Veganism is for YOU!

Vegan Intersectionality – by Aaron Abolition

“I've been thinking a lot about some of the distressing issues that we are facing collectively. I think at times we feel, or we’re made to feel, that we champion different causes, but for me, I see commonality. I think, whether we're talking about gender inequality or racism or queer rights or indigenous rights or animal rights, we're talking about the fight against injustice. We're talking about the fight against the belief that one nation, one people, one race, one gender, or one species has the right to dominate, control and use and exploit another with impunity.” – Joaquin Phoenix

There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle, because we do not live single-issue lives.” – Audre Lorde

Many people, including individuals who live an otherwise conscious or progressive lifestyle, often fighting hard for justice and equality, sometimes in a number of different arenas, have heard about veganism but haven’t necessarily considered veganism for themselves or for their families. Many such people would self-describe as one or more of the following:

· animal lover

· medical professional or health enthusiast

· fitness lover or athlete

· scientist or environmentalist

· anti-racist

· feminist

· pathologist or virologist

· religious or spiritualist

· vegetarian

· humanist, labor activist, or anti-establishment

· leader

If you do indeed self-describe in any of these ways and are curious about how veganism aligns with your goals and values, then this document is for you! You can simply jump to your descriptor below or read all of them – many of us belong to several of the descriptors, and each section is filled with useful information that will likely help you in your journey toward veganism. All of the facts, figures, and extended quotations referenced in this document were gathered at the time of its writing and are linked to their sources directly or below each section. Most of these sources have even more information on the subject for which they are referenced and are themselves incredible resources for deeper exploration and understanding. I strongly encourage doing your own research on each of the subjects!

Joaquin Phoenix - 2020 Academy Award for Best Actor Speech

If you are an animal lover…

Veganism is for YOU

“There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery.” – Charles Darwin

“If someone claims to love animals, but also enslaves, abuses, and tortures them, they're hypocrites.” – Danielle Reed

Have you ever stopped to wonder just why it is that we care for and nurture some animals and torture and murder others? What is the essential difference between the life of a dog or a cat and the life of a pig or a cow? Do not all animals have lives and feelings and families? If you were to see someone abusing their companion animal (pet), would you not feel compelled to intervene? If so, why would you then pay money to fund the abuse and murder of other animals?

There is more and more research these days showing that animals have complex brain functions and emotions, but you don’t really need data to experience that a sentient being has these things. You just need to spend a little bit of time around any of the beautiful creatures that some of us call food, property, entertainment, experiments, or clothing. Admit to yourself that there is no fundamental difference between the rights that any companion animal has and every other animal should. Visit an animal sanctuary near you. Then visit a dairy or slaughterhouse. Then go home and pet “your” cat.

We DO need to eat plants to live; we DON’T need to eat animals. And if you can admit that you don’t need animal products in your diet to survive (see the following section) and you also believe that animals suffer, this then categorically makes the enslavement, abuse, and slaughtering of animals that you fund unnecessary suffering. Do you really want to pay for unnecessary suffering?

If you are unaware of the abject abuse of animals that goes on behind closed doors in the animal agriculture industry, or perhaps you just need a reminder, I strongly recommend watching Earthlings or Dominion. Click either of these titles to link directly to these brilliant documentaries.

If you are a medical professional or health enthusiast…

Veganism is for YOU

The most ethical diet just so happens to be the most environmentally sound diet and just so happens to be the healthiest.” Dr. Michael Greger

Have you ever stopped to wonder just why we are constantly told that animal products are good for us? Have you ever wondered why so many vegans look great, have tons of energy, and live long, healthy lives? Have you ever wondered why the countries with the highest intake of dairy also have the highest counts of hip fractures and osteoporosis? Have you ever wondered why the USDA has banned any producer of eggs from using the terms “healthy” or “safe” in their advertisements? Have you ever wondered why even huge insurance companies like Kaiser Permanente are now supporting a vegan diet?

The World Health Organization has declared that, in addition to its climate impact, the intake of red and processed meats has been linked to adverse health outcomes including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Their international advisory committee ran studies and concluded that processed meat is a Group 1 carcinogen (same category as cigarettes and asbestos) and red meat is a Group 2A carcinogen.

