Essay no° five: The Ethics of Eating Lives

Human society has a long history of invented distinctions which have artificially been drawn between race, gender, class, sexual orientation and other perceived boundaries. Over the years, these perceptions and hierarchical structures have proven to be unjust, exploitative, and most of all, arbitrary. Granted, all of these segregations have been built within human species, yet they all show the same characteristics. Whether the system is called racism, separation of the classes, separation of the sexes or homophobia, they all state that the concerned target is less worthy because of its membership of another group than our own and that therefore its oppression is justified. Foreign races, women, lower classes, religious people, the LGBT people [1] and many more have all been oppressed solely because of their otherness in comparison to the oppressors. At some point, all of them have been seen as non-feeling, mere objects and there were almost no restrictions as how to treat or make use of them. It is astonishing how long it took humanity to acknowledge that once oppressed groups are sentient – able to feel pain and pleasure – in the exact same way as we are. Though no man for example can ever fully prove that women have the ability to feel pain and happiness just like they do, we have fortunately come to a point in history where we no longer seek to prove this; it has become common sense. Similarly, although white people can never scientifically show evidence that black people have the same emotions like they do, human society dedicatedly believes that they do have the same emotional life along with other races. Even though the experience of pain and other feelings are subjective, we just know that black people, women or homosexuals are every bit as sentient as we are, regardless of skin colour, gender or the difference in sexuality.

Slavery  has been enabled by racism, the belief system that ones own race is superior to others and that those others can therefore be mistreated and systematically abused. Slaveholders and their defenders argued that slavery had existed throughout history and that it was the natural state of mankind. Our ancestors in many different civilizations, even long before its heyday, had practiced slavery, a fact that the defenders often used to support their actions. The argument that slaves were better treated than elsewhere and that they were taken care of, even after they had reached the end of their working lives, was often heard in the southern parts of the U.S., for example. Slave breeding was a common act which aimed at improving the skills and quality of slaves. Forced pregnancies lead to slave children, which meant an increase in supply and could thus replace old, useless or worn out slaves inexpensively. Women who tended to give birth to more than one child per pregnancy and consequently produced more than others were favored. Through breeding, the slaveholders could avoid buying new slaves or fill labor shortages. Religious arguments were also widespread, so too the belief that Africans must be animals on two feet. This assumption is based on the biblical belief that all humans on our earth stem from the eight white persons who were on Noah’s ark, yet black people are here with us today. Consequently, the deduction seemed to be that “the black has no soul to be saved” [2]. The author Millard Erickson comments: “Here we have the ultimate justification for […] discrimination and even slavery: blacks are not humans; consequently, they do not have the rights which humans have.” [3]

The debate of women’s suffrage involved many supporters who went to great lengths to justify their beliefs. A particularly peculiar justification was that once women were given the right to vote and became involved in politics, they would stop marrying, stop having children and that as a result, the human race would die out. Another argument often used was that women and men simply have separate spheres; men were naturally seen as superior to women.

In Ancient Greece, education was withheld from women and they were married to adult men as soon as they were sexually mature, as though they were mere property. Women did not have the right to buy, own or sell land and could not leave the house without a supervising person. [4]

Not too long ago and in many parts of the world even today, LGBT people are being oppressed, simply because their sexuality differs from heterosexual’s. Not only do they face psychological dejection when born into a society that condemns their naturally felt sexuality, but often physical assault too, which can in some cases lead to murder. At work they might have to bear the constant threat of victimization and discrimination. All too often, lesbian mothers are systematically denied the custody of their children and in schools, young people who open up about their sexual orientations, are bullied and socially excluded.

All the above-mentioned justifications surely seem ludicrous and silly to us nowadays, but they were taken very seriously by a wide section of society.

However, most countries have abolished slavery and many have made enormous progress concerning the women’s rights-issue and the LGBT’s-rights issue. Black people that were once subject to oppression are now accepted as citizens with the same rights as everybody else. Women that were once refused the right to vote, are now politically equal to men and are in some cases heads of state. With time, more and more states enable marriage-equality and thus create a society where LGBT people are accepted and can live free of prejudice.

All of these simplified examples show that we, as a species, seem to have finally understood that sentience, respect and ultimately compassion do not depend on external characteristics and that they do not need to be proven in order to exist. And what’s more important: we live by the realizations of the consequences of these awakenings, we have put them into practice.

Why is it then, that we still do not properly put those moral realizations into practice for all beings concerned? Why should the arguments, based on the facts of sentience and emotion be less valid when someone has fur instead of skin? Or if someone has feathers instead of hair? How is the line between nonhuman animals and human animals any less arbitrary than the one we drew between blacks and whites? “To mark this boundary [the boundary of concern for the interests of others] by some other characteristic like intelligence or rationality would be to mark it in an arbitrary manner. Why not choose some other characteristic, like skin color?” [5]

 

“Virtually every atrocity in the history of human kind was enabled by a populace that turned away from a reality that seemed too painful to face, while virtually every revolution for peace and justice has been made possible by a group of people who chose to bear witness and demanded that other bear witness as well. The goal of all justice movements is to activate collective witnessing so that social practices reflect social values.” [6]

Animals, especially the ones we abuse for consumption, are all sentient beings. There are many scientific proofs that shatter the perception that animals are mere meat-machines, soulless, numb objects, as they are often portrayed by meat-proponents. The Cambridge Declaration of Consciousness states that “[…] neural circuits supporting behavioral / electrophysiological states of attentiveness, sleep and decision making appear to have arisen in evolution as early as the invertebrate radiation, being evident in insects and cephalopod mollusks (e.g., octopus)” [7] and finally concludes that “the absence of a neocortex does not appear to preclude an organism from experiencing affective states. Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors. Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Nonhuman animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these neurological substrates.” [8]

The pretext ‘Human kind has always eaten meat’ very much follows the same logic that allegedly justified racism, as shown above. This idea, however, cannot count as a justification for the continuation of meat consumption, because – needless to say – actions that have always been done, are therefore not automatically rendered just. We have a long history of rape and murder, yet we oppose to those actions today. Again following the paths of racists and slaveholders, we might hear that some animals are better treated than others, that they have been given a little more space so that they actually could turn around or have had the possibility to go to a space to move about in. Regardless of the number of illusory, conscience-reassuring but false arguments we might come across, they can never change the facts. Meat always stems from an animal that once was alive and has then been killed for the consumers eating preferences only. When it comes to meat, the right of these sentient beings is being harmed as soon as we inflict pain on them solely for our purpose. When meat is no longer a necessity, it has become a choice. Anybody who eats meat is actively placing his appetite above the interest of the animals and above their very lives.

