LettersLetter From Jenny Moxham - Eat greens to spare the animals
Letters From All-Creatures.org and The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation

As published in The Star Malaysia
October 28, 2014

GIVEN that World Vegan Day is on Nov 1, this seems like a fitting time to draw attention to the food we eat or should I say, the beings we eat.

If you asked the majority of people if they considered it acceptable to be cruel to animals, I have no doubt the answer would be a resounding no.

And if you asked them if they thought slavery was acceptable, again I am sure the answer would be no.

Strangely enough, most of these people would, I am sure, support cruelty to animals and slavery on a daily basis.

This is because when we eat animal products we are supporting both since the majority of animal abuse takes place in our farms where every animal is enslaved.

So how does this conflict between what we say and what we do come about and why do most of us fail to recognise it?

As children, we have an innate love of animals and absolutely no desire to harm them.

We have no carnivorous instincts whatsoever and that’s because we are not natural carnivores.

So how does it come about that we switch from being animal lovers to animal killers?

What makes us start eating the animals we loved so dearly in our childhood?

The truth is, most children eat their animal friends without even realising it.

Many parents deliberately avoid answering their questions about the nature of meat because they know their children will be horrified to discover what their parents are serving up to them.

So the answers are cleverly avoided and the subject changed. And in the meantime, meat, eggs and dairy come to be viewed by youngsters as normal human food.

By the time children discover that meat comes from animals, the necessity to eat meat for protein is so strongly impressed upon their young minds that the lives of the animals fade into insignificance. And of course, the injustice of killing these innocent, peaceful and inoffensive beings is never discussed.

Enslaving animals is euphemistically referred to as animal husbandry and is made to seem totally acceptable yet why should it be acceptable to enslave non-humans if it is unacceptable to enslave humans?

Shouldn’t the enslavement of any innocent, sensitive, life-loving, freedom-loving individual be viewed as wrong?

The answer lies in one word – speciesism. Speciesism means discriminating against other beings solely on account of their species. We are conditioned to believe that because these species are different from us, we have a right to enslave and kill them.

Because of speciesism we go from being animal lovers to animal killers and we blithely accept the cruelty and injustice perpetrated on animals every single day in our farms and slaughterhouses.

Thankfully, for the animals, a growing number of people have been opening their eyes to the cruelty inherent in these ruthless billion-dollar industries and the injustice of robbing others of their precious lives for meat, milk and eggs that we have absolutely no need of.

Vegan athletes like Carl Lewis, Mike Tyson and strongman Patrik Baboumian have shown us, by their achievements, that one can attain optimum strength on a plant-based diet and vegan celebrities, such as Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, are making veganism mainstream.

I would like to leave you with a quote to reflect on by renowned philosopher and theologian Albert Schweitzer:

We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do. True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our duty to make the whole world recognise it. Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace.

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