SEARCH THE ENTIRE SITE!
WHY WAS JOAQUIN PHOENIX TALKING ABOUT COWS DURING HIS OSCAR SPEECH?
Okay...maybe you really don’t know what happens to cows in the dairy industry. It’s possible that you haven’t been made aware of the inherent cruelty and violence of the dairy industry. In his Oscar speech, you heard Joaquin Phoenix make a reference to stealing a baby from a cow, and her “unmistakable cries of anguish.” What’s that all about? Here is a comprehensive breakdown of the dairy industry...
HAVE YOU EVER MET A COW?
Cows are the gentle giants of the world. Cows are sweet and docile, and they and have no instinct to harm, which is why they are easily exploited by humans. They are very intelligent and emotional. They like to cuddle, and they can form tight bonds with each other, humans, and other animals. Cows are emotional beings, capable of love, affection, and a wide range of emotions. They are sentient individuals with central nervous systems and full subjective awareness. They seek attention and affection, bond with other animals, care about their babies, feel emotions, can experience pain and suffering, and want to live—just like you and your companion animals.
THE MISERABLE LIFE OF A DAIRY COW
The indisputable purpose of the dairy industry is stealing mammary secretions from babies and selling that milk (and the cows themselves) for profit. Yes, it’s all about MONEY. Like all mammals, cows must be pregnant to produce milk. Milk isn’t created without a baby to drink it. But on dairy farms, baby cows are prevented from drinking their mothers’ milk, so that it can be sold to humans. Try to imagine what your life would be like if you were a dairy cow being exploited for your bodily secretions, hooked up to machines, forcibly impregnated over and over again while your babies are taken away from you, imprisoned in misery until the day that you are sold to the meat industry to be slaughtered because you stop producing milk at a profitable rate. Yes, that is the dairy industry in a nutshell.
MOTHER COWS DO CRY IN ANGUISH
When a calf is taken away from his or her mother, she will scream and cry for hours or even days because she wants to bond with her baby. Calves are removed almost immediately from their mothers, which is devastating for her and her baby. The separation occurs quickly because bonding would make separation even more difficult later and could affect the mother’s milk production, which is the dairy industry’s only concern—because it’s all about money. The calves are denied their mothers’ milk and fed formula instead so that the milk product isn’t “wasted.” Cows are not milk-making machines. They are sentient beings with central nervous systems and brains—just like you and your companion animals—which means that they have full self-awareness and can experience emotions, and pain and suffering. Please think about these cows and ask yourself if stealing and consuming mammary secretions from babies who are slaughtered along with their mothers...is who you really are.
DAIRY FARMING IS A BABY-KILLING ENTERPRISE
The male calves obviously can’t produce milk, which is why the dairy farmers kill them right away, or they shackle these babies inside crates all alone, where they will spend a few months until they are slaughtered for veal. The impulse to suckle is so strong in baby calves that they will desperately try to suckle each other’s ears and faces when they are within reach, or even on the fingers of the workers on the farms and in the slaughterhouses. The female calves are destined to become tortured milking machines themselves, which usually entails about four years of misery, during which they are forcibly impregnated over again to keep the milk flowing. They give birth, lose calves over and over again, and are hooked up to machines, until eventually, their worn-out bodies collapse, and then they are ultimately sent to slaughter. These are the simple facts of the dairy industry. Go ahead: Ask a dairy farmer!
THE SPIKED NOSE RING: THE CRUELEST OF THE CRUEL
If a dairy farmer tells you that the mothers and babies are not separated, that’s because they use the spiked nose ring, a standard device used in the dairy industry (on small dairy farms too). The reason they insert these cruel devices into a calf’s nose is so that the spikes will poke the mother cow when a calf tries to suckle on her udders. The mother rejects the calf because of the spikes. But WHY does the dairy industry inflict this cruelty on babies and mothers? So that they can (truthfully) say that they don’t separate babies from mothers! They aren’t separated, but they can’t nurse or bond! The mammary secretions intended for the babies are stolen for humans to consume, so that the dairy industry can profit from animal exploitation and cruelty! Imagine the torture of babies trying to nurse from their mothers, and being unable to do so because of this device, all so that bovine mammary secretions (actual baby growth formula) can be stolen for humans to consume.
WHAT IS MILK?
Milk is maternal lactating secretion produced by the mammary glands of mammals who have given birth. Milk, quite simply, is a short-term nutrient for newborns. All mammals produce milk when they have babies. The milk is biologically designed for babies of specific species: For example, dog milk is for baby dogs, rat milk is for baby rats, elephant milk is for baby elephants, and human milk is for baby humans. Milk is baby growth formula, and contains hormones, proteins, fats, minerals, etc. for an infant of a particular species. Cow milk is perfectly designed to turn a 100-pound calf into a 2,000-pound cow. Like all mothers’ milk, it is filled with hormones, proteins, growth factors, fat, and cholesterol. Additionally, cow milk contains millions of pus cells, blood, antibiotics, steroids, bacteria, pathogens, and acidic proteins (which leech minerals and calcium from human bones). Over 80% of the protein in cow milk is casein, which is also used as an ingredient in some paints, glues, and, oh yes...cheese.
