Prospect Scarcity

Today is the World Water Day, a day aimed at raising awareness to water scarcity.

Water scarcity currently affects about 2.5 billion people, or every third person in the world.
This figure is expected to reach over 2.7 billion people in the coming decade. Also expected by that time is between 24 million and 700 million people all over the world who would be displaced due to water scarcity.
Population growth, agriculture, climate change, urbanization, and mismanagement of water resources all contribute to the growing global water crisis. The global population increased by three-fold in the 20th century but water use increased by six-fold. UNESCO predicts that half of the world human population will be living in water-stressed conditions by 2025.

Already about third of the world’s biggest underground water systems are in distress. And the problem is not just the dwindling water supply but also the quality of the water. According to the WHO, more than 2 billion people do not have access to a safely managed water source, almost a billion people do not have access to even a basic water source, more than 260 million people have to walk over half an hour just to access water that isn’t even clean.
About 2.5 billion people lack access to even basic sanitation services. The majority of these people are forced to practice open defecation, or use public pits or buckets.
The WHO reports that at least 2 billion people worldwide consume water from a source that is contaminated with feces. Fecal contamination in the water supply is a major cause of waterborne diseases such as Hepatitis A, Norovirus, and E Coli. Annually, about 5 million people contract diseases related to waterborne pathogens around the world, most of them children.

Along with children, women are also worst affected by water scarcity as they are the ones who bear the burden of gathering water for their families. In both Africa and Asia, women walk an average distance of 4 miles every day, to carry a 20 kilograms container of water, and from a water source which has the potential to make them sick. According to UNICEF, around the world, women and children spend 200 million hours every day collecting water. And an additional 266 million hours each day are lost because they have no toilet at home.
The impacts of water scarcity affect families and their communities. Children, mostly girls, drop out of school and parents struggle to make a living. Without clean, easily accessible water, people can become locked in poverty for generations.

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Ideology On Each Child’s Plate

The day before yesterday an outrage was sparked off in France. The reason is one decision, of one mayor, in the city of Lyon alone, to only temporarily stop serving children, only some types of animals’ corpses and during school lunches only.

Despite that the decision is not of a total meat-free diet – for example by closing down all the city’s butcher shops and banning all the meat from all the other stores that sell animal flesh – but only regards to school lunches, and despite that it is not really a meat-free menu, as fishes will be offered as usual (if not more than usual, because ‘the children need to consume animals to grow well’ as the Agriculture Minister said in response, as well as asking the region’s administrator, who is the state-appointed top local official, to overrule the decision), and despite that it is definitely not an exploitation-free menu as eggs and milk products will be served as usual, and despite that Lyon’s Mayor Gregory Doucet said that the motivation behind that decision is solely due to the health crisis as it allows the service to be streamlined and quickened amid coronavirus restrictions, members of the French government claimed that the decision insults French butchers and Lyon’s famous culinary reputation, and harms the health of children. Continue reading

2020

With a global zoonotic pandemic that originated from the consumption of an animal, an increase in the price of animals’ flesh and bodily secretions, a decrease in the price of many plant based products, an increase in the number of vegan restaurants and vegan options in non-vegan restaurants, a shutdown (at least temporarily) of some animal corpses processing plants and of animal murdering facilities which brought about a meat shortage, more and more evidences of the severe effects of climate change, outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in 16 countries, doctors in the U.K advising in an open letter to the government that a plant-based diet is an effective way of fighting health issues such as obesity, T2 diabetes, and heart disease, which are all major risk factors for COVID-19, and many other incentives from various fields, everything was ready for 2020 to be the most vegan year in human history.

The ground was set, and was supposed to be even more conclusive and persuasive than ever. Veganism couldn’t have asked for a better ground to flourish. Yet its rise is still extremely marginal compared with the fact that going vegan, especially this year, should have been utterly unequivocal, self-evident and the only reasonable thing to do, from every possible aspect. This year, considering all, the number of vegans shouldn’t have been “merely” increasing, but a real revolution in humans’ diet should have occurred. But it didn’t happen. Not even remotely close.

