As another week in quarantine begins, a whole range of excellent, plant based initiatives are being taken up around the world. Here’s our wrap of vegan news that has everyone talking.

Celebrities speak out against factory farming and wet markets

Former ‘Friends’ star Courtney Cox posted on Instagram earlier this week, professing her stance against illegal wildlife trade. The picture, posted on earth day, has reached over 1 million likes in four days.

Cox included a caption linking the trade to a host of zoonotic disease outbreaks, including HIV, SARS and Covid – 19. Cox’s conclusions come out of the theory that Covid – 19 originated in a wet market for exotic meats. Although Cox is not a vegan herself, we can appreciate her using her platform to speak up for animal rights and environmental responsibility.

However, Cox provides only half of the story of animal – borne diseases, because these diseases don’t only arise in situations that are illegal, or involve exotic animals. Historical outbreaks of bird flu, swine flu and mad cow disease add credence to this point. The problem essentially lies with the unethical treatment of animals who are kept in squalor. Most of the time, these conditions are entirely legal.

On Friday, comedian Bill Maher, host of HBO’s ‘Real Time with Bill Maher’, spoke out against the conditions of factory farms on his own shores by proclaiming they were ‘just as despicable as wet markets’.

Maher’s brave stance is commendable, especially since his boldness could result in considerable push back from his audience. But, we’re greatly enthused by the positive response he’s been getting. Perhaps our dire circumstances are encouraging us to reconsider the way we live our lives, and what we should choose to support.

Clothing brands take a stand against animal cruelty

In other positive news, Canadian outerwear company ‘Canada Goose’ has pledged to stop using ‘virgin’ coyote fur by 2022. This means that they’ll only be using fur from their existing supply chain, and implementing buy – back schemes to customers for more. Essentially, this means that the company will stop actively supporting the death of animals for fur production.

The company, widely known for its fur trimmed jackets, has been the subject of contention for years. It’s very heartening to see companies are responding to increasing demands for ethical clothing and cruelty free materials – even when those materials have become an iconic symbol of the brand. Hopefully, this trend will continue and we’ll be seeing more luxury brands abandoning fur over the next few years.

Netflix show raises questions about wild animal captivity

Netflix’s hit show ‘Tiger King’, directed by Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin, is a true crime documentary series following Oklahoma eccentric Joe Exotic through his journey trading and breeding tiger cubs.

Culminating in an eventual murder for hire plot against animal rights activist Carole Baskin, the show’s insanity has kept viewers glued to the screen for weeks now, and is currently number 7 on Netflix in Australia.

Watch Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness | Official Trailer | Netflix

Notably, the show highlights the mistreatment of wild cats in roadside zoos, and reflects on the cruelty of cub pettings, excessive breeding, and insufficient space and socialisation on animals. This has raised questions about animal treatment in households across the world, and we hope will prompt people to reconsider their patronage to such institutions.

About the Author

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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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