Just like slaveholders did, we breed animals, we shape their bodies to facilitate our exploitation of them. We impregnate them and steal their offspring, which we then eat. Psychologically, we have to degrade them to senseless machines in order to still function as humans next to this limitless horror. We reduce them to less than they are, the word “animal” itself is perceived as an insult. We do not have the decency to correctly name what we eat, we have to talk around it by using terms such as “pork” or “beef”. Slaughterhouse workers tend even more towards these euphemisms, as they refer to chickens as “broilers”, to pigs as “rashers” and to cows as “udders”.

Just as the membership of a race, gender, class or sexual orientation is of no importance when it comes to basic rights, neither does the membership of a particular species matter. The term speciesism has been established following the terms racism or sexism. Speciesism describes the discrimination based on species, just like racism describes the discrimination based on race. In other words, it is the belief that another species can be oppressed, abused and exploited solely because of their species. In virtually all cases, animal species are the victims of human speciesists, never vice versa. Generally, speciesists attach more value to humans than to animals not because of different qualities or capabilities but because of biased prejudices.

Speciesists often cynically ask whether – according to animal rights activist’s views – animals should be seen as equals to human beings. But animals do not need all the same rights that we humans do. The right to vote would be useless to them, because they do not have the desire to vote. The concept of preference utilitarianism, mostly coined by Peter Singer, suggests that animals deserve the same rights as humans where they have the same preferences or the same interests. Virtually all sentient beings have the strong desire to live, they avoid pain and do not want to be hurt. Furthermore, they feel emotions such as happiness, sadness, they grieve and are aware of their environment and their companion animals. [9] This results, or rather should result, in them having the same rights for exactly these aspects: the right not to be hurt, the right to live freely and the right not to be held as property. In his own words, Singer argues that “the extension of the basic principle of equality from one group to another does not imply that we must treat both groups in exactly the same way, or grant exactly the same rights to both groups. Whether we should do so will depend on the nature of the members of the two groups. The basic principle of equality does not require equal or identical treatment, it requires equal consideration.” [10]

If we take this system into consideration it is quickly shown that animal’s needs are not met at all. In fact, they are by far the most oppressed and mistreated group of all time on our planet. The Jewish writer Isaac Bashewis Singer is quite famous for his statement that for the animals “all people are Nazis” and thus for them, life “is an eternal Treblinka”[11]. All animals used for food are oppressed, mistreated and ultimately killed. We use their lives, we take their lives and we eat their lives only because we believe ourselves to be superior. But the superiority is an illusion when it comes to basic needs and emotions. They can and do suffer when harm is being inflicted on them.


The discussion of all these issues on a philosophical level can be summed up by the word ethics. Animal ethics focus on the relationship between human animals and nonhuman animals and how one interacts with the other. However, there are some major problems when it comes to animal ethics.

Too often, animal ethics only discuss aspects of a practice without actually questioning essential basic conditions. They push fundamental questions aside and accept the legitimacy of purpose as appropriate standard. Unethical practices are often correctly recognized as such, but ethics fail to bring out the practice’s abolition. Instead, they seek to improve or rather adjust the system in which they place animals in a way that requires minimal improvement in real welfare and gives the impression of meeting consumer’s demands for ethically produced meat. This is where meaningless labels like “cruelty-free” come from. Animal welfare is a real barrier to profit, from a business point of view. It is cheaper to produce animals in masses and let some die before slaughter age than to care for them adequately.

Violent ideologies depend upon promoting fiction as fact and discouraging or even prohibiting any critical thinking or action that threatens to dismantle this system. A good example might be the defamation trial in Amarillo, Texas in 1996. A group of beef producers sued Oprah Winfrey for over $10 million for slandering beef in one of her shows. The program discussed mad cow disease and featured warnings which showed that American cattle are likely to find ground-up members of their own species in their feed – those who had died from BSE. Clearly, the disease could thus be found in the meat Americans eat, which prompted Winfrey to declare “It has stopped me cold from eating another burger! I’m stopped!” [12]

Her mistake was not that she had brought into light the more than dubious procedures of cattle business. Anyone can easily access those details if desired. What the group of beef producers did not like was her influence, the sheer number of people following her broadcasts. In other words, she simply reached too many people.

It is in this context that the so called “Ag-gag” laws have been put in place in the U.S., which forbid undercover filming or photography of agricultural activities. While supporters might claim they serve to protect agricultural industries from negative images, they are mainly used to keep activists from exposing the abusive and horrific truths that take place in today’s agricultural businesses. They make it almost impossible to prove mistreatment of animals used in agriculture, since they prohibit and outlaw the pieces of evidence themselves.

These precautions strongly suggest that there is something worth hiding. In fact, it is well hidden. It is striking, how easily one can spend a lifetime of meat consumption without once entering a place where it is processed.

 

“Because mass witnessing is the single greatest threat to carnism [the belief system that conditions us to eat some animals and not others], the entire system is organized around preventing this process. Indeed, the sole purpose of carnistic defenses is to block witnessing.” [13]

Chances are that we have been fed meat products during our childhood, based on our parent’s habits. The decision has often been made and the meat-based diet habit has been accepted even before a child is on its way. One could ask: “Is it really ever a decision? Do carnists even consider raising their children without meat and then decide that they prefer feeding them corpses?” In fact, it is a pattern that continues until it is thoroughly questioned. Most of us are born into a system that we become accustomed to without knowing it. It is the reason why we see the consumption of the few animal-species our ancestors have consumed as normal, the way it has always been and consequently we never ask ourselves, why we do so. Obviously, this does not justify our actions in any way. In contrast, it should push us to act according to our own values and should lead us away from passiveness towards activeness. In that sense, rethinking the grounds for our actions is a necessary liberation. Arriving at this level of consciousness, we have the possibility to make new choices and to adjust or alter old habits that we falsely think of as beliefs.

