This week a lot of people and publications have been talking about veganism – mainly focusing on the effects of coronavirus on animal industries. However, celebrities have also been having some clean, vegan fun. Here’s our wrap up of some of the most important vegan news stories of the week.
Millions of animals murdered as US supply chain slows
As people around the globe continue to stop work or transition to working at home, disturbing reports have emerged of the mass murder of animals in the meat industry. This slaughter is an attempt to artificially hike up prices and reduce production costs by reducing the supply of meat products and reducing the cost of food for millions of animals.
This is happening on a deeply confronting scale, with reports of Iowa farmers having to kill around 700,000 pigs a week to break even. And this is only one American state, and one type of animal.
Naturally, life and death should not be treated as an economic phenomenon. However, the solution is economic – and these deeply unethical practises can serve as a reminder to not give money to animal agriculture. Realistically, the most likely way to stop such atrocities is to slowly reduce community demand for meat and dairy. Stay strong.
Link made between pig farming and pandemic risk
In more pandemic news (we promise there’s some fun stuff coming later), Dr Michael Greger made some disturbing claims about Covid – 19, saying that ‘the next pandemic may come from pigs, not pangolins’, in reference to the prominent theory that the novel coronavirus emerged through contact between a pangolin and bat in a Chinese wet market.
Greger makes links between Covid – 19 and the swine flu pandemic of 2009 in order to highlight how zoonotic disease outbreaks are a worldwide phenomenon. This is commendable, as it helps to diminish the racist rhetoric that Covid – 19 was a purely Chinese phenomenon, and the result of conditions that would never occur in the Western world. This is wrong. Such rhetoric ignores the central problem of poor conditions for animals in animal agriculture – a worldwide phenomenon. .
Dr. Greger has received notoriety through his 500 page, bestselling book ‘How not to die’, which espouses a vast range of health benefits relating to a whole foods, plant based diet. Although many of his claims, such as the heart healthy nature of a vegan diet, are backed up by prominent institutions such as Harvard Health – many have accused the Dr. of cherry picking information to create a picture that is too good to be true.
Whilst I’m not a scientist by any means, such claims do warrant us as an audience to take a more nuanced look at the claims made by Dr. Greger. However, it is undeniable that pigs are often kept in squalor – and that pigs have historically been known to pass diseases on to humans. Those facts alone should prompt a reconsideration of how the conditions of animal industries may be contributing to the global burden of disease and how we can reduce this burden.
And saving our favourite vegan news ’til last…
Arnold Schwarzenegger throws a quarantine birthday party for his donkey
On April 28th, former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger threw a birthday party for his adorable donkey, Lulu. Recorded and posted to Instagram, the star is seen singing happy birthday to his friend and feeding her plenty of treats.
Schwarzenegger is no stranger to showing off his unconventional friends: videos of them litter his Instagram feed as the gang plays chess, eats meals and goes for long walks together. His affinity for such beautiful creatures is no surprise, as Schwarzenegger is a vocal vegan activist and appeared substantially in 2018 documentary ‘Gamechangers’, where he reflected on the positive health effects he had experienced from a vegan diet.
Arnold and his donkeys also had an important message for the people when showing off donkeys Lulu and Whiskey last month: ‘Stay home, listen to the experts, ignore the morons’.
Lucy Bailey is 17 years old and has been vegan for 9 months. Lucy is an award winning public speaker and passionate writer on animal issues. For her vegan activism, Lucy has been awarded the Sydney University Leadership Award and a Sydney Scholars Award in 2019.
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