I often find myself reading news articles critical of veganism or plant-based eating and I think, “I wonder who wrote this and I wonder why they wrote it.” More often than not, a little bit of sleuthing will uncover the article has been produced or sponsored by a think tank or research group with connections to the meat or dairy industry.
I’m normally a chilled individual who lets most things float on by. But I’m becoming increasingly frustrated by these flimsy attempts to use misinformation to discredit veganism. It’s even more infuriating when you come to see these campaigns of untruths for what they are; a way to protect the financial interests of industrial animal production and slaughter.
Even news articles that find something positive to say about veganism will usually counter that by reeling off unsubstantiated “findings” and “facts” about plant-based eating displacing communities, ruining economies, or putting our planet’s very survival in danger.
Is the ‘spread of veganism’ killing our planet?
As I sat down to write this column, I conducted a brief search for an example to share with you. And I was swamped by stories and articles shouting about the damage my compassionate way of life is causing.
My favorite article from scouring the seemingly bottomless meat-centric propaganda press told me: “The spread of veganism will not solve climate problems linked to the farming sector and could even harm the environment, scientists have warned.”
Who did I have to thank for these claims? The Times article from which the above quote was lifted credits the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security as its main source. The academy is a research, teaching, and commercially aligned collaboration of Edinburgh University and Scotland’s Rural College.
Agricultural experts from these institutes are quoted in the article as saying “environmental campaigners had ‘demonised’ the industry.” If this information comes from a university and a college, it must be trustworthy, true, and without ulterior motive. Right?
Just a few minutes snooping around online has shown me this article stating that my vegan lifestyle is potentially damaging was powered by organizations with ties to big agribusiness and corporations that make money from “livestock” (can we all agree the word livestock is awful?). Scotland’s Rural College even has a commercial division that focuses on these revenue streams from agricultural sources.
In fact, Scotland’s Rural College is currently developing an app with Waitrose that will catalogue animal behaviors. That’s so supermarket managers and buyers visiting farms and suppliers can use the app to decide which animals look happy. You know, so they can buy and kill the happiest animals to sell to Waitrose customers.
To break it down further, the “experts” advising that veganism is bad for the planet are also developing an app to convince supermarkets to keep buying animal meat.
It’s becoming more common to use manipulation of facts and plain falsehoods to make compassionate lifestyles seem damaging. This is because compassionate living threatens the bottom line of companies turning profit by selling animal bodies and by-products. More humans living vegan lifestyles means less money is made by raising and killing animals on an industrial level.
The beauty of veganism
It sure seems complicated to keep the myth of happy animals believable. On the other hand, veganism feels simple and jargon free. I don’t need spin, half truths, full lies, or fancy apps developed with financial backing to explain my compassion.
I can speak honestly about veganism. And it’s just as convincing as anything an agricultural think tank expert paid a lot of money can say.
Vegans avoid wearing or eating animals, as well as using the by-products of animals or items tested on animals, as much as we possibly can. We do this because it reduces demand for products that require the maiming and killing of sentient beings. Our lifestyle choices can have a direct impact on how many non-human animals suffer at the hands of humans.
The beauty of veganism is that it’s simple in its intentions. It’s simple in its execution, and the positive results are measurable. We have these truths on our side and our consumer choices make a direct difference for animals and the planet.
Please don’t let any news article sponsored by big business tell you any different!