Further studies have shown links between animal product consumption, even in small amounts, and an increased risk in chronic diseases, heart disease, cancer, obesity (overeating), allergies, autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, cataracts, cellulite, dementia, Type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, gestational diabetes, life-threatening reactions to E. coli toxins, gallstones, gout, neurological diseases, prepuberty, prostatic hyperplasia, rheumatoid arthritis, and declining sperm count.

Contained in some animal products, either naturally occurring, added, or accumulated from feed and the environment, are AGEs, arachidonic acid, arsenic, cadmium, DDT and dioxins, organochlorine pollutants, phosphates, pollutants (especially from fish products), and steroid hormones.

14 out of the 15 leading causes of death have now been scientifically linked to eating animal products. Plant-based eaters have the lowest risk of developing any of these leading causes of death.

Alternately, reducing the intake of animal products while increasing whole plant food intake helps treat acne, slows the aging process, slows body cell death rates, increases the chances for breast cancer survival, increases antioxidant intake, slows the growth of certain cancers, increases the intake of fiber, improves your mood, avoids inflammation caused by endotoxemia, helps lower LDL cholesterol, helps manage mental health conditions, slows the shrinking of muscle mass, decreases oxidative stress, increases the intake of phytate (an anticarcinogen), slows the process of rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and heart disease, boosts levels of serotonin, helps with weight control, and may even help erectile dysfunction. Well-planned vegan diets follow healthy eating guidelines and contain all the nutrients that our bodies need. Both the British Dietetic Association and the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recognize that vegan diets are suitable for every stage of life.

In my own experience, even those who only go vegan temporarily report an extraordinary boost in their energy levels, better sleep, better bowel movements, a reduction or disappearance of eczema, and less post-meal slumping.

Vegan 2015 (documentary) – YouTube

What the Health (documentary) – available on Netflix and YouTube

The Game Changers (documentary) – available on Netflix and YouTube

If you are a fitness lover or an athlete…

Veganism is for YOU

“Animal products slow down recovery, hinder testosterone production, make it harder to stay at a performance weight, are incredibly inefficient, and the overall health risks [of consuming them] can put a pause on everything (not just athletic goals).” – Nimai Delgado

David Meyer – Brazillian Jiu Jitsu: two-time World Championship Gold winner. Vegan. Scott Jurek – Ultramarathon Runner: winner of 24 ultramarathon races and at least 11 major course records, including the 2189 mile Appalachian Trail. Vegan. Heather Mills – Disability Winter Sports: no less than five World Records in various disability winter sports. Vegan. Alex Dargatz – Bodybuilding: winner of the 2005 World Fitness Federation World Title in Bodybuilding after five years on a vegan diet. Patrick Baboumian – Strength Athlete: world record for log lift in his weight class, world record for beer keg lifting (all bodyweights), carried 1223.57 pounds for 10 meters non-stop. Vegan. Carl Lewis – Track Athletics: 9 Olympic Gold medals, world record for indoor long jump in 1984 (still hasn’t been beaten). Vegan. Cody Elkins – Racquetball: winner of the World Outdoor Racquetball championship in the ten and under category. Vegan. Pat Reeves – Powerlifting: came back from “terminal cancer” on a vegan diet and went on to break the world deadlift title repeatedly. Vegan. Fiona Oakes – Marathon and Ultradistance runner: Fastest aggregate time for a Grand Slam (a marathon on all continents plus the polar ice cap), fastest women’s marathon in the Arctic circle, course records for both the North and the South Pole marathons. Vegan. Meagan Duhamel – Pairs Figure Skater: two-time World Champion, breaking Canadian national points records, and winning numerous international Gold Medals. Vegan. Nimai Delgado – Bodybuilding: three-time winner of the NPC USA Championships. Vegan. Rich Roll – Ironman Athlete: awarded the title of one of 2009’s ’25 Fittest guys in the World’ by Men’s Fitness Magazine, winner of several swimming contests, performed five Ironman Marathons in under a week. Vegan.

