James and Suzy Cameron’s Message: Go Vegan!

Although this article by Titanic director James Cameron and his wife Suzy Amis Cameron is five years old and was written before the pandemic, its message is more urgent today than ever. 

The vegan commitment the Hollywood power couple made nearly ten years ago for ethical and environmental reasons, has led them to projects focussing on ending animal agriculture.   Recently, they produced Amy Taylor’s prize-winning documentary MILKED.

Read the article here

(Feature photo credit by Roxanne Mccannon/Malibu Times)

Veganism: The Elephant In The Room

Veganism can stem global warming and help bring an end to War.  But it’s still the elephant in the room, writes May Safely Graze editor, Sandra Kyle

In raising the alarm about climate change recently Secretary General of the United Nations António Guterres said we’re ‘going in the wrong direction’ in combatting global warming, but failed to mention animal agriculture as a significant cause.  In November 2021, the COP26 climate summit left animal agriculture out of its agenda completely.

In my country, New Zealand, a full half of our greenhouse gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture, yet our new Climate Change Adaptation Plan fails to address the problem.

The United Nations has formally stated that we are in a ‘Code Red,’ environmental emergency, and all around us we see the climate crisis playing out in realtime – for example, the European heatwaves and Pakistan floods just in the last few months.

When it comes to global warming, animal agriculture is the elephant in the room we refuse to see. The process of raising and killing animals for food is much more carbon-intensive than growing and harvesting plants, and comes with a high cost in emissions. In breeding, raising, and slaughtering billions of animals for food every year we use much more land and fresh water, and create massive amounts of waste and pollution.

When it comes to veganism, though, there is not one, but two gigantic elephants in the room.   The Russian/Ukraine conflict has now been recognised as a full-scale war, one of many conflicts and insurgencies going on around the globe. What is the other elephant in the room that is standing in the way of all our efforts to make peace in the world?


The other elephant in the room is the violence and cruelty inherent in the animal agriculture industry, and the misery it inflicts on sentient beings. As many Jewish writers, including Isaac Beshavis Singer, have pointed out, it is a holocaust of vast proportions where we show the victims no mercy, and from where there is no escape.


“As long as there are slaughterhouses there will be battlefields” Tolstoy said in ‘What I Believe’.   If we want a world without wars, we have to stop waging war on helpless animals.

And if we want a chance to bring global warming back from the brink, our leaders need to begin to name animal agriculture as a large part of the problem, and start working towards a plant-based world

Looking for the Little – The Photography of Hendrika Pauley

With just her cell phone vegan photographer Hendrika Pauley shares her love of Nature and the insect world on her Facebook page.

Every morning she and her dog Rexi head out to capture the myriad of marvellous creatures Earth’s ecosystem depends on, and whose lives go unnoticed about us.  While temperatures are low they are still sleeping, or awakening from slumber, and easier to photograph.    Her photos inspire us to look more closely:-

“If you feel lonely, sad, and forlorn–please go to a field early in the morning when little friends are still dreaming away. Tread lightly. They are slowly waking up, unfolding and stretching their dew-covered wings. Slowly air-dry-flapping their delicate wings in soft poetry-like motion”.

 Hendrika’s message:  All life is unique, marvellous, and should be respected.

Enjoy a selection of her photos.


Grasshopper enjoying the protection of a water umbrella

Fall Webworm moth caterpillar eating

“Slowly awakening from slumber”…

“Busy bee butt doing busy butt work… Both Morning Glory and bee will soon disappear…”

“We can’t make strong silk from our bodies.  Respect for spiders…”

“She wanted to box with me…”

Two suphurs in an embrace

“Be careful… they sleep… on grasses close to the ground”

“Just hanging…”

A ladybug has found a niche in the market…

“In the NoContraceptivesNeeded Orphanage the overworked and underpaid child care workers are getting beyond annoyed with Mildred. She left her offspring once again without notification and took flight during the dark of night. No doubt looking for another hookup…”




‘It’s As Hot As Hell And We Shouldn’t Take It Any More’ – Thoughts on the European Heatwave

On a working holiday in London in 1970 I looked out my window and saw snow for the first time.  The light dusting that fell overnight had settled on trees and rooves, and I thought it looked beautiful.  Even the summer was chilly as I recall compared to Auckland, and the sky was mainly overcast.

