10/06/2017, Protest against slaughterhouses

On Saturday, June 10th I attended the Protest for the closure of slaughterhouses that took place in Paris and was organized by the animal protection association L214.
Before the protest, we could enjoy the Vegan Place, which was wider than usual, it was perfect ! Many tempting things to eat and nice T-shirts, but, as a broke student who is saving her little money for the trip to Cuba, I only strolled between the stands 🙂

We were approximately 3500 for the march, and it was very moving to see that many people involved in animal rights. In everyday life, I’m not lucky enough to be around this type of people, so it’s fantastic to see that there actually are people who share my opinions and fight for animal rights daily. I wasn’t sure I’d follow the crowd at first, for various reasons, however I got carried away by the positive energy that it emitted. It kinda restored my faith in humanity 😉

PS : for vegans who love running and would like to show that they are not dying from protein deficiency at the bottom of their bed : Vegan Marathon !

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Samedi 10 juin, j’étais à la Marche pour la fermeture des abattoirs, organisée par l’association L214.
Avant la marche on pouvait profiter de la Vegan Place, qui était plus étendue que d’habitude, c’était parfait ! Plein de trucs à manger très tentants et de jolis T-shirts, mais en tant qu’étudiante fauchée qui doit garder ses maigres économies pour le voyage à Cuba, je n’ai fait que me promener entre les stands 🙂

Nous étions environ 3500 pour cette marche, et c’était très émouvant de voir tant de gens impliqués pour les droits des animaux. Dans la vie quotidienne, je n’ai pas la chance de côtoyer ce genre de personnes, c’est donc merveilleux de constater qu’il existe bel et bien des gens qui partagent mes opinions et luttent au quotidien pour la cause animale. Je ne savais pas si j’allais suivre la marche à la base, pour diverses raisons, mais je me suis facilement laissée emporter par les ondes positives que dégageait cette foule. J’ai (un petit peu) regagné foi en l’humanité 😉

PS : Pour les vegan qui aiment courir et souhaitent montrer que non, ils ne sont pas en train de comater au fond de leur lit du fait de carences en protéines : Vegan Marathon !

Vegan culture in the USA

In addition to the editorial I already posted, I also wanted to share this presentation I made about veganism. Not that I’m planning to show all my university work here, but as this topic is something more important than just a “topic for presentations”, I like to share it. And no, I don’t do all my presentations about veganism, I’ll have to find something else for next time 😉

Il s’agit une nouvelle fois d’un travail que j’ai fait dans le cadre de l’université, et je ne vais pas le traduire car c’est assez long ! Il y a donc quelques exceptions à mes traductions (je ne sais pas ce que vaut la traduction automatique de pages par Google), mais comme vous pouvez le constater la grande majorité des posts sont tout de même dans les deux langues 🙂

>> HOW AND WHY IS VEGAN CULTURE EXPANDING IN THE USA ? <<

First, let’s introduce the word « culture ». According to the Cambridge dictionary, it is :
1) A way of life : The way of life, especially the general customs and beliefs, of a particular group of people at a particular time.
2) Art : Music, art, theatre, literature, etc.

>> Veganism is related to the « way of life » definition of culture. Vegan culture represents the behavior and beliefs characteristics of a particular social group ; it is a way of life because it is linked to what these people eat, what they wear, and their activities.

VEGANISM

✽ Definition

Veganism « is both the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals ». (Amethyst Family Foundation)

As said previously, vegan culture is linked to all aspects of life. Vegans don’t eat animals nor products that come from animals. Also, they don’t wear anything that comes from animal exploitation : no leather, no silk, no fur. They don’t go to zoos, circuses, nor practice any activities that involve animals like horse or camel or elephant riding,...

✽ Reasons

Many vegans chose this lifestyle to promote a more caring world. They know that they are not perfect but they believe that they have a responsibility to do their best, while not being judgmental of others.

