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Onward, Friends, for All of Us: Reflections on World Vegan Day

Is your glass half empty or half full? As worldwide consumption of animals increases and climate chaos accelerates, have you given up, or are you standing tall, determined to do your part in this unprecedented time?

Today is World Vegan Day, friends. This is when folks like us take stock, reflecting on victories and challenges, the temperature of our movement to abolish animal farming, the initiatives that can deepen our impact even as we face overwhelming odds. For me, it’s a time for deep personal reflection: What more will I do to ease the suffering of others?

For the glass half full folks, the good news is everywhere you turn:

The sanctuary movement has exploded, with hundreds of farm sanctuaries dotted around the world. Not only does this growth spare more animals; it also allows more of us to connect with the animals we typically only see on our plates. That disarming connection opens hearts and minds…and in many cases changes behavior. We know this from three years of post-tour surveys indicating that more than 9 out of 10 non-vegan visitors intends to “reduce or eliminate” their consumption of animal products.

Organizations like Compassion Over Killing continue their courageous undercover work, highlighting abuses at factory farms and slaughterhouses around the country to dispel the entrenched belief that “there are laws preventing cruelty, right?” 

Films like Game Changers are flattening the pervasive mainstream notion that we’ll die without animal protein. 

We can’t keep up with the good news in the food space: Eat Love, American’s first 100% vegan “fried chicken” shop, is opening in California. Denny’s is launching the Beyond Burger. (Say what???) Pizza Giant Papa John’s is hiring a “Chief Vegan Officer” to expand its plant-