There was a growing interest in plant-based protein consumption but mostly as a result of the flesh shortage during the temporary shutdown of slaughterhouses and flesh processing and packing plants, as well as the price increase of flesh, and humans’ fear of food safety issues involved with flesh production during the pandemic.
More humans consumed more plant based products during the passing year, but it doesn’t seem that the vast majority of these humans have decided to go vegan, or even to occasionally choose plant based options over animal based options once animals’ corpses have become as available and as affordable as they were before the shutdown.

In the past 50 years, it is estimated that at least three dozen zoonotic infectious diseases have emerged, among them are Bird Flu, Swine Flu, SARS, the Zika virus, MERS, and Ebola. Yet, factory farming, not to mention animal consumption all together, is far from being under any threat of being finally and permanently shut down. Even wildlife trade “only”, will not be ended as a part of drawing conclusions from 2020. In fact, as we claimed in a former post, even the very specific live animal market from which the current pandemic had emerged is not and will not be closed down. Continue reading

Humanosis

In the beginning of this month, the Danish government decided to murder the about 17 million minks imprisoned in Denmark’s fur farms, due to concerns that the COVID-19 mutation discovered among minks would spread to humans.

The decision created a storm of criticism, but unfortunately (though expectedly), not for the right reasons. It is not for the murder of 17 million animals (which are three times the human population in Denmark), it is not for the murder method, it is not for the fact that these animals are being murdered to protect the species who is actually responsible for their exploitation and their infection, and it is not since it is unfair that the victims of industrial farming are paying the price for another one of the consequences of industrial farming and not the ones who created and maintain industrial farming, and it is not for the fact that there are still industrial farms or any farms whatsoever, no, it is not for any of these reasons, but for the fact that many people would lose their jobs (there are more than 1,100 mink farms in Denmark), and for the fact that Denmark would lose much of its revenue as it is the biggest mink exploitation industry in the world accounting for 40% of global production, and for the fact that it later appeared that the mass murder had no legal basis, and because the 10 million minks who have already been murdered so far have been buried in too shallow mass graves and so in the last couple of days many of the mink corpses are rising from the ground to the surface due to gas accumulating in their decaying bodies. Danish officials are worried that the mink corpses could cause a severe phosphorus and nitrogen pollution, especially in water sources.

The Danish agriculture minister resigned due to the public outcry and the new one wants to dig up the mass graves and incinerate the minks’ corpses

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Black Mirror

It’s been a week since Miley Cyrus announced that she is no longer vegan because she felt her health was being compromised, and many vegans are still sharing their disappointment and surprise on social networks.
But there should be nothing surprising about a celebrity ditching the animals or any other moral cause.

As genuine spotlight-seekers, many celebrities use the ‘social justice’ trend and choose an issue for self-promotion and for a tinge of image make-up. Good publicity is good for business. But many animal activists forget that every trend has an expiration date.

Celebrities are celebrities, not animal rights activists. Even the ones who are currently on the right track, might change their minds at any given moment. We can’t count on celebrities to promote anything other than themselves. If they cared that much about animal rights they would have become full time activists, and would invest as much as we do in the issue. Obviously, some genuinely and wholeheartedly do, but the whole idea of making people who all they have to give is their fame – the veganism’s frontpeople, says something about the belief of many animal activists in themselves and in their message. None of the self-promoting, attention addicts celebrities, have something smarter to say about the subject than any unfamiliar activist. Usually it is the other way around. So the only reason for the mass celebrity use is the acknowledgment that no one would listen to a “nobody” animal rights activist. Continue reading

Misdemeanors and the Greatest Crimes Ever in History

Two juridical news stories regarding birds abuse were published recently.

One of them was published a few days ago and it involves cockfighting.
The image of cockfighting as an illegal, small scale activity that secretly takes place in shady places with a few dozen people who come to gamble a few bucks, is very inaccurate. In reality it is a highly organized industry which runs billions of dollars every year and is legal in many countries such as: the Philippines (where it is a national sport), Thailand, Dominican Republic, Peru, Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua, Colombia, Ecuador, France, parts of Spain, Indonesia, and etc. In some other countries despite that it is illegal, the law is not enforced and cockfighting is popular, like in India and in 8 states of the United States where cockfighting is enforced only with a small fine. One of them is Kentucky, which treats cockfighting as a misdemeanor.