« Those who claim to care about the well-being of human beings and the preservation of our environment should become vegetarians for that reason alone. They would thereby increase the amount of grain available to feed people elsewhere, reduce pollution, save water and energy, and cease contributing to the clearing of forests. »
Peter Singer, Australian philosopher

« The way that we breed animals for food is a threat to the planet. It pollutes our environment while consuming huge amounts of water, grain, petroleum, pesticides and drugs. The results are disastrous. »
David Brubaker, PhD, John Hopkins University

(http://shrinkthatfootprint.com)

  • For the animals

    The key factor that made most vegans chose this lifestyle is the prevention of animal exploitation. It is based on the idea that all sentient creatures have a right to life and freedom. Avoiding animal products is the most obvious thing someone can do to stand against animal cruelty and animal exploitation.

  • For health

    There are many scientifically proven benefits to a vegan diet. Well-planned plant-based diets are rich in protein, iron, and other essential vitamins and minerals. It is a diet that helps reduce some of the world’s biggest health issues like obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

  • For people

    A plant-based diet is a more sustainable way of feeding humans, because it requires only one third of the land needed to support a meat and dairy diet.  In Brazil for example, the equivalent of 5.6 million acres of land is used to grow soya beans for animals in Europe. It contributes to world malnutrition by making impoverished populations to grow crop for animals rather than food for themselves.

  • For the environment

    The livestock sector is the second leading cause of climate change : it is responsible for 15% of greenhouse gas emissions. The important amount of grain feed required for meat production is a significant contributor to deforestation, habitat loss, acid rain and species extinction. As for veganism, much lower quantities of crops and water are required to sustain the diet.

    >> Here is a video that sums up some of these reasons

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    VEGANISM IN THE USA

    ✽ Numbers and facts

    • In 2009, only 1% of the US population reported being vegetarian or vegan
    • Now, 5% of the US population is vegetarian and half of those 5% are vegan. The rates have risen very quickly over the last 5 years and those rates keep climbing.

    ➜ 16 million people in the USA are now vegan or vegetarian

      • 69% chose to eat a vegan diet to support the ethical treatment of animals
      • 45% transitioned into veganism over time
      • 42% of those who don’t eat animal products went vegan after seeing an educational film. There are for example Earthlings (ENG version / FR version) and Cowspiracy that show very well what happens.
      • 52% of vegans have been eating vegan for less than 10 years. It shows that the USA has become more knowledgeable about all this over the last years.

    Restaurants are adapting to vegan culture, by offering more and more vegan meals, and many exclusive vegan restaurants, that were not around five years ago, are opening now.

    Supermarkets are also adapting, by offering more vegan products, and the online vegan food industry has been growing the last five years and keeps developing.

    ✽ Vegan American celebrities

    In the latest years, veganism was often associated with a hippie lifestyle. However, the perception of veganism has changed thanks to celebrities and famous bloggers and it has become more « glamorous ».

    Indeed, many celebrities have become vegan, like Jennifer Lopez, Brad Pitt, Natalie Portman, Bill Gates,… On the top of the rank, there are Beyonce and Jay-Z who are partners in a vegan food company. There are also vegan athletes, like Venus Williams and Mike Tyson.

    Generally speaking, there are many athletes, talk show hosts, millionaires, and political figures who are now turning to a vegan diet.

    >> Here is an interview of Moby, who has been vegan for a long time : « Why I went vegan »

    CONCLUSION

    Veganism is no longer considered as the diet for hippies or eccentric people, it has become a smart way to live that can help reduce our ecological footprint and develops our compassion.
    Concerning the USA, It’s now estimated that by 2050, it may be a « vegan country », or at least by a large percentage.

    >> Ranking of the Top vegan-friendly cities in the USA here

    Sources :
    The Cambridge dictionary
    The Huffington Post
    The Amethyst Family Foundation
    The Raw Food World
    Vegan Outreach
    Vegan Society

Editorial : Veganism

(Source : treehugger.com/green-food/why-love-one-eat-other-ads-stir-controversy-toronto-subway-system.html)

In English class last year, we were asked to write an editorial. We weren’t given any rules or specific topics, I guess the point was just to see how we express our opinions. I chose to write about veganism, which is an important topic to me so I thought I’d share it.

