What to do in your daily life to help animals
ATTENTION, IF YOU ARE TOO SENSITIVE DONíT READ IT!
Things must first stop here in our own daily lives with the elimination or reduction of actions that contribute to the abuse and exploitation
of animals. This page is to pay homage to the most important person in my life. He "taught" the importance of being a vegetarian! He is the wise Mr. Watson from the UK.
Probably the single most important thing you can do to save animals, help the ecology of the planet, and even improve your own health, is to:
BECOME A VEGETARIAN!
It is said that "we are what we eat". More accurately, "we are what we do" and what we do in order to eat has a profound consequence on our
self-definition as a compassionate person. As long as we eat meat, we share complicity in the intentional slaughter of countless animals and
destruction of the environment for clearly trivial purposes.
Why trivial? No human has died from want of satisfying a so-called "MÖ Attack", but countless cows have died in order to satisfy our palates. On a
more positive note, vegetarians report that one's taste and enjoyment of food is actually enhanced by eliminating animal products. Indeed, a
vegetarian diet is not a diet of deprivation; far from it. Vegetarians actually eat a GREATER variety of foods than do meat-eaters. Maybe the best
kept culinary secret is that the really "boring" diet actually turns out to be the traditional meat-centered diet. Next:
STOP BUYING ANIMAL PRODUCTS LIKE FUR OR LEATHER.
There are plenty of good plant and synthetic materials that serve as excellent materials for fabrics and shoes. Indeed, all the major brands of
high-quality running shoes are now turning to the use of human-made materials. (Why? Because they are lighter than leather and don't warp or get
stiffen after getting wet.)
There are many less obvious animal products that are being used in many of our everyday household and personal products. After first attending to
those obvious and most visible products like leather and fur, then consider what you can do to reduce or eliminate your dependency on
products that may contain needless animal ingredients or were brought to market using animal testing.
Then GET INFORMED AND READ AS MUCH AS YOU CAN ON THE ISSUE OF ANIMAL RIGHTS.
Besides reading about animal rights from the major theorists, also read practical guides and periodicals.
Finally, you can get involved in a local animal rights or animal welfare organization.
Alternatively, if you lack the time, consider giving donations to those organizations whose good work on behalf of animals is something you
appreciate and wish to materially support.
Wise Words from Great Minds on Eating Animals
"If he be really and seriously seeking to live a good life, the first thing from which he will abstain will always be the use of animal food, because ...its
use is simply immoral, as it involves the performance of an act which is contrary to the moral feeling -- killing."
- Leo Tolstoy
"A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of
his appetite. And to act so is immoral."
- Leo Tolstoy
"You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look
upon the murder of men."
- Leonardo Da Vinci
"Truly man is the king of beasts, for his brutality exceeds theirs. We live by the death of others: We are burial places."
- Leonardo Da Vinci
"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet."
- Albert Einstein
"It is my view that the vegetarian manner of living by its purely physical effect on the human temperament would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind."
- Albert Einstein
"I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals."
- Henry David Thoreau
"Now I can look at you in peace; I don't eat you any more."
- Franz Kafka
"People often say that humans have always eaten animals, as if this is a justification for continuing the practice. According to this logic, we should not try to prevent people from murdering other people, since this has also been done since the earliest of times."
- Isaac Bashevis Singer
"Do we, as humans, having an ability to reason and to communicate abstract ideas verbally and in writing, and to form ethical and moral judgments using the accumulated knowledge of the ages, have the right to take the lives of other sentient organisms, particularly when we are not forced to do so by hunger or dietary need, but rather do so for the somewhat frivolous reason that we like the taste of meat? In essence, should we know better?"
- Peter Cheeke
"To a man whose mind is free there is something even more intolerable in the sufferings of animals than in the suffering of man. For with the latter it is at least admitted that suffering is evil and that the man who causes it is a criminal. But thousands (Now Millions) of animals are uselessly butchered every day without a shadow of remorse. If any man were to refer to it, he would be thought ridiculous. And that is the unpardonable crime."
- Romain Rolland (1915 Nobel Prize)
"Vegetarians have the best diet. They have the lowest rates of coronary disease of any group in the country...Some people scoff at vegetarians, but they have a fraction of our heart attack rate and they have only 40 percent of our cancer rate. They outlive other men by about six years now."
- Dr.William Castelli, M.D.
For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love."
- Pythagoras (6th Century BC)
"While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered beasts, how can we expect any ideal conditions on this earth?"
- George Bernard Shaw
"Animals are my friends...and I don't eat my friends."
- George Bernard Shaw
"We consume the carcasses of creatures of like appetites, passions and organs with our own, and fill the slaughterhouses daily with screams of pain and fear."
- Robert Louis Stevenson
"Honourable men may honourably disagree about some details of of human treatment of the non-human, but vegetarianism is now as necessary pledge of moral devotion as was the refusal of emperor-worship in the early church...Those who still eat flesh when they could do otherwise have no claim to be serious moralists."
- Stephen Clark
"As we talked of freedom and justice one day for all, we sat down to steaks. I am eating misery, I thought, as I took the first bite. And spit it out."
- Alice Walker
"The animals, you say, were "sent" for man's free use and nutriment. Pray, then, inform me, and be candid, why came they ions before man did, to spend long centuries on earth awaiting their devourer's birth? Those ill-timed chattels, sent from heaven, were, sure, the maddest gift ever given "sent" for man's use (can man believe it?) when there was no man to receive it!"