More than fifty years later these memories come to mind as UK temperatures surpass 40 degrees C for the first time in history.  Cases of heat exhaustion and heat stroke are increasing, and more people are drowning as they try to cool off at beaches, rivers, lakes and reservoirs.   

In Spain and Portugal, nearly two thousand people have died since the heatwave started at the beginning of July.   In parts of southwestern France, ferocious wildfires are spreading through tinder-dry pine forests,  and tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from homes and summer vacation spots.   It’s as ‘hot and hell’, and it’s not only humans who  are affected, but the whole biosphere. 

The warming of the planet, including the intensity and frequency of wildfires, storms and drought, is negatively affecting not only us but all other beings – their lives, habitats and food sources.     In Australia in 2019/2020, 97,000km2 of forest and surrounding habitats were destroyed by intense fires caused by climate change. Millions of animals, including kangaroos, koalas, possums and other endemic species burned in agony, died through smoke inhalation, or had their habitats destroyed.  In the oceans, warming and acidification is causing cascading effects on marine life through changing developmental and growth patterns, mass migration, and coral bleaching to name just a few.   

When it comes to containing global warming, the greenhouse gases that are of greatest concern are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases. About a quarter – in New Zealand it’s a half –  of greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture and land use activities, mostly in the form of methane and nitrous oxide.  Deforestation to clear land that formerly hosted ecosystems in order to raise cattle or grow crops to feed animals is one of the direct causes, as when trees are felled they release carbon, increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.




Agricultural practices on animal farms also directly worsen climate change.  Intensification of animal agriculture has led to billions of farm animals, mainly cows, emitting a large quantity of heat-trapping methane through their burps.    Manure application, use of nitrogen in fertilizer, and nitrogen deposition are also major sources of nitrous oxide emissions in the agricultural sector. 

Leading New Zealand climate scientist James Renwick warns if countries don’t get on top of their emissions the results will be “catastrophic”.  I think the situation has become so critical now that it is individuals, not governments,  who must lead the way.   One of the easiest and most effective things we can do is to convert to a plant based diet.  



Sandra Kyle is an animal activist, teacher and writer.  She is the Editor of End Animal Slaughter

My Parents ‘Forced’ Veganism On Me – VEGAN VOICES writer Sarina Farb

Next in our series on the writers of “VEGAN VOICES –  Essays by Inspiring Changemakers”, is Sarina Farb.  

Sarina is a Midwest-based science educator, speaker, and justice activist with a passion for making the world a better place for all beings. She is the co-founder of the Climate Diet Solution and was co-host of the 2020 Climate Diet Summit.  Born in Kansas and raised vegan, Sarina has a lifetime of experience advocating for veganism, climate justice, and sustainable plant-based living. Currently, she serves on the Plant-Based Network advisory committee and is a member of the American Vegan Society Speakers Bureau.  Sarina creates empowering and educational content on her website and her YouTube channel,  Born Vegan. A former high-school science teacher with a BA in biochemistry and policy studies, she brings critical thinking, nuance, and ethics into conversations about science and sustainability.


Extract from her essay in VEGAN VOICES:

“From my very earliest memories, my parents didn’t just raise me on a vegan diet. Rather, they laid out a very clear foundation, using age-appropriate reasoning, for what veganism was and why we were vegan.  When I was really little, that reasoning was simple, with comments like, “We don’t eat animals because it hurts them,“. and, ‘We don’t drink cow’s milk because it’s meant for baby cows.’ As I got older, the explanations got more sophisticated, and conversations about veganism became regular family discussions. We also discussed our duty as citizens of this planet to speak up about injustices and problems of which we were aware. So around seven years of age, with my knowledge of animal exploitation and the environmental havoc that animal agriculture wreaks on the planet, and my family’s ideals of speaking out against injustice, I felt compelled to share the truth with my friends and peers.”


Review of Vegan Voices by Bruce Friedrich, Co-founder & Executive Director, The Good Food Institute:

“There are as many reasons to be vegan as there are vegans, as this lovely anthology makes clear. So many of my heroes in one place—what a treat. Read it and be inspired.”


Vegan Voices: Essays by Inspiring Changemakers
Available at Lantern Publishing & Media

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-59056-650-3
eBook ISBN: 978-1-59056-651-0

Calls For A Worldwide Transition To A Plant-Based Diet

We’ve had our head in the sand for too long.  Climate change is real and an existential threat.  The world moving to a plant-based diet has now become an imperative.