Last week, the Washington-based organization ‘Animal Wellness Action’, held an online news briefing with a former Kentucky attorney general and current Kentucky Senator, calling for a tougher enforcement of cockfighting breeders in Kentucky.
Based on interviews with some of the breeders, by a Philippines-based cockfighting broadcaster who had traveled to the U.S., the group urged Kentucky’s two U.S. attorneys to inspect seven Kentucky breeders for federal violations. The Animal Wellness Action also demands that cockfighting would be a felony. Continue reading

Only Wars and Viruses

few days ago, probably the most famous animal abuse festival in the world – the fiesta in honor of San Fermin mostly known as Running of the Bulls – was supposed to end. But for the first time since the Spanish Civil War it was canceled.

For anyone not familiar with the abusive festival, a run takes place every day at 8A.M. between the 7th and the 14th of July. 6 bulls and 6 steers who are supposed to herd them, run the 825 meters of immensely crowded narrow streets from the corral and into the bullring.
The terrified bulls, surrounded by hundreds of runners, are harassed and touched all along the run.
Running on the cobbled streets with sharp turns, the bulls also suffer from falls, trampling, bruises and fractures. They often collide with the walls, get severely injured, sometimes breaking bones.

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Elephants Don’t Forget, But Humans Do

The human race received many wishes for its extinction in the passing week. The reason was the appalling case of an elephant who was killed in India by eating a trap pineapple stuffed with powerful firecrackers. The murder initiated a widespread outrage on social media. Some of which was fueled by political motives (rightwing Hindu nationalists blaming Muslims for the killing), but much of it, especially outside of India, is from people wishing for humanity to vanish from the face of the earth.

Here are just a few examples of what people wrote:
“This is an another example of why we don’t deserve this planet”
“Humans should gtfo”
“The human race as malicious… pollute, kill, torture, destruction of their own kind as well
“Poor innocent creature, humans are the worst creatures on this planet”
“I am filling shameful being a human now”
“Humans really are the worst living creatures and i have said it before too”
“After knowing about this tragedy I am ashamed to be human!!! Wtf is wrong with humanity”
“Human Don’t deserve to live”
“News like this makes me think we deserve this pandemic”
“Maybe we are the most developed species on the earth with all the technologies we have but sorry we r moving towards the end of humanity…shame on us”
“Q: Want to see the dangerous animal on the world??? A: Then look into the mirror”
“Humans are killing the world. Heartless people don’t deserve this planet”
“Humans don’t deserve to live in this earth including me”
“We need another virus having 90% of fatality rate, no human is innocent. Let nature punish us”

Many animal liberation activists find it very ironic and outrageous that the same people who are wishing humanity to go extinct are not willing to make their own animal consumption go extinct. They are rightfully irritated and frustrated by the fact that so many people can deeply empathize with the suffering of one elephant but at the same time be so indifferent to the no less suffering that they are personally causing. Continue reading

Not Even Now, Not Even Only the “Wet” Markets

Many wildlife and conservation groups view the Covid-19 pandemic as a great opportune moment to close down live animal markets (‘wet markets’), if not all wildlife trade.
These claims have received some tailwind from some politicians, lawmakers, and health officials who called the World Health Organization to order a shutdown of live animal markets. Of course much of that is due to political interests related to the U.S.-China trade war, as many American politicians focused solely on Chinese live animal markets instead of all of them, or all the wildlife trade. But anyway The WHO pushed back on the calls to ban these markets, saying that they need to be “well regulated and managed”, not closed down.

Many animal liberation groups also view this pandemic as a great opportune moment, but obviously they are making a much broader and more accurate connection between pandemics and animal consumption, calling to close down all the factory farms as they are the ideal environment for zoonotic pathogens (animal-borne pathogens that can infect humans) to develop and spread.

