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Dear Non-Vegans, It’s Your Fault

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Dear Non-Vegans,

18,559 mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, grandmothers, grandfathers, uncles, aunts, cousins, sisters, brothers and friends have died from COVID-19 AKA the Coronavirus as of today.  

Because of those selfish enough to not only take the lives of innocent animals but to think it’s normal or even “healthy” to dismember them and eat their body parts. 

Because those ignorant enough to perpetuate myths, traditions, and many other excuses 18,559 people have died, sacrificed at the altar of human stupidity. 

This disease is zoonotic in origin meaning that it’s a disease spread between humans and animals so it’s scientifically proven that our use of animals is responsible.

Reports still vary as to where COVID-19 originated but whether it was from bats, snakes, cats, wildlife markets or factory farms its true origin is still caused by humanity’s exploitation of and consequently our consumption of animals or what comes out of them.

Our treatment of the 50 billion-plus land animals, the 47 trillion-plus sea animals, the 4 million domestic cats, the 600 million turkeys, the 50 billion hens used to produce eggs, the 300 million pigs, the 600 million calves ripped from their mothers so you can have their milk and so many more untold billions raised for “food” per year is a tragedy beyond any measure in history.

We train them to do tricks for “entertainment” keeping them in cages and tanks for a lifetime throwing them away like any other inanimate object when we’ve gotten our use from them.

Committed to my memory is a Leo Tolstoy quote that has also been my guiding ethos since going vegan 7 years ago.

“As long as there are slaughterhouses there will be battlefields.” – Leo Tolstoy

Read it and read it again. Process it, understand it.

The battlefields Tolstoy spoke of were those of men killing one another but now that battlefield is in the body of everyone you’ve ever loved and it’s a result of our inability to stop harming innocent animals for our own pleasure.

Tolstoy’s battlefields where human killed human were made possible because people are so easily persuaded that “they” are not like us. When people stop seeing others as having the same feelings, the same equality as themselves they will do unspeakable things to one another.

Speciesism is the word we use in the animal rights community and it’s no different than racism, homophobia, sexism, ageism or any other bigoted frame of mind that allows one group to denigrate and harm another.

Non-human animals have feelings where it counts most, in their hearts and from their bodies. They feel pain and pleasure the same as you or I, as hard as that may be to understand for some of you think back to pets you’ve had or may have right now.

Your dog or cat loves you, each other and other members of their family, right? That is not limited to only your pets but to all animals and you know deep down inside that’s the truth you do not want to acknowledge because it means admitting all you do and know is wrong.

Every vegan has been there and fought through that hurdle and you can too. It’s a scary thing to upend and change all you’ve ever known, been taught, or done; we know it.

Is that change scarier than this pandemic? Is it scarier than losing those you love? Is it scarier than losing your job, your car, or your house?

Maybe this pandemic will pass and things will go back to “normal” but this pandemic isn’t the first caused by our draconian exploitation of animals and it will not be the last.

There will be stronger and deadlier ones as we continue to breed animals in their own filth causing us to feed them over 80% of the antibiotics consumed in the United States alone. 

That usage of antibiotics is breeding deadly superbugs that get worse and kill more every year. From MRSA to the common flu, we are training these diseases to get stronger and stronger every time we raise a pig, turkey, chicken, cow, goat or other animals for consumption.

The WHO (World Health Organization), The NHS (National Health Service) in the UK, The Canadian Governments Health System, The Australian Governments Health System, and many other countless countries, nutritionists, doctors, and organizations across the globe all agree that a vegan plant-based diet is healthy for any stage of life. 

Keep in mind that raising “beef” for example is a 16 to 1 ratio meaning that it takes 16 pounds of plant material usually corn or grains to equal just one pound of “beef”. That same one pound of “beef” also requires an average of 2,500 gallons of water or six months of 10 minute showers to produce.

We could instead be growing 1 pound of a vegetable crop and consuming 1 pound of that vegetable crop easing not only our conscience but our collective strain on resources like fossil fuels or the rainforests where the majority of “beef” is raised. 

In fact, over 20,000 human children die every single day as a result of our use of animal agriculture to primarily feeding the western world. Those children dying each and every day are from “third world” nations where their ancestral farmlands have been stolen to grow animal feed.

Your so-called “choice” to consume animal products damages not only the lives of animals or the lives of you and your loved ones but the lives of millions of other humans even outside of “normal” life without this pandemic.

We as a species are on a precipice and it’s time to choose. The earth is dying from animal agriculture as it’s responsible for more than 50% of greenhouse gas emissions and now we are dying from animal agriculture as we fall sick to a disease of our own making.

It’s time to wake up. It’s time to step up. It’s time to go vegan.

We can continue to be the architects of our own demise or we can begin living with compassion towards all fellow earthlings. 

Who knows, maybe living with compassion towards the most vulnerable and innocent will rub off to how we treat each other and the battlefields can disappear forever with the slaughterhouses.

So now you have a choice to make that affects you and your loved ones – life or death? Life is veganism and respecting others. Death is to keep exploiting.

Help keep Vegan News Independent by becoming our Patron!

Brandon Kirkwood

Animal Rights Activist (ARA), Vegan, Creator and editor of Vegan News, Father to an awesome cat named Boba, Youtuber

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