The Game Changers (documentary) – available on Netflix and YouTube

Finding Your Ultra – Rich Roll

If you are a scientist or environmentalist…

Veganism is for YOU

“We are all quite literally gambling with the future of the planet – for the sake of hamburgers.” – Peter Singer

After an intensive study, the University of Oxford determined that “veganism is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet,” and they have recently banned beef and lamb at campus canteens, in a bid to tackle the harmful effects on the environment cause by meat consumption. They aren’t the only ones to discover and embrace the truth about animal agriculture’s intense environmental impact. The UN reported that the reduction of animal products is going to be necessary to save the world from the worst impacts of climate change. The World Health Organization stated that “Animal-sourced foods tend to be associated with higher greenhouse gas emissions, such as methane and nitrogen dioxide. Reducing the consumption of animal-sourced foods (particularly processed meats and red meat) in favor of healthier plant-based alternatives has the potential to both reduce methane emissions associated with livestock production and improve population health.”

Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 MILLION tons of carbon dioxide per year – 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. Livestock is responsible for 65% of all human-related emissions of nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas with 296 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. US methane emissions from livestock and natural gas are nearly equal. Cows produce 150 BILLION gallons of methane per day. Even without fossil fuels, we will exceed our 565 gigatons CO2E limit by 2030, all from raising animals. Reducing methane emissions would create tangible benefits almost immediately.

Animal agriculture water consumption ranges from 34 - 76 TRILLION gallons annually. Growing feed crops for livestock consumes 56% of water in the US. 2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1lb of beef. 477 gallons of water are required to produce 1lb of eggs. Almost 900 gallons of water are needed for 1lb of cheese. Animal agriculture is responsible for 20 - 30% of all fresh water consumption in the world.

Livestock or livestock feed occupies 1/3 of the earth’s ice-free land. Livestock covers 45% of the earth’s total land. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction. Livestock operations on land have created more than 500 nitrogen flooded dead zones around the world in our oceans. Nearly half of the contiguous US is devoted to animal agriculture. 1/3 of the planet is desertified, with livestock as the leading driver.

Every minute, 7 MILLION lbs of excrement are produced by animals raised for food in the US. A farm with 2,500 dairy cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people. 130 TIMES MORE animal waste than human waste is produced in the US – 1.4 BILLION tons from the meat industry ANNUALLY. US livestock produce 116,000 lbs of waste PER SECOND.

Three quarters of the world’s fisheries are depleted. Projections for fishless oceans put the date at 2048. 90 - 100 MILLION tons of fish are pulled from our oceans EVERY YEAR, as many as 2.7 TRILLION total sea animals. For every pound of fish caught, up to 5 lbs of unintended marine species are caught and discarded as BY-KILL. As many as 40% – or 63 BILLION lbs – of fish caught globally every year are discarded. Scientists estimate as many as 650,000 whales, dolphins, and seals are killed every year by fishing vessels. 40-50 MILLION sharks are killed in fishing lines and nets.

Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction – the leading cause of rainforest destruction.

Vegan 2015 (documentary)

If you are anti-racist…

Veganism is for YOU

“Veganism isn't just about kicking a meat-eating habit and getting some veggies into your diet. It's a powerful rejection of a racist food system and racist, cannibalistic politics that characterize animals and nonwhite people as disposable and consumable.” ― Aph Ko

"What usually annoys me is when people go out of their way to say they don't want to be intersectional or to talk about the issues with intersectionality in the world and its ALWAYS a white person. Always, always, always. You [white people] have the luxury to make that statement because you can check in and check out...we don't have that option." ― Gwenna Hunter

Giant lakes of pig feces are all over the US. In North Carolina, there are 9.3 MILLION pigs. In one year alone, an estimated 7.5 million hogs in five eastern North Carolina counties produced more than 15.5 MILLION TONS of feces, according to a 2008 report by the General Accounting Office. All of this feces is put in giant lakes where it festers, leaks into water supplies, generates flesh-eating parasites, and is finally sprayed into the air over nearby fields.

Needless to say, this isn’t good for people to be in the proximity of. A recent analysis of county and satellite data by the EWG found that roughly 160,000 North Carolinians live within a half-mile of a pig or poultry farm, and, not surprisingly, they are predominantly African-American and working class people. Diseases and hazards prevalent in these areas include asthma, allergens, gases, bacteria, and, of course, viruses. This is environmental racism. This is agricultural racism. This is carnist racism.

