You Will Never Look at Your Life in the Same Way Again | Eye-Opening Speech!
I just want to start by saying that I wasn’t born vegan.
And I wasn’t even born vegetarian,
you see for almost 21 years of my life
I consumed meat dairy and egg products,
it’s not just that I consumed them, I loved them.
I loved how they tasted,
I’d have them every single day of my life.
I looked forward to the flavors and the textures.
I looked forward to getting that nutrition,
that satisfaction from consuming those products.
I’d get a Domino’s pizza pretty much every single week, two for Tuesday.
I’d always get Texan BBQ and always get Meat Feast
and it’d always both come with extra mozzarella
and cheesy stuffed crust as well.
I went into my local KFC so often
that the people who worked there knew me by my name and knew my favorite order was which was a
Zinger Box Meal with extra hot wings.
So when I went in they said: ”oh hi Ed”,
”you want your Zinger Box Meal with extra wings?”
and I’d be like ”absolutely, please as quick as you can”.
You see I loved the flavor of these products.
I really enjoyed them.
I used to wear things made out of leather
and wool and silk and down.
I’d buy cosmetics like shampoos and shower gels without ever considering
whether or not they were tested on animals.
And going to the zoo was literally
one of my favorite things to do
and I did it because I was an animal lover,
I liked observing these animals.
I thought it was a nice thing to do to see them,
I enjoyed seeing these animals.
You see this wasn’t something,
or veganism wasn’t something that I was born with.
The morality of veganism wasn’t something that
I was born with it’s something that I grew
and educated myself on
and learned more and more about.
Now everything started to change for me
about five years ago.
I was having a pizza with a friend and my friend was veggie and I wasn’t at this point
and I said to him: ”should we get bacon on the pizza?”
and he said: ”no”.
And I said: ”why not?
Why would you not want to get bacon on pizza?
I mean bacon belongs on pizza,
can you even call it pizza if there’s not bacon on top?”
And he said: ”Ed, I don’t think an animal should die
for a pizza topping”.
I said: ”What are you talking about?
These animals are bred for that purpose.
We give them life,
they give us bacon”’.
Bacon his life, right?
That’s what I used to say,
I was one of those bacon is life people.
But ironically bacon is very much death.
Now at that point I had never once really contemplated
why I consumed animals.
I had not ever really once contemplated
why someone wouldn’t eat animals.
The concept of just consuming animals was so normal,
it was so natural, I thought it was necessary.
It’s what I did everyday, so why would I question it?
Now four years, around four years ago, May 2014
I came across this story in the news, it was in the BBC news, it was about truck carrying 7,000 chickens
crashing just of the M62 near Manchester.
And it really disturbed me this story because
the journalist was talking about hundreds of these animals had died on impact in fact
I think in total it was 1,500 of the birds died on the impact alone, but what disturbed me
even more was that there were hundreds more of them
that were alive.
But they were mutilated they had broken bones and broken wings their faces were literally hanging off
and I saw pictures of it their faces were hanging off their combs were hanging off, their beaks were hanging off.
And they were alive.
And they were suffering.
And they were in pain.
And I remember reading this article and thinking
how horrible it must be for these animals
and what terrible suffering they must be enduring
but at that very moment it dawned on me
that in my fridge
there was chicken breasts
and chicken thighs
and yesterday’s KFC.
And therefore I was a hypocrite
for feeling sorry for these animals
when the only reason they were there in the first place was because I ate their flesh and therefore
demanded that they be slaughtered on my behalf.
So that moment, when I was reading that article,
caused me to question.
Question my lifestyle, question my actions, question things I’d never thought to question before.
It made me say to myself how do I morally justify
doing these things to animals?
Are my taste buds more important than their life?
I was a hypocrite for feeling sorry for these animals
Because they were there
because of me.
So I made the choice that day to change my lifestyle
to change what I ate, I became veggie.
And then I learned more about
the dairy and egg industries
and eventually became vegan.
