400 million animals! I can't even begin to comprehend what 400 million animals would look like. But that's how many animals were saved from being killed for food in 2014 (in the US alone!) simply by people choosing to eat less meat!
That means millions of animals were spared from a lifetime of suffering in factory farm and having their life cut short in an industrial slaughterhouse.
Whether it be cutting down on meat or cutting it out altogether, eating less animals is a global trend that continues to grow. A new report from the U.S. says that meat consumption has been declining by around 10% every year since 2007!
Are you part of this growing movement? You're awesome. Here's a duckling.
If you're ready to jump on board the life-saving bandwagon, we've got everything you need right here.
It can be hard to feel like we're making a difference when we're flying the flag for animals, but this statistic goes to show that we're not alone, and together we're making a HUGE difference for animals.
Imagine if we could double this impact ... or even quadruple it. Well, you can! It's been found that one of the biggest barriers for people to make meat-free choices is not knowing what to eat. By spreading your love of veg food, and showing the people in your life how delicious it can be, you can help break down this barrier. And the best way to do it -- a dinner party :) What's more, by cooking for 3 friends you'll quadruple your impact for animals with that meal.
Little Stefa, who lives in Poland, proves that pigs are every bit as smart as dogs. She can do all the tricks her dog friends can do with just as much skill and personality :)
Stefa wins my Best in Show award hands down :) It's no secret that pigs are incredibly smart and Stefa is a beautiful reminder of that. Knowing how smart they are makes it even harder to stomach the thought of millions of pigs suffering in concrete pens in factory farms, constantly being bred only to be slaughtered.
While watching little Stefa perfectly nail a series of dog tricks, I can't help but think about one of the biggest injustices in the way animals are treated -- if a dog was ever treated the way most pigs in Australia are there would be a riot. (Not to mention it would be illegal).
Only recently there was massive outrage about the Yulin dog eating festival in China. And among the outraged was myself! It's horrible to think of dogs being killed and eaten.
But I have to wonder, would anyone bat an eyelid at a hot dog eating festival right here in Australia? I would like to think that people would be outraged -- especially if they could see how they're treated. It's horrible to think of pigs being killed and eaten.
I often hear Aussies say that we need to fix the problems we have here at home before we start worrying about what's happening elsewhere in the world. I wouldn't say that I necessarily agree (I think we can achieve both) but I do know that the power to protect animals from cruelty here in Australia is entirely in our hands. While we couldn't save the animals who were killed as part of the Yulin dog eating festival, we can save the animals who are being slaughtered for their meat every single day in Australia.
It's as simple as choosing to value animals like Stefa the pig for who they are and taking them off your plate. And we've got meat-free recipes and handy tips to get you started.
Stefa is a very lucky girl to be valued for who she is. Watch more of her incredible talents in this adorable video:
P.S. Though Stefa is adorable, pigs only make good pets for individuals who are well-researched and know what they're getting into. There are some big, big problems with the "teacup" or mini pig phenomenon, which you can read about here. And as always, if you're thinking about adding a new animal member to your family, adoption is the kindest option :)
I want to do a little experiment. I'm hoping you'll help me out ...
Think back to the first time you were asked whether or not you wanted to eat animals ...
Have you got one?
I don't know about you, but I'm coming up with nothing. I was never asked.
As kids we do as we're told. We don't really get a choice.
(Maybe because when we do get a choice, this is what happens ... )
While we mightn't have the best ideas about fashion when we're younger, (those yellow pants though), I believe there's something that kids understand that often gets lost ... or pushed aside ...
One of my favourite quotes is, "You put a baby in a crib with an apple and a rabbit. If it eats the rabbit and plays with the apple, I'll buy you a new car." (Harvey Diamond)
I reckon I'm about 7 years old in this picture. If I imagine myself sitting down with the 7 year old in that picture, and explaining to her that the animals we call 'food' are no different to her bunny rabbit Peter or her dog Chelsea, and telling her that she had a choice to make ... I know with 100% certainty the choice she would've made. She would have stopped eating animals that very day.
I'd like to challenge you to have that conversation with 7 year old you right now. Let them make the choice they were never given the opportunity to make ...
These are my sisters Hannah (left) and Tilly (right) at around 4 and 5 years old. (With the ever adorbs Chelsea dog.) At around this time we got a postcard from my Aunty in India who said that she'd been eating a lot of chickpeas. Tilly burst into tears. We eventually worked out that she'd got chickpeas mixed up with chimpanzees in her head. Tilly stopped eating animals at 17 and Hannah at 16. They both love chickpeas.
Sometimes I struggle with words like vegan or vegetarian. Those labels make it sound like I'm doing something or being something. But I'm not being anything. I'm just being me. And I am a person who doesn't eat animals. Always was. Even when I was eating animals I was a person who doesn't eat animals ... I just didn't know I had a choice yet.
We have a choice about our religious beliefs. We have a choice about who we love. We have a choice about what football team we support. And we have a choice about what, or who, we eat.
Growing up, our biggest influencers are our parents. If I had never realised that it was me who had to make choices for me, I might be a straight, meat-eating Sydney Roosters supporter right now. I can proudly say that I am none of those things.
We can't go back in time. But what we can do, starting from now, is whenever we notice ourselves doing something, or thinking a certain way just because it's what we've always done, or what our family has always done, or what society has always done ... that we stop ... think about it ... and make a choice ... the choice that makes sense to the person you already are.
Can you imagine what a different place the world could be if everyone did this? Are you willing to give it a try?
Start with the question you asked your 7 year old self today ... are you a person who eats animals? Or are you a person who doesn't eat animals?
Watch the reactions of these people as they are faced with how they've been sold cruelty to animals:
Wow. Do you feel like those stunned audience members right now? It's a scary thought isn't it, that marketers can make terrible cruelty sound like a good idea.
Fortunately, as the lady in this video by Compassion in World Farming said, the secret weapon is YOU. You have the power to make conscious choices and not be conned by sneaky marketing. In fact, you have the power to free animals from factory farms for good. Here's how:
There are plenty of ways that you can take a stand against factory farming today:
We’re supposed to let you know that the ideas expressed here are the views of the individual authors, and may not necessarily reflect the views of Animals Australia or Animals Australia Unleashed. So now you know.