Slaughterhouse workers, who are often immigrants and refugees, endure some of the worst working conditions of any industry for lousy pay doing hazardous, demoralizing, and disgusting work that no one has to do.

“Soul food” has its roots in the enslavement of Africans by white Americans. Slaves would eat what “master” didn’t – the scraps, the least healthy parts of the slaughtered animal. Even though traditional African cultures are predominantly plant-based, governmental and other systems pray upon this idea of “soul food” to keep black people unhealthy. You won’t find a lot of fresh produce and health foods in the inner city stores and restaurants, but you will find lots of junk food and greasy dead animal parts. This is systemic oppression of a white supremacist country on its black population to keep them weak and dying young.

Fortunately, many African-Americans are becoming wary of that scheme. African-Americans are the fastest growing demographic among vegans. There is a huge and ever-increasing population in the hip hop community in particular, with many prominent figures touting the benefits of veganism. Vegans include: A$AP Rocky, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Russell Simmons, KRS-One, Jermaine Dupri, Wu-Tang Clan, Snoop Dogg, Erykah Badu,, Solé, Stic of Dead Prez, Supa Nova Slom, LOX – Style P & Jadakiss, Ne-Yo, AshEL SeaSunZ, Sa-Roc, YG, Grey Matter, Joey Purp, DJ Cavem Moetavation, and TK the Artist. Supporters of veganism include Common, Nas, Lil B, Queen Latifah, Andre 3000, DJ Khaled, Dr. Dre, Busta Rhymes, and N.O.R.E.

The Invisible Vegan (documentary) – veganism in African-American communities

Feel Rich Health is the New Wealth (documentary) – veganism in the hip hop community

They’re Trying to Kill Us (documentary) – diet and other weapons designed to kill African-Americans

If you are a feminist…

Veganism is for YOU

“Nothing else has empowered me to set healthy boundaries and call out sexist bullshit like extending my circle of compassion to farmed animals.” – Elizabeth Enochs

Almost all of the products that we take from animals are from the females of the species and the exploitation of the female reproductive system. Those that suffer the worst and longest in the industry are the females. Baby animals are stolen from their mothers at birth so that we can steal the milk from the female of their species. Female foul live out their short brutal lives producing more eggs than their bodies can handle. Female animals are artificially inseminated over and over again until their bodies can no longer handle the constant abuse of animal agriculture and “go down,” at which point they are slaughtered for “food” or simply discarded. The restraining device for the artificial insemination of female bovine is literally referred to in the industry as a “rape rack.”

“There’s also an undeniable link between animal abuse and violence against women. A survey of women in domestic violence shelters found that 71 percent had partners who had abused or threatened to abuse companion animals, and recent studies show that slaughterhouse work can lead to domestic violence, social withdrawal, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, and PTSD. A 2009 study by criminologist Amy Fitzgerald found that, in comparison with other industries, slaughterhouse employment increased total arrest rates, including arrests for rape and other violent crimes. According to PTSD Journal, ‘These employees are hired to kill animals, such as pigs and cows, that are largely gentle creatures. Carrying out this action requires workers to disconnect from what they are doing and from the creature standing before them.’ That desensitization makes it easier for them to be desensitized to other forms of violence, such as domestic abuse.”

Elizabeth Enochs

During the beef crisis often referred to as ‘mad cow disease’, the British newspapers presented the natural concerns of the public as ‘female hysteria’.” – Lucy Aprahamian

“Just as feminists proclaimed that 'rape is violence, not sex,' vegetarians wish to name the violence of meat eating. Both groups challenge commonly used terms. Mary Daly calls the phrase 'forcible rape' a reversal by redundancy because it implies that all rapes are not forcible. This example highlights the role of language in masking violence, in this case an adjective deflects attention from the violence inherent in the meaning of the noun. The adjective confers a certain benignity on the word 'rape.' Similarly, the phrase 'humane slaughter' confers a certain benignity on the term 'slaughter.' Daly would call this the process of 'simple inversion': 'the usage of terms and phrases to label...activities as the opposite of what they really are.' The use of adjectives in the phrases 'humane slaughter' and 'forcible rape' promotes a conceptual misfocusing that relativizes these acts of violence. Additionally, as we ponder how the end is achieved, 'forcibly,' 'humanely,' our attention is continuously framed so that the absent referents--women, animals--do not appear. Just as all rapes are forcible, all slaughter of animals for food is inhumane regardless of what it is called.” ― Carol J. Adams, The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory

DAIRY IS SCARY! The industry explained in 5 minutes

If you are a pathologist or virologist…

Veganism is for YOU

“If we fail to act, we are looking at an almost unthinkable scenario where antibiotics no longer work and we are cast back into the dark ages of medicine.”

– Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron

Many countries now use more antibiotics for animals than humans. 80% of antibiotics sold in the US is used on livestock. Estimates allocate 0.5 million kg to the cattle industry, 1.0 million kg to poultry, 1.4 million kg to swine. Is this to keep our animals healthy before we murder them? Only partially: Antibiotics enhance the growth of livestock. In other words, we are depleting the world’s resources of antibiotics to make our poisonous “food” more plump. The result: Soon basic surgical procedures will be subject to life-threatening infections due to a lack of antibiotics AND due to diseases that have become resistant to antibiotics because of their overuse in animal agriculture.

According to the CDC, in April and May of 2020, among 23 states reporting COVID-19 outbreaks in meat and poultry processing facilities, 16,233 cases in 239 facilities occurred, including 86 (0.5%) COVID-19–related deaths. Among cases with race/ethnicity reported, 87% occurred among racial or ethnic minorities. “Meat and poultry processing facilities face distinctive challenges in the control of infectious diseases, including coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).”

All of the worst pandemics in recent history, including COVID-19, have come from eating animals and animal agriculture. If we neglect to promote this most important lesson to be learned from COVID-19, we are doomed to endure more pandemics, which means more lockdowns, more travel restrictions, more mask wearing, and more economic ruin (for everyone but Big Pharma, of course). Think about how much this year (2020) sucked and KNOW that you are part of this ongoing problem if you are supporting animal agriculture.

If you are religious or a spiritualist…

Veganism is for YOU

"Who are we? What is our proper role on this earth? I submit we can only begin to discover these answers if we first take the vegan imperative seriously and live compassionately toward other creatures. Then peace with each other will at least be possible, as well as a deeper understanding of the mysteries of healing, freedom, and love." – Dr. Will Tuttle

“And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” — Genesis 1:30

Ahimsa, a 4000 year old tenet of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism, is the philosophy of doing no harm to any creature anywhere for any reason. Tza'ar Ba'alei Chayim is the commandment in Judaism to treat animals with kindness. Some practitioners of OBE (out of body experiences) say that such experiences can only be had once you have rid yourself of animal products.

There are tons of resources online about veganism and spirituality, but more than anything, I recommend looking within. If meditation or prayer is part of your practice, please take a few moments in that quiet, introspective space to search deeply within your mind-body-spirit for the answer to these questions:

“If I can avoid doing harm, is it not my spiritual duty to do so? Can I truly practice a deep spiritual connection of peace, love, and enlightenment when I am constantly consuming the tortured and murdered victims of tremendous violence and abuse? Can I call myself enlightened when I am stealing a raped mother’s milk from a baby animal who is then taken from his mother and murdered shortly after his birth? Can I call myself enlightened when I’m consuming or wearing or benefiting from the testing of the eggs, milk, body, or brain of any creature who has been mutated, mutilated, distended, incarcerated, enslaved, abused, tortured, branded, artificially inseminated, artificially ejaculated, macerated, electrocuted, gassed, suffocated, shot, throat-cut, and finally exsanguinated and dismembered by a compassionless trillion-dollar industry? Can I reach my highest vibration while paying for and consuming unnecessary suffering?”

