Do You Know What You Are Eating?

Factory FarmingAs a vegan, I don’t eat any meat, fish or dairy products, and for a good reasons.

First and foremost, I don’t feel that I have the right to eat our fellow earthlings. Secondly, it is well documented that animals suffer all manner of cruelty and hardship as they are reared for slaughter. And thirdly, there is little or no documentation or meaningful labelling of the meat, fish or dairy products consumed by those who are not vegan.

If a stranger came up to you in the street, and offered you something to eat, would to accept it? Of course not, you don’t know the person, you don’t know the contents or safety of the item they are offering. So why do you eat products offered by shops and supermarkets?

What we need is a deal more courage and wisdom in our eating habits. The courage to ask more questions and to demand real answers, and the wisdom to see that behind the attractive slogans and packaging, there is a litany of deceit and misinformation.

If you don’t believe me, maybe you will believe the BBC … read more

Just What Is Speciesism?

English Lamb, Prior To SlaughterWe’ve all heard of sexism, racism and religious discrimination, but how many of you have ever heard of speciesism? What does it even mean? The spell checker in my blog writer doesn’t know the word, it suggests specialism, which is strangely ironic. Let me explain why I want you to know.

Speciesism is the act of assigning varying rights and considerations to creatures, including ourselves, based on the species to which they belong. It is an old idea, we are told that God put animals on the Earth for the use of man, and god, we have been using, or misusing them ever since.

You will know that apart from being Buddhist, I am also vegan. I refuse to eat any product that is part of, or has come from any other living being. So no meat or fish, no milk, cheese or eggs and nothing that contains any of these either.

A little like being Buddhist in a predominantly Christian country, being vegan is definitely considered to be swimming against the tide. We are all told, right from childhood, that food from animals, lamb, beef, pork, milk, cheese, the list is endless, is good for us. In fact, when I was at junior school, I was the class milk monitor.

Sadly, we weren’t told the whole story, as you may have read in previous posts. What we were never told as children, was how cows become beef, baby sheep become lamb, pigs become pork, or how the chickens who laid our breakfast eggs where kept in disgusting conditions, and still are.

We hear about Animal Rights groups, usually when they have committed some illegal act in their quest to release animals from scientific establishments or disrupting whale or fox hunting. But they are right.

Just because we have learned to use our large brains to develop societies around which we can farm animals, doesn’t make it right. Animals, as members of the family of Earth dwelling beings, have just as much right to be here, and exist in peace, as we do.

Other people can, and have put the case far more eruditely than I possibly can in this post, so please can you take the time to watch the video Earthlings. Be aware, it is not for the faint hearted.  It will shock and quite likely disgust you, but if it makes you think about our fellow creatures and maybe change your lifestyle, even a little, as a result, it will be worth your suffering.

Vivisection – A Pointless Cruelty

Why Animal Experiments Must StopAccording to Dr Vernon Coleman’s book Why Animal Experiments Must Stop, the total number of animals used it experiments around the world adds up to around 250 million each year.

Whilst it is generally thought that the testing of products or medicines on animals is a worthwhile exercise, much of the evidence, most of it suppressed by the medical research industry, shows that it is a fruitless and often misleading way to evaluate the effects on humans.

Some of the examples of testing cited in the book are truly horrific, made all the more worrying when the person doing the testing are largely funded by you and me, the taxpayers. Hundreds of millions of pounds are secured by the pharmaceutical industry from government to test vaccines and other medicines. Even larger amounts are given as grants to military projects, where the testing is often used to prove the injurious or fatal effects of chemical compounds to be employed as military weapons.

As in so many areas of life, information is ‘spun’ in order to present a sanitised account of what is really going on. Dr Coleman presents a sanitised account of twenty five actual experiments in his book. Sanitised to reduce the sickening details related to the reader. The rationale behind each experiment is not given, but it is difficult to imagine how science might be advanced by them. Here are details of but a few:

  • Researchers took fifty nine newly born golden hamster babies, and under ‘hypothermic anaesthesia’, removed the left eye of around half of them. The babies were then returned to their mothers and the results studied.
  • American researchers separated kittens from their mothers to see what effect this had. At the end of the experiment, the scientists concluded that the kittens cried more than other kittens who were left with their mothers. They also added that the crying appeared to indicate stress.
  • British research scientists surgically joined 224 individual rats to make a set of 112 ‘fake’ Siamese twins.
  • A psychologist removed the visual cortex of a monkey, blinding the creature. The animal was then kept for six years to allow behavioural studies to be conducted.

Animal tests can produce dangerously misleading information. Penicillin kills cats and guinea pigs. Aspirin also kills cats. The dangers of thalidomide only came to light after it had been prescribed to pregnant women, despite ‘rigorous animal testing’.