WHY DO HUMANS CONSUME COW MILK AND DAIRY PRODUCTS?
Because they’ve been told that they must! Dairy farmers, the animal agriculture industry, the mainstream media, the government, and even the healthcare industry have successfully used propaganda to convince most humans that stealing and consuming bovine mammary secretions is healthy, necessary, natural, and completely normal behavior—because there is MONEY to be made by exploiting and torturing cows. Yes, it’s all about money. Would you drink cat milk? Giraffe milk? Orangutan milk? That’s crazy, right?! Would you drink human breast milk if a pregnant woman squeezed you a glass? Would you eat cheese or ice cream made from human breast milk? Gross, right?! But think about that: You won’t consume the milk of your own species, but you think it’s totally normal to consume bovine bodily fluids as an adult? Drinking the mammary secretions of another species is not natural or normal. Mammary secretions are intended for the babies of specific animals. Perhaps you believe that this behavior is normal because you’ve been told that it is normal since you were a child? Why would an intelligent, rational human adult consume bovine mammary secretions, paying the dairy industry to exploit, torture, and ultimately slaughter cows?
YOU’RE BREASTFEEDING FROM A COW BECAUSE YOU’VE BEEN DUPED BY CORPORATE PROPAGANDA?
Yes! Think about it. Isn’t it fundamentally gross and crazy to consume the mammary secretions of another species, especially as an adult? And from a cow rather than another human? Most of us were brainwashed by corporate propaganda. It’s really all about exploiting defenseless animals for money. The dairy industry floods our schools with propaganda, saturates the media with deceptive ads, and pays off politicians with campaign contributions (which results in taxpayer subsidies and very little oversight of what happens to these animals). Aren’t you irritated that you’ve been duped all of these years by corporate propaganda to engage in a behavior as bizarre as consuming another species’ mammary secretions—bovine growth formula stolen from baby cows? You are literally consuming bodily secretions intended for a baby, and you think that is completely normal and natural?!
PLEASE MAKE COMPASSIONATE CHOICES
Yes, of course consuming dairy is your choice. But why would you choose suffering and violence when you can choose peace and compassion? Are the fleeting taste sensations of bovine bodily secretions really that important to you, when there are so many nutritious and delicious alternatives that don’t come from the suffering and slaughter of emotional beings? Please think about your food choices and ask yourself if you are being ethical and compassionate, and if causing pain and suffering and slaughter for nothing more than momentary, trivial taste pleasure...is who you really are. There is no biological requirement for humans to consume animals or their bodily secretions. Plant-based alternatives are everywhere now, and they are healthy and delicious! It just takes a little extra time to look for non-dairy ice cream, beverages, yogurt, cheese, butter, etc.
WHO YOU REALLY ARE
Please think about what you support when you purchase anything with cow milk in it, and start making ethical and compassionate and rational choices! Why would you want to fund an industry that harms and kills animals for mammary secretions that aren’t for you and that you don’t need, especially when there is an abundance of alternative products that taste the same and are healthier for you?! The choice to continue supporting the dairy industry is a conscious decision to harm, exploit, and kill others for pleasure and self-indulgence—simply because you like the way something tastes. Is that who you really are? A measure of human morality is how we treat the innocent and helpless. All sentient beings have the right to experience the nurturing love of their mothers, and to live free from exploitation, harm, and slaughter by humans—because unlike other animals, humans can behave morally, think rationally, and live happy and healthy lives without consuming animals or their bodily secretions. Going vegan is simply about choosing peace and compassion, instead of suffering and violence.
NOW YOU KNOW
So...if you didn’t understand why Joaquin Phoenix mentioned cows in his Oscar speech...now you do. Now that you know, will you please make compassionate choices that are consistent with who you really are?
THE ONE QUESTION TO ASK A DAIRY FARMER
Now that Joaquin Phoenix has exposed the vile dairy industry on a worldwide platform, the dairy farmers are angry and desperate, and on the attack! But don’t worry——You can shut them down by asking one simple question: WHAT HAPPENS TO THE MALE CALVES?
They don’t want to answer that question because the answer is that THEY ARE SLAUGHTERED, just like the females are slaughtered when their milk production declines and it is no longer profitable to keep them alive.
