Monday, November 04, 2013

Got My TAVS Stuff!

I got my TAVS leaflets and pins! It put one pin on my coat and the other on my camera bag. I've handed out several leaflets so far but have a lot more to hand out!
For more information about The Abolitionist Vegan Society, please click the following link:
http://abolitionistvegansociety.org/

To get involved with the TAVS pin campaign, see the following link:
http://abolitionistvegansociety.org/how-to-help/tavs-pin-campaign-the-worldwide-campaign-to-end-all-animal-use/#.Unfz-vniipc



Sunday, April 21, 2013

STOP CISPA!

Due to the quiet passage of CISPA in the last week in the US congress, any private information can be shared with government and military. If you wish to protest against the passage of this bill, then consider an internet blackout on 22nd April (USA)

Watch here for an explanation of CISPA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_EHBWdZBklE

Message from Anonymous:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=i_nFyavcld4

Friday, December 21, 2012

Hoping for Peace ~ A Christmas Poem

Hoping for Peace
by Melissa Viau (aka VeganVixen)



Christmas time, a time of good cheer,
Where we wish for our loved ones, a wonderful year,
Where we celebrate charity, giving, and love,
And some of us celebrate a god up above.



But while we hope for a world full of peace,
We tear apart animals piece by piece,
In order to feel a pleasant taste,
Many innocent lives we lay to waste.



Where is the love for who died for your feast?
If we care about others, we should be vegan at least.
Where is the peace when you wear fur or leather?
There are plenty of non-violent things, to wear in cold weather.



Where is the giving when you take away life?
For your taste and convenience, they face the knife.
If you truly want peace, this is not the way,
Start with yourself, and go vegan today.

 ~Happy Holidays and Peace to All Beings!~

For information about veganism and going vegan, please see VeganKit.com

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Vegan Parenting and "Forcing Beliefs"

Occasionally I hear the comment that raising a child vegan is "imposing one's will" or "forcing one's beliefs" on their child. I decided I would write about this as it is quite a common thing to hear.

Isn't part of being a parent teaching your child right from wrong and how to live in the world? Don't most parents teach their children according to their beliefs? If a vegan is "forcing beliefs" on their children when they teach them to respect animals, then isn't a non-vegan "forcing beliefs" on their children when they teach them to exploit animals? It could also be said that we push our beliefs on children when we teach them not to bully other children, or not to hit their siblings. We teach them what WE believe is right and we don't allow children to do what WE believe is wrong. Giving a child "freedom to choose" obviously should not apply to everything. We don't give our children the choice to play in traffic, eat whatever they want (what if your child wanted cake and candy for meals?), or stick objects in electrical outlets. And we don't give our children the choice to steal from the neighbor's yard or throw rocks at passing cars.

It's part of being a parent to raise and guide a child, and harming others is not a personal choice. Choosing to use animal products is not like choosing which colour of shirt to wear or choosing what movie to watch. The choice to use animal products is a choice to cause unnecessary harm to OTHERS. It is a choice to exploit, torture, and kill another sentient being for reasons of pleasure, convenience, and/or tradition.

There is nothing wrong with a parent teaching their child to have respect for other sentient beings. If anyone is "imposing their will" on others it's non-vegans when they force their speciesist beliefs on non-humans by enslaving, exploiting, torturing, and killing them against their will.

To all vegan parents out there: I think it's great that you are teaching your children to respect all sentient beings and refrain from exploiting them! Don't let anyone convince you that you are being "unfair" or "cruel" to your children by raising them as happy, healthy vegans!

To non-vegans reading this, please go vegan! Animals have the right not to be treated as property and exploited for our use. Check out the slideshow Theory of Animal Rights to learn more about the rights of animals.

Rose and Jack

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Imagine This for a Moment

Imagine you are a slave.
Someone else's property.
A means to someone else's end.

Imagine you are seen as nothing but an object.
A commodity. A number.
Imagine your whole life is under the control of another.

Imagine you live in a small cage with other slaves.
Your life is a miserable existence.
A small cage among many other cages.
Thousands of slaves, caged in dark sheds.

Once your oppressors are done using you,
They will take you from your cage,
And painfully take your life.
After this they will take you apart,
And sell your flesh.

While you linger in your prison,
Awaiting your fate,
You hear that there are people out there,
Appalled by your oppression.

They are outraged. They want you to be treated as the sentient person you are.

Some of these people speak out about the injustice of your slavery. They protest your status as a piece of property. They advocate for your freedom from your prison and for society's recognition of you as a someone, not a something.

But others find this unrealistic. They think your oppressors won't understand. So instead of asking for your freedom, they ask for your cage to be a little bit bigger.

They ask for you to be fed healthy food (as if you want to live longer in this miserable existence).
They ask for you to get a bit more light.
They ask for you to be handled less roughly while you are being exploited, controlled, confined, and mutilated.
They ask for you to have more water while you are being transported to your death. They ask for your life to be taken more quickly and with less pain.
They ask for you to be enslaved, exploited, controlled, mutilated, manipulated, imprisoned, restrained, tormented, and killed with "kindness".

Some people who once ate the products slaves like you produced eagerly await this change, so that they may happily use slaves like you once again, with a clear conscience.

How do you feel?
How do you, the slave, feel about these people?
How do you feel about those who are advocating for your "compassionate" exploitation?
How do you feel about those who refuse to promote your "kind" oppression and speak for your rights to not be treated as property?
How do you feel about those who look forward to the "kind" oppression some promote so that they may once again feel comfortable with using you and slaves like you?

