It's become an established fact among the media, scientists and the international community that the exploitation of sheeps and cows for human use plays a significant part in global warming. But without a sustained emphasis on the vegan ideal of non-exploitation can we expect this to lead to a change in people's consciousness? Read more...
Vegan aims are much more than just 'animal welfare', with a bit more feed for the slaves, cleaner cages for the vivisected, or another box of bandages to plaster over the terminal cancer that is animal slavery and exploitation. In short we are abolitionists, though non-violent ones, for how we accomplish something is every bit as important as that it is done (and often more so).
Unfortunately, veganism is often seen as the exclusion or absence of something. But living in a vegan world can be as joyous, and delicious, as ever. In most cases it is even more so, since eliminate exploitation from our lives makes room for more peaceful and just alternatives. I recently contributed a couple articles to The NewPeople, "Pittsburgh's Peace and Justice Newspaper," that touch on how flavorful and fun life can be without exploiting other animals.
veganism is not so much welfare as liberation, for the creatures and for the mind and heart of man [sic]; not so much an effort to make the present relationship bearable, as an uncompromising recognition that because it is in the main one of master and slave, it has to be abolished before something better and finer can be built.
The above quote is from a letter titled "Veganism Defined," printed in The Vegetarian World Forum in the spring of 1951. The letter, signed by Leslie Cross as vice president of the Vegan Society, makes explicit what was the movement's aim since 1944 — that veganism is a movement to end the exploitation of animals. It's sadly ironic to consider how a book with "liberation" in the title — written by a non-vegan 25 years later — has become the basis for a countermovement seeking to divert veganism from its original revolutionary, liberationist roots to a very conservative welfare standpoint. Thankfully this letter give us proof of veganism true meaning at a time when it's being attacked by those trying to rewrite history.