Because they think that you are stupid, dairy farmers will say things like, “We only have females on our farm,” because they think that you aren’t smart enough to know that mammals have to be pregnant to produce milk, and that mammals give birth to an equal number of males and females. They will change the subject with something like, “We love our cows and give them great lives!” or, “You don’t know what you’re talking about because you’ve never been to a dairy farm.” Don’t let them get away with that!
Just keep asking them, WHAT HAPPENS TO THE MALE CALVES? If they say that they actually take care of all of the cows, ask them how they can afford to keep all of the cows alive and eating? Cows can live to be 20 years old. There’s no way that any dairy farm can financially support all of the babies who are born, which is a necessity to keep the milk flowing. They are liars! Call them out! It’s all about MONEY for them! They sell the male calves to the veal industry or they kill them right away!
The dairy farmers will ultimately dismiss you and walk away rather than answer that question, and if you are online, they will delete comments or block you, but that’s okay because we need to keep revealing that THE DAIRY INDUSTRY IS A BABY-KILLING ENTERPRISE.
Keep speaking up for the suffering cows and all animals! Now is the time because Joaquin has given us this opportunity to force people to address what happens to cows in the dairy industry. The dairy industry will die, and soon!!
JOAQUIN PHOENIX: VEGAN HERO
The vegan revolution has been kicked into high gear, and Joaquin Phoenix (who has been vegan since the age of three) is a major part of it. He is using his fame to force the media to finally pay attention to the suffering animals.
On January 19th, after winning Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for Joker at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Joaquin skipped the swanky after-party to attend a weekly vigil with animal-rights group Los Angeles Animal Save at Farmer John Cloughtery Packing Co. Still in his tuxedo, he joined other animal activists to comfort pigs who were about to be slaughtered. LA Animal Save hosts vigils for pigs at this slaughterhouse every Sunday from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., providing the terrified animals water, and drawing attention to the horror these animals experience in the animal agriculture industry. The organization also hosts vigils for chickens and cows. Attending vigils like this is something Joaquin Phoenix does regularly, because as he says, “I have to be here.”
Joaquin told animal rights activist and former CNN news anchor Jane Velez-Mitchell (Jane Unchained News), “We have moral obligations to talk about it and expose it for what it really is. We are so indoctrinated with these happy images of animals on farms, on the covers of meat containers, at restaurants, and it’s a lie. I think people need to know the truth and we have an obligation to do that. Those of us that have seen it for what it really is, we have an obligation to expose it, so I have to be here.”
He further stated, “There is a change that is happening and it’s now just becoming undeniable. Slowly but surely, we’re getting there... As heartbreaking as it is when we’re here giving water to the pigs, I have a certain optimism in our community and how committed everyone is. People come down here week after week after week so I had to come here tonight and support and it’s a little antidote to what I was just given, so I’m blessed to be here.”
The mainstream media almost never mentions the burgeoning vegan movement (unless in a derisive, dismissive, or disparaging way) because major sponsors of most media outlets are the meat, dairy, and egg industries, but Joaquin has forced the media to finally pay attention to these suffering animals. If they want to cover him, then they must cover the animals too.
Unfortunately, when Anderson Cooper interviewed Joaquin for “60 Minutes” (which aired on CBS on January 12th) Joaquin did speak about his activism and even took Anderson and the crew to a pig vigil, but CBS chose not to air any portion of that, and didn’t even mention that Joaquin is vegan.
Because of Joaquin, major award shows have gone plant-based: the Golden Globes, the Critics’ Choice Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and the upcoming 92nd Academy Awards (the Oscars) pre-show party and after-party. The Oscars will air on February 9th on ABC. Almost 30 million viewers watched last year’s Academy Awards show. Joaquin is expected to win an Oscar for his performance in Joker, after winning awards at these other three ceremonies and many more.
And it’s not just the award shows. On January 10th, Joaquin Phoenix was arrested at Fire Drill Fridays, actress Jane Fonda’s weekly climate change protest in Washington, DC. Even though Jane Fonda had said that Joaquin wasn’t going to speak, he did, and took the opportunity to emphasize the link between animal agriculture and climate change, and even called out Jane Fonda for not being vegan:
“Something that isn’t often talked about in the environmental movement or in the conversation about climate change is that the meat and dairy industry is the third leading cause of climate change [*see below]. I think sometimes we wonder what we can do in this fight against climate change. And there is something that you can do today, right now, and tomorrow, by making a choice about what you consume. And I think that is something that is doable... I struggle so much with what I can do. At times, there are things I can’t avoid. I flew a plane out here today, but one thing I can do is change my eating habits, and so I just want to urge all of you to join me in that, and you as well, Jane.” (She has has described herself as “not quite vegan.”)
