Third Place

 

by Emmy James

Right now, someone is crying for help. Someone is mourning the loss of her stolen baby. Someone has just been murdered. Simply for humans to consume.

I am vegan because I do not want to support an industry of violence. I am vegan because discrimination to anyone, whether based on race, colour, class, sex, sexual orientation, ability or species is wrong. I am vegan because these animals are our property; slaves who are denied the right to live their own lives. I am vegan and I am working to put an end to the property status of animals, hoping that one day, they will be free.

What is veganism? Veganism is Nonviolence.

Rejecting violence to your body; as animal products can be detrimental to our health and consuming them can lead to cancer, heart disease or diabetes, among many other preventable illnesses. A plant-based diet isn’t the only thing you need to be healthy, eating vegan junk food all day won’t do any good, but if you eat right it can have many benefits. It’s important that we take care of our bodies for a long, healthy and happy life.

Rejecting violence to the planet; Earth’s valuable resources are being wasted in the production of animal products, it’s an ecological disaster. Tons of food wasted to feed to livestock. Land wasted to both farm animals and grow crops to feed those animals. Forests home to wildlife destroyed to make room for that land. Being vegan can greatly reduce your carbon footprint.

But most importantly, Veganism is about rejecting violence towards other animals. Over 56 billion land animals are killed for human consumption every year. Calves are being taken away from their mothers so that humans can drink her milk. Thousands of day-old roosters are being ground up alive or thrown away and left to suffocate because they’re useless to the egg industry. Lambs are being taken from their mothers and slaughtered for meat. And the only justification we have for using these animals is simply for pleasure; because they taste good, or feel good when we wear them, or entertain us by living in an enclosure or being forced to perform tricks for us. Ask yourself: is a moment of your pleasure really worth their suffering?

It is time to take the next step in humanity’s evolution. Time to say “NO” towards violence to anyone. Time to build an Earth that is powered by peace instead of greed.

Going vegan is the first step towards living a nonviolent life. It’s easy. I did it. My whole family of seven did it! You can do it too. If it feels like too much, try going vegan for breakfast first. Then a week later, go vegan for lunch. After that, go vegan for dinner. Stop buying products made out of or tested on animals. Stop going to places that profit out of using other animals; such as zoos, circuses, marine parks, and rodeos. Then before you know it, you’ll be vegan.

Let’s carve the way to a better, brighter future. For our children. For other animals’ children. One day, there will be peace on Earth. But change won’t come if we continue to follow the norm or behave as our parents have taught us to. We must break free from our own racism, heterosexism, speciesism, etc, and extend a hand to those in need. The human and nonhuman slaves, the starving humans who have no food due to animal farming, the animals who are endangered due to deforestation, the victims of discrimination, we can put a stop to their suffering if we work to make it happen.

Be nonviolent. Be vegan.

 

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