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This is what all those vegan posters popping up are all about

‘When we choose to eat eggs, we are paying for day old chicks to be ground alive.’

48s-Eggs2 Source: GoVegan.ie

YOU MAY HAVE seen posters like the above example dotted around train stations and bus shelters over the last few weeks.

Well, they’re all part of a campaign by an Irish animal sanctuary for vegans to get people thinking about how animals are harmed by people’s “lifestyle choices”.

“Most people believe it is wrong to unnecessarily harm others,” says Sandra Higgins of the Eden Farmed Animal Sanctuary.

“Yet we live in ways that contradict that belief, hurting and killing innocent animals through our lifestyle choices, and harming other humans, the environment and our own health in the process.”

The message from the GoVegan.ie campaign is that people simply aren’t aware of the processes that are involved in animal farming and slaughter.

“Few are aware that when we choose to eat eggs, for example, we are paying for day old male chicks to be suffocated or ground alive,” says Higgins. “Most people would not eat eggs if they knew that.”

Higgins adds that humans are also harmed by the industry because most people would not necessarily choose to work in a slaughterhouse, for example, and only do so out of a lack of options.

Bus-Eggs Source: GoVegan.ie

The Eden Farmed Animal Sanctuary takes in animals that would otherwise have been used by humans and also provides advice for people who want to become vegan.

The new campaign also seeks to give people interested in veganism a free kit to help them get started.

“It’s just a very simple introduction to animal rights and veganism to get people started,” says Higgins. “There are people who want to go vegan but don’t know what to do next. Like, if they turn vegan they don’t know what to do when they’re next buying a jumper.”

Asked whether she sees any difference between harm inflicted on humans and harm inflicted on animals, Higgins says she doesn’t but understands why other people might:

“People see it differently because we live in a speciesist culture which means that we discriminate against animals because they are in a different species to us.”

48s-Dairy Source: GoVegan.ie

The GoVegan.ie campaign makes reference to the dairy industry and explains that cows can only produce milk after being pregnant, most of the time after being “raped” to produce calves:

Like humans, cows produce milk only following pregnancy and birth, and only for the purpose of feeding their babies. Unlike humans, dairy cows are forcibly impregnated by a process that, were it done to humans, would be termed rape. Following each birth, a mother cow is separated from her infant so that her breast milk can be consumed by adults of another species.

Asked whether she felt the use of the term “rape” in this context is insensitive, Higgins said she would “withdraw it immediately” if it caused offence but added that it’s a very accurate description of what happens to the cows used in dairy farming.

“They are being raped, it’s called the rape rack in the industry,” she says.

The GoVegan.ie campaign was launched at the beginning of this month to mark World Vegan Day.

Higgins says that funding for the billboards and advertising was provided by “an anonymous donor”.

Read: Guinness is going vegan by removing the fish guts (wait, the fish guts?) >

Read: Rosanna Davison’s cookbook is so popular it’s on its third printing run >

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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