 

“Most people who eat meat have no idea that they’re behaving in accordance with the tenets of a system that has defined many of their values, preferences, and behaviours. [] And by carving out the path of least resistance, norms obscure alternative paths and make it seem as if there is no other way to be; [] meat eating is considered a given, not a choice.” [14]

I have recently been involved in a discussion about animal rights and the goal of activists to shift towards a world where animals are respected and not killed for any human purpose. We were talking about nations and the many different opinions that exist within them. My interlocutor explained to me that a state needs to be seen as a whole. Though many groups of people with many different views on life that they want to realize all coexist in the nation’s philosophy, the country is not capable to take them all into account. There may be a group whose goal it is to abolish all freeways and who demands a speed limit of 20 miles per hour in the whole country. There may be another group whose idea it is to ask the state for subsidies in order to build more parks and thus make cities greener. And there may be animal rights activists, who demand the closure of slaughterhouses, the ending of livestock breeding and finally the abolition of meat-consumption. Now, my friend asks me, what would happen to a state if it took all demands into consideration and helped with realizing every single one of them? If every idea of every group could ultimately sell itself and be put into action, the state would be torn apart quite quickly.

In that sense, my interlocutor wanted to demonstrate that certain ideas can neither be absorbed nor realized, even if they may be justified and beneficial. I logically agreed, because I recognized the problem that would occur if every inhabitant of a country could freely change the law according to his values. The big difference between animal rights activist’s demands and all the demands of other opinions however is, that there is a third party involved. This fact makes animal rights activist’s demands by far more important in comparison to other demands that one might have. Animal oppression is the cause for our demands and animal’s inability to ask for them themselves is the reason why it is us human beings who must fight for them. Animal right’s advocates do not have the opinion that animal abuse must end, but they are the ones that have acknowledged this truth.

This example might help understand why animal right’s demands cannot be shrugged off as if it were a phase that some people go through. Consequentially follows the promotion of a meat-free diet, as meat consumption represents the main contribution to the injustices that animals face.


Animal ethics are not only theoretical thought processes, but applied practices. The things we learn from them must have consequences in our daily lives. Meat consumption is not possible without taking lives and whether we have the right to do so does not solely depend on our perceptions. All sentient beings involved have rights, most importantly the basic right to live. Humans thus have rights too, but their rights end where those of the others begin.

Meat consumption strongly violates those rights as it always takes lives.

We have seen the numerous similarities of previous historical oppressions on the one hand and today’s topical oppression of animals on the other hand. It is of extreme importance to understand that animals are just as sentient as human beings and thus as every previously repressed group, an ethical fact which indisputably prohibits their slaughter for consumption. Meat products are no longer a necessity for the great majority of our planet’s population and thus have become a choice. We have this choice every time we act, especially as consumers and costumers. Our actions are powerful, given the fact that demand determines availability. Since we have that opportunity, it is our duty to choose the most ethical, rightful and compassionate way there is, which clearly is not to eat meat.



Thank you very much for reading.

I am grateful to niceswine.info for publishing my essay on their website. You find the direct link to it here.  They also uploaded it as a pdf file. 

I’d like to thank Mr. Vegan V for proof-reading this essay. 

Contact me via twitter: @moralcompassion  

 


[1] Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender.

[2] Millard J. Erickson – Christian Theology, Baker Book House Company, Seventh Printing, 1990, page 543.

[3] Same as footnote no° two.

[4] Unfortunately, women are still systematically oppressed in many parts of the world. The example above, however, should illustrate a situation that has since changed dramatically.

[5] Peter Singer – Animal Liberation, An Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers, 1975, p. 9.

[6] Melanie Joy – Why we love dogs, eat pigs and wear cows, Conari Press, 2010, p. 139.

[7] The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness, written by Philip Low, published on 7.7.2012, available here. 

[8] Same as footnote no°seven.

[9] Again, see The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness, written by Philip Low, published on 7.7.2012.

[10] Peter Singer – Animal Liberation, An Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers, 1975, p. 2.

[11] http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/14444.Isaac_Bashevis_Singer, last access on 20.05.2015.

[12] http://www.mcspotlight.org/media/press/oprah_15apr96.html, last access on 20.05.2015.

[13] Melanie Joy – Why we love dogs, eat pigs and wear cows, Conari Press, 2010, p. 139.

[14] Melanie Joy – Why we love dogs, eat pigs and wear cows, Conari Press, 2010, p. 106.

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Essay no° four: The Stupidities of Vivisection & Demonstrating Against it

The scientific future is animal-testing-free!

 


On the 25th of April 2015 approximately 500 people came together for a demonstration in Zurich, Switzerland in order to protest against vivisection. Testing on animals, or vivisection, according to adaptt.org is the act of cutting, drugging, burning, blinding, shocking, addicting, shooting, freezing, infecting and surgically mutilating live animals.

After a welcome speech, the demonstrators started their march through the city. It was a lively crowd, many participants held posters, wore costumes and screamed their slogans. Some activists of the animal-liberation group based in Basel attended the march as well, carrying the slogan mentioned earlier. They also regularly organize demonstration at Zurich airport against Air France-KLM. The French airline is the front runner when it comes to animal shipping. At present, they are transporting more than 12 000 primates annually from their natural habitat into laboratories where torture and death awaits them.

The route of their walk crossed the Bahnhofstrasse which could easily be considered as the most lively shopping street in the country. Sadly, we did not use the length of the street and only crossed it.

Still the demonstration caught the attention from numerous pedestrians who often pulled out their phones and recorded the scene. The end of the march was held in a place not far away from the main street through Zurich. Unfortunately it is a place where not many pass by and so the speeches held there could not attract people who were not already involved in the demonstration anyway.

The first speech was given by Friedrich Mülln, a German undercover animalrights-activist. Mülln is the founder of ‘SOKO Tierschutz’, a non-profit association for animalrights, environmental protection and consumer protection. He introduced the Max-Planck-Institut, a scientific institute located in the German university city called Tübingen and their horrific practices. Apparently a young activist called “Pawel” has been working in this laboratory for six months and thus could record an enormous amount of inside footage showing everyday-life in the animal-testing laboratories. This is only the second time in the history of Germany that inside footage of testing-laboratories could be filmed independently. The 28-year old was working as an animal attendant. (In German this position is entitled as ‘Tierpfleger’ which basically means a person to take care of the animals. What a paradoxical and insincere term.) In this particular institute, they use primarily macaque primates in order to conduct basic research. At some point almost all of them have their skull cut open, a screw drilled into their brain and are then left to recover. Needless to say, many of these open wounds catch an infection and the animals try to pull out the alien element. Just what must it feel like to wake up and notice that a screw has been placed into your head?