In October 2019, Joaquin stated, “I’m vegan,” in response to talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, when he mentioned eating at a steakhouse. In June 2019, Joaquin Phoenix and his fiancé, actress and vegan Rooney Mara, marched together in West Hollywood, California, during the National Animal Rights demonstration. They wore black T-shirts and pants as they held dead birds during the demonstration. Our Planet, Theirs Too created the annual day of observance in 2011 to give the animals a voice.
Joaquin Phoenix will finally win an Oscar on February 9th, for his performance in Joker. This is his fourth Oscar nomination (he was previously nominated for 2001’s Gladiator, 2006’s Walk the Line, and 2013’s The Master). When wins, he will mention the animals in his acceptance speech, for tens of millions of people around the world to see. Thank you, Joaquin, for using your platform to speak out for the suffering animals.
[*Note: Why Joaquin doesn’t mention the egg industry, which is in many ways far crueler than the meat and dairy industries, is a mystery to me. Also a mystery to me is why he continues to say that the animal agriculture industry is the third leading cause of climate change. Presumably, he thinks that the number one cause is fossil fuels, and the second is deforestation, but because the animal agriculture industry itself uses massive amounts of fossil fuels and is the leading cause of deforestation, these categories don’t make sense. But we can figure all of this out later.]
IS QUEEN’S GUITARIST BRIAN MAY THE NEXT VEGAN ’80S STAR?
SEE UPDATE BELOW!
We’ve been waiting for this! Legendary QUEEN guitarist Brian May will try Veganuary this year! He even has his own hashtag: #VeganuaryBri. And he is encouraging others to join him.
“I think we have dominion over every creature on this planet, which by rights I don’t think we should. To me, every creature on this planet has an equal right to have a good life. We shouldn’t be abusing animals. I think we got it all wrong. We weren’t put here to be users and abusers of any other creatures on this planet. We are here to do good stuff. I wish I was a vegan. I’m a vegetarian and I haven’t managed to make the journey to being vegan. A lot of my friends are, and I eat a lot of vegan food, but I can’t call myself a vegan...”
“I’ve seen a lot of dairy farms... I don’t think we should be doing it. We are not really designed to drink the milk of a cow. Why should we be? There’s an awful lot of stuff in it which is not good for us. Drinking almond milk is probably a whole lot better for you, and it’s in the end better for the environment, too. And it’s better from the point of view of animal cruelty. So, yeah, we should all be vegan. We damn well should be.”
In his Instagram post, Brian May wrote to his 2.1 million followers, “...This is my announcement of intent. Starting on the first of January I, this coming year I will be doing VEGANUARY. Which means I will eat only vegan food for that month. After that, I will take a view on whether to continue or not. I’ve already got the support of some friends who are going to join me and compare notes as we go along...I’m also being joined by a close family member, and my wonderful touring PA... If any of you folks out there are hovering on the edge out there and want to join me too, I’d be delighted. We can mutually support each other ! I figured this book is a good place to start. My reasons ? 1) to lessen the suffering of animals. 2) To lessen the load on our groaning planet. 3) for my health. And ... as an animal campaigner, it has been bothering me for a while that I still eat animal-derived food, that has caused indignity and pain to a non-human animal. So I will try to move along the line...”
In 2019, Veganuary hit a record of over 250,000 people registering. When celebrities (especially rock stars!) like Brian May make the Veganuary pledge, other people will join them! Make GOING VEGAN your New Year’s resolution! And for FREE help all year long, visit Veganuary for all the tools you need: a comprehensive Vegan Starter Kit (including menu ideas, specific vegan essentials, a vegan baking guide, tips for eating out, a product directory, and a guide for reading food labels). You’ll also find answers to all of your nutritional questions and concerns, as well as clear responses to the many misconceptions and myths about veganism. After going vegan for a month, you’ll never want to go back! You can sign up or learn more about Veganuary HERE.
UPDATE: Brian May is going to stick with being vegan in February too! In a post on his Instagram page on February 2nd, the Queen guitarist shared, “It was so much easier than I expected, and gave me so much. So I am now plunging in for a Vegan February!!! I certainly don’t feel like giving up this new journey of discovery. Who’s with me?” Brian, make it FOREVER!! Why wouldn't you? It’s that CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED LOVE (song #70 on the THE TOP 500 POP SONGS OF THE 1980S) for the animals that will sustain your veganism!
THE GAME CHANGERS DEBUNKED?
The worldwide one-day screening of The Game Changers was on September 16, 2019. Before the film’s digital release on October 1, it became the #1 bestselling movie on iTunes pre-orders (beating such high-profile mainstream films as The Lion King, Toy Story 4, It 2, and Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood). The Game Changers is executive produced by James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jackie Chan, and documents the rise of plant-based eating in professional sports. The film features interviews with top scientists and physicians, who present an abundance of research and publications showing the benefits of a plant-based diet.