This scandalous cruel torture of animals cannot continue. The incredible waste of money has to stop. Please consider taking the following steps to help put an end to the vivisection industry and save millions of innocent creatures from a life (and death) of misery and pain:

  1. Refuse to blindly accept or be intimidated by the claims made by eminent sounding medical professionals. Many of them have remarkably low intelligence and even lower ethics.
  2. Join an anti-vivisection organisation in your area.
  3. Before donating to charity, ensure that they do not promote any form of testing on animals.
  4. Make your views known to your local politician, chances are that she or he is as ignorant of the facts as the general public.
  5. Try to buy products that have not been tested on animals.
  6. Make your views on vivisection known. Post on Facebook, Twitter and the other social networks. Make as much noise as possible in the name of banning animal testing.
  7. Talk to your doctor when you next see them and tell them that you are unhappy to take medicines that have been developed using animal testing. Tell them why you are opposed to the use of animals in the development of medical treatments.
  8. If you are a student, and find that your teachers expect you to perform experiments on live or dead animals, refuse to perform the experiments on the grounds that no knowledge can be gained from continually covering old ground. Good educational establishments now allow students to opt out of vivisection during their course, explain this to your tutors if they object.
  9. Be aware that it is not only the pharmaceutical industry that tests its products on animals. Many food additives are tested on animals too. Also try to buy products that are free from animal products (fur, wool, leather etc.) as these involve the testing on, or death of in other ways, animals.
  10. Focus your efforts. So many anti-vivisection groups spend more time fighting each other than they do fighting the real cause. Don’t waste your efforts, remain mindful and make the most of all your opportunities.

Remember, despite all the claims from individuals in the vivisection industry, for that is what it is, testing on animals is unbelievably barbaric and unforgivably cruel. It is worthless, inaccurate, wasteful, uninformative and dangerously misleading.

The truth is that animal experiments kill people.

You Know It’s Wrong, Please Help Stop It

Please Don't Eat UsWe’ve all heard of sexism, racism and religious discrimination, but how many of you have ever heard of speciesism? What does it even mean? The spell checker in my blog writer doesn’t know the word, it suggests specialism, which is strangely ironic. Please let me explain why I want you to know.

Speciesism is the act of assigning varying rights and considerations to creatures, including ourselves, based on the species to which they belong. It is an old idea, we are told that God put animals on the Earth for the use of man, and god, we have been using, or misusing them ever since.

You will know that apart from being Buddhist, I am also vegan. I refuse to eat any product that is part of, or has come from any other living being. So no meat or fish, no milk, cheese or eggs and nothing that contains any of these either.

A little like being Buddhist in a predominantly Christian country, being vegan is definitely considered to be swimming against the tide. We are all told, right from childhood, that food from animals, lamb, beef, pork, milk, cheese, the list is endless, is good for us. In fact, when I was at junior school, I was even the class milk monitor.

Sadly, we weren’t told the whole story, as you may have read in previous posts. What we were never told as children, was how cows become beef, baby sheep become lamb, pigs become pork, how our milk is stolen from the orphaned calves of distraught mothers or how the chickens who laid our breakfast eggs were kept in disgusting conditions, and still are.

We hear about Animal Rights groups, usually when they have committed some illegal act in their quest to release animals from scientific establishments or disrupting whale or fox hunting. But they are right.

Just because we have learned to use our large brains to develop societies around which we can farm animals, doesn’t make it right. Animals, as members of the family of Earth dwelling beings, have just as much right to be here, and exist in peace, as we do.

Other people can, and have put the case far more eruditely than I possibly could in this post, so please take the time to watch the video Earthlings.

Be aware, it is not for the faint hearted.  It will shock and quite likely disgust you, but if it makes you think about our fellow creatures and maybe change your lifestyle, even a little as a result, it will be worth your suffering. Don’t Pretend You Don’t  Know. You know it’s wrong, so please help stop it.

Missing Mouse

The Wheel Of LifeThe passing of my pet rat Mouse led me to think about a Buddhist poem about death, from the Buddhist viewpoint.

Though we may relinquish our body in this lifetime, we are not gone, nor will we ever be. Animals are no exception to this, they are simply closer to the start of their path than are humans.

We are all animals after all …

This body is not me.
I am not limited by this body.
I am life without boundaries.
I have never been born, and I have never died.
Look at the ocean and the sky filled with stars, manifestations from my wondrous true mind.
Since before time, I have been free.
Birth and death are only doors through which we pass, sacred thresholds on our journey.
Birth and death are a game of hide-and seek.
So laugh with me, hold my hand, let us say good-bye, say good-bye, to meet again soon.
We meet today.
We will meet again tomorrow.
We will meet at the source every moment.
We meet each other in all forms of life.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Don’t Pretend You Don’t Know

English Lamb, Prior To SlaughterWe’ve all heard of sexism, racism and religious discrimination, but how many of you have ever heard of speciesism? What does it even mean? The spell checker in my blog writer doesn’t know the word, it suggests specialism, which is strangely ironic. Let me explain why I want you to know.

