Caring for Creation
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy

FROM

Veda Stram
April 1995

As an OCPA Orange County People for Animals Board Member, I presented this talk at a religious event called CARING FOR CREATION in 1995.

Today's conference is entitled Caring for Creation.

As an animal rights organization, OCPA is sometimes thought of as exclusionary in our work. We ARE working on creating a compassionate, healthy and peaceful planet. That is our vision and that is the foundation for and the drive behind everything we do.

OCPA's mission is that our Guiding Principles are present in the fabric of everyday society. Our guiding principles are a declaration of our caring for all living beings, for caring for creation.

  • EVERY BEING HAS THE RIGHT TO LIVE FREE FROM EXPLOITATION
  • BY EDUCATING PEOPLE, WE WILL CREATE A COMPASSIONATE, HEALTHY AND PEACEFUL PLANET
  • THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES TO EVERY INDIVIDUAL'S ACTIONS
  • ALL LIFE IS INTERCONNECTED

I'd like to talk about each of those as separately as I can, while actually knowing the are all parts of a whole.

EVERY BEING HAS THE RIGHT TO LIVE FREE FROM EXPLOITATION

Being the first guiding principle of an animal rights group, this might sound like we only think animals should not be exploited. But our commitment to a compassionate, healthy and peaceful planet really does include each and every living being. Animals, trees, clouds, human beings, bushes, rivers, oceans, insects. And we are committed to living in a world where each and every living being has the RIGHT to live and be well, be taken care of, be nurtured, be empowered, be safe and be happy, whatever form that might take for each being.

BY EDUCATING PEOPLE, WE WILL CREATE A COMPASSIONATE, HEALTHY AND PEACEFUL PLANET

If we didn't believe this to be true, we would give up and not work at all on our vision. We believe that once people are educated, once they find out certain facts, once they are exposed to specific realities, they will change their attitudes, ideas and most importantly their behaviors to include compassionate, health and peace in their daily lives as part of what they wear, how they drive, where they live, and who they eat. We believe that everyone is pre-vegan, like we used to be before we knew certain things. And once we heard that one tiny thing (that one thing is different for EVERYBODY), we altered a lot of our daily behavior.

THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES TO EVERY INDIVIDUAL'S ACTIONS

A consequence is a result. And because as human beings we have the opportunity to think, to plan, to learn, to notice things, we can plan the impact we want our actions to have. We have the opportunity to create consequences.

ALL LIFE IS INTERCONNECTED

We are organic. We LIVE among, amidst, between, on top of, underneath, inside of and within other living beings. Everything we do impacts life around us. Every single solitary minute specific action we take, every word, sentence, paragraph we speak, every little, note, email, post-it we put out into the world, and every blade of glass we walk on, every inch we drive on, every breath we take in and release impacts other beings. We are NOT alone.

As individuals there is one thing that each and every one of us can do many (many) times each and every day to have these kinds of principles expand out into the world: the single most impactful way we can impact life has to do with our food choices.

People consume a million animals an hour just in the U.S. That means 300 animals per second are killed.

There are NO laws, ordinances, stipulations, regulations to monitor all the feces and urine from all those animals; it goes into the groundwater and landfills of entire communities. The environmental impacts are astounding.

More than half of all the antibiotics sold in this country are fed to farmed animals. You eat hormones, antibiotics, steroids in every bite of food that comes from animals. The medical/well-being impacts are astounding.

It is not an accident that those millions animals killed very hour endured horrific, unnatural, stressful, terrifying, drugged, cruel lives. YOU would not tolerate treating a living being in those ways.

Forced molting is the manipulation of hormones in hens. Each year the egg industry intentionally deprives millions of hens of all food for an average of one-two weeks until they lose 25-35 percent of their body weight. This is done to force unnatural egg production. At any given moment, there are about six million hens being started to death in the U.S.

Following is a quote from by the manager of an egg production company as posted in United Poultry Concerns' magazine Poultry Press, Spring 1999:

Our chicken houses hold 126,000 give or take a few hundred. Our molts usually last about 12 days and during the molt we lose right around 50 birds a day. The last couple of days of the molt before we feed them we lose 100 to 150. The day we feed them, we lose 200-250 hens within a few hours after we feed them. The hens tend to gorge themselves and choke on the feed as they try to eat too much too soon..."

 

YOU can contribute to a compassionate, healthy and peaceful planet simply by caring for creation with every bite!

THANK YOU! 


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