Joe Rogan is perhaps the most vocal and vehement anti-vegan celebrity in the world. He has repeatedly degraded vegans and veganism. His podcast is one of the world’s most popular, regularly receiving millions of views per episode. Rogan featured “ex-vegan” “health coach” Paleo-advocate Chris Kresser on his November 21 podcast, and they claimed to debunk The Game Changers. Kresser stated that the film is “full of misleading statements, half-truths, flat-out falsehoods, flawed logic, and absurdities,” and called it “propaganda for veganism, pure and simple.”
Then, on December 5, Joe Rogan invited James Wilks, the star and a producer of The Game Changers, to defend the documentary against Kresser himself, on a podcast that lasted close to four hours, during which the three of them debated a vegan diet. (Watch it HERE.) Wilks dropped a lot of truth bombs during the podcast. He brilliantly refuted Kresser’s claims with actual evidence, and in fact, Kresser conceded that he was wrong about some topics, such as B12 supplementation of livestock (Kresser had claimed that there was no evidence that B12 was fed to cows through supplementation, and Wilks proved him wrong with information from the meat industry itself), and the comparable amount of available protein in plants versus meat (Kresser had claimed that peanut butter did not provide the same protein content as ground beef, and Wilks proved him wrong with information from the meat industry itself).
Wilks also repeatedly criticized Kresser’s inability to read forest plots (which are graphical displays of the individual results and overall results of several scientific studies that address the same issue). Wilks cited a variety of scientific studies with evidence from the American Heart Association, American Sports Nutrition Association, and more. He emphasized that studies sponsored by the animal agriculture industry are “four to eight times more likely to have a conclusion in their favor for their product,” and that two-thirds of research is actually industry-funded. This is a huge conflict of interest for the studies most often cited by anti-vegans like Kresser. Wilks also cautioned that people like Kresser are not experts on such topics, and that we should rely on non-industry, peer-reviewed research that is replicable and properly published in a scientific journal. He said that we should also rely on the world’s leading scientists in the field of nutrition, many of whom are featured in The Game Changers.
After the debate, Rogan called Wilks’ defense “fantastic,” and said that Wilks completely “knocked it out of the park,” in defending the facts presented in The Game Changers. Rogan even said this in an Instagram post: “Vegans, you’re gonna LOVE this one! @lightningwilks, one of the producers of ‘the game changers’ came on to challenge some of the criticism that Chris Kresser presented about the movie, and to say he did well would be a tremendous understatement. James knocked it our [sic] of the park, and defended himself and the film quite spectacularly. So much so that I’m actually considering taking the original breakdown of the film offline...” To date, Rogan hasn’t removed the original podcast of Kresser attempting to discredit the film. But the fact that the follow-up podcast even aired is amazing!
The Game Changers is now available on digital and cable platforms worldwide, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, iTunes, Google Play, Vimeo, and VUDU, and it’s subtitled in 29 languages! The film’s director won an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature for 2009’s The Cove. Could The Game Changers be nominated for an Oscar in 2020? Think of how awesome that would be!
TWO AGENDAS: WHO’S LYING TO YOU?
It’s interesting that some people seem to be very bothered by what they call the “vegan agenda.” Does the animal agriculture industry have an agenda? Yes, of course: It’s TO MAKE MONEY! In contrast, the vegan agenda is to stop animal cruelty, exploitation, and slaughter. Which agenda does a compassionate, ethical person support?
Most vegans were duped by the incessant corporate propaganda of the meat, dairy, and egg industries...until we started questioning it. Most vegans believed all of the advertisements and what the “experts” said about needing meat for protein and “humane slaughter” and all of the other lies spewed by the meat, dairy, and egg industries.
These industries make huge campaign contributions to politicians so that they will pass laws that benefit their agenda, and these industries fund the media so that television, radio, internet, and all mainstream outlets will be saturated with the same lies and propaganda. The goal is to fool you into believing that animal flesh, organs, and bodily secretions are healthy, necessary, humane, and guilt-free.
IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT THAT YOU BELIEVED THE LIES
The truth has been hidden from you, quite deliberately by the meat, dairy, and egg industries, as well as the government and the media, who have billions of dollars invested in animal agriculture. The government spends billions of our tax dollars promoting and subsidizing these industries, and politicians are reimbursed with campaign contributions. Is it possible that there could be some bias involved here?
Of course when an industry is motivated solely by PROFIT, that industry will use its power and influence and money and really, ANYTHING to influence the government, the media, and anyone else who will help promote its AGENDA, regardless of any detrimental effects to anyone else (or the environment). Turn on the television right now, and you will probably see an advertisement for slaughtered animals or their bodily secretions. Isn’t that promoting an agenda?
WHAT MOTIVATES VEGANS?