Now the purpose of what I’m about to say to you
and the purpose of this film
isn’t to make you feel bad. It’s not to say that you’re
a bad person because quite simply that isn’t true.
It’s not to say that you’re consciously living an immoral lifestyle because again quite simply that isn’t true.
The purpose of what I’m going to say in the purpose of the film is to make you question yourself
in the same way that that truck story or
the truck crash story made me question myself.
It’s to make you maybe question the lifestyle that you’ve been living all your life
and make you ask the questions that I asked myself.
Are my taste buds more important
than the life of an animal?
How do I morally justify taking the life of an animal
if it’s unnecessary?
These are the questions, the rhetorical questions
that I was forced to confront within myself.
And hopefully maybe you’ll question yourself with.
Now if you get an idea
and you put that idea into society long enough
it becomes a societal norm.
Now if you keep fueling that societal norm,
over time it forms part of society’s culture.
You pass culture from generation to generation,
it becomes tradition.
Now we need only look across the world right now
to see that culture and tradition are not
good benchmarks for morality.
Let’s just consider first off
that in some cultures across the world it’s acceptable
to treat a woman as less than a man.
We would hardly consider that to be moral.
In some cultures it’s acceptable to perform
female genital mutilation,
but again we would hardly consider that to be moral even though it’s very much a traditional practice.
Let’s apply this logic and way of thinking to a situation
where it’s non-human animals that are being oppressed.
The Yulin dog meat festival is an annual festival
where tens of thousands of dogs and cats
are bred into existence,
and ultimately they’re eaten.
Is it therefore moral to kill and eat a dog if doing so
forms part of the community’s culture or tradition?
What about in Bok Nal where again an annual festival where tens of thousands of dogs and cats are killed.
Is that moral?
What about in Japan where every year
they slaughter thousands of dolphins.
Is that moral because its traditional?
Or in the Faroe Islands where every single year they slaughter thousands of pilot whales.
Again is that moral because it’s cultural?
But if it’s not moral for other cultures to kill
dogs and cats and whales and dolphins
why would it be moral for us to kill
cows and pigs and chicken
and sheep and ducks and geese and all the animals
that we kill and consume in this country?
And can we really justify that behavior by saying it’s something we’ve always done
or it’s cultural
or it’s traditional.
Now it always strikes me as so strange that we have
this moral hypocrisy in society.
Where we view some animals
as different to other animals.
Why is that?
Why is it that so many of us in society get so angry and upset at the notion of a dog being hurt and killed?
But laugh at those that get angry and upset at the notion of a pig or a cow or a chicken being killed.
The Winter Olympics were just done in South Korea
And I find it so jarring because people were outraged that in South Korea they have a dog meat trade.
People were calling on a boycott of the Winter Olympics
saying that some of the athletes shouldn’t go because they have a dog meat trade.
Because they kill and eat dogs.
There were some of the athletes there that actually rescued some of the dogs from the dog meat trade
and they were called heroes.
They were seen as heroes, as animal rescuers, as lovers of animals, but while they were rescuing those dogs
they were going back and eating chickens
Why is it that we have this moral distinction?
After all, all of these animals are alive.
They all think
they all feel
they can all suffer
they can all show compassion and receive compassion
and most importantly they all deserve
to receive compassion.
So what gives us the right?
What gives us the right to arbitrarily point the finger and decide who lives and who dies?
What gives us the right to inflict
pain, suffering and ultimately death
on to an animal that wishes to avoid
pain, suffering and ultimately death?
Now one of the most commonly cited justifications
that people use to try and excuse
our consumption of animal products
is the notion of a food chain.
Now food chains are incredibly important.
They help maintain natural ecosystems, they help maintain natural population sizes of wild animals.
Inherently ecosystems help maintain the ecology
of the areas of the world in which they exist.
They are fundamental to the survival
of those ecosystems.
Now what we do to animals
when we selectively breed them,
when we forcibly impregnate them,
when we take their babies away from them,
when we mutilate them,
when we exploit them for what isn’t ours
like their milk and their eggs,
when we take them to slaughterhouses
hang them upside down and cut their throat
has nothing to do with a food chain.
It resembles nothing
like you would see in the natural world.
It has nothing to do with maintaining healthy population sizes or maintaining the ecology of environments.
What we do to animals
cannot be compared to a food chain
because it couldn’t be further detached
from a food chain.
Now if I brought a pig into this room now, say a live pig
and I said to you kill this animal
using what you are biologically given,
because all natural animal eaters in the wild kill the prey that they eat using what they were biologically given
which is their claws and their canines.
So if I said to you kill this pig using
what you’re biologically given,
how many of you think you’d be able to do that?
I mean let’s be honest when you try to maul that pig,
that pig would probably roll over and accept
a little tickle of you.
And let me tell you that pigs absolutely love belly rubs,
if anyone’s ever spent time with pigs you can vouch this, they love belly rubs.
When you were trying to maul that pig that pig would roll over and accept a belly rub right there in front of you.
You see, the utensils that we have for killing
are very rudimentary and very crude.
We’re not effective predators.
But let’s say for the sake of argument that you do kill that pig and now in front of you is not only a dead pig
but that pig carcass is now open.
You’ve effectively butchered the pig and in front of you lays the open carcass of that once living pig
Are you gonna eat the raw meat?
What about the organs,
like the intestines and the cartilage
and the tendons and the ligaments and the brain,
all that nasty stuff that we don’t like to think about?
Are you gonna eat that?
Are you going to eat around that?
What always strikes me as strange is that
when people see these parts of animals
they say that it puts them off their food.
When people see graphic content like this
they often say to me
I don’t want to see that it’ll put me off my food.
Why would seeing the process of how meat and animal products turn up on your plate put you off eating them?
If you were naturally meant to eat animals not only would you be able to watch them being killed
you’d be able to kill them yourself yet so many of us feel the opposite of hunger when we see animals being killed.
We feel repulsed,
we feel angry,
we feel sad,
we feel frustrated,
we don’t understand why they’re suffering so much.
If we were natural animal eaters
this wouldn’t faze us at all
yet that’s one of the most common things
that people say to me.
”I don’t want to watch the documentary
because it’ll put me off my food”.
Why is this?
How many stories do we see in mainstream media
but also in social media of people
say eating a KFC and they find like a piece of
chicken brain in their KFC and they’re outraged.
They’re so angry, they tweet at KFC and they say:
”KFC how dare you?
I found a piece of chicken in my dead chicken meal”.
In fact there was a headline that said something like: ”students find dead chicken parts in their fried chicken”.
Well, what else you expecting to find?
It’s a Fried Chicken Box Meal
of course you’re gonna find dead chicken parts.
When you find a piece of brain or a piece of kidney
or something that you didn’t expect to find
then all of a sudden you find that repulsive,
or they find it repulsive and it puts them off their food.
Is that not strange?
Why do we find the body parts of animals abject
if we think that we’re supposed to eat them,
and that we’re naturally designed to eat them?
Say I bring a cow into this room now,
and I present you all with a freshly sharpened knife.
And I say: ”who of you will cut the throat of this cow?”.
Would any of you volunteer to do so?
Say instead of a cow it’s now a six-month-old lamb
that I bring into this room
and I say: ”who of you will decapitate this lamb,
cut their leg off and have a lamb shank?”.
Would any of you do so?
More importantly let’s say someone did volunteer
to do so, how many of you would object?
How many of you would oppose
that person killing the animal,
stop them or at the very least turn away, walk out
and pretend it’s not going to happen?
Say you’re walking down the road and you see someone beating and abusing a dog.
Do you step in?
Do try and stop them?
Or at the very least do you call the police?
Now say instead of a dog it’s a pig that’s been abused, killed and beaten in front of you.
Do you still object, do you still intervene?
Do you still try and save that pig’s life or at the very least do you still call the police?
