by Sandra Kyle, Editor, May Safely Graze
I am not vegan because it is a more sustainable solution to the world’s problems. I am vegan because for me it is a moral baseline. It is wrong to inflict pain and suffering on other sentient beings. End of Story.
To be vegan for the animals is also to be vegan for justice. Veganism recognises that non-human animals have rights, their lives are valuable, and that it is wrong to bring suffering upon their innocent heads and exploit them for our benefit. Speciesism, that states it’s fine to ‘love some and eat others’ is clearly unjust, as animals are equally sentient.
Food is the primary reason why we use animals, and it causes the most suffering and destruction of life. This is especially true in factory farming. Personally, I campaign for the end of all farming, not just factory farming. Every individual matters, not just two-thirds or four-fifths of individuals, and not just those we like, such as our pets and elephants.
However, I am reasonably realistic about the way social change comes about. This is why I’m heartened to see that high-profile leaders and visionaries put their names to an open letter calling on world leaders at the COP27 climate conference to end factory farming. In the letter there is no mention of animal rights or wrongs. The rationale is that intensive animal agriculture threatens our survival because the livestock sector produces more greenhouse gases than transport. Encouragingly, they are calling for a ‘food transformation,’ that has implications for a vegan future.
As an animal activist who has been inside a broiler farm, and a piggery, and seen the suffering with my own eyes, I am committed to ending the abomination that is factory farming.
We will continue to work towards a world where no animal is made to suffer at our hands, and meanwhile, abolishing the extreme cruelty of factory farming is a huge leap in the right direction.