Viva La Vegan!

A Pound of Flesh - Vegan/Vegetarian Survey - Monday 15th February

My friend Rico, who used to be a committee member of the Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland, has put in a HUGE amount of effort if a new survey just released today.  Newspoll Sydney radomly selected 1202 people to find out how many Australians are vegan or vegetarian along with what these people's attitudes to animals are. Voiceless helped fund the survey and it's been a labour of love for Rico. I am one of the media spokespeople for this press release.

See the full document here

The positive aspects:
99% of people surveyed are AGAINST animal cruelty
86% believe keeping laying hens in cages for their entire lives is unacceptable
74% think castrating animals without anaesthetic is unacceptable
72% say killing male chicks in egg production is unacceptable
80% think it's unacceptable to test cosmetics on animals
56% of Australians would consider becoming vegan due to reasons including:

  • evidence that farming practices cause stress and pain for milions of animals every year
  • evidence they can be healthy on a vegan diet
  • evidence that being vegan is better for the environment
  • if there were more vegan menu items in cafes or restaurants

The negative aspects are:
Of the 1202 people surveyed across Australia, only 5% said they were vegetarian and 1% said they were vegan
While 5% of people claimed to be vegetarian, only 2% actually ate a vegetarian diet
And of the 1% who claimed they were vegan, only 1 person actually ate a vegan diet
This brings up quite a few issues to me:

  • WHY if there are so many people (99%) against cruelty to animals do people still participate in cruelty towards animals?
  • Do people actually know about the MANY aspects of cruelty involved with animal production?
  • Do people care or are people blissfully ignorant?
  • WHAT do people think the meaning of being a vegetarian is?
  • WHAT do people think the meaning of being a vegan is?

Something is obviously being lost in the translation...
So just to clarify:
A VEGAN is someone who does not consume ANY animal products or by-products (this includes honey), for food, clothing or other purposes
A VEGETARIAN is someone who does not consume ANY animal flesh of any kind (this includes fish and other water animals) but may eat milk/dairy products and eggs.

If 99% of the people surveyed are AGAINST animal cruelty, then WHY do:
98% of Australians eat animals (including water animals?)
98% eat milk/dairy products and eggs?
94% eat chickens and other birds?
88% eat fish, prawns and other water animals?
74% eat honey, royal jelly or other bee products?

In my humble opinion the biggest things I believe we need to address are EDUCATION as to how the animal industries are cruel, and we all know that animals don't just magically appear dead, cut and heated in front of us to consume... don't we?  We also need to be educating others to what exaclty is a vegan and what exactly is a vegetarian, as people just seem to think that it's some sort of accessory that you pick to go with whatever outfit you are wearing or whatever event you are attending.  A LOT of work, education, tolerance and leading by example is needed to address these issues above.

Who is willing to be part of the next phase of the vegan lifestlye with me?!

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