Another motive of animal liberation groups might be the fear that if only live animals markets would be closed down, since humans’ desire for animal flesh won’t go down with it, that means that at least some of the humans who consume animals’ flesh in these markets would get more of it from factory farms. So this call might actually end up increasing animal suffering.

But there is no need to rack your brains over this as none of it is going to happen. Even the current pandemic won’t make humanity decide to close down the live animal markets, not to mention stop consuming animal based food. No matter what the results of this pandemic are, even the live animal markets won’t be closed down permanently, and certainly not factory farms. Continue reading

Animals’ Time? Part 3 – Comparably Wrong

Many activists are saying that after the working class liberation, black liberation, women liberation and gay liberation this is animals’ time. Discrimination on the basis of species is the last form of discrimination to be fought against.

Thinking that this is animals’ time since other forms of discrimination were already successfully addressed is a mistake from at least three different aspects. The first is a factual one – all of the so called revolutions are still far from occurring. The second is conceptual – the belief that eventually the truth has got to win, requires falsely observing history as a purposeful force moving in a linear way from bad to good, from chaotic to ordered, from irrational to rational. And the third one is analogical – even if human social struggles were successful, we can’t infer from them about nonhumans’ struggle, because they are fundamentally different.
In the following post we’ll address the third aspect.

Comparatively Wrong

Many activists compare animals’ institutionalized exploitation with slavery. They use it as a rhetorical tool, trying to convince the public that just as discrimination based on skin color is arbitrary and wrong so is discrimination based on species, and they use it as an inspiration source arguing that just as enslavement based on skin color discrimination was ended, exploitation based on species discrimination can also end.

We find this inspiration utterly false for several reasons, which we broadly detailed in a series of posts about slavery. Here are the arguments in short. Continue reading

Animals’ Time? – Part 2 – Conceptually Wrong

Many activists are saying that after the working class liberation, black liberation, women liberation and gay liberation this is the animals’ time. Discrimination on the basis of species is the last form of discrimination to be fought against.

Thinking that this is animals’ time since other forms of discrimination were already successfully addressed is false from at least three different aspects. The first is a factual one – all of the so called revolutions are still far from occurring. The second is conceptual – the belief that eventually the truth has got to win, requires falsely observing history as a purposeful force moving in a linear way from bad to good, from chaotic to ordered, from irrational to rational. And the third one is analogical – even if human social struggles were successful, we can’t infer from them about nonhumans’ struggle, because they are fundamentally different.
In the following post we’ll address the second aspect.

Conceptually Wrong

The belief that “this is animals’ time”, probably unconsciously, relies on an inherently religious telos, whose secular form is manifested in the enlightenment narrative and the notion of progress, in which ‘the good’ or ‘the truth’ inevitably triumphs in the end, and rationality will inevitably triumph over irrationality if given enough time. All along history activists believed that if they would persist they would win in the end, the truth would inevitability be realized and therefore embraced by everyone.
The problem with this telos is that it is theoretically unprovable and practically entirely baseless. There is no guaranty that “the good” will overcome. There is nothing to support this notion other than the desperate need to believe in it.

There is no reason to believe the “good” will win. It makes much more sense that what has happened so far will keep happening in the future, and that is that the interests of the powerful of each era win. The truth about what goes on inside factory farms was revealed long ago, and yet… Continue reading

Animals’ Time? – Part 1 – Factually Wrong

In the former post we have argued that despite some specific relative successes, some optimistic prospects, and mostly despite the “we’re winning!” rhetoric common among many activists, we are still very very far from wining. Despite the vegan hype and the occasional launch of new plant based products, global consumption of meat is still on the rise. So not only that we are not “winning”, it is still the case that each year more animals are being exploited in severer ways.

In the following posts we’ll argue that not only that we are not winning, there is no reason to believe that we would win simply because we are right. The world doesn’t work like that. We very much want to believe that it does, partly because of an honest, naive and real belief in our goals, but also because people rather believe in a just world theory (that eventually what is true, right, ethical, fair, and just would win) than that there is no causal relation between what things should be like (because that is what is true, right, and just), and how things are actually like.