Extract from article:

“Vegan Society Aotearoa spokesperson Claire Insley said humans have six years to make large cuts in emissions or the planet will blow past the 1.5 degrees of warming beyond which there are catastrophic consequences.

She said it was absolutely vital that humans broke their meat habit.”


Read the full article here



Expedition of a Vegan to the Heart of the Amazon- VEGAN VOICES writer Marly Winckler

Next in our series on the writers of “VEGAN VOICES –  Essays by Inspiring Changemakers”, is Marly Winckler.  

Marly Winckler, sociologist, is the translator of more than sixty books, including Animal Liberation by Peter Singer. Vegetarian since 1983 and vegan since 1995, she created Sitio Vegetariano, the first webpage on vegetarianism in Portuguese, as well as veg-brasil and veg-latina (now ivu-latina), the first discussion lists about vegetarianism in Portuguese and Spanish. Marly served as Latin American and Caribbean Coordinator of the International Vegetarian Union (IVU) from 2000 to 2013, and was president and founder of the Brazilian Vegetarian Society (SVB) from 2003 to 2015.  Marly was the IVU chair from 2011 to 2014 and has held the same position from 2018 to the present. She lives in the beautiful island city of Florianópolis, where she organized the 36th IVU World Vegetarian Congress in 2004.  


Extract from her essay in VEGAN VOICES:

“Much of the solution to deforestation in the Amazon is linked to changes in eating habits and land occupation. If vegetarianism is encouraged and adopted as a public policy, the situation could change dramatically, and with great results.  However, there are currently no signs that this would happen in the short or medium term.  Even organizations concerned with conservation that have operated in the region for decades have only recently started to touch on food issues, if at all.  So unless critical concerns are raised about the severe damages resulting from deforestation and the livestock industry, Icannot have any hope that what is happening in the Amazon can be reversed”.


Review of Vegan Voices by Bruce Friedrich, Co-founder & Executive Director, The Good Food Institute:

“There are as many reasons to be vegan as there are vegans, as this lovely anthology makes clear. So many of my heroes in one place—what a treat. Read it and be inspired.”


Vegan Voices: Essays by Inspiring Changemakers
Available at Lantern Publishing & Media

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-59056-650-3
eBook ISBN: 978-1-59056-651-0







‘Vegan, Naturally’ – VEGAN VOICES writer Shankar Narayan

Next in our series on the writers of “VEGAN VOICES –  Essays by Inspiring Changemakers”, is Shankar Narayan.  

Shankar is the founder of Satvik Vegan Society (SVS), the oldest Indian vegan organization with ‘vegan’ in its name.  SVS conducts the annual Satvik Vegan Festival (SVF) and International Vegan Festival, (IVF, ranked among the most popular vegan events in the world).  Shankar was an international councilor and regional coordinator (India and Southwest Asia) for the International Vegetarian Union (IVU) from 2006 to 2016.  He currently lives in Sthitaprajna Vegan Forest, a forest regeneration project that he founded in 2009.  Shankar is a member of the Vegan Task Force, which was constituted by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and the Government of India. 



Extract from his essay in VEGAN VOICES:

“Stealing is taking another person’s property without permission or legal right and not intending to return it. Stealing is not acceptable in our society and is punishable by various statues. When we exploit and kill animals, we are stealing their lives, though most statues do not recognize this as a crime. Ideally, an advanced civilization like ours should criminalize such acts.  The growing exploitation of animals in our current industrial food systems also results in environmental damage and drastic depletion of our resources. The inefficiency and harm of using animals as a food source will affect future generational abilities to live sustainably. We cannot continue to take the lives of our fellow animals, or take from Earth’s natural resources as if they were inexhaustible.”


Review of Vegan Voices by Bruce Friedrich, Co-founder & Executive Director, The Good Food Institute:

“There are as many reasons to be vegan as there are vegans, as this lovely anthology makes clear. So many of my heroes in one place—what a treat. Read it and be inspired.”


Vegan Voices: Essays by Inspiring Changemakers
Available at Lantern Publishing & Media

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-59056-650-3
eBook ISBN: 978-1-59056-651-0

Are We In Hell Yet, Dorothy?