If you are a vegetarian…

Veganism is for YOU

“Unlike the products of the meat industry, eggs and dairy products used to look relatively harmless on my plate, making it much easier for me to maintain the disconnect that had blinded me to the truth and blocked the compassion within me. The truth, however, is that no matter how humane a dairy or egg producer claims to be, there simply is no such thing as slaughter-free animal agriculture. Like all business owners, egg and dairy farmers are in it to make a profit. When an animal is no longer profitable, he or she is sent to the slaughterhouse.” – Wendy The Nomadic Vegan

Not everybody who finds out about the horror of animal agriculture goes directly to veganism. Some people become ovo-lacto-vegetarian (first) and perhaps remain that way for a long time believing that they are doing some good because they aren’t eating meat. I know this because I was one of those people up until earlier this year (2020).

It seems to make sense, right? I’m not eating murdered animals, so I’m not contributing to unnecessary suffering…or so I thought. But I was dead wrong, and so are you. My heart was in the right place, but my dollars continued to contribute to suffering and murder that is “arguably worse than the meat industry,” as my brother put it. Then I discovered that the dairy industry IS the beef industry…the egg industry IS the poultry industry…but even worse in both cases. The torture, abuse, and eventual – or immediate – murder of the animals in the egg and dairy industry is epically disgusting.

Here’s how milk works: Male bovine are masturbated to collect their semen which is then forcibly injected into female bovine (cows have to be pregnant to produce milk). The cows spend their entire lives in horribly confined and uncomfortable conditions, and when they give birth, their baby cows are stolen from them. Believe it or not, this causes both the baby and the mother a tremendous amount of anguish and suffering. If the baby cow is “lucky” enough to be female, it may be raised to endure the same fate its mother has. If it is male, it will either be killed immediately or grown for a short while and then slaughtered for veal. Once the cows have gone through this process many times over the course of about five years, their spent bodies, no longer able to produce offspring or milk, are killed and sold for beef. So, not only is there tremendous suffering for their drastically shortened and brutal lives, they are, in the end, still murdered like every other animal that ends up on your omnivore friends’ plates.

Here’s how eggs work: newly hatched chickens are separated – by the hands of some lucky human – into female and male chicks. Male chicks are immediately thrown into a giant macerator because they don’t produce eggs. For those of you that don’t know what a macerator is, it’s a giant grinding device. That’s right: baby male chicks are tossed into a giant machine and ground into a pulp while still alive. IF THEY ARE LUCKY. Sometimes they are just put into sealed garbage bags to suffocate and die. Sometimes they are just thrown into large dumpsters and forgotten. The female chicks have their beaks melted off and toes cut off and are thrown into tiny cages where they will live out their entire lives…unless they are “free-range” chickens, in which case they will live in a dark warehouse often standing forever on metal grating. 20,000 chickens in a single, dark shed qualifies as “free range.” They will then be forced to produce hundreds of eggs until, like female cows, their bodies are withered and spent. Then they are slaughtered and again, just like the dairy cows, end up on your omnivore friends’ plates.

It’s likely that you chose vegetarianism because you believed that you were helping the animals. That’s why I did it. It’s time that you owned the truth about ovo-lacto-vegetarianism and take the final step toward the only environmentally-sound diet and actual compassionate living. I was vegetarian for about 25 years. My ignorance of the truth about vegetarianism yielded 25 years of torturing and murdering chickens and cows…and honey bees, and geese, and goats…all in my name. My ignorance of the truth contributed to global warming, pollution, zoonotic epidemics, species extinction, and all of the other evils of animal agriculture. I’m just glad that I’m not doing that anymore. You can be, too. You’re so close. Take that final step to veganism.

DAIRY IS SCARY! The industry explained in 5 minutes

What’s Wrong With Eggs? The Truth About The Egg Industry

If you are a humanist, labor activist, or anti-establishment…

Veganism is for YOU

“The way we eat doesn’t just effect our health, it affects other people’s health, too.”

— Steve Wing

1,100 land activists have been killed in Brazil in the past 20 years.

Animal activists have been and are being incarcerated with multi-year sentences for simply exposing the truth about the horrors of animal agriculture. “Ag gag” laws, such as Canada’s Bill 156, classify such “whistle-blowers” as terrorists and created the conditions in which life-long activist Regan Russell was murdered by a truck driver who was delivering pigs to a slaughterhouse. Said truck driver was given a citation for reckless driving and is still at large.