Now say that pig that was being abused in front of you
is now being abused behind a wall
where you can no longer see them.
Does that now make it moral?
Is the killing moral if it’s out of sight and out of mind?
Or is unnecessary killing always morally reprehensible?
How many of us would oppose seeing an animal
being killed in front of us
but go home and eat fried pig flesh,
fried cow flesh, or a lamb leg?
You see as humans we have
something called moral agency
inherently this is what it all boils down to.
Now moral agency means that we are able to make decisions based on a notion of right and wrong,
but importantly it means we can be held accountable for the decisions that we make.
Now animals in the wild can’t be held accountable
for the decisions that they make
that’s why lions and tigers and bears
are not good role models for our morality.
They kill out of necessity, they’re obligate carnivores.
They have to eat animal flesh to survive.
And because we don’t, our moral agency dictates
that we are obliged to do or to purchase the products that contain the least amount of suffering.
But it also means that if we choose
to buy a product that contains suffering
we can and we should be held accountable
for the action that we make.
I wanna do a little thought experiment.
And the thought experiment goes:
there’s a cot with a baby in it
and with this baby in the cot
there’s a live bunny rabbit and a strawberry.
Which one does the baby eat and which one does
the baby play with?
Think about it this way
the FBI states that most serial killers began their life
harming animals when they were children.
Ted Bundy harmed and abused animals
when he was a child,
Jeffrey Dahmer harmed and abused animals
when he was a child.
Why is it that leading criminologists and psychologists look at children who harm animals when they’re young
as potential red flags for humans
who may one day grow up to harm other humans?
After all a lion teaches their children to kill.
A tiger teaches their children to kill,
a jaguar teaches their children to kill
and yet for some reason
we discourage our children from killing.
Why is this?
Because it goes against our innate compassion.
Now imagine in that cot,
imagine if the baby tried to eat the bunny rabbit.
We’d think well that child should
probably be looked after,
we think there’s something wrong with the child
if they went to eat the animal.
And yet when they grow up
that’s precisely what they do do,
they eat the animal.
So why is it that we don’t like
to see children harming animals?
Now imagine if every child that was born into this world.
Imagine if they were taught that the life of a chicken should be valued with the same respect
that we give to the dogs that we cherish in our home
or indeed even to our own self.
Imagine if every child that was born into this world was told to view the life of a fish in the ocean,
a fish they’ll never meet,
a fish whose life may seem inconsequential.
Imagine if that child was taught that that fish should be allowed to live their life
without human inflicted pain and exploitation.
How would that child ever grow up
to harm or oppress another human
based on the entirely superfluous and irrelevant reasons like race or sexuality or ethnicity
or whatever ridiculous reason it is that we choose to oppress each other over?
How would that child ever grow up to harbor hatred
to other humans
if they were taught that all life was precious?
That all life should be treated
with respect, dignity and compassion
and should be allowed
the basic fundamental right to live that life?
Now the animal agriculture industries,
they know that what we see in this footage
and that what we see online is shocking
and that it upsets us and that it offends us.
That’s why they don’t show us the truth.
That’s why they give us marketing labels and ploys
to distract us from the reality of what is really going on.
Now one of the best examples of this is free-range.
This is something that I used to really buy in to,
I thought that buying free-range eggs
was an ethical thing to do.
You see when we see a box of free-range eggs
in the supermarkets
what we do is we attribute our ideals of freedom
on to that box of eggs.
Now freedom to us means being able to live the life that you want to live, do the things that come naturally to you,
spend time your friends and your family
if that’s what you want to do.
But most importantly freedom to us means
living without fear,
Living in peace, living in harmony,
living without oppression, without injustice,
living without pain.
So when we see that box of free-range eggs
in the supermarket
we say those hens must have lived a good life.
They must have done the things
that came naturally to them,
spent time their friends and family
if that’s what comes naturally to them.
But most importantly we say those hens lived a life without oppression, without injustice,
without fear and without pain
We know that that is not true.
We know that that is a lie.
We know that free-range hens come from hatcheries where the males are gassed and macerated
as soon as they are born.
We know that the female chicks are often debeaked
and placed into barns where they barely have any room to move and where many will never see the sunlight
or breathe the fresh air until the day that they die.
We know that all free-range hens
end up in a slaughterhouse
with a knife being pulled across their throat.
Make no mistake there is no freedom in free-range.
There’s another thing we get told: humane slaughter.
”It’s acceptable and moral to kill an animal
if it’s done in a humane way.”
So I could ask you the question:
how do you humanely take the life of an animal?
But instead let’s think about it.
The word humane means
having or showing compassion or benevolence,
so instead of me asking you that question
let me rephrase it a little bit and ask you:
how do you compassionately benevolently or humanely take the life of an animal
that does not want to die for an unnecessary reason?
Humane slaughter is an oxymoron it can’t ever exist because we can never justify taking that life of an animal
when they don’t need to die and therefore
we can never do it compassionately or benevolently.
Another thing we often get told is:
”happy cows produce happy milk”.
This is something we’re going to hear a lot more
in the future I guarantee you.
”Happy cows produce happy milk”.
Let’s think about that for a second.
Let me ask you a series of questions.
Is the cow happy when she’s forcibly impregnated?
Is she happy when her baby is taken away from her?
Is that mother happy
when her baby is taken away from her?
Is that mother happy when she’s exploited
for what she naturally produces for her child?
Is she happy when she’s loaded into a truck or a trailer and taken to a slaughterhouse?
Is she happy when the bolt gun is placed against
her head and the knife pull across her throat?
Again make no mistake,
there is no happiness in the dairy industry.
There is no right way to do the wrong thing.
And exploiting animals, because it is unnecessary,
will always be the wrong thing
and therefore there is no right way to do it.
Do not believe the labels and the lies and the adverts and the propaganda and the scams of these industries
that seek to make money from you.
They operate on supply and demand, the only way
they can function is if people buy these products
and people aren’t going to buy these products
if they know the truth behind them.
So instead they lied to us to make us buy something
that otherwise we would not want to buy.
Because then they make money from us,
then they can profit from us,
then they can profit from the exploitation of animals.
It is a lie, they have vested interests.
Remember that when you see those labels
and those pictures of happy animals.
Those animals are suffering,
they’re in pain and they will be until the day that they die.
So the question often becomes.
We agree or most of us agree
that what happens to animals is wrong.
And perhaps it is immoral. So instead of abolishing the industries, why don’t we just improve the systems?
Why don’t we just make the farms humane?
Why don’t we make free-range mean free?
Now the reality is,
even if we were environmentally and economically able to give all of these animals that we consume
big green lush pastures, open fields
and allow them to do what comes naturally to them.
Even if we found a system where we didn’t have to
take their babies away from them,
where we didn’t have to mutilate them,
where we didn’t have to forcibly impregnate them.
We will always,
have to take their life from them.
That is a reality of animal exploitation.
No matter what industry,
their lives will always be taken away from them
and because of that
it’s irrelevant what quality of life we give them.
The moment that we take them to the yard
or to the slaughterhouse to take their life
that is abuse and it cannot be morally justified.
Do not buy into welfare. Welfare is not there for the animals it’s there for us to ease our conscience.
You see the animals don’t care what labels they’re given on the packets of flesh and secretions in a supermarket.
They don’t care if they’re labeled organic
or grass-fed or corn-fed or high welfare.
Those labels do not safeguard the animals.
They make us buy the product.
They ease our conscience.
Now what always strikes me strange,
that when we protest against something like
the Yulin dog meat festival we don’t say
it’s moral to take the life of a dog
if it’s done in a humane way.
We don’t say its moral to take the life of a dog if they’re given bigger cages, or if they’re labeled free-range.
We say taking the life of a dog for food is wrong and immoral and should be abolished full stop.
No, ifs no buts.