In this powerful article Karen Estensen Rubio reminds us that pandemics are the consequence of the Hell On Earth the Animal Industrial Complex has created for our fellow animals, and that moving to plant-based is the only solution. 
“The movement toward a plant-based world is a juggernaut that won’t be stopped, but if we are to save our planet, we must speed it up. It’s the only food system that makes sense for our health – and indeed the survival of all life on Earth.”


Read the Counterpunch article here

Q&A: Matt Ellerbeck, Snake Advocate

SNAKES are amazing creatures. They hear with their mouths, smell with their tongue, dislocate their jaws to swallow prey many times larger than themselves, and their species both lays eggs and gives birth live.   They form bonds with other snakes, and at least one study has shown that they are capable of feeling ‘anxiety, stress, distress, excitement, fear, frustration, pain, and suffering.’

Snakes are found in just about every place on earth (there are a few exceptions, eg Antarctica and New Zealand), but their numbers are in decline right around the globe. Some species have already gone extinct, and many others are at risk.   

Snake Advocacy is an initiative created and run by Canadian snake advocate Matt Ellerbeck, whose preservation work has earned him both a Green Globe Nomination and an Award from the Cataraqui Conservation Foundation.

Matt Ellerbeck focuses his snake advocacy efforts largely on outreach education. His objective is to educate the general public about the threats that snake populations are facing, and providing information and how individuals can combat these threats. This includes habitat management, environmental stewardship, and informed decision making.


End Animal Slaughter asked Matt a few questions.


When and how did your interest in snakes come about?

I have loved snakes and been fascinated by them since I was a young child. I can recall observing large Water Snakes (Nerodia sipedon), Garter Snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis), and Smooth Green Snakes (Opheodrys vernalis) at my grandparent’s summer cottage when I was about 8 years old. The memories of these snake encounters are still very vivid in my mind, which is a testament to love of these animals. As a kid, I remember sharing my enthusiasm for snakes with others. Sadly, this enthusiasm was often retorted with negative comments about snakes. ”The Only Good Snake is a Dead Snake” was a statement I heard many times from people. Individuals would often callously tell me stories about snakes they had killed. I was devastated by this. It was this hatred of snakes that inspired me to want to become a Snake Advocate and Preservationist. Now for over 15 years I have been trying to advocate for the protection of these misunderstood animals.

Matt watching a rattlesnake slither peacefully by.

Tell us why snakes are amazing.

Snakes are amazing in many ways. First of all, they have existed for around 100 million years. They have diversified into some 3,000 different species and managed to find ways to survive in a wide array of habitats like deserts, oceans, mountains, forests, and prairies. They have extremely varied colors and patterns that are all beautiful. Snakes are also amazing just simply due to their intrinsic value.

Are snakes endangered?

Yes, there are many endangered snake species from all over the world. Snakes are threatened by habitat loss, road mortality, and climate change. Sadly, snakes are also captured from the wild and killed for food markets and for their skins. Legions of snakes are also intentionally killed by people who hate and fear them. 

Northern Brown Snake Matt moved off of a busy path.

What can we do to help snakes?

There are many things we can do to help snakes. From creating small habitats on our properties, to being good stewards to the environment, they are lots of efforts that can be made to help snakes. For a list of actions that people can take that will contribute to the betterment of snakes please visit my website, www.snakeadvocacy.com.

Jillian Sullivan is an acclaimed New Zealand writer and essayist.   Her latest book is ‘Map For The Heart.   In an article published on the first day of the new year, she states her desire for New Zealand to go plant-based.


Excerpt, (referring to Rachel Carlson’s ‘The Silent Spring’):- 


‘She was talking about the chemical highway of toxic pesticides, fungicides and herbicides, and the lesser-known road of alternative, biological systems. But she could have been talking about us today, with our highway of intensive industrialised agriculture, our heating, chaotic planet, and the hope that is offered by visionary practitioners and scientists. My wish for New Zealand? That we have the courage to take that other road to transform our industrial agricultural systems into plant-based and organic’.


Read The Spinoff article here:




Ricky Gervais, Bryan Adams and Jane Goodall and 97 other celebrities and organisations have signed an open letter urging the public to go vegan.


The letter acknowledges the threats posed by environmental damage caused by animal agriculture and the pandemic potential from factory farms, and states that we have to change our diets. 


Read the VegNews Article and Open Letter here