Monday, 31 October 2016

We Will Never Be Quiet

DISCLAIMER: I am really sorry for being so quiet on here. I've not had anything to blog about, I started this blog with the intention of showing people how easy it is to travel as a vegan and expose animal entertainment abroad for what it is, but I'm currently not travelling. It will be a while before I get back on the road so for now expect to see more activism style posts and possibly some nice easy recipes.

Saturday 29th of October 2016.

On this day, history was made. Over 2,000 vegans joined forces in London, people flew in from Spain, people drove for hundreds miles, woke up in the early hours of the morning. Some people came alone, some in big groups, people brought their dogs, children, friends, family. Everyone was there for one thing and one thing only. To be a voice for the animals. 

The Official Animal Rights march, organised by Surge/London Vegan Actions was an overwhelming and outstanding success. I arrived at 11:30am at the meetup point and there were about 50-100 people, I thought "oh no, we're leaving at 12 what if this is it?" oh boy.. 

Within that half an hour, hundreds more people showed up, then it turned into thousands. In fact, the crowd got so big the police had decided they were going to have to escort us and have the road closed. I was so amazed and so full of emotion, I remember standing on my tiptoes every now and then to look over and see all of the different people, I couldn't stop smiling. 

When we began to march, we chanted, we shouted, we cheered. Everyone had their signs up high, whistles were being blown, leaflets were being handed out, passers by were stopping and snapping pictures, taking videos. Cars were beeping, lorries were beeping, tourists were fascinated. 

There was so much energy and so much positivity. I remember during the march, I lost my friend and I ended up marching alone, but I wasn't alone. I was with thousands of other likeminded people, surrounding me. I didn't feel alone. I felt empowered. I remember closing my eyes and feeling the tears building up and I just took it all in, I just listened to the chanting around me and I realised how important it was that we were all there. 

You see, many years ago, similar marches took place. People marched for the rights of black people, people marched for the rights of women, people marched for rights of those who have been mistreated and faced a terrible injustice. Which is what we were doing too, we were marching for the rights of animals, who don't have the ability to stand up for themselves and march. They can't talk the way we can, they can't go onto a computer and write to the government, they can't log into Facebook and create an event like this. We did this for them. 

It is 2016, humanity has come a very long way. There's been injustices that have ended, and this is one of the biggest injustices we have ever seen and it is so important that it comes to an end, sooner rather than later. Animals are killed every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every week, every month, every year. There's over 7 billion humans on this planet, that is already too many. There's even more animals that are bred to be killed. The demand for meat, dairy and eggs means that the cruelty these animals face is at an all time high. Animals are kept in horrible, dirty, cramped conditions, then they will be stunned or gassed, and they will enter the kill room fully conscious because stunning and gassing doesn't work. They will have their throats cut open and they'll fight for their lives, then they'll be chopped up into pieces, packed into plastic packaging and sent to supermarkets as if they are products. As if they didn't have emotions, as if they didn't mean anything. 

But they do have emotions and they DO mean something, just like each and every one of us. They feel, just like us, they love their babies, just like us, they want to live, just like us. 

If the animals aren't enough for you to go vegan, then surely the environment is. Animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of green house gas emissions, which is more than combined transport exhaust, which is 12%. Overfishing is destroying the ocean ecosystems. Scientists recently announced The Great Barrier Reef to be dead. It isn't just the environment and animals that suffer. 

People that work in slaughterhouses are often illegal immigrants who are impoverished, they are underpaid & mistreated. They are at risk of post traumatic stress disorder and in areas where there is a slaughterhouse, rates of domestic violence are higher than the areas without. Fishing boats in South East Asia use people that have been sold as slaves, and these people have a very poor quality of life and often commit suicide or die trying to escape.

There's so much more that I could go into, but do I really need to? Surely these facts are enough to make you think twice about what you make for lunch? 

The Animal Rights movement is more than just animal rights. It is a huge misconception that vegans are just hipsters, tree huggers, hippies, weirdos, we only care about animals etc. As you can see from what I've written above, that's very very wrong. I met vegans of all ages, races, genders & social backgrounds on Saturday. Being a vegan is more than just being an animal lover, being a vegan is about standing up for what is right. It is about putting an end to one of the biggest injustices we have ever faced. It is about saving what we have left of this planet for future generations. 

The next time you want to call a vegan a hippy, or try and defend your habits. Please do some research on these subjects, read books, watch documentaries, visit a slaughterhouse. Nothing anyone ever says will make us stop speaking out for these animals. They need our voice, more than we need to feel validated and accepted. 

There is nothing more important than this movement. Believe me.

For more sources and information visit My Vegan Story

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