I find it really interesting to have a look at the terminology that is used in these labs: Primates are being forced out of their cages by workers fixing bars to the ring that has been put permanently around their neck in advance. That way they can lift, pull, shove, or drop the animal as they wish. This is necessary because no monkey is ever going to hop into his “chair” voluntarily. All of this brutal enforcement is called “training”. The mismatch between this term and the real action could not be more striking. The slaves are then put into these apparati where their heads are being fastened in place by the screw. For this step, workers have developed the term “sitting in the chair”, which just like “training” sounds so very harmless. This consciously chosen terminology is meant to mantle the actual suffering that is caused and reinforces the misleading deception people and notably the workers have about animal testing. This is a concept that is called euphemism and it works. Euphemism is by definition a mild or pleasant word that is used instead of one that is unpleasant or offensive, which in most cases would adequately describe the truth. It strongly recalls the way the NSDAP (National Socialist German Worker’s Party) spoke about disabled people, Romany people, Homosexuals and people of the Jewish faith during the Second World War.

Mülln continued pointing out that animal-based research does almost never translate to humans and if it does, it is mere coincidence. In fact, according to the FDA, only 8% of new medication, that have successfully passed the animal research, work on human beings.

Furthermore, the states of this world squander unbelievably much money for literally useless tests. The federal government of the U.S. alone spends approximately $14.5 billion per year. Money that comes from tax-payers, too.

Ultimately, even if we do discover medication that worked on animals and then had the same effect on humans, we can never exclude the case where the drugs have worked for the animals but are far from doing the same for our bodies. Adverse drug reactions (ADR) are drugs that are harmless when tested on animals but human beings died from them. These effects are more common than one might think. Then, there is another case where medication works on humans but not on animals. The Swiss author Antoine F. Goetschel states in his book called ‘Tiere klagen an’ (Animals accuse) that Paracetamol for example, a standard drug in medical circles, alleviates fever and pain in humans but at the same time is deadly to cats. The same goes for Aspirin. Saccharin, an artificial sweetener, is often used by humans and is harmless to them, but causes severe bladder cancer to rats. All these examples support Goetschel when he opposes vivisection, but they also lead him to the question, how many important and helpful medication for humans have gone lost because they did not pass animal-testing.

Yourofsky says: “(…) Let’s understand that animals are a completely different bio-mechanical entity than humans. The anatomical, physiological, immunological, histological [dealing with the cell structures] and even psychological differences between humans and animals are too great to overcome. At this moment, a formula for making animal-derived research relevant to human health is non-existent. Animal research has not, cannot and will not save human lives because information cannot be extrapolated from one species to another.”

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Next was Massimo Tettamanti to speak. First off, he wore a suit and a tie which makes a different appearance than you would typically expect from animal-rights spokespersons. He works for ATRA which is an association pleading for the abolition of vivisection, based in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland. They recently launched the campaign “Stop Vivisection” which intends to tell the European Parliament to shift towards animal-free science. In Switzerland, a similar movement is advancing and alternatives to vivisection are more often used in science. Still, as Tettamanti says, we should not forget the reality: current numbers show that in Switzerland only 400 000 CHF are used by the state to support cruelty-free science whereas 70 000 000 CHF are spent annually for vivisection. In the year 2010 this lead to 761 675 animals that were tested on, an incline of 7.9% in comparison to the previous year.

He spoke in English and had a translator by his side, reciting his speech in German. He did not seem to be emotionally involved, as many other animal-rights activists do, but soberly and professionally revealed the nonsense of vivisection. Then he explained all the successful outcomes of ATRA: In Asia, Africa and Europe they managed to abolish the use of animals in the didactic domains (of teaching facilities). In Italy, the progress is particularly remarkable: 103 of 144 scientific faculties in the country do no longer abuse nonhuman animals for their didactic purposes. Besides, they opened a free interactive database of alternative methods in education on www.ethical-learning.org. It is available in English, Spanish, German, French, Italian and Portuguese and provides both alternatives to specific animal-based experiments and more information about an alternative experiment that one is already familiar with.

At the end of the speeches, various flyers and other informative material was offered. The demonstration has provoked some attention in local news, a few short articles have been telling about the event and even a television station from Zurich broadcast their report.


Advocates for animal-testing assume that animals are fundamentally different from our species and that therefore it is justified to harm them. They say that animals do not suffer the way we do and that their ability to feel pain may be questioned. Yet all translations to human beings are based on the assumption that there are similarities between the two species and that it is exactly because of these, that animal-testing is a functioning method to do research. It simply cannot be that animals and humans are alike in all domains except for the ones that include the ability to feel pain. Neither should we focus on the similar genes or other links between humans and animals (there are plenty of them) but rather on the differences, as they make the difference. Plus, no scientist does research on dogs when he wants to explore medical treatment for cats, nobody uses monkeys when he wants to heal a horse. Why should we use animals to cure humans? Until not so long ago, scientists were convinced that the anthropoid ape showed most similarities to humans. Nowadays they think that it is the ordinary mouse that enables best to translate the results successfully to humans. Nobody knows if this realization is final or if it will change once more in a few years. This clearly shows that the very essence of vivisection is based on assumptions and not on knowledge. 

Diseases are complex. If a human body is infected by a disease, it is impossible to recreate the exact same illness in another species. You can only imitate the symptoms, but never the crux. Scientists do research on animals which have been rendered ill artificially, they do not arrive at the laboratories and already have the same illnesses like us.

The scientific research group A.F.M.A. (Americans for Medical Advancement) is strongly and adamantly advocating science without animal-testing. Therefore, they often are simply dismissed as an animal-rights group. Their response to this assumption is as follows: „AFMA’s position is rooted in science. AFMA focuses on the harm that is done to humans when science is ignored. Animal protectionists, on the other hand, hold their position on animal-oriented ethical grounds. There are additional differences. Because we are based purely in science, we do not oppose the use of animals to benefit humans when such use is scientifically sound. We readily acknowledge that in many respects animals have proven to be of great benefit to medicine, just not as predictive models for human drug and disease response.“ 

About the nonsense of animal-based data, Jerry Vlasak, a trauma surgeon and anti-vivisectionist states that he “learned that 85% of all the data gathered from animal experiments was literally thrown away because it was of no use to anyone, human or non-human; never even published, much less used to help people. Almost all of the remainder of this data was never found useful for human healthcare.” 