The article doesn’t include exact data (detailed percentages etc) – it’s just something I wrote quickly- and I don’t necessarily intend to write about veganism on this blog (I have kind of given up the idea of making people think about all this…), even if there are and will be a few things about it ! 🙂

Oh et je ne l’ai pas mis en français, car ce n’est pas un sujet qui passionne grand-monde et j’aurais la flemme de traduire pour rien… mais bon en cas de demandes, je le ferai 😉

THE OPINION PAGES  |  Editorial

THE OBVIOUS – AND LESS OBVIOUS – REASONS WHY HUMANS SHOULD LEAVE ANIMALS OUT OF THEIR PLATES

By the Editorial Board – 22 March 2016

People tend to see their food as mere food, as inanimate elements whose only purpose is to please them. Has this piece of chicken really always been a lifeless thing ? And what about that slice of meat in the hamburger ? And the fish in the sushis ? A more relevant way of looking at things would be to consider where they come from. The chicken, as well as the cow, the salmon, the goat, or any other sentient being*, just wants to live and enjoy his or her life.

Indeed, all living beings have the right to live, and by saying all, it means not only humans. This species like to think that it is the most important on Earth, that its rights are unlimited and that it is above all the others. Humans are so selfish they think everything belongs to them and that they can just do whatever they want. This way of thinking is clearly nonsense. Without nature and animals, humans wouldn’t survive. Each plant, each insect and each animal has a role on Earth, a precise role that enables a good harmony all around the planet. However, what is the role of humans ? A role of polluting ? Of destroying ? Of killing ? Animals and nature, as for them, would live perfectly – if not better – in the absence of human beings.

Some people are not aware (demonstration here) that they are eating a being that once had a soul, a family and surely a natural appetite for life. Others just don’t care. The latter’s level of compassion is not important enough to admit that animals are not there to be exploited and eaten. How can someone be so cruel ? Actually, most people couldn’t kill an animal themselves, because « it’s horrible to see an animal suffering ». Yes, it is and it does not diminish the suffering if someone else does it. Buying meat or fish is supporting the idea that animals are inferior, that they do not have rights, and that someone’s own pleasure is more important than someone else’s life.

What most people ignore is that humans have no need to eat animals. Human bodies are not meant to be cemeteries. Lions’ bodies, with their very short bowel, are constituted so as to eat flesh ; they are definitely carnivorous. Humans are not. (Have a look at comparative anatomy for more details) Therefore, what’s the point in eating an animal that has eaten plants (and food supplements) to get proteins, when it’s possible to eat the plants (and the food supplements, if needed) directly ? No intermediary is necessary.

Now let’s get to the products that come from animals. What can possibly be the problem with eggs and milk ? These past few years, awareness has risen and more and more people are becoming vegan ; there are strong reasons for that. Veganism is a way of life that rejects all products that come from the exploitation of animals, in every way. So it also means refusing to wear leather and fur for example.

In the egg industry, male chickens are not needed. Indeed, they do not produce eggs. So what’s done with them ? Will they be kept and fed for free and live happily ever after ? It is not really like that. Male chickens are killed soon after their birth. Sometimes they are crushed, sometimes smothered by being put alive in plastic bags and thrown away. Concerning female chickens, they are so privileged they will have the right to live in tiny and dirty cages where they can’t even spread their wings, and they will spend their whole lives laying, their eggs always stolen from them. When they will start producing fewer eggs, they will be killed and eaten as they will not be profitable anymore.

Now what about milk ? In order to produce milk, a cow needs to give birth. So as to have pregnant cows, the animals are raped : the common expression used for that is “artificial insemination”. Then, when the cow gives birth, as it has been decided that the milk will be for humans, her baby is stolen from her and most of the time killed for its meat. In addition to these horrible practices, let’s take into account the fact that humans drinking milk from cows makes as much sense as humans drinking milk from dogs or giraffes. (PETA made this funny video about it) Why on Earth would humans need proteins that have the property of making a baby cow grow ? Cows’ milk is for calves.

The most pertinent and clever thing for everyone to do would be to become vegan, for all the reasons concerning ethic, morals, health, and environment.

“sentient being”, and not just “living being” because there’s an obvious difference between plants and animals. Not that it’s cool to kill plants – personally, I wouldn’t pick a flower for “fun” for example – but the absence of a nervous system changes it all. Why am I saying all this ? Because there are many (yes, many) people who are not ashamed of saying “What about plants ? You murder plants !” ( = «I’m feeling quite uncomfortable right now so I’m saying whatever crosses my mind even if it’s not valid»), thinking it’s an awesome and revolutionary argument 😉

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