I know many people will dislike this post. The same way I didn’t like the truth of vegetarians and vegans while I was still eating animals. The difference between those who will take some time to think about what they will read and those who will ignore it, lies in the motive that pushes everyone towards activism.

I also know that many people will deny what I’m about to write because it is not convenient for them to believe it.

I would really want, what I’m about to present, to be a lie, but it is not. And WE MUST DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

Until May, I believed that the vegan movement goes very well. Extremely well, I would say. I had also translated this huge article, full of numbers and news from all around the world, which demonstrated the increasing of vegans wordwide : vegan celebrities, vegan businesses, vegan products etc.

Unfortunately, though, I met a French activist who informed me about the reality and that meeting turned out to be an eye-opening experience. I felt that I was fooling myself. The ugly truth is exactly the opposite of what I believed. Yes, the number of vegans is growing, but at the same time, strangely enough, the number of animals that die every year is also growing…

For years, I had been missing the point.

Why do we care if vegans become more? Because we believe that less demand means less production. So we think that one day animal exploitation will stop.

But we forgot the reason we became vegans in the first place, we made no research to see whether the number of slaughtered animals is actually decreasing and in the meantime we became obsessed with “proselytism”. All activists dedicate themselves to outreaching (approaching people to share information) and they focus on what people consume. What and where to eat, which cosmetics they use, what to wear etc.

A few articles were also published, under titles such as “X million animals were saved last year thanks to veganism” and we rushed to celebrate it.

But veganism focuses on personal choices / individualism and on what we consume. Antispeciesism, on the other hand, focuses on animal rights and stands against speciesism, an ideology which states that the lives and interests of non-human animals can  be ignored, just because they are individuals that belong to a different species. In short, antispeciesism is a social movement.

The “cover” photo shows the increasing of slaughtered animals from 1961 to 2016 – a graphic presentation under the date 2/1/2018. The source is UN Food & Agiculture and World Bank – the most valid that can be found. Sadly.

But why?

With 250 babies born every minute, which means that 360.000 babies are born every day, we have our answer. (Source). The demand for meat is increasing every year. The countries with increasing numbers of vegans are mostly countries where the number of births are decreasing, so most of those babies are born in countries where the word veganism does not even exist.

Some more concerning numbers: In Israel ( a country with a great vegan percentage of its population) more animals than ever are abused in laboratories. Read the numbers here.

In Australia, another country with constant increase of vegans during the last years, we still notice this absurd increase of slaughtered animals, apart from chickens, where we see a decrease. For details, see here.

Similarly, while in Canada there is a very big decrease in pork demand, there is also an increase of pig breeding. And since those pigs do not end in the stomachs of the people who live in Canada, where do they go? In Asia, of course! What is commonly known as live export. Millions of animals travel alive, under terrible circumstances, from Brazil, Australia and Canada to various countries of Asia – countries that did NOT consume meat in such high rates in the past, nut now capitalism made sure they evolved in this aspect.

Another interesting research is this one this one, which refers to Americans and their belief system. 75% of the people that were asked, buy meat from the so called humane farms, while less than 1% of the animals slaughtered in America come from such farms. Therefore, there is a psychological denial here. They sugarcoat reality, so that they don’t have to abandon their comfort zone and face the reality of their actions.

What are we expecting in the future? I will not write the depressing numbers. The news are certainly not good. You can see here.

In my opinion, the best arguments on the matter have been presented by Tiphaine Lagarde, at an animal rights conference that took place in Paris a few months ago, and that’s the reason I translated her speech, in order to have it on our website. You can read it all here.

I will not stop encouraging people to go vegan, of course. But what I see is that we have lost the true meaning of it,and capitalism has taken over the movement, resulting to the uploading of recipes, dishes and other products, instead of talking about the animal holocaust.

The most famous activists in the vegan movement have lost their humility, they aim for self-promotion and popularity, they think so high of themselves that they have ended up living only for the likes they get on social media, and of course they have turned activism into a profession, while most of them are even hiding their income from people’s donations.

They use airplanes all the time, without considering their carbon footprint, they are in constant movement, visiting countries where they deliver speeches, thinking that this is the way to inspire other. The average vegan activists refer to them as if they were Messiahs.

Personally, I have affected many people from afar. The power of internet is huge. I don’t have to go anywhere to achieve my goal. If I do, it will be only to satisfy my selfish need of a trip. And of the recognition abroad. But I don’t need those things.

What I understand is that the world does not change through a turn towards the consumer model. Actually, we should not consume! We should fight consumerism. It’s part of the “enemy”.

If we want to stop animal exploitation, we ought to leave the recipes and the colourful vegan dishes and to get out in the streets. To protest. To shout. To press against the system. To liberate animals. To go to slaughterhouses and block the death corridors. The French and the Belgians have already begun and their actions are very strong. This is what political activism means. Anything else is just the promotion of a personal way of life, which can inspire but it can’t be effective.

On 25/8 – World Day for the End of Speciesism –marches about animal rights and awareness actions will take place in many cities of the world. In many cities in Greece, information  of the people will take place.

But on 6/10 we will have a march here, too. So please, come and join us. Come, so we can finally see how many we are here. We need the doers, not the lazy, fake keyboard activists . We will be waiting for you. We need you. But above all, animals need you.

Elisabeth Dimitras

Translated by Ariadni Gergeraki