- Henry Salt (1851-1939)
"But to deliver animals to be slaughtered and cooked, and thus be filled with murder, not for the sake of nutriment and satisfying the wants of nature, but making pleasure and gluttony the end of such conduct is transcendently iniquitous and dire!"
- Porphyry (233-304)
"All living beings love their life, desire pleasure, and are averse to pain; they dislike any injury to themselves; everybody is desirous of life, and to every being, his life is very dear" This is the quintessence of wisdom: Not to injure any living being."
- Lord Mahavira (599-527 BC)
"The eating of meat extinguishes the great seed of compassion."
- Buddha (563-483 BC)
"In 1968 I became a vegetarian after realizing that animals feel afraid, cold, hungry and unhappy like we do."
- Cesar Chavez
"Cruelty is one fashion statement we can all do without".
Rue McClanahan (actress)
"The recklessness with which we sacrifice our sense of decency to
maximize profit in the factory farming process sets a pattern for cruelty
to our own kind".
Jonathan Kozol (author)
Should I use leather and fur?
-What is wrong with leather and how can we do without it?
Most leather goods are made from the by products of the slaughter house, and some is purpose-made, i.e., the animal is grown and slaughtered
purely for its skin. So, by buying leather products, you will be contributing to the profits of these establishments and augmenting the economic
demand for slaughter.
The Nov/Dec 1991 issue of the Vegetarian Journal has this to say about leather: "Environmentally turning animal hides into leather is an energy
intensive and polluting practice. Production of leather basically involves soaking (beam-house), tanning, dyeing, drying, and finishing. Over 95
percent of all leather produced in the U.S. is chrome-tanned. The effluent that must be treated is primarily related to the beam-house and tanning
operations. The most difficult to treat is effluent from the tanning process. All wastes containing chromium are considered hazardous by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Many other pollutants involved in the processing of leather are associated with environmental and health
risks. In terms of disposal, one would think that leather products would be biodegradable, but the primary function for a tanning agent is to stabilize
the collagen or protein fibers so that they are no longer biodegradable."
-I can accept that trapping is inhumane, but what about fur ranches?
Leaving aside the raw fact that the animals must sacrifice their lives for human vanity, we are left with many objections to fur ranching. A common
misconception about fur "ranches" is that the animals do not suffer. This is entirely untrue. These animals suffer a life of misery and frustration,
deprived of their most basic needs. They are kept in wire-mesh cages that are tiny, overcrowded, and filthy. Here they are malnourished, suffer
contagious diseases, and endure severe stress.
On these farms, the animals are forced to forfeit their natural instincts. Beavers, who live in water in the wild, must exist on cement floors. Minks in
the wild, too, spend much of their time in water, which keeps their salivation, respiration, and body temperature stable. They are also, by nature,
solitary animals. However, on these farms, they are forced to live in close contact with other animals. This often leads to self-destructive behavior,
such as pelt and tail biting. They often resort to cannibalism.
The methods used on these farms reflect not the interests and welfare of the animals but the furriers' primary interest--profit. The end of the
suffering of these animals comes only with death, which, in order to preserve the quality of the fur, is inflicted with extreme cruelty and brutality.
Engine exhaust is often pumped into a box of animals. This exhaust is not always lethal, and the animals sometimes writhe in pain as they are
skinned alive. Another common execution practice, often used on larger animals, is anal electrocution. The farmers attach clamps to an animal's lips
and insert metal rods into its anus. The animal is then electrocuted. Decompression chambers, neck snapping, and poison are also used. The raising
of animals by humans to serve a specific purpose cannot discount or excuse the lifetime of pain and suffering that these animals endure.
-Anything wrong with wool, silk, down?
What's wrong with wool? Scientists over the years have bred a Merino sheep which is exaggeratedly wrinkled. The more wrinkles, the more wool.
Unfortunately, greater profits are rarely in the sheep's best interests. In Australia, more wrinkles mean more perspiration and greater susceptibility
to fly-strike, a ghastly condition resulting from maggot infestation in the sweaty folds of the sheep's over-wrinkled skin. To counteract this, farmers
perform an operation without anesthetic called "mulesing", in which sections of flesh around the anus are sliced away, leaving a painful, bloody
Without human interference, sheep would grow just enough wool to protect them from the weather, but scientific breeding techniques have
ensured that these animals have become wool-producing monstrosities. Their unnatural overload of wool (often half their body weight) brings
added misery during summer months when they often die from heat exhaustion.
Also, one million sheep die in Australia alone each year from exposure to cold after shearing. Every year, in Australia alone, about ten million lambs
die before they are more than a few days old. This is due largely to unmanageable numbers of sheep and inadequate stockpersons.
Of UK wool, 27 percent is "skin wool", pulled from the skins of slaughtered sheep and lambs.
What's wrong with silk? It is the practice to boil the cocoons that still contain the living moth larvae in order to obtain the silk. This produces longer
silk threads than if the moth was allowed to emerge. The silkworm can certainly feel pain and will recoil and writhe when injured.
What's wrong with down? The process of live-plucking is widespread. The terrified birds are lifted by their necks, with their legs tied, and then have
all their body feathers ripped out. The struggling geese sustain injuries and after their ordeal are thrown back to join their fellow victims until their
turn comes round again. This torture, which has been described as "extremely cruel" by veterinary surgeons, and even geese breeders, begins when
the geese are only eight weeks old. It is then repeated at eight-week intervals for two or three more sessions. The birds are then slaughtered.
The "lucky" birds are plucked dead, i.e., they are killed first and then plucked.