ENGLISH SPEECH – VEGANISM
The worlds forgotten victims – animals, and the worlds strongest obsession – meat. No
religion mandates meat eating, isn’t the golden rule “do unto others as you would do unto
yourself?” and “thou shall not kill,” the four most important yet the four most ignored
words of all religious teachings. There is no asterisk with next to it saying unless you walk on
all fours, have paws, beaks, feathers or gills.
Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty
to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose. It is also one of the easiest things we can
do to live a more ethical and healthy life.
You will justify eating meat by telling yourselves that the meat you’re eating is grass fed –
free to roam vast green paddocks at their leisure and are in the end humanly killed. Or by
believing that the meat you’re eating and the dairy you’re drinking is healthy for you. Or
that eating animals is a way of animal population control perhaps? – all of which is wrong.
This is something that you, that we are led to believe and none of which is true.
Every year without mercy over 56 billion land animals are murdered by humans for
consumption. This shocking figure excludes sea life. And we do this, not for health, survival,
sustenance or self defence. People eat meat, cheese, milk and eggs for four reasons. Habit,
tradition, convenience, taste.
FOCUS 1: ENVIRONMENT
The animal agriculture industry is the leading cause of land degradation, biodiversity loss,
acid rain, coral reef degeneration and deforestation.
Nowhere is this impact more apparent than climate change – livestock farming contributes
18% of human produced greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. This is more than all
emissions from ships, planes, trucks, cars and all other transport put together.
Reducing consumption of animal products is essential if we are to meet global greenhouse
gas emission reduction targets – which are necessary to mitigate the worst effects of
Meat production is highly inefficient – this is particularly true when it comes to red meat. To
produce one kilogram of beef requires 25 kilograms of grain – to feed the animal – and
roughly 15,000 litres of water.
The scale of the problem can also be seen in land use: around 30% of the earth’s land
surface is currently used for livestock farming.
FOCUS 2: HEALTH
At the production level, industrial livestock farming relies heavily on antibiotic use to
accelerate weight gain and control infection – in the US, over 80% of all antibiotics are
consumed by the livestock industry, and Australia is not far off.
This contributes to the growing public health problem of antibiotic resistance. Already,
more than 23,000 people are estimated to die every year in the US alone from resistant
bacteria. Is this what we want for the future of Australia’s people? As this figure continues
to rise, it becomes hard to overstate the threat of this emerging crisis. We...