture is an accepted practice even though those animals, no matter how humanely raised, experience fear, suffering and untimely death. That is because farm animals are deemed commodities. Society considers some animals, or species, to be more valuable and deserving of rights. This concept is know as “speciesism.” Speciesism is no different than other forms of discrimination. Morally there is no distinction between cow or dog meat, leather or fur, foie gras or steak. In each case animals suffer for either palate pleasure or fashion. Most people believe animal abuse is wrong. Unfortunately, that belief is often speciesist.
As an animal advocate it is necessary to establish a moral baseline, namely, that all animals matter and that all animal use is abuse. Humans do not need to consume animal products to survive. Current medical research supports a plant-based diet for optimal health. We certainly do not need other animal products such as leather, fur or animal-derived cosmetics when there are readily available alternatives. Animal agriculture is responsible for the deaths of nearly 60 billion animals each year. It is also one of the leading contributors to climate change.
What can you as an individual do today and everyday? If you are against animal abuse and agree that animals matter morally it follows that you do not use animal products. What you put on your plate and what you wear matter! Live what you believe and go vegan. It’s easy. There is a plethora of information and support to guide you. The Internet, particularly via social media, has support groups, recipes galore and everything from vegan 101 to vegan philosophy. Most cities and towns have vegetarian/vegan meet-ups and restaurants.
Here are a few sources to get you started:
Find and follow Mary on Facebook, and ask her about her Facebook page promoting veganism.