Do you think that vegans are being paid off by the broccoli industry? No, most of us actually spend our own money to try to further the animal rights movement. We aren’t making a profit. The only benefit we get is the peace and knowledge that we are not contributing to the pain and suffering and slaughter of these defenseless, emotional animals, and that we are trying to stop it.
If you are against animal cruelty, then once you learn the truth about what these industries do to these animals, becoming vegan is a rational, compassionate response based on your own personal values. You probably already agree that causing harm to others for pleasure is not an acceptable “personal choice.” Basic human decency dictates that causing unnecessary harm to others is wrong. Once learning the facts, each individual either holds him/herself accountable, or he/she doesn’t.
Vegans have no reason to lie to you about the horrible cruelty that happens to these animals. We are up against very powerful and wealthy foes in the agricultural industry who will do whatever it takes to convince the public that their product is healthy, necessary, humane, and guilt-free. Think about who has something to gain: A small (and growing) group of vegans who work hard to advocate for suffering victims by exposing the truth, or multi-billion-dollar corporations whose sole purpose is to make MONEY?
Who has the most incentive to lie to you? Who has something to gain? Who is motivated to spread false information and propaganda?
And most importantly, which of these agendas aligns with your personal values: the one for peace, compassion, and non-violence, or the one for greed, exploitation, and brutality?
EVERYONE BELIEVED THAT CIGARETTES WERE HEALTHY!
Only a few decades ago, our governments and politicians and the media and even healthcare professionals told us that smoking cigarettes was totally healthy, even during pregnancy. And the tobacco industry bombarded the public with relentless propaganda encouraging everyone to smoke cigarettes. The vast majority of people smoked cigarettes, and the tobacco industry made a lot of money.
Despite numerous published studies from universities and even the tobacco industry itself, it took decades before medical professionals finally admitted that cigarettes are detrimental to human health. Then, eventually, governments and the media followed suit when the truth became so self-evident that it was impossible to deny.
First, people ridiculed the idea that cigarettes were dangerous. Then, people became angrily opposed to the fact that cigarettes are indeed unhealthy and dangerous. Now, it is widely accepted that cigarettes are in fact detrimental to human health.
This is exactly what is happening with the meat, dairy, and egg industries.
When an industry is motivated solely by PROFIT, that industry will use its power and influence and money and really, anything to dupe the government, the media, medical professionals, and anyone else who will help promote its agenda, regardless of any detrimental effects. The animal agriculture industry is no different than the tobacco industry.
When I first became vegan, I was ridiculed relentlessly and knew very few vegans. Now I and my many vegan friends are more often viciously attacked than ridiculed, for speaking up for animals and telling the truth about the meat, dairy, and egg industries. Soon, as more and more people wake up to the abundance of mounting evidence about the animal agriculture industry, the truth that consuming animals and their bodily secretions is unhealthy, cruel, totally unnecessary, and destroying us all...will be blatantly obvious to most rational, ethical, and compassionate people.
Hang in there. The final stage of truth is right around the corner.
NEED HELP GOING VEGAN?
If you need help figuring out what to eat and how to live vegan, click on one of the images above for a vegan start kit, or simply ask a vegan! We’ve all been through this process. We will help you! We want to help you, not just because we care about the animals——but also because we care about YOU. We know that you don’t want to be contributing to the horror and slaughter of lovable animals. That’s not who you are!!
And the good news is that every day it gets easier to live vegan, because vegan products and services are becoming more available and accessible every day. There are affordable, healthy plant-based alternatives that taste exactly the same as meat and have as much protein. You just have to look for them. And every day there are more people who decide to live vegan. You have a support system. There are many Facebook groups that you can join for advice and support.
Being vegan is simply about being compassionate. YOU CAN DO IT!!! Ask for help if you need it. All vegans will tell you that the one regret they have is not going vegan sooner.
THE VEGAN MOVEMENT
The great ethical struggles of our time——against slavery, for civil rights, for women’s rights, for LGBTQI+ rights——all initially encountered the same ridicule as the animal rights movement does now. Ridicule is a defense mechanism used by people to attack when someone tries to make them aware of an uncomfortable reality.
It’s difficult to accept that you have been causing and funding unspeakable cruelty to others. Most vegans had to face that they too were once unintentionally complicit in the horrible torture and suffering that animals endure. We have been there. We understand. Many of us also clamored disbelief and ridiculed vegans because we thought it was too terrible to be true, and we didn’t want to think about it or acknowledge that we were a part of it either.
But it is all true and very well-documented——and very well-hidden by the animal agriculture industry. But the vegan movement cannot be stopped because the truth cannot stay hidden.
Someday animal rights will become an accepted norm (if humanity survives long enough!) because of the ethical reasons, as well as the health and ecological reasons that we can’t continue to ignore.
