Marie Dunnion (Animal Voice)
The theme of my contributions to Greenprint 2020 have so far been characterised by a commitment to promoting animal equality and veganism. Many people do not immediately see the links between animals and the environment, but the relationship is actually one of utmost importance and, although I personally view the animal rights movement from an ethical point of view, I think it is crucial that the environmental perspective is collectively understood.
I have previously covered how you can limit your individual contribution to environmental destruction by living a life free from animal products. According to the United Nations FAO report, Livestock’s Long Shadow, “The livestock sector is a major player, responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions measured in CO2 equivalent. This is a higher share than transport.” (Transport causes 13.5%). You can find out more about veganism and the environment at www.vegansociety.com.
I have a subscription to a very special magazine, called Resurgence, which is dedicated to the environment. They recently produced a special issue entitled: “Animals: A New Ethics – The Call for Change” (you can buy a copy at www.resurgence.org). The inimitable editor, Satish Kumar, introduced the issue as having a dual agenda by explaining, “It’s time for the environmental movement to embrace the cause of animal rights.”
Whilst I could use my own words, I feel that Satish Kumar captured the situation so expertly that I cannot possibly compete. So, here is what he had to say:
“The environmental movement is rightly concerned about global warming, diminishing wildlife populations, loss of biodiversity, clear-cutting of rainforests, the pollution of our rivers and oceans and the explosion of the human population.
But one important dimension is missing from our environmental agenda and that is the plight of the pigs, cows, cats, dogs, horses, monkeys and other animals that humans use for food, medicine and entertainment.
With this issue of Resurgence, I call upon all environmental activists and organisations to remedy this and embrace the cause of animal rights as an integral and important part of the environmental movement.”
We all have our own role to play in meeting Satish Kumar’s call to action, and perhaps by sharing my own story, you may be inspired towards taking steps to help change the world’s treatment of its animal population.
Back in 2010, I found a group of like-minded individuals in Birmingham and we have since formed the not-for-profit organisation, Animal Freedom. To clarify, this organisation does not approach animal rights from an environmental stance, although the end result of abolishing all forms of animal exploitation will ultimately have the effect of improving the welfare of the planet.
Through peaceful activism, Animal Freedom aims to educate people about the abolition of all forms of animal exploitation and to promote veganism as the solution to this exploitation. In our current society, animal use is considered an acceptable practice, causing the deaths of literally millions of non-human sentient beings. Utilising veganism as a moral baseline, Animal Freedom promotes ways of living without using animals as commodities or machines. Animal Freedom offers a vegan mentoring scheme to help guide and support anybody who is switching to this lifestyle.
If you have any questions you can find Animal Freedom on Facebook, Twitter or contact me directly at email@example.com. I would be more than happy to hear from you!