Throughout the month of August, in the middle of Times Square, directly above the Good Morning America studios, and just a few blocks from the New York Times, a billboard was visible overhead that few could pretend not to notice. Amongst a barrage of self-promotion by corporate interests seeking personal gain, for four full weeks, one message of hope stood proud and powerful in its uncompromising call to the viewer to right the wrongs of a public blinded by the prejudice of speciesism.
Be Fair, Be Vegan.
Most of us agree that inflicting unnecessary harm is unjustified – whether the victims are human or otherwise. Yet most people are willing to turn a blind eye to such harm when they themselves receive some kind of advantage from it – whether the benefits are in the form of food, possessions, vanity, or amusement. Violence against animals in the form of ‘agriculture,’ ‘research’ and even ‘entertainment,’ is accepted by mainstream society and its legal systems. As a result, the majority of people are unwilling to see this brutality for what it is, and to step outside of the conditioning that makes such atrocities possible.
For decades now, we who refuse to ignore the plight of the other animals have endeavored in earnest to engage hearts and minds on behalf of innocent beings the world over.
We have accumulated a wide body of evidence to prove that this industry is completely unnecessary, disastrously cruel and immoral, and devastating to the health and wellbeing of our human population, our global society, and the very planet upon which we depend for our survival.
In spite of our sincere attempts to expose others to a reality that we know they would rightfully abhor and reject, we find ourselves not only dismissed and ignored, but more often than not, met with callous indifference, serving to further illustrate how hardened people’s hearts are to the individuals we are fighting for: innocent, defenseless beings whose very selves have been claimed by us as resources to exploit; declared by their oppressors to be worth more as factories for the substances we are addicted to than as the main players in their own life stories.
We are animals too, and just like us, those who are not human are not inanimate objects to be bought and sold like produce by the pound, by the kilo, or (in the case of the fishes of the ocean) by the ton. Like us, each one of these individuals is an embodiment of life, and a vessel for feelings that we can only try to understand the depth of. Like us, they too deserve at least the hope of a future that will somehow deliver some kind of peace and safety in a world that is unimaginably cruel to them for no more reason than what it is that comes from their bodies: meat, milk, eggs, leather, wool, fur, down, honey, silk, and everything else we can possibly take from them.
Since its inception in 1944, the movement for nonviolence against the other species of this planet has been slowly but steadily growing: climbing from almost complete obscurity to take its well-deserved position as the most attainable hope the world has for real, life-affirming change.
United in solidarity for a common cause that we believe exposes the most widespread and socially-acceptable injustice in the world today, we now have the power of numbers, and our influence will continue to multiply exponentially.
We already have the solution to the biggest problems we face, from personal to planetary. There is but one thing we must do: