It’s no secret that animal activism is gaining serious momentum in Australia.
Aussies are leading the world in our appetite for vegan eating and living, and we’re also not afraid to speak out for animals who need our help.
On 11 March, thousands of people took part in the March to Close All Slaughterhouses – a series of events held simultaneously in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, and Sydney.
Taking to the streets with banners and signs, activists called attention to the plight of animals used for food and demanded that we stop breeding, farming, selling, killing, and eating them.
In addition to speaking out against the unnecessary practice of killing animals in abattoirs, the activists also drew attention to other methods of killing, such as fishing and hunting, and challenged people to empathise with animals and avoid contributing to their suffering by going vegan.
Beginning in Toronto in 2012, the march has been held annually in cities around the world. Four years ago, it first came to Melbourne. Organiser Patty Mark said that seeing the 2017 turnout was proof that “[t]hings are starting to change”.
The inaugural Melbourne event was attended by 30 people, but this year’s crowd was 600 strong, featuring well-known speakers like James Aspey, Jo-Anne McArthur, and Chris Delforce and making headlines in popular newspapers such as The Age.
Chickens, fish, cows, ducks, and pigs feel pain and fear just as intensely as the animals who share our homes with us, yet they’re abused in ways that would be illegal if dogs and cats were the victims. We don’t need to contribute to this suffering – it’s easy to avoid by going vegan.
Going vegan can also benefit 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.
In addition, vegan eating is 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”.