With Christmas now here, many of us may be thinking of the millions of animals who lose their lives over the festive period.
The holiday season is considered a happy and wholesome time of celebration for a lot of people. But for some, it is built on the deaths of billions of animals across the globe – those who die for our fur-trimmed winter coats, leather handbags given as gifts, and, of course, Christmas lunches and dinners.
With this in mind, Plant Based News founder Klaus Mitchell took to the streets of London to ask the UK public this question: Is a loving Christmas a vegan Christmas?
There was a mixed response. A number of people did indeed agree with this statement. Some said that it “absolutely” was, and one added: “I have a lot of vegan friends and they’re all loving.”
A number of respondents disagreed, however, with one proclaiming: “Absolutely not.”
When pressed why they didn’t think it was, another responded: “Because I like meat.”
They then added: “I think when that turkey gets roasted in that oven nice and warm, he’ll be absolutely fine. Don’t do this in front of my children please.”
Many also implied that eating animals is okay because of “tradition.”
Animals dying for Christmas food
In the UK, around 10 million turkeys are killed over the Christmas period every year. Around 90 percent are kept in factory farms, which are often cramped and filthy, and offer them no chance to exhibit natural behaviors.
Without the opportunity to nest, roost, or forage, turkeys and other birds destined for dinner plates can become aggressive due to stress. They may peck at each other in frustration; cannibalism is not uncommon among farmed turkeys and chickens.
Animals will also be subjected to painful mutilations, including beak-trimming, de-winging, and toe-cutting. In the UK, the majority of turkeys and other birds raised for meat are gassed to death. The rest will be stunned and have their throats cut.
Public awareness around the animal cruelty involved in food production is motivating more people to ditch animal products altogether. As December comes to a close, many are preparing to kick off Veganuary, the 31-day challenge to go vegan for the month of January. Those interested can sign up here – it’s free!