It’s never too late to stop being a part of it. Do some research. Watch some videos. Talk to a vegan. Find out about all of the delicious and nutritious alternatives. The only regret most people have about becoming vegan is that they wish they had done it sooner.
WHO IS JUDGING?
When presenting factual information, vegans are often accused of JUDGING non-vegans. Facts are not judgment. When you present facts to people who then say, “Stop judging me,” simply tell them that facts are not judgment, and that if they feel judged, then perhaps they should ask themselves why they feel that way.
Here are examples of some facts:
Animals have central nervous systems; plants do not.
The building blocks of protein (amino acids) are all found in plants.
There is no biological requirement for humans to consume animals or their bodily secretions.
Vegan food is grown and harvested, not born and slaughtered.
Dairy cows and egg-laying hens are sold to the meat industry when their milk or egg production declines.
And it goes on and on... They may choose to disagree with the facts that you present, but that doesn’t mean that you are JUDGING them.
When they say that a vegan is judging them, they mean that the vegan is forming a negative opinion about them based on thoughts, feelings, and observed behavior.
And ironically, JUDGING is exactly what they are doing with regard to chickens, pigs, cows, etc., as exemplified in this comic by Vegan Sidekick (below). To prove that point, simply ask them if they eat dogs and cats.
Call them out on how THEY are actually doing the JUDGING when they accuse you of judging them!
And emphasize that all you have done is given them factual information; therefore, if they feel judged by you, then there must be a reason they feel that way (perhaps GUILT...because they know exactly what happens to the animals who suffer and die to create and become their food).
“SHOOTING THE MESSENGER”
Isn’t it frustrating when people want to focus on their dislike of vegans rather than focus on the animals, who are the suffering victims of their choices? Don’t let them get away with deflecting. Keep bringing the focus back to the animals. They say that they dislike vegans, but do they agree with the message that animal cruelty is wrong? Don’t let them dismiss the message and ignore the suffering animals by focusing on their dislike of vegans. That’s called “shooting the messenger.”
Ask them, “If someone told you that cruelty to dogs is wrong, would you dismiss that message just because you didn’t like the person or the way the person was presenting the message?” No, of course they would still agree that cruelty to dogs is not ethical or compassionate, so why don’t they broaden their perspective to include chickens, pigs, cows, and other animals as part of their values that animal cruelty is wrong?
Are these “food” animals somehow different from dogs? There is no moral justification for treating them any differently than we would treat a traditional companion animal or another human. They are all sentient beings with central nervous systems, which means that they have full self-awareness and can experience emotions, and pain and suffering. All of these animals seek attention and affection, form bonds with friends, care about their babies, feel emotions, can experience pain, and want to live.
There is no biological requirement for humans to consume animals or their bodily secretions. The millions of healthy vegans around the world are proof of that, as is the abundance of peer-reviewed, evidence-based research and studies about a vegan diet. Causing pain and suffering and slaughter for nothing more than taste pleasure is not ethically defensible, but most people who participate in such behavior claim to be ethical, which is why we must keep the focus on the suffering animals.
Vegans are simply explaining that there is a healthier, smarter, and more compassionate way to live. It’s about the animals, who are the suffering victims of unnecessary choices, not about us.
DO YOU HAVE AN INFORMED OPINION?
That “meat” you ate was a conscious, emotional individual who was brought into this world to suffer and die for your taste pleasure. She was a mother who cared about her babies. She had a central nervous system and pain receptors and a brain, which means that she experienced pain and fear and misery. She wanted to live.
Are the fleeting taste sensations of flesh, organs, and bodily secretions really that important to you, when there are so many nutritious and delicious alternatives that don’t come from the suffering and slaughter of sentient beings?
There is abundant research proving that humans have no inherent biological or nutritional need to consume animals or animal products, and that a vegan diet provides significant health benefits, can prevent and treat chronic diseases, and is best for overall health.
If you are unaware of the overwhelming scientific evidence supporting a vegan diet, that may be because...well, guess who doesn’t want you to know the truth! The animal agriculture industry, as well as the media, the government, and the healthcare industry, because they all accept funding from the animal agriculture industry. That’s right: It’s all about money for all of these corporate entities—not about the animals, not about the planet, and not about your health! Please really think about that. IF YOU ARE UNAWARE OF THE SCIENCE, THEN YOU DO NOT HAVE AN INFORMED OPINION.
Please also think about your food choices and ask yourself if you are being an ethical and compassionate person, and if causing pain and suffering and slaughter for nothing more than momentary, trivial taste pleasure...is who you really are. Yes, of course what you eat is your choice. But why would you choose pain and suffering and violence when you can choose peace and love and compassion? Your opinion doesn’t make you an ethical person. Your actions do.
