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30 Minutes Well Spent

April 16, 2018

Last month we put up a post that highlighted an insanely gifted animal rights activist from the UK: Earthling Ed.  [Side note:  If you're not familiar with Ed and his work, his YouTube channel is filled with informative videos that I could spend hours watching].

This week he posted a 30-minute talk that was so well done, we needed to share.  We've included a list of bullet points below the video that summarize Ed's main talking points, but please don't use this in lieu of watching the video.  His passion, eloquence, and fluidity on the topic of veganism is so fun to watch, so if you're looking for a library of videos to share with friends, look no further than Ed.

Before we turn you loose on his video, we do want to warn you that some of the questions he poses to viewers might sound a bit graphic and over the top, but we strongly believe that they're necessary to make a point.
  • What gives us the right to arbitrarily point the finger and decide who lives and who dies?  What gives us the right to inflict pain, suffering, and ultimately death, onto an animal that wants to avoid pain, suffering, and ultimately death?
  • If you were presented with a live pig, and asked to kill it "using what you're biologically given" (since all animals do this in the wild), what would happen?  The truth is that we're not effective predators with what we were biologically given.  But let's just say you were successful, and you now have a dead pig laying in front of you with its raw meat, organs, cartilage, ligaments, brain, etc.  When people think about this, it gets them sick and they can't think about food.  It repulses us, gets us angry, sad, and frustrated.  But why?  If we were naturally meant to eat animals, this sight should do the opposite and excite us.
  • If you were presented with a cow and a sharp knife, would you be able to slit its throat?  If we had to guess, you'd probably refuse.  But if someone else next to you said that they would, would you object?  Would you look away or leave?  Chances are this would all be extremely disturbing to witness.  But what if it happens in a building far enough from you where you don't even know its happening?  Does it make it moral or okay?  Despite the fact that most would agree that it's not right, many of us have no problem grabbing a burger for dinner.  If we go out and support the meat industry through purchasing a Big Mac, we should be held accountable for our choices.
  • What if a baby were presented with a live rabbit and a strawberry.  Which one would they play with, and which one would they eat?  Carnivores teach their babies to kill so they can survive, yet we discourage killing at young ages.  Why is this?  If the child were to go for the live rabbit to eat, we would be deeply concerned, yet as they grow up, we encourage the eating of animals?  Now imagine if every child were taught from birth that every fish, chicken, pig, cow, lamb, etc. deserves the same respect that we currently give to cats and dogs.  What would their generation look like as they grow up and are able to make their own choices?
  • When you see a package of chicken at the grocery store labeled as 'free-range', what do you picture?  We say those chickens must have lived good lives (without oppression, injustice, fear, or pain).  But that's simply not true; we know that all of these animals end up in a slaughterhouse.  There's no freedom in free-range.  Some people might argue that it's done in a humane way, but let's think about this...  The definition of 'humane' is "having or showing compassion or benevolence".  So, how do you humanely/compassionately/benevolently take the life of an animal that does not want to die for unnecessary reasons?  You don't.
  • Let's look at the popular saying that "happy cows produce happy milk".  Is the cow happy when she's forcibly impregnated?  Is she happy when her baby is taken from her?  Is that cow happy when she is exploited for what she naturally produces for her child?  Is she happy when she's taken to a slaughterhouse?  Is she happy when a bolt gun is placed again her head?  There is no right way to do the wrong thing, and exploiting animals is always wrong.
  • Is it moral to kill a dog if it's done in a humane way?  What about if they're given bigger cages?  Or if they're labeled as free-range?  What if we brought all the dogs from countries where it's acceptable to kill and eat them, to slaughterhouses in the States that are meant for cows, pigs, and chickens, and we killed them?  No matter what, we would say "absolutely not" to the killing and eating of dogs.  So why don't we have this deep, compassionate attitude towards all animals?  If your loved pet needed to be put down due to health reasons, would you take them to a slaughterhouse?  If not, your answer tells you a lot about how humane you think slaughterhouses are.
  • Just like us, animals have one shot at life.  What gives us the right to say that our taste buds override their shot at life?  Meal after meal, we justify this though.  We take their lives (worth years and years) for minutes of pleasure for ourselves.
  • It's been proven that every vitamin and nutrient that we can possibly need to sustain a healthy lifestyle can be obtained through a plant-based lifestyle.  What this means is that the exploitation of animals is completely unnecessary.  We can thrive off of ingredients that were naturally provided to us on this planet.
Every time we select something from the grocery store, we're placing a vote.  It's either a vote towards animal cruelty, or a vote against it.  We have an insane amount of information at our hands now pertaining to the truth about animal cruelty, so it's no longer acceptable to claim ignorance.  What excuse or moral justification do we still have that's valid to make the choices many of us still make?

If you can't think of one, maybe it's time to make a change.

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