According to the CDC, in April and May of 2020, among 23 states reporting COVID-19 outbreaks in meat and poultry processing facilities, 16,233 cases in 239 facilities occurred, including 86 (0.5%) COVID-19–related deaths. Among cases with race/ethnicity reported, 87% occurred among racial or ethnic minorities. “Meat and poultry processing facilities face distinctive challenges in the control of infectious diseases, including coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).”

Giant lakes of pig feces are all over the US. In North Carolina, there are 9.3 MILLION pigs. In one year alone, an estimated 7.5 million hogs in five eastern North Carolina counties produced more than 15.5 MILLION TONS of feces, according to a 2008 report by the General Accounting Office. All of this feces is put in giant lakes where it festers, leaks into water supplies, generates flesh-eating parasites, and is finally sprayed into the air over nearby fields.

Needless to say, this isn’t good for people to be in the proximity of. A recent analysis of county and satellite data by the EWG found that roughly 160,000 North Carolinians live within a half-mile of a pig or poultry farm, and, not surprisingly, they are predominantly African-American and working class people. Diseases and hazards prevalent in these areas include asthma, allergens, gases, bacteria, and, of course, viruses.

Slaughterhouse workers, who are often immigrants and refugees, endure some of the worst working conditions in any industry for lousy pay doing hazardous, demoralizing, and disgusting work that no one needs to do.

The Animal People (documentary) – available on Netflix and YouTube

What the Health (documentary) – available on Netflix and YouTube

Steve Wing TED Talk – Community health impacts of factory farms

If you are a leader of any kind…

Veganism is for YOU

“Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar.” – Bradley Miller

If you are a parent, a teacher, a celebrity, a politician, a public figure, or a leader of any kind, veganism is for you. Why? Because, for all of the reasons mentioned above and more, the future of the planet is dependent upon as many people as possible being inspired to adopt veganism – the only lifestyle that promotes both the least amount of environmental impact and unlimited compassion. Many vegans found their way to veganism inspired by someone they look up to, someone they respect and admire. YOU can be that inspiration. YOU can make it known to the world that you are no longer participating in unnecessary suffering and cruelty and inspire that change in others.

Here is a short list of amazing vegan leaders and celebrities. All of the ones in blue are direct links to either them talking about veganism or articles about their thoughts on and/or work with veganism:

Musicians and Bands

Billie Eilish, Finneas O’Connell, Sir Paul McCartney, Stella McCartney, Ariana Grande, Stevie Wonder, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Madonna, Sia, Carrie Underwood, Usher, Yolandi Visser, Robbie Williams, Fred Durst, Frank Iero, Ne-Yo, Leona Lewis, Jermaine Dupri, RZA, Dawn Richard, Tony Kanal, Akala, Moby, Jason Mraz, Bryan Adams, Oliver Sykes, Morrissey, Johnny Marr, Erykah Badu, Joan Jett, Thom Yorke, Andy Hurley, Laura Jane Grace, Geezer Butler, “Weird Al” Yankovic, John Feldmann, Robin Gibb, Chrissie Hynde, Anthony Kiedis, Tim McIlrath, Alanis Morissette, Hunter Burgan, Rikki Rocket, Ian MacKaye, Michael Frante, Sinéad O’Connor, Tim Commerford, Mickey Madden, Alison Mosshart, K.D. Lang, Adam Yauch [RIP], Heather Small, André 3000, Grace Slick, Merzbow, Ellie Goulding, Brian Bell, Barry White, Saul Williams, Anoushka Shankar, 30 Seconds to Mars, Fiona Apple, Elvis Costello, Prince [RIP], Jón Þór Birgisson (Sigùr Ros), A$AP Rocky,, Lizzo, Mýa, Rob Zombie, Linda Perry, Vanessa Williams, Travis Barker, JME, Greg Ginn, Chaka Khan, Lenny Kravitz, Jhené Aiko, Wacka Flocka Flame, and the list goes on and on.