For the authorization of new end products, animal testing is mandatory, even in the case of products that we can be sure of that they will not work for humans. It is hard to think of anything more limited than experimenters whose job it is to spread corrosive ointments into rabbit-eyes, then observe the effects and finally come to the conclusion that corrosive things may better not be put into human eyes. Even worse, these kind of experiments have to be done over and over again since the market keeps inventing new products. The lethal-dose test (LD50-test) establishes the amount of a substance from which 50% of the population of living things die. In other words, the test shows how many chemicals a group of animals can ingest before half of them are dead. This test is very common among scientists and currently needs to be done not only for every new product but also for every batch of that product. Unsurprisingly, these animals are not given any anesthesia for concern that they could distort the results.

When we read articles that are in favour of animal-testing, we notice that they often enumerate medical research improvements that science has acquired over the last hundred years. Because most of these progresses have been done with animal-testing or have had some other relation to animals, supporters conclude that animals are vital for it. They fail to see that the exact same experiments could have been done with alternative methods and that the exact same data could have been gathered without animals. It has not been the animals themselves that have helped us evaluate scientifically, but our thinking, our education and our logic. Nowadays we can draw on all of these things and come to the same conclusions, without involving live creatures. 

Does our mental ability to reflect and overlook give us the right to decide and put our interests over all other animals or does it rather impose responsibilities for them? However you decide to answer that question, no opinion and no supposed justification could shatter the fact that animals, especially the ones we use in laboratories, are on the same level with us when it comes to suffering. Even worse, Bernard E. Rollin says that there is the possibility that animals only and fully feel their suffering when they suffer, unlike humans who have the ability to anticipate towards the end of a suffering-period or who can – to a certain extent ­ keep their minds off their misery.



Thank you for reading.

Contact and criticize me on twitter or leave a comment below.

 

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Essay no° three: Why vegetarianism is not the solution

Vegetarianism is often believed to save the lives of animals by not eating their flesh, whereas veganism is seen as a way to avoid all suffering by abstaining from all animal-based products.

Both are wrong, but in this essay we’ll focus on vegetarianism and why it cannot be the ideal diet if we want to harm the animals (and our planet) as little as possible. If you are interested in learning more about why veganism does not save lives or cause no harm whatsoever, please see my essay no° two, called: ‘Response to the text called boycott veganism’.

As a vegetarian you typically consume all plant-based foods plus eggs and dairy-products, that is why there is the term ovo-lacto-vegetarian. Why is it a problem to consume dairy or eggs? Typically vegetarians would say that for those products the animals do not have to die and if you buy free-range or organic, the animals are not being tortured. Really?


Clearly this is not the case. After three years dairy cows are usually considered “spent” (the term speaks for itself) which means that they have become unprofitable. In other words, as soon as the money it costs to feed, to water and to keep the cow has outstripped the money we make by selling the milk that we steal from her, she is being sent to the slaughterhouse. A cow would live up to 25 years. All cows, regardless of whether their products are labelled ‘organic’, ‘grass-fed’ or ‘cruelty-free’, are raped by humans. I am alluding to the artificial insemination which is usually done right after the previous birth. If the cow gives birth to a calf, it is stolen away from her right after birth to prevent it from drinking its milk and then brought to the slaughterhouse where it gets processed into something we call ‘veal’. These young creatures are sold for approximately $50 at auctions to veal-producers and it is common to see their umbilical cords still dangling from their stomachs because they are newborns. In order to give their meat the typical and required pale color, their unnatural feed lacks of iron, which causes chronic anemia.  If, however, the cow gives birth to a daughter, she – of course – is stolen away from her, too, but then is being forced to continue in the same cycle as her mother: seemingly endless impregnations, so her body keeps producing milk, tragic losses of all her children and finally a bloody death in the abattoir. We often say that losing a child is one of the saddest things a mother could undergo. The theft of every calf a dairy cow gives birth to is a precondition for every glass of milk we drink. 

It is of crucial importance to see the close co-operation of the dairy- and the meat-industries. If you abstain from beef and veal but still consume dairy-products, you support the slaughter of dairy cows, their rapes, the deaths of their sons and after a few years of torture and abuse, the deaths of their daughters as well. There will never be a farmer who keeps his unprofitable dairy cows as pets because they cost too much without bringing a return. They are all going to end up in slaughterhouses.

Furthermore, cow’s milk is such a strange liquid to drink. Human beings are the only species on earth that consume the milk of another species. Worse, we do it after we have been weaned! In fact, our body tells us so strongly that we are not meant to drink it, so we have to force ourselves to do so. With many human babies, milk causes a lot of trouble in their systems and they “have to get used to it”. Why? And some believe, that it could even kill freshly born babies if we fed them cow’s milk right away.

The self-described ‘joyful vegan’ Colleen Patrick-Goudreau often says that you take a vote every time you spend a dollar. It is true. With every drop of milk you buy, you indirectly tell the industries that you demand milk and naturally they are going to produce more of it or at least keep their production at the current level.


 Vegetarians typically consume eggs and tend to think that it is only a waste-product (the chicken’s period) from the chicken’s point of view and so there is no reason not to consume them.

First off, chickens have an instinct, like most animals, to protect and keep their eggs since every egg represents a potential descendant. By taking away their eggs, day by day, we build the impression that the chicken has failed in practicing her motherly duties and even if we will never be able to look inside another beings soul, we can easily imagine what distress and burden this must cause. This fact, but also the selected breeding of chickens lead to animals that today produce over 300 eggs per year, when naturally they would lay no more than 20.

Second, vegan animal-rights activist Gary Yourofsky likes to point out in his famous speeches, that chickens have a single cloaca, where feces, urin and eggs come out. This alone should kill ones appetite for eggs.

Now, about the connection between the egg-industry and the chicken-industry: again, laying hens are usually considered “spent” after two short years, when they would live up to a tenfold if they were left alone. These laying hens, just like the dairy cows, are sent to slaughter, solely because they are not profitable anymore. After those two years of slavery, the hen has to be replaced. The industries incubate eggs and keep the female chicks to make them egg-slaves. Because of their incapability to lay eggs, male chicks are all gassed or crushed alive the first day after their hatch. Theoretically, since a „modern“ laying hen produces approximately 300 eggs per year,  every 600th egg (2 years times 300 eggs equals 600) means one murdered male chick (because after those two years the mothers have to be replaced and naturally males enter life just as frequently as do females) plus his mother’s death. Now, this might not sound as if it was much, one dead animal for every 600th egg, but let’s have a look at the following paragraph.

