- An article in one of the UK’s most influential papers, The Times this week, was titled One day we will see that meat is murder. It included this statement by evolutionary psychologist, Steven Pinker: the trend of history is clear, that one day in the future people may well look back on the rearing of animals for slaughter as barbaric. Now, that is not only music to Morrissey’s ears, it’s an echo of the recent Simon Amstell mockumentary Carnage.
- This change is already under way and it’s happening all around the world. Did you see this lovely piece about millennials in the Philippines turning away from eating meat? Great stuff!
- There are also some really interesting festivals coming up this year, including a Cultural Vegan Festival in Glasgow, Scotland in August, the first VegFest in Lancaster, Philadelphia, USA in June and a two-day vegan festival in Didim, Turkey this weekend. Pack your bags now!
- In the UK, nationwide chain restaurant Harvester has decided it doesn’t want to be left behind and has introduced seven veggie and vegan meals to its menu, plus its first vegan dessert. There is no Harvester in Canterbury, Kent, but if you find yourself there, pop along to The Monument, which is the county’s first wholly vegan pub.
- Inevitably, when we talk about farmed animals, there is sad news too. A lorry transporting 12,000 chickens to the slaughterhouse crashed into a river in Wales this week, and scores of birds were injured or killed. Some, thankfully, were rescued, too.
- Last year, Animal Aid examined the incidents and accidents – including lorry crashes, farm fires, flooding and on-farm disease and neglect – that kill millions of animals whose lives and deaths are not counted in official slaughter statistics. Its report Uncounted Dead is an impressive and important report.
- On a happier note, while so many dairy farmers in the UK are going out of business, one has had a change of heart.
I began to see that cows recognise each other, and they’ve got very good memories. They also experience a range of emotions – they can be sad, happy, bored, excited. They do also have facial expressions. You can tell what a cow’s thinking by looking at it. I’ve even seen cows cry.
As time went on, Jay decided to stop eating meat. He explains,
Cows are conscious of what goes on around them – they have personalities and an inner life. They’re not just units of food. Knowing them personally makes it more difficult to think about eating them.’
Jay contacted the Vegan Society who arranged for the herd of 70 cows to instead live out their lives at Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Norfolk. You can read more and make a donation to their keep here.