WHO IS FORCING THEIR BELIEFS ON OTHERS?
Vegans should stop trying to force their beliefs on you? If you consume meat, dairy, and eggs, then you are literally forcing others to suffer and die for your beliefs. If that’s not forcing your beliefs on others, then what is?
When asking questions and presenting factual information, vegans are often accused of judging and forcing their beliefs on people who aren’t vegan. “Stop judging me!” “Stop attacking me!” “Stop trying to force your beliefs on me!” But vegans are merely speaking up for the animals, who are the suffering victims of unnecessary choices.
If you feel judged and attacked by a vegan, then perhaps you should ask yourself WHY you feel that way (perhaps GUILT...because you know exactly what happens to the animals who suffer and die to create and become your food?).
The irony is that YOU are the one who is actually forcing your beliefs on others because you are deliberately choosing to pay for others to be exploited, harmed, and slaughtered for your personal taste pleasure. You think that’s ridiculous? Then why don’t you eat dogs or cats? Why don’t you consume canine or feline bodily secretions?
You are making a judgment about specific species. You are deciding who should suffer and die: According to you, dogs and cats deserve to live free and happy, but chickens, cows, and pigs deserve to be exploited and killed. You are making judgments based on nothing more than your personal preferences. You are forcing your beliefs on specific species who are then forced to endure pain and suffering and slaughter...for what? Just for your pleasure, convenience, traditions, and cultural habits?
Vegans believe that we are not superior to others, which is why we do not force anyone to suffer and die for us. In fact, we KNOW that we are not superior. We have no right to cause pain and suffering to others, or to take away anything from anyone, especially peace or freedom——or life itself.
THE 10% “TIPPING POINT”
Scientific research shows that a committed minority can drastically change public opinion. Once 10% of a population is committed to a rigid belief, it’s inevitable that the belief will become the prevailing opinion of the entire population. The key is to remain committed.
Referred to as THE TIPPING POINT, the key, according to the scientists, is to stay committed to the goal! We can’t give up! The animals are counting on us!
Everett Rogers’ 1962 book “Diffusion of Innovations” describes how ideas are spread using a “diffusion of innovation distribution” bell curve (see image). We are the “innovators,” a small percentage of the population. Veganism is being introduced to the mainstream now because of us. We have incredible influence – and we cannot give up!
Malcolm Gladwell’s 2002 book “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference” further developed this idea. He wrote, “Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do.” The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea or a social behavior crosses a threshold and spreads exponentially. WE ARE ALMOST THERE!
In 2011, research by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Social Cognitive Networks Academic Research Center, published in the journal Physical Review E, used computational and analytical methods to validate the tipping point as a phenomenon with the inevitable outcome of acceptance by the majority of a population.
“To reach their conclusion, the scientists developed computer models of various types of social networks. One of the networks had each person connect to every other person in the network. The second model included certain individuals who were connected to a large number of people, making them opinion hubs or leaders. The final model gave every person in the model roughly the same number of connections. The initial state of each of the models was a sea of traditional-view holders. Each of these individuals held a view, but were also, importantly, open minded to other views. Once the networks were built, the scientists then ‘sprinkled’ in some true believers throughout each of the networks. These people were completely set in their views and unflappable in modifying those beliefs. As those true believers began to converse with those who held the traditional belief system, the tides gradually and then very abruptly began to shift.”
This rule has implications for religious beliefs, political views, fashion trends, and yes, VEGANISM! As a recent example, we saw this happen with same-sex marriage in the United States. Public opinion supporting same-sex marriage in the vast majority of states in the ‘90s was well below 10%, but once 10% was reached, public opinion gradually changed: By 2013, public support for same-sex marriage in the US had solidified above 50%, and by 2015, over two-thirds of Americans supported same-sex marriage.
For more information on the tipping point phenomenon, visit Freakonomics.
The report Top Trends in Prepared Foods in 2017 by research firm Global Data reveals that American consumers who identify as VEGAN currently make up 6% of the population – up from 1% in 2014! (Global Data uses extensive research and analysis to provide businesses data, insight, and “commercial intelligence” on a global scale.)
The percentage of VEGANS is rising in many countries all over the world. For example, according to global market research firm Mintel, in Germany 5% of adults claim to be vegan, and for 16- to 24-year-old Germans, 10% claim to be vegan. We are almost to the tipping point!
Once we get to the 10% tipping point, VEGANISM WILL PREVAIL!
WHAT IS A SOCIOPATH?
A sociopath doesn’t try to understand the feelings of others. Sociopaths make decisions without feeling guilty for the harm they cause. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), a sociopath consistently shows a lack of regard for others’ feelings or rights. Sociopaths don’t feel guilt or remorse for causing harm or mistreating or killing others. Hmmmm....