For example: Germany has around 81 million inhabitants which consume an average of 231 eggs per year per capita. This means that German laying hens (we ignore the fact that many eggs are imported in order to facilitate the demonstration) are forced to produce 18.7 billion eggs every year in order to feed the appetite of the consumers. If we divide this number by 600 it amounts to 31.1 million male chicks that are killed immediately every year in Germany alone. Once we count in all the “spent” mothers, which are being replaced because they do not lay as many eggs as they used to, we reach a total of 62.2 million deaths per year. Keep in mind, that these numbers are only in Germany, they are tiny in comparison to the meat-industry’s and they are only the case if the demand for eggs remains stable. In Germany, for example, it has been raising for years. Plus, don’t forget that eggs are being put in every cake, every cookie, nearly every sauce or even pasta which results in us eating way more eggs than we think or maybe want to. 

There are many reasons why an egg as a package is unhealthy, even if it contains some nutrients that might be healthy. But think about the fact that pregnant women who drink alcohol, smoke and take drugs are harming their unborn child. The same goes for chickens and their eggs: most of the hens are given antibiotics, chemicals or hormones to make them grow faster. These do not only find their way into their flesh, but also into their secretions. This is also the case for cows and their milk. 

 

Another problem about vegetarianism is that most people substitute meat with cheese or eggs. In most cafeterias or restaurants the non-meat options are with eggs, cream, cheese or other dairy-products. Unfortunately vegetarianism is still by far more common, accepted and known than veganism. There is the widespread perception that veganism is extreme or that it is an unpractical diet and requires too much effort. This is not the truth. If I am asked if it is difficult to be a vegan, I like to point out that it is comparable to an intolerance and that really sums it up: I do not tolerate animal-products because they are not mine to consume and I do not need them in order to live a fulfilling, happy and healthy life.


 Nowadays more than ever, it is our duty to think about what we buy and consume and to make the most compassionate food-choices according to our values. Because I firmly believe that we all want to avoid suffering, not only ours but also the distress of others, I am convinced that we all wanted to avoid dairy if only we knew the shocking true cost of milk. Unsurprisingly, most people are still unaware of the close relation between the meat-, egg- and dairy-industries exactly because these corporations do not want us to know. The production of dairy and eggs is every bit as cruel and needless as meat-production. Therefore veganism is the most effective diet with the least expenditure (you have to change your meals, not your whole life) to help shifting the world towards a place where all creatures can live freely. Other forms of activism are laudable, but no activist is able to  join demonstration three times a day for the rest of his life. With veganism, you live your deepest beliefs every time you sit down to eat. Transitioning to veganism may seem radical at first, but below the line it really is the same with every allergy that you might discover. It is all bout getting used to it, so take your time, but make sure to cut out dairy and eggs rather sooner than later.

Contact and critisize me on twitter @moralcompassion or leave a comment below. 

Thank you. 

Essay no° two: Response to the text called ‚Boycott Veganism‘

Regarding: “Boycott Veganism; Animal rights only begins with your diet” – an article about animal rights and the role of veganism in the movement.

Written by: Wayne Hsiung, organizer of Direct Action Everywhere.


Please take the time to read the essay in question – if you have not already done this – before reading my response to it. 

You can find it here

I would like to point out that English is not my native language. I apologize for any grammatical errors or incorrect syntax. It is the message that counts and the effort we should all make to find a common path towards the liberation of animals. 


A while ago I was looking for anti-veganism or anti-vegeterianism articles online, really just out of curiosity. So I stumbled on the essay called “Boycott veganism” and started reading it. At first I was disgusted and felt like wasting my time. But after a while I understood that the author in fact wants to empower animal rights and so I gave it a chance. I read it a couple more times and really felt the urge to write a proper response about it. So here it is:

Introduction

First of all, let me point out that this essay has been published as an answer to people asking the author why he is no longer vegan, something that he wrote on the platform www.plantbasedpeople.com where I discovered the article. Very soon in the essay we are told that veganism is harmful to the animal rights movement and therefore we should boycott it. In the next breath we read that the author is not saying that eating animals is ethical. Once we see that veganism is to be seen as “a mere dietary description, removed of its significance as a movement objective”, as the author describes it, it makes sense that he suggests to boycott veganism as it seems to be standing for something it shouldn’t or for something more than it should. But I still have a lot of difficulty seeing how this could be a reason to start eating animal-products. Regardless of how effective or ineffective veganism as a method for the animal liberation movement might be, there is absolutely no way one could be an animal rights activist and at the same time have murdered animals in their stomach. Anti-slavery activists did not have a couple of slaves working for them either.

After all, he admits that animal rights begins with the diet. Of course, it can and should go much deeper than this, but it is the beginning. The words “Be the change that you want to see in the world” (1)  should be taken quite literally. So how could we start empowering animal rights and start respecting them as sentient beings other than by stop eating their flesh or their secretions?

Furthermore he states that the animal rights movement should be “of social and political action, not just of words and diets”. Well, I agree but words and diets are not to be neglected. And more importantly, the author fails to see that a change in a diet is a very social action: think of all the people around you (especially family members and close friends) that are automatically affected by your choice to be vegan, even if you don’t practice advocacy.

Concerning the political action: I certainly agree as well and think it is a very demanding task to establish or support animal rights in the political society. In my opinion, the often used comparisons between animals and other oppressed groups in human history are intelligible and yet I think it’s important to see that the animal rights movement has greater obstacles ahead than any of the previous liberation movements on this planet has had. It is the first liberation movement of an other species and it cannot be fought by themselves. This is why it is taking so long until the issue is taken seriously or is even discussed in a political framework.

Bite 1: Veganism neither saves lives, nor reduces suffering.

The first paragraph is hardly worth discussing, we all know that it takes many to truly make a change, but many always consists of numerous ones. No, the decision to adapt a vegan lifestyle doesn’t directly safe the life of that one cow or that one chicken, however vegans do go the only way there is if we really want to stop animal slavery.

The writer continues that, if the demand of meat does go down, and oversupply occurs, the animals then aren’t “liberated and given happy lives” but that they are still being killed, probably in an even worse manner. The reference (footnote number four in the essay) is not accurate, as the article to which it leads on the website of Animal Aid does not talk about oversupply or economic issues at all but about break outs of diseases being linked to farmed animals and thus humans killing them. And of course we know that oversupply doesn’t liberate animals directly.