Joaquin Phoenix, River Phoenix [RIP], Rain Phoenix, Summer Phoenix, Casey Affleck, Alec Baldwin, Brad Pitt, Lea Michele, Beau Bridges, James Cromwell, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alan Cumming, Peter Dinklage, Michael Dorn, Zac Efron, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Tobey Maguire, Peter Sarsgaard, Rooney Mara, Jessica Chastain, Russell Brand, Jason Schwartzman, Pamela Anderson, Linda Blair, Edie Falco, Daryl Hannah, Famke Janssen, Demi Moore, Carrie-Anne Moss, Bree Olson, Mena Massoud, Ellen Page, Michelle Pfeiffer, Natalie Portman, Maggie Q, Portia de Rossi, Ellen DeGeneres, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Deschanel, Evanna Lynch, Alicia Silverstone, Mena Suvari, Olivia Wilde, Alyssa Milano, Ellen Pompeo, Mayim Bialik, Liam Hemsworth, Kate Mara, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Bellamy Young, Madelaine Petsch, Lucy Watson, Nathalie Emmanuel, Danielle Brooks, Sadie Sink, Laverne Cox, Jared Leto, Daniella Monet, and the list goes on and on.


Cesar Chavez, Greta Thunberg, Jane Velez Mitchell (Jane Unchained), Angela Davis, Genesis Butler, Gary Yourofsky, Regan Russell [RIP], Earthling Ed, Erin Janus, Gene Baur, Leah Garces, James Aspey, Freelee The Banana Girl, Omowale Adewale, Jasmine Leyva, Gwenna Hunter, Kip Anderson, Babette Davis, Leona Lewis, Tabitha Brown, Rubaiya Ahmad, Lauren Ornelas, Aryenish Birdie, Kim Sturla, Chef Babette, Dr. Amie Breeze Harper, Michelle Carrera, Brenda Sanders, Jaya Bhumitra, Toni Okamoto, Dulce Ramírez, Pei-Feng Su, Dr. Charu Chandrasekera, Dr. Sailesh Rao, Sneha Shrestha, Diksha Dixit, Seble Neblyeloul, Aph Ko, Danni McGhee, Tracye McQuirter, Grey, Tambra Raye Stevenson, Torre Washington, Jessica Carter, Brenda Sanders, Seba Johnson, Jasmine C. Leyva, and the list goes on and on.


Coretta Scott King, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, Jane Velez-Mitchell, BOSH!, Yuval Noah Harari, Dr. Colin Campbell, Gary L. Francione, Carol J. Adams, Steven Best, T. Cooper, Anu Gnade, Sarah Kramer, Keith Mann, Bryant Terry, Jenne Claiborne, Haile Thomas, Koya Webb, Brandi Rollins, Tracye Lynn McQuirter, MPH, and the list goes on and on.

Various Enterprises

Russell Simmons, Steve Bellamy, Tom Ford, James Cameron, Kevin Smith, Gary L. Francione, Penn Jillette, Dr. Neal D. Barnard, Dr. Michael Greger, Al Gore, Dennis Kucinich, Thích Nhất Hạnh, Steve-O, Scott Jurek, Casey Kasem, Bill Clinton, Gisele Bündchen, Tom Brady, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Rosario Dawson, Cory Booker, Jenna Marbles, Ruby Rose, Robin Quivers, Ava DuVernay, Petra Nemcova, Mike Tyson, Patrick Baboumian, Nimai Delgado, Rich Roll, Colin Rand Kaepernick, Neil Robertson, Dexter Scott King, Virat Kohli, Carl Lewis….


Agricultural Fairness Alliance, Shamayim, The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Animals Australia, Animal Save, Justice for Regan Russell,

And YOU, if you so desire. There are countless pages of vegan information on the internet, dozens of recipe books and instructional videos, plant-based doctors, dietitians, and other practitioners to confer with, guide books, real and virtual communities, vegan fitness programs, vegan challenges like the 30-Day Vegan Challenge, Challenge 22, and Veganuary where you can join thousands of other people finding their way to compassionate living and get amazing support. I myself run a weekly Zoom support group for vegans. If the only thing that is really stopping you is YOU, my sincerest hope is that in some way you will use this document, and whatever else you might discover for inspiration, to do what you KNOW is right.

Rise above the lies. Break the compassion barrier. Go vegan. For the animals. For your health. For other humans. For the planet. For the future.

– Aaron Abolition

P.S. If you are ready to make that change, the good news is that it's never been easier! Here are just a few resources to help you get started!

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