The petitions that we sign to end Yulin
are not asking for bigger cages.
They’re not asking for different labeling,
they’re asking for an end to the dog meat industry
and an end to the festival.
So let me ask you.
If the labrador stakes that’ll be consumed in Yulin,
if they came of an RSPCA approved seal
would that make it moral?
If the minced chihuahua being consumed in Yulin,
If that came with a Red Tractor approved seal
would that make it moral?
If we brought all the dogs and all the cats
that have been killed in Southeast Asia,
if we brought them to this country,
took them to British slaughterhouses
and killed them in the exact same way
that we kill the animals in this country
would that make it moral in your eyes?
And if it wouldn’t, why on earth would it be moral
to kill the animals that we eat using these methods?
If you have companion animals at home
say like a dog, or a cat, a hamster, a rabbit, a gerbil
whatever animal it is, if you have an animal at home
that you love and whose existence you cherish.
If they needed to be put down and euthanized would you take them to a slaughterhouse to have that done?
And if you wouldn’t that should tell you all you need to know about how humane a slaughterhouse can be.
Now animals have one chance at life.
They have one existence.
Who are we to take that one chance at life away from them because we value the taste of their flesh
and their secretions?
A meal to us lasts a matter of minutes.
An inconsequential amount of time,
it’s a meal that we forget about as soon as we finished.
But that meal has cost the entire existence of an animal
We take their life for minutes of pleasure.
What right do we have to do that?
Not only as a species, but as individuals.
Let me ask those questions again.
Are my taste buds, or are our taste buds
more important than life of an animal?
How do we morally justify doing these things
if it’s unnecessary and if we don’t need to?
Now as a vegan I eat all the foods that I used to eat.
All the foods that I used to enjoy,
all the foods that I used to crave.
I eat mac and cheese and spaghetti bolognaise
and lasagna and stir fries and curries
and burritos and nachos and fajitas and tacos.
I eat cupcakes and muffins and cheese cakes
and chocolate cakes and sweets.
I eat the foods I used to love, all the food I used to crave, but now I do so without harming animals.
There’s no dead animals.There’s no exploited animal secretions. There’s no gristle.
There’s no hormones. There’s no antibiotics.
They’re made from plants. How simple is that right?
Sometimes people say to me veganism is restrictive, now before as vegan I had one type of milk: cows milk.
Now I have oat milk and rice milk
and soy milk and coconut milk almond milk
and cashew milk and hazelnut milk.
I cook with ingredients and foods
I’d never heard of before I went vegan.
When I used to open my fridge it would like a morgue,
it’d just be dead chickens everywhere
sometimes the occasional dead cow maybe the occasional dead pig predominately dead chicken.
Now when I open up my fridge it’s a garden,
there’s so many colors.
There’s such a beautiful array of foods
I look forward to cooking.
Going vegan encouraged me to reinvent the ways that I cooked, cooking with ingredients that I’d never heard of.
And because of that
I enjoy my food so much more than I ever did
because it allowed me to reinvent
my culinary experience
and explore flavors I’d never considered
as being something that I should eat.
Now the American Dietetic Association
and the British Dietetic Association
which are the largest bodies of diet
and nutrition professionals in both countries
have categorically stated that a vegan plant-based diet is nutritionally adequate,
healthy and safe for all stages of life
What this inherently means is that every nutrient and every vitamin that we need sustain our healthy life
can be obtained on a plant-based diet.
What that fundamentally means
is that the exploitation of animals
and the use of animals is completely unnecessary.
It has no place in contemporary society,
it should be abolished.
There is no reason for it to exist any more.
We can survive on a plant-based diet eating the foods that come natural to us,
eating the foods our body was designed to eat.
Another way that I like to simplify this is the largest and strongest animals in this planet, or the land animals,
the elephant, the rhino and the hippo,
all have one thing in common.
And hippos ironically have the largest canines of any land animal on this planet and they are herbivorous.