The misconception that a decline in animal breeding saves lives may be widespread, yet not harmful to the movement itself. The point of veganism however is to reduce the demand of animal products (and consequently raising demand for plant-based products) as a whole. In fact, in the short-run veganism doesn’t have an impact, since the animals have already been killed. In the long-run veganism won’t be successful because the prices for meat might simply vary or developing nations might eat more meat or for any other reason. But in the long-long-run veganism will inevitably bring down animal abuse and will be capable of stopping animal exploitation permanently. I really think that this is the very essence of veganism, it is a shift that takes time, but if veganism thrives its accomplishment will be the end of slavery for all. On top of all that, I believe that this is one of the reasons why the concept of veganism is a complicated thing to understand for some people: it is a movement that does not have an instant impact and it does not reward you with a medal after just a short period. But it is a very selfless thing to do and the consequences of all this go much deeper than any other change or transition one could do in a lifetime.

Vegans deceive themselves if they think that they do not harm one single sentient being if they lead a vegan live. However this does not mean that veganism as non-violence is a myth. Violence is by definition a “behaviour involving physical force intended to hurt, damage or kill someone or something”. Veganism certainly does not represent the intention to harm in any sense, it simply is the most logical choice to make if one wants to harm as little as possible. The impossibility to achieve flawless harmlessness should never prevent us from causing as little harm as we can.

Bite 2: Veganism frames the animal rights debate in favor of our opponents.

The fight should be for the animals and should focus on animal abuse and their suffering rather than veganism as a diet or about people who live this lifestyle. Indeed, we should not lose sight of our final goal but at the same time we should accentuate the methods to implement this goal, of which one is being or becoming vegan.

I do agree that uttering the phrase “change your diet” is not the most effective way to keep human beings from torturing animals for their consumption and exploitation. But is “stop killing animals” any better? We are mistaken if we believe that the relation between the dairy- and the egg-industries and the misery of animals are obvious for everyone. I myself knew about the reasons to go vegetarian, but for a long time did not understand those pleading for veganism. My point is, unfortunately we cannot expect people to be informed about the issue and therefore my proposition of the most efficient phrase is a mixture between both messages: “Stop consuming animals and their products as they are killed and tortured for that.”

Bite 3: Veganism confuses a potentially powerful message.

This is the part of the essay that I agree most with. It is true that people have found many different reasons to go vegan and each vegan is most likely going to promote his or her personal reasons for choosing this lifestyle. The result is that there is one single destination where we all want to go to, but everybody is trying their own way.

I personally believe that we should try to use this fact to our advantage. I agree that we should focus on the ethical veganism but we should never forget that a health-vegan or a environmental-vegan is by far more helpful to the goal of our movement than a non-vegan. Therefore we should accept all reasons that lead to this lifestyle and should try to broaden their reasons by explaining ours as well as we should try to broaden our own.

However, it is depressing to see people go vegan solely for their own health benefits. First of all, the root of veganism is to dodge animal products for ethical reasons, health benefits might be an extra bonus you get but they should never be the main reason. Second and more importantly, it really does confuse the message of veganism: the number of people associating veganism with health or (even worse) weight loss is growing rapidly and will drop just as fast as its has raised which is the case with every new trend. I’m always in a dilemma when I hear of new restaurants opening up or new shops selling vegan items as I never know whether it’s due to the moral transition of people’s minds or due to the trendy lifestyle currently known as veganism. Of course I am happy about every single person eating less meat, dairy and eggs but I always remind myself that it might be temporary and that in a few months that person might try the next diet.  Weiterlesen

PKZ: STOP KILLING & BAN FUR!

PKZ is a Swiss company selling clothes and fashion articles. They have openend their first shops almost 150 years ago and currently employ over 600 people. Unfortunately, they sell many items that include fur. Today we joined a demonstration that demands the abandonment of fur and hence the exit of the company from the fur-business. 


During two and a half hours, animal rights activists that had gathered showed posters of disturbing methods that are often used in the fur-business alongside some slogans. The demo was held in a very popular area of Zurich, where it was easy to get people to take a look. The company has several shops at that street, yet the demonstration was not allowed to take place in front of one of them. Our goal was to apply pressure on the company and to inform people of the cruel and unfair business of the fur-industry.

We had prepared petition forms and asked pedestrians to sign them. Also, there were pre-written cards addressed directly to the owner of PKZ asking him to stop the cruelty. 

In Switzerland there is a law that prohibits the production of fur within the borders of the country. Logically Swiss companies – like PKZ – import their fur-supply from other countries. Most likely they will buy cheap fur because they want to make as much profit as possible. As a farm-keeper trying to make ends meet with animals that are destined to die for their fur, you think the same way. Logically this means even less care (if that is actually possible) for the animals resulting in faster killing and thus in being skinned alive. These animals are often held in the northern parts China, where a big part of imported fur comes from. But sadly, fur is „cultivated“ in all parts of the world. 

We require the immediate stop of any business that involves animal abuse or inflicts suffering on others for fashion-related reasons. We ask you not to buy or even wear clothes made out of fur or leather. Down, silk and wool inflict pain and suffering, too.  We want justice and equality for all living creatures. 

I had prepared small flyers in advance, that my friend and me gave away to those who were interested. It was a letter, addressed to either Mrs. Mink or to Mr. Rabbit, meaning the readers. It talked about how nice and trendy their skin is, how we keep them in small prisons and lastly kill them brutally for their skin so that we can sell it. Of course, we are not doing those things to human beings, but we do it to animals, that are every bit as sentient as we are when it comes to suffering. By handing out those texts, I hope that some people will start thinking where not only fur, but also leather, wool or down come from and that avoiding them is all it takes if you want this cruelty to stop.

I have yet to meet a person that is truly indifferent to the suffering of others. People do care and the do want to stop being murderers and yet they don’t. When I explained the topic of the piece of paper I was handing them, a lot of people answered that they don’t wear fur or leather anyway, even if they did. Once I actually pointed out to a Gentleman that his shoes strongly seem to be made out of animal-skin, he replied that yes, admittedly, they are leather, but that he doesn’t buy new shoes very often. A perfect example of hypocrisy.

Most people do not realize, that in order to make a difference, you have to do something different. Avoiding to buy harmful clothes is very easy, so please do it.

Do not purchase or wear fur. Do not purchase or wear leather. Avoid wool, down and silk. 

Thank you.


Contact me on twitter: @moralcompassion

Essay no° one: Vegan washing and Tel Aviv


My trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories tempted me to write my very first essay in relation to those countries. My intention is to inform and to be thought-provoking in the first part of the article. In addition to that, I wrote a small guide which I’ll present in the second part.


Part One: Vegan washing – a very short introduction

The term ‘Vegan Washing’ derives from ‘Pink Washing’ which basically means claiming to be very LGBT-friendly and promoting LGBT-rights just to distract the international spotlight from something else.

