World Vegan Day, And The Reality Of Not Demanding A Vegan World

Yesterday was World Vegan Day, the day where we celebrate our vegan-ness, and there are a number of events happening across the country over the next few weeks.

It was 68 years ago that the word vegan was used, and the first Vegan Society was formed.

I have to wonder how often Donald Watson and those who formed the Vegan Society heard the excuse The world won’t go vegan overnight or whether it is only something that has gained momentum over the past few years?

Whilst I have written in previously that the vegan movement these days seems to be more about social acceptance rather than social justice[1], I recently came across the below quote by Donald Watson.

A common criticism is that the time is not yet ripe for our reform.
Can time ever be ripe for any reform unless it is ripened by human determination?

The more we shy away from using the word vegan, talking about veganism or even standing up for it, the more we admitting defeat.

Here are some of the consequences of not promoting veganism.

  • A farmer in Victoria is on a mission to create a super sheep out of six different breeds[2]
  • A company in the US has released a line of beef which it claims results in healthier animals, and meat that taste better and is nutritionally better for the consumer, including being higher in the essential fatty acid, Omega 3.[3]
  • Graham Peart, who is a passionate Merino enthusiast, and farm consultant, says he wouldn’t care if a Merino ewe had “two heads” if she produced plenty of profitable wool and lambs.[4]
  • 18,574 tonnes swt of lamb was exported during October. The highest amount on record. 5,000 tonnes more than the same time last year, and 800 tonnes more than the previous record set in October 2007[5]
  • 141,294 head of cattle were killed in the week ending 26 October 2012. This is the highest number so far this year, and only exceed by the over 142,000 number recorded in w/e 28 October 2011[6]

I make no qualms about including the figures listed above or if this article is seen as brutal or harsh.

This is a life and death battle we are facing.

The lives of individuals, who if they were able to talk, I am sure would be asking us why we are still allowing this to happen as the bolt from the captive bolt gun crashes through their skull, rendering this sentient being unconscious and unable to feel pain

As global demand for animal products increases, isn’t it time to start promoting veganism and not using animal products?

Before I hear some defeatist response about a the world not going vegan overnight, or baby steps or whatever, remember the world didn’t know it needed an iPhone or iPad until they came out, and not look at what’s happened to them.

If the 1-2% of Australians who class themselves as vegan all stood up for veganism, how much of a change would we see overnight, and in the coming days, weeks, or even months?

1: – Social Justice or Social Acceptance?

2: ‘Super sheep’ from best genetic mix
Retrieved 01 November 2012

3: Beef Central news briefs 1 November
Retrieved 01 November 2012

4: Peart says keep Merinos `in balance’
Retrieved 31 October 2012

5: Lamb exports hit new monthly record
Retrieved 01 November 2012

6: Weekly kill reaches 12-month high
Retrieved 30 October 2012

4 thoughts on “World Vegan Day, And The Reality Of Not Demanding A Vegan World”

  1. Cameron, if it was 68 years ago that the word “vegan” was coined, and yet today the percentage of vegans worldwide is minuscule, then it can’t possibly be defeatist to point out that the “world won’t be vegan overnight”. It’s can’t be defeatist to simply describe reality. Seriously, maybe there’s an real criticism that can be made of the positions you oppose, but to harp on those you disagree as “defeatists” rather than engage the substance of their arguments might indicate that you’ve not yet developed a cogent position of your own.

    • I believe it is defeatist for people/organisations to use that as an excuse for not promoting veganism, when they aren’t actually talking to the world to begin with.

      Maybe I am harping on about it because I am frustrated by these organisations and those who are prominent within it, advocating a baby steps approach and incremental reform, without actually saying how many steps are needed, now how many reform changes are required.

      Maybe it is because I do not know of one group that is trying to stop a socially accepted practice that advocates for a slow reduction unless that group has a vested interest in it.

      Maybe it is because of the information that I am reading from the animal agriculture media that is increasing my level of frustration.

      Maybe it is because I have had enough of seeing cattle train after cattle train head off to the slaughterhouses.

      Maybe it is because I do realise that people will need 8,9,10,15, whatever exposures to fully understand the vegan message. If that’s what it takes, that is what I am prepared to do. Because I also realise that once the individual does go vegan that they will no longer use animal products.

      Then I will be able to have X,Y, or Z discussions with the next person.

      Rather than have X conversations with them about going to cage free eggs, then having another Y conversations with them about free rage chicken, then having another Z conversations with them about whatever.

      I am looking to use the limited time that I have to do what I can to promote an end to animal use. The only thing that I know will do that is promoting veganism.

      I have also included the below quote that I found from beef central today. So why are ‘we’ maximizing on that?

      With today’s emphasis on a diet that includes a variety of whole grains, the only thing consumers have to do is add a complement of pulses and they can consume all of the essential amino acids needed for full protein utilization in humans—no meat or animal products needed.

  2. I absolutely agree. You can’t be it if you can’t see it.
    To those who say baby steps are indeed the way, treatment and conditions are the focus or other similar statements need to ask themselves how much this affects *them*. It doesn’t.
    They get to wake up tomorrow, they are free and they aren’t exploited.
    How does promoting a clear vegan message harm anyone? It doesn’t as far as I can see. Anything other does. Lives are at stake we need to get our backsides into action and stop messing about.


What are your thoughts?