Speciesism is the act of assigning varying rights and considerations to creatures, including ourselves, based on the species to which they belong. It is an old idea, we are told that God put animals on the Earth for the use of man, and god, we have been using, or misusing them ever since.

You will know that apart from being Buddhist, I am also vegan. I refuse to eat any product that is part of, or has come from any other living being. So no meat or fish, no milk, cheese or eggs and nothing that contains any of these either.

A little like being Buddhist in a predominantly Christian country, being vegan is definitely considered to be swimming against the tide. We are all told, right from childhood, that food from animals, lamb, beef, pork, milk, cheese, the list is endless, is good for us. In fact, when I was at junior school, I was the class milk monitor.

Sadly, we weren’t told the whole story, as you may have read in previous posts. What we were never told as children, was how cows become beef, baby sheep become lamb, pigs become pork, or how the chickens who laid our breakfast eggs where kept in disgusting conditions, and still are.

We hear about Animal Rights groups, usually when they have committed some illegal act in their quest to release animals from scientific establishments or disrupting whale or fox hunting. But they are right.

Just because we have learned to use our large brains to develop societies around which we can farm animals, doesn’t make it right. Animals, as members of the family of Earth dwelling beings, have just as much right to be here, and exist in peace, as we do.

Other people can, and have put the case far more eruditely than I possibly can in this post, so please can you take the time to watch the video Earthlings. Be aware, it is not for the faint hearted.  It will shock and quite likely disgust you, but if it makes you think about our fellow creatures and maybe change your lifestyle, even a little, as a result, it will be worth your suffering.Don’t Pretend You Don’t  Know

Speciesism?

English Lamb, Prior To SlaughterWe’ve all heard of sexism, racism and religious discrimination, but how many of you have ever heard of speciesism? What does it even mean? The spell checker in my blog writer doesn’t know the word, it suggests specialism, which is strangely ironic. Let me explain why I want you to know.

Speciesism is the act of assigning varying rights and considerations to creatures, including ourselves, based on the species to which they belong. It is an old idea, we are told that God put animals on the Earth for the use of man, and god, we have been using, or misusing them ever since.

You will know that apart from being Buddhist, I am also vegan. I refuse to eat any product that is part of, or has come from any other living being. So no meat or fish, no milk, cheese or eggs and nothing that contains any of these either.

A little like being Buddhist in a predominantly Christian country, being vegan is definitely considered to be swimming against the tide. We are all told, right from childhood, that food from animals, lamb, beef, pork, milk, cheese, the list is endless, is good for us. In fact, when I was at junior school, I was the class milk monitor.

Sadly, we weren’t told the whole story, as you may have read in previous posts. What we were never told as children, was how cows become beef, baby sheep become lamb, pigs become pork, or how the chickens who laid our breakfast eggs where kept in disgusting conditions, and still are.

We hear about Animal Rights groups, usually when they have committed some illegal act in their quest to release animals from scientific establishments or disrupting whale or fox hunting. But they are right.

Just because we have learned to use our large brains to develop societies around which we can farm animals, doesn’t make it right. Animals, as members of the family of Earth dwelling beings, have just as much right to be here, and exist in peace, as we do.

Other people can, and have put the case far more eruditely than I possibly can in this post, so please can you take the time to watch the video Earthlings. Be aware, it is not for the faint hearted.  It will shock and quite likely disgust you, but if it makes you think about our fellow creatures and maybe change your lifestyle, even a little, as a result, it will be worth your suffering.

A Piggin’ Dilemma

PiggiesIt’s been a beautiful day, blues skies and bright sunshine, although the breeze had a little autumn nip to it. Because the weather forecast has been warning that it will all change tomorrow, we decided to take a trip out to the Frome Valley farm shop at Frampton Cotterell.

It would be a lie to say that I am a vegetarian, but I don’t eat a lot of meat these days. But as Bumble has been suffering from a lack of iron, we went to the farm shop to buy some ‘happy’ lamb’s liver. I say ‘happy’ because the butchers in the farm shop know exactly where their meat comes from, and more importantly, that is has been reared in an ethical and humane way.

As we arrived, we could see that there were a lot of people feeding scraps to the pigs who live in the enclosure next to the shop. But as we got out of the car, we could smell the unmistakable aroma of frying bacon. There are few things that smell quite as nice as bacon in the pan, but it did seem a bit sad when you could see the parents and siblings, the relatives of the rashers that were sizzling away.

Now I’m not saying that we should stop meat production, or that it is unethical to rear animals for food, but seeing the livestock rooting in the mud, whilst smelling the results of their slaughter being fried so close by, I did wonder whether they associated the smell with their recently missing relative.

Pigs are pretty intelligent animals, by all accounts, and although they clearly happy to wallow and root around in the mud of their nice little field, I really hope they are unaware of their ultimate fate. If not, I doubt that ‘happy’ would be the right word to use.

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