Many activists are saying that after the working-class liberation, black liberation, women liberation and gay liberation this is the animals’ time. Discrimination on the basis of species is the last form of discrimination to be fought against.

Thinking that this is animals’ time since other forms of discrimination were already successfully addressed is false from at least three different aspects. The first is a factual one – all of the so called revolutions are still far from occurring. The second is conceptual – the belief that eventually the truth has got to win, requires falsely observing history as a purposeful force moving in a linear way from bad to good, from chaotic to ordered, from irrational to rational. And the third one is analogical – even if human social struggles were successful, we can’t infer from them about nonhumans’ struggle, because they are fundamentally different.
The following post address the first aspect. Continue reading

Decreasing the Increase

2019 is presented as a very good year for veganism. In some aspects it really was, but far from being as good as is often represented by whom who keep pumping the “we’re winning!” rhetoric among the vegan community, and definitely far from being as good as it was supposed to be considering the widening acknowledgment of the connection between animal based food and health issues, climate change, the enormous food and water waste, the enormous pollution, obesity, and of course since nowadays non-vegans are losing even their final excuses for not going vegan – that they won’t have anything to eat, as there is an amazing variety of vegan products with the same look, texture and taste, as non-vegan products. But all of that didn’t make veganism mainstream despite that it long ago should have.

As argued in the post for World Vegan Day, some people in the vegan community think it did become mainstream, but they are confusing knowing what veganism is with it being mainstream. Nowadays everybody knows what veganism is and many even know a vegan personally, but mainstream doesn’t mean that in every large city there would be at least one vegan restaurant, but that in every large city there would be a few non-vegan restaurants since the rest are. Mainstream veganism means that animal products are marginal, not still the absolute majority in every supermarket everywhere in the world.

It is very positive that there are plant based products in supermarkets, and it is encouraging in the sense that they have not been there a few years ago and now there are plenty. However, despite that all these vegan options are available in many places, they are still surrounded by non-vegan ones. So activists can be encouraged and draw optimism from the fact that there are plant based burgers along with flesh burgers in the meat aisles, but in the same breath they must ask why the hell are there still flesh burgers when there are equivalently tasty plant based burgers right next to them? How careless to other sentient beings’ suffering must someone be to still choose the flesh burgers? There is nothing victorious about the fact that humans choose again and again the cruel options over the amazing variety of the vegan ones.

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Gods of Power

Yesterday, Hindu worshippers have slaughtered thousands of buffalos as part of a religious ritual held every five years in southern Nepal, called Gadhimai.
That is despite that many activists were hopeful that this gruesome centuries-old ritual would end after the temple authorities had allegedly announced that the prior ritual, held in 2014, would be the last one, and after the Supreme Court of Nepal has reached a verdict in favor of ending the live animal sacrifice at the festival. But people want bloodshed. Continue reading

Impossible Species

The World Vegan Day held today, is expected to be cheerful than ever. That is because optimism among the vegan community is probably stronger than ever before, and for three main reasons.
The first one is that after decades of contempt, arrogance and disinterest, during the last several years, the fogyish medical establishment is showing a relative openness and readiness towards veganism. Secondly, similarly to the health establishment, after decades of almost total disregard for veganism, the environmental movement finally tags along, mainly as a result of the unignorable connection between factory farms and climate change. And thirdly, in the last couple of years, the variety and availability of vegan products, especially ones who try to directly substitute animal derived products, is outstanding.

However, there are worrying aspects to each of these factors.
A couple of months ago we have addressed the less encouraging and actually worrying aspects of the change among the health establishment, which might end up increasing the number of individuals whose lives are suffering from birth to death, and in the previous Earth Day we have dealt with the less encouraging and very worrying aspects of the change among the environmental movement, which also might end up increasing the number of individuals whose lives are suffering from birth to death, as well as increasing the suffering of each victim.
Here we focus on a worrying aspect of the abundance of plant based products that look, cook, and taste like animals’ flesh. Continue reading

Violent Body Invasion

Today is World Farm Animals Day. “Farm animals” are actually animals who once were like any other animal until humans have picked them to be its main resource for food. Humans have turned these sentient animals to the poorest beings on earth, not only by confining them in the worst conditions in history, but also by confining them in their own bodies. Humans have so severely modified sentient beings (sentient beings they now refer to as farm animals), to the point that they suffer merely from living in their own bodies.

