As veganism becomes increasingly popular, its advocates are being invited on more and more television shows, to talk about animal rights.
While they are often met with nonsensical arguments (vegans are responsible for ALL soy consumption!) they generally manage to keep their cool and make a solid point.
Here are five tv appearances we particularly enjoyed.
Veganuary 2018 garnered the most media attention yet, being discussed in newspapers and on television.
We saw vegan activist Earthling Ed battle a dairy farmer onscreen – making his point in his trademark cool-as-cucumber style.
Dairy farmer Paul Tomkins said he showed open day visitors ‘everything that happened’ on his facility.
Ed asked: “Do you show people who come to your farm the artificial insemination, do you show them what happens to the calves – the pens they are kept in for up to eight weeks at a time where they are not allowed to see their mums…do you take them to slaughterhouse as well and show them the knives being pulled across their throat?
“I like to think we show everyone the full spectrum of farming,” replied Tomkins.
Even the interviewer appeared irritated by this answer, saying: “You either do or you don’t.”
Another legendary moment from Earthling Ed
Discussing the exploitative nature of the dairy industry on Good Morning Britain this Summer, activist Carbstrong famously told boisterous host Piers Morgan that he’s ‘not a baby cow, bro’.
Drinking cow’s milk is unnatural and unnecessary he said, and it also causes immense suffering to the animals.
Carbstrong added: “[People] are disconnected from the [dairy] process. 50 percent of the cow flesh in this country comes from spent dairy cows.
“All of the animals in the dairy industry will end up in a slaughterhouse, so they will be killed against their will.”
Appearing on Good Morning Britain hosted by Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, journalist Afua Hirsch – a former vegan who was now doing Veganuary – calmly and elegantly laid down some facts about eating animals.
“None of the things I was eating I would be happy to either kill myself.”
Host Reid said: “Luckily we don’t have to kill them ourselves.”
“I think there’s a dishonesty in that,” replied Hirsch. “We rely on a system that’s really very unpleasant and causes a lot of animal and climate suffering. And we outsource that to people we can’t see, usually low paid, working in often horrific conditions.
“You have to take responsibility for the way you live.”
Piers hates on veganism. Again
4. Vegan journalist Selene Nelson debunks the claim that vegans are destroying the rainforest by eating soy
When anti-vegans want to debunk the entire philosophy of veganism, they often misuse data or make assumptions (only vegans eat avocados! Only vegans eat soy! If everyone was vegan cows would simultaneously go extinct and overrun the planet!).
Predictably this was the case when journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (yep, she is the woman who appeared to mistake a recent ‘Allo ‘Allo cast reunion as a serious ‘right-wing threat’) said: “Actually veganism is causing a huge amount of pain around the world. Soy has caused deforestation in huge areas.”
“The reason why soy is unsustainable is because 90 percent* of it is fed to animals, to livestock,” said Nelson. “So the only reason soy is unsustainable is because of the meat industry.”
For the love of all that’s good and holy, will someone tell the anti-vegans that avocados are not veganism itself? This pitiful argument for eating animals and their secretions is based on the idea that only vegans eat avocados, and they all eat loads of them.
It makes no sense. It is the embodiment of false equivalency.
Veganuary Founder Matthew Glover was having none of it. Journalist Julie Bindel said she was concerned that the number of avocados vegans eat is destroying the rainforest.
But according to Glover: “Many vegans do it for environmental reasons – 90 percent of the Amazon rainforest is being cleared for animal agriculture – to graze livestock and to grown feed.
“Avocados aren’t really the issue.”
*Different sources place this stat between 70-90 percent.