Would you accept compromise if you were the slave? Or would you want nothing less than the right to your own life? Think about it.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

An Encounter with a Speciesist Children's Book

Recently, my daughter Rose and I were visiting a couple friends at their house. They have a daughter who is quite a bit younger than Rose. They also had a friend over with an older child (my guess is about 5 or 6 years old). Rose and I were the only vegans in the house.


Rose and her new younger friend were playing on the floor when the older child came up to Rose and started sharing a book of his with her. When I noticed what the book was, I was horrified. It was a book geared to toddlers about fishing. This book, full of graphic photos of fish being yanked from the water with hooks penetrating through their faces, was telling toddlers all about how to kill these sentient beings and how fun it is to do so! The child was trying to show Rose this book while explaining what was happening in the photos. I certainly didn't want Rose to see these horrible images! I am horrified at the thought of ANY toddler being shown these images and told it is good and fun! I had to quickly distract her and was able to do so without having to explain to the child that I didn't want Rose to be taught that.
After this happened, that book was on my mind for quite some time. Especially when the child's mom sat him down on her lap and enthusiastically read him this book about torturing and killing these sentient individuals.


Are people like this cold-hearted, cruel people? Certainly not. I grew up as a speciesist non-vegan myself and as a child I used to go fishing every summer - and yes, I enjoyed it very much. But did I enjoy torturing animals? No, I didn't. I didn't enjoy fishing because I found thrill at any knowledge that a sentient being was suffering. Enjoyment usually came out of the effort, the challenge, the act of obtaining a "reward", and the time spent with my family. When I killed these animals, I hardly thought about how they were feeling. There really was a disconnect of an extreme kind. Whenever the thought ever did come to my mind about what the fish might be feeling, I would get very uncomfortable. But then I would push it to the back of my mind and go right back to what I was doing. After all, as I and most people are taught from a young age in a speciesist society, nonhuman animals are considered inferior and using them for our purposes is the norm. Everyone else is doing it, so it can't possibly be wrong, can it? How wrong I was.


Almost everyone I know who kills fish or other animals themselves (by hunting and fishing) cares for dogs, cats, or other animals. They are not "cold-hearted monsters", they are deeply confused. They show with their attitude towards and treatment of dogs and cats that they recognize that animals are sentient beings and they do have compassion and concern for animals. They can cry and rage about someone who beat a puppy to death, and then an hour later happily go out to the lake and painfully kill a fish! This is what many call moral schizophrenia. Almost everyone agrees that causing unnecessary suffering is wrong, but most people don't think clearly about this and apply it to their everyday lives. Almost everyone, when asked if causing unnecessary suffering to animals is wrong, will say yes, yet all animal use (except for extreme life-or-death circumstances) is just that! We have no need to consume animal products or use animals in any way. In my non-vegan days, when I would see a dog being slapped or someone throwing rocks at birds, I would get very upset with them, because I knew it was wrong to cause unnecessary harm to other sentient beings, but when I sat down to a dinner of animal products or climbed into a boat with my fishing rod it never crossed my mind, "Is this necessary?". I was morally confused. I didn't think my actions through. I didn't enjoy unnecessary suffering, I didn't even SEE unnecessary suffering.


This is why I won't jump to the conclusion that this person who happily read a book about fishing to this small child was a cruel, cold person that wanted to share delight in torturing animals. Rather, I assume that she is, like I was, someone who has compassion and reasoning, but is morally confused, and doesn't even see that what she is showing her child is very violent and unethical. She may simply need someone to talk to her about veganism and the moral issues of animal use, so that she will think more deeply about what she is doing when she uses animals and teaches her child to do the same. There are certainly humans out there who know they cause unnecessary pain and suffering and actually delight in it, but this is unusual.
The best thing we can do is not to angrily tell people they are terrible, cruel people (in my opinion, they're not) but to kindly offer them some education on veganism and the moral problems of using animals. And of course, to teach our own children (those who have children) that all sentient beings should be treated with respect and not used as our property.

Gluttony

Monday, June 13, 2011

Do Animals Owe Us for Bringing Them Into Existence?

A person, not a thing.

I sometimes hear non-vegans point out that many nonhuman animals wouldn't even exist if it weren't for animal use as if this is justification for using animals. It is certainly true that most of the animals who are currently used as property of humans are alive only because humans have chosen to bring them into this world for their purposes. But does that mean we are doing them a favor?

There is no harm in not being born. There is no interest in living in someone who has never even existed. We would never claim that all human females ought to have children so as not to deny non-existent children the right to live.

Also, a life of slavery is not better than no life at all. That does not mean that those who are currently slaves should be killed, but it does mean that bringing someone into an existence as a piece of property is not better than not bringing someone into existence at all.

Bringing someone into the world, does not give one the excuse to do what they want with that someone. We know this, as we would not make the claim that it is okay to harm our own children since they would not be here if we had not brought them into existence in the first place.

There is no justification for treating a sentient being as a piece of property. We do not need to exploit animals. Nonhuman animals are not things, nor are they inferior. They are sentient beings, and like humans, they have interests in living and being free from harm.

If you are not vegan, please go vegan. All sentient beings have the right to not be treated as property and used for our purposes. Being vegan is the least we can do if we respect all sentient beings.