The state of Israel has often been accused of practising Pink Washing in order to sidetrack the global attention from their treatment of Palestinians and the deliberate breaking of international laws.

Vegan Washing thus is similar to Pink Washing, only that one pretends to be vegan-friendly instead of LGBT-friendly, but the goal remains the same. Again, Israel has been accused of performing this delusion and fraud, however the term is less known and it is very hard to actually determine whether the raise of veganism in Israel is due to Vegan Washing by the state or due to profound ethical change of Israeli. The change started in 2011 when the speech of animal rights activist Gary Yourofsky was subtitled in Hebrew and non-English speaking people in the country had access to his message. Ever since, vegan restaurants popped up, organisations and demonstrations originated. According to the internet, approximately 5% of the population are living on a plant-based diet, in addition to approximately 10% avoiding animal flesh. This would mean 1.2 million out of a population of 8 million people eating no meat or fish. These numbers are to be treated with caution, as they vary greatly from site to site, apart from this, hardly any of these sites seem to be official. According to the Jewish World News ‘Haaretz’ the state of Israel still actively promotes meat products, which to me seems nonsensical. We know that vegans and vegetarians are a minority, but it still does not make sense for a state to promote eating corpses and the living of a vegan lifestyle at the same time. In addition, the state tries to find ways to reduce the price of meat, instead of reducing the meat itself. As the newspaper puts it, this will only “encourage greater consumption“ but not end animal exploitation. Smaller prices inevitably mean more violence, as a bigger amount of meat has to be produced in less time.

Anyway, the question should not be “How vegan is Israel?” nor “Are the numbers correct?” but “Is the veganism’s raise in Israel due to ethical awareness, moral compassion and animal rights or rather due to unreal and short dated trends?”. If it is due to the latter, it will unavoidably fade away with time, because the ‘trend-change’ is a superficial change unlike the ethical one.

It is a challenging question and very difficult to find an answer. The international fast food-chain ‘Domino’s’ has decided to launch its first vegan pizza option worldwide in Israel, there are about 25 vegan restaurants in the country, of which 15 are in Tel Aviv. On http://www.vegan-friendly.co.il a lot of information about veganism is provided and they place their own stickers on shops and restaurants that sell vegan-friendly things. Furthermore, the IDF (israeli defense force) assures that vegan soldiers receive faux leather military boots and an additional stipend that will allow them to buy their own food. Plus they may refuse to be vaccinated when joining the army if they are opposed to animal testing.

These certainly are great achievements and in fact sound very progressive. But still we do not know whether all of this is really to help animals and abolish their slavery or to distract our attention from the way the Israeli state handles the Palestinian-related issues. We know one thing for sure, though: if all of this (or maybe part of it) really is to divert from their behaviour towards Palestinians, their strategy is working pretty well. I have difficulty grasping the fact that our globalized world of the 21st century does not (or pretends not to) see what cruelty, harassment, humiliation and violence is going on in the Middle East.

Please visit the website of the International Solidarity Movement, a group of ambitious and forward thinking people fighting to bring the oppression of Palestinians to light. They will keep you up to date with the latest news at first hand.


 

Part Two: Some reviews of vegan places in Tel Aviv, Israel

My expectations and hopes in relation to the vegan culture in Tel Aviv were rather high due to the reputation of this city. It is true that a great part of the traditional cuisine in Israel already is vegan – unintentionally: Falafel, Hummus, Baba Ghanoush, Couscous etc.

The only guide one will find available for free online is the one HappyCow provides. This app comes in handy to get a first overall view but it is not always reliable. I recommend to check vegan-friendly.co.il.

Here’s a short list of four tested places:

Restaurant

Ethiopian food, all vegan.

“Tenat” / Chelnov 27 / Tel Aviv, Israel

Great traditional ethiopian food, new tastes, quite simple and very african.

 

Shop

Bakery and Pastry, all vegan.

“Seeds” / King George 97 / Tel Aviv, Israel / http://www.veganseeds.co.il (not active yet)

A lovely place selling sweets, biscuits and pastry. Savoury options not overwhelming, leave their cream-cheese options – tasteless. Delicious cupcakes.

Chain

Ice Cream, vegan options.

“Iceberg” / several addresses, f. ex. Rothschild 31 / Tel Aviv, Israel

This small ice cream chain offers not only sorbets but also chocolaty flavours: hazelnut fudge with dark chocolate and (plant-)milk. Delicious!

Café

Something in between a restaurant, a buffet and a café, all vegan.

“Anastasia” / Frishman 54 / Tel Aviv, Israel

Located in the vivid center of Tel Aviv, this carefully decorated place managed to find a quiet spot, just a few blocks from the Mediterranean Sea. The menu, which states clearly whether the dishes are raw, glutenfree or contain superfoods, is available in Hebrew or English.

They serve different kind of sandwiches, appetizers, daily soups and desserts. The staff is friendly and ready to give explanations if needed, though not overqualified.

I opted for sprouted lentils in tumeric milk with whole basmati and wild rice, served with a cashew-based tzatziki and a small side salad for ₪ 48(approx. $ 12). The dish was beautifully presented, the lentils really tasty on account of the tumeric sauce and the rice nicely flavoured.

The vegan tzatziki was interesting: despite the fact that it did not recall the memory of animal-based tzatziki, it was a refreshing alternative. Creamy, savoury and somewhat sour, seasoned with plenty of chopped fresh dill and pieces of cucumber, just the way you would expect a good version of this greek side dish. The consistency was satisfying and went along well with the rice and lentils.

Tiramisu was for dessert. A traditional italian dish that is hard to replicate in a vegan manner, so I was little surprised, that they, too, have not figured out the perfect recipe yet. The typical softness of tiramisu and the coffe flavour were completely missing. Very small in size it cost almost the same as the main dish and though a good bite, I would not have been able to name it as tiramisu.

All in all I believe they found some creative ways to dodge animal products and still offer a broad range with something for everyone. In comparison to other local prices, I consider it a bit pricey, but it’s definitely worth a try and seems to be working, since the place was packed – at 4 p.m.!



Thank you very much for reading my essay.

Critisize and contact me on twitter: @moralcompassion (https://twitter.com/moralcompassion)

Empowering animal rights through spreading veganism.

Here’s some further reading:

– on Vegan Washing  

– from another blog on Vegan Washing

– on the actual animal rights movement in Israel