On Saturday, shoppers in five major Australian cities were recently confronted with activists posing as “human meat”, reminding them that all animals – including humans – are made of flesh, blood, and bone.
Part of a series of demonstrations being held around the world, the Australian human meat events took place simultaneously in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, and Perth.
Lying on large trays, covered with “blood” and clear plastic, activists mimicked typical meat packages found in supermarkets that contain the flesh of animals.
The activists challenged people to think about what meat really is and encouraged kind consumers to try going vegan.
Handing out fliers, talking to people affected by the sight of “human meat”, and playing videos from Australian farms and abattoirs, they reminded everyone that all meat comes from somebody.
Animals have the same senses and range of emotions that humans do. And for some people, it’s easy to forget that eating meat means eating the corpse of an abused animal who did not want to die.
Seeing human bodies in neat plastic-wrapped supermarket packages brings this point home, and the thought of chewing and swallowing the skin and muscle surely ruined some shoppers’ appetites for flesh. Advice and support for those interested in making the switch to delicious and cruelty-free vegan meals was available at each event.
Chickens, fish, cows, and pigs feel pain and fear just as intensely as the animals who share our homes with us do, yet they are abused in ways that would be illegal if dogs and cats were the victims.
Going vegan can also positively impact our health. Meat and dairy foods have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer. Last year, the World Health Organisation added processed meats to its list of known carcinogens and also noted that red meat – including beef, pork, veal, and lamb – is likely carcinogenic.
Vegan eating is also an essential part of combating climate change and other environmental concerns. According to the United Nations, animal agriculture is one of the leading contributors to “the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global”.