17 Apr Is There Anything We Need From Animals Besides Forgiveness?
Dear Climate Healers,
The current education system is deeply rooted in the archaic idea that it is necessary to exploit animals for our human well-being. The presence of useless animal experimentation requirements and the absence of plant-based nutrition training in core medical curricula illustrate this foundational bias. Nevertheless, it is jarring to see the following sentence in the middle of a well reasoned article written by a respected academic from an Ivy League institution in a mainstream journal:
“That will mean transitioning our current system of highly consolidated, intensive-confinement animal factories with its vast manure lagoons to a well-managed, pasture-based system with significantly fewer animals.”
The author is Viveca Morris, Executive Director of the Law, Ethics and Animals Program (LEAP) at Yale Law School and her article entitled, “The Cow Shaped Hole in Biden’s Methane Plan” exposed how the Biden administration was downplaying the methane emissions from animal agriculture through a statistical sleight of hand, courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency. Yet even she threw in that “well-managed, pasture-based” sop to the animal agriculture industry, even though Ethics is embedded in the title of the program she leads at Yale University. She couldn’t imagine transitioning to a whole-foods, plant-based, healthy vegan food system that eliminated animal agriculture altogether.
If we can live and even thrive without exploiting animals, should we not consider it unethical to continue doing so? The common excuse we’re given for humanity’s continued exploitation of animals is that animal bodies and secretions are an essential source of that “most vital of all nutrients, protein.” To address this concern, I prepared a “Guess the Protein” quiz for the Climate Healers’ Earth Day presentations at schools next week.
From the three amino acid profiles shown in the graphic above, A, B & C, can you guess which is an animal food protein, which is a vegetable food protein and which is a fungus protein?
Indeed, it is a fact that all plant foods have all 20 essential and non-essential amino acids, period. By examining such facts, day by day, we are beginning to see that there is no reason to use animals for any human purpose whatsoever. This is why animal use is animal abuse.
James Lovelock correctly pointed out that if the earth improves as a result of human presence, we will flourish; if it does not, we will perish. To ensure the earth improves as a result of human presence, we need to train ourselves to become Vitally Engaged Guardians of Animals and Nature (V.E.G.A.N), not the compulsive exploiters of animals and nature that our current education system fools us to be.
That might require an entirely new education system, especially at the University level, with new curricula focused on all aspects of becoming V.E.G.A.N. A group of us brainstormed about this over the weekend and you are welcome to look through our proposal, listen to our deliberations and join the google group, if you are interested to help pursue this further. As Eric Hoffer said,
“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”
The Million Vegan Grandmothers Appeal to the Global Compassion Coalition
This week, the Million Vegan Grandmothers wrote to the newly formed Global Compassion Coalition asking them to include animals and nature within their circle of compassion:
Date: April 12, 2023
Dr. Rick Hanson
President and Founder
Global Compassion Coalition
Greater Good Science Center
University of California, Berkeley, MC 6070
Berkeley, CA 94720-6070
Dear Dr. Hanson and concerned citizens at Global Compassion Coalition,
Thank you for recognizing compassion as one of humanity’s most pressing needs, but we, the Million Vegan Grandmothers, firmly assert that it is only by including the natural world in our compassionate embrace that we will right the ship of life on our planet. Empathy must extend beyond the needs of humans to encompass all of life’s realms, including plants, non-human animals, and ecosystems.
We agree with Professor Gilbert’s statement that “There is nothing inevitable about the way we live now or have done in recent centuries.” Indeed, many of us are ready for abiding change. As representatives of a vegan epoch committed to ending the suffering of our fellow sentient beings, billions of whom are confined under horrific conditions and ultimately slaughtered by the hundreds of millions every day, we implore you to include them in your teachings on compassion.
To omit from a conversation about compassion the impacts of animal agriculture and the trawling of the oceans is to miss an enormous opportunity to create a truly compassionate future. Only when we shift away from regarding animals as resources to be exploited and restore to them their rights as living, sentient beings, will we have a truly compassionate world. To stop eating animals and their secretions is the simplest and greatest path to compassion available to each of us.
We are approaching a critical turning point in the warming of the atmosphere, but animal agriculture is still not widely recognized as the leading cause of climate change. We invite you to explore the scientific basis of our convictions by visiting our website, and we entreat you to protect our children’s futures by taking actions commensurate with the problem. Please incorporate the message of veganism into your mission and consider including some of our members on your board so that we can help ensure that your mission of compassion is fully aligned with the needs of all life on this planet.
Our fierce love for the children of all species and for the well-being of the planet compels us to speak out. Thank you for your kind consideration in this urgent matter.
With Much Love,
The Million Vegan Grandmothers
3145 E Chandler Blvd #110-233
Phoenix, AZ 85048
Please copy this letter, modify it as necessary and email it out to the Global Compassion coalition as soon as possible.
Thank you for your support.
HELP us every day to
Heal the planet.
It’s that simple.
Thanks again for being a superhero and joining our herd. Please forward this post to all your friends and let’s grow our MOOOvement together.
With much love,
Sailesh on behalf of Vega, Cow and Climate Healer and the Climate Healers core team
(Akhil, Alison, Anne, BJ, Carl, Chip, Debra, Gabriele, Giva, Ilse, Jamen, Kelly, Ken, Kimaya, Krish, Maggie, Marco, Paige, Pareen, Paul, Ray, Sailesh, Sarah, Shankar, Stacey, Suzanne, Tami and Vega, the Cow and Climate Healer).
Graphic Legend: Ala, alanine; Arg, arginine; Asp/n, aspartate and asparagine; Cys, cysteine; Glu/n, glutamate and glutamine; Gly, glycine; His, histidine; Iso, isoleucine; Leu, leucine; Lys, lysine; Met, methionine; Phe, phenylalanine; Pro, proline; Ser, serine; Thr, threonine; Trp, tryptophan; Tyr, tyrosine; Val, valine.
PS: The Answer to the question is A) – Eggs, B) – Broccoli and C) – Mushrooms.