So that kind of lays to rest that myth that our canines provide us justification to tear flesh
because the largest canines belong to a herbivore.
Now gorillas share 98% of our DNA
and their digestive tract is almost identical to ours
and apart from the occasional insects
again they’re herbivorous.
Now I’m not saying that we’re gorillas
or rhinos or hippos or elephants.
But what I’m saying is that we do not need to eat meat
or animal products to be strong and healthy.
There’s that expression that goes:
”man eats meat to be strong like an ox”,
forgetting then ox eats grass.
We do not need to eat animals to be strong.
Now if it wasn’t so cruel it would almost be ironic
but it is incredibly cruel;
our leading diseases and illnesses, diseases and illnesses that are currently affecting Western society,
that affected my loved ones in fact,
—things like heart disease, certain forms of cancer
like breast and prostate and colon,
type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis,
dementia, hypertension, strokes—
all of these diseases and illnesses can be massively attributed to our consumption of animal products.
What is so important to note is that a simple switch
to a plant-based vegan diet could not only prevent them,
it can in fact reverse and treat some of them as well.
There are people all over the West right now reversing and treating their heart disease and their type 2 diabetes
by simply switching from animals to plants,
from animal proteins to plant proteins,
from the foods that kill them to the foods that add quality and quantity to their life.
Animal agriculture is also responsible for causing some of the worst environmental calamities
that we are currently facing as a species.
It’s responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions
than the entire transportation system combined.
It’s responsible for
up to 91% of Amazon rainforest destruction.
It’s also responsible for things like topsoil erosion,
land desertification and oceanic dead zones
—which are vast areas of the ocean devoid of all life—
in fact some scientists predict that by the year 2048
we could have fishless oceans.
In our lifetime we could have fishless oceans.
Animal agriculture is responsible for the fact
that we are in the next largest mass species extinction.
Make no mistake, there is not a single living being
alive on this planet today that is not negatively affected
by our consumption of animal products.
So I could ask you the question again:
are our tastebuds worth more than the life of an animal?
But that doesn’t even cover it all.
The question should be: are our taste buds not only worth more than life of an animal,
worth more than our own existence,
worth more than the life of this planet
and in essence worth more than
every single living being on this planet?
What sort of future do we want to leave behind
for our children and our grandchildren?
Do we want there to be a future left
for our children and our grandchildren?
The information is out there.
The United Nations has stated
that to avoid the worst effects of climate change
the world needs to shift to a plant-based diet.
That’s not a vegan activist telling you that,
that’s not a vegan organization,
that’s not vegan propaganda,
that is the United Nations making a very stark
and honest comment to people
saying if you do not change the way that you live,
and it is such a simple change,
we will be the ones to feel the consequences.
We will be the generations that feel
the consequences of the actions that we make today.
So I want to leave you with this series of questions.
With the abundance of information that we have
at our disposal every single second of every single day.
With the fact that we can get our phones out
and our laptops out and access not only this footage
but information that is unbiased and impartial,
information that shows the truth about the health consequences of animal products,
information that shows the truth about
the environmental consequences of animal products,
information these industries want to suppress.
Is the fact that we can access that information,
does that mean that we have the moral imperative
to start asking ourselves questions like
is it time for me to make that change?
Can I still claim to be willfully ignorant?
Can I still bury my head in the sand and pretend that my actions do not have a negative consequence on others?
Or do we have to begin to accept
that every purchase that we make,
no matter how inconsequential and small it may seem,
has a profound effect on the lives of others?
That every purchase we make in a supermarket
is voting for a different world?
A world where animals are still abused
or a world where animals are no longer abused?
Every single purchase that we make as individuals has a far-reaching consequence and a far-reaching impact
that maybe we don’t quite grasp
but we have to understand exists.
So the question I want to leave you with
and the question I want you to think in your head is:
what excuse do I still have?
What moral justification can I still use?
And if I can’t think of one or if you can’t think of one
ask yourself this question:
is it time for me to make that change?
Thank you so much for listening.