Every year, humans are doubly imprisoning more than a hundred billion sentient beings. In the torture facilities they have designed to keep them in called factory farms, and in torture facility they have designed to keep them called their own body.

The following are some examples of the second prison of “farm animals”. Continue reading

Accelerating Hell

Red Alert

Last week it was revealed by the Human Rights Watch that The US government is expanding the number of chickens exploitation companies that can accelerate the speed of their slaughter lines. It also plans to eliminate caps on slaughter line speeds for pigs and cows exploiters in the near future.
Currently, federal regulations allow murdering over a thousand pigs an hour. But a pilot program, which the Trump administration proposes, would allow slaughterhouses to murder as many as they want.

The number of murdered animals per day has already increased over the years, as well as the mass murder goal rate. Now it is going to get even worse. Faster slaughter lines mean even more stress and violence inflicted upon nonhuman animals during the murder process. It’s making one of the worst things in the world even worse. Continue reading

Red Alert

Red Alert

Lately, many vegans have been sharing and citing a new study led by researchers from Harvard Medical School, regarding the harmful effects of meat.
Most of the findings are not really new, for example that its consumption is associated with higher risk of Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, neurodegenerative disease, certain types of cancers, including those of the colon and rectum, and premature death. However, this research is presented as the first longitudinal study to examine how changes in meat consumption over time may influence these risks.

After years of contempt, arrogance, revocation and disinterest, the relative openness and readiness of the fogyish medical establishment during the last decade, is a very refreshing change. It is surly highly beneficial, in ethical terms, that there are less obstacles in the way of people considering changing their abusive lifestyle. Once there are more and more doctors and nutritionists who are supportive or at least not opposing veganism, the easier it is for many to make the morally obligated change.
However, as tempting as the findings may seem to many vegans, all with good intentions obviously, they have been missing a very important word the study mentions – red.
This study, like many others, is mostly about the harmful effects of consuming specific kinds of corpses. It claims that: “overall, a decrease in red meat together with an increase in nuts, fish, poultry without skin, dairy, eggs, whole grains, or vegetables over eight years was associated with a lower risk of death in the subsequent eight years.”
But don’t get this wrong, the main problem here is not that as unfortunate as it is, this study is not as vegan friendly as some may suggests it is, but that while recommending to cut down the consumption of pigs’ and cows’ bodies, it recommends to cut more fishes and chickens. Continue reading

199,000 Tonnes

99,000-Tonnes

The most important political and economic decision of the past week didn’t happen during the G20 summit held in Japan, but during trade negotiations in Brussels.
After 20 years of bargaining, the European Union and the South American Mercosur trading block which includes Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, have reached agreement on a new free-trade deal.

Covering markets with the total of approximately 780 million consumers, the deal is the largest free trade agreement involving the EU and it follows the recent European trade agreements with Canada , Japan, Mexico, and Vietnam. The agreement is set to eliminate import taxes levied on European goods and services exported to the South American block and a reciprocal reduction in taxes on imports from those countries into Europe.
The deal includes many economic sectors, however it’s no accident that images of cows were picked for the headlines of the deals’ media coverage. The cows flesh industry has a very big part in the deal, as one of the goals of the Mercosur countries is to intensify it. They hope to export up to 99,000 tonnes of cows flesh to Europe every year before they have to pay tariffs. 99,000 tonnes of cows flesh is about 450,000 suffering individuals.
Such a large scale export of cheap animals flesh is expected to increase the flesh consumption of the 500 million European consumers. And even the hope that it would at least lead to a decrease in European factory farms, is very unlikely since the EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan said that the European Commission would provide up to a billion euros in support to farmers “in the event of market disturbances“. That support might lead to a reduction in the European flesh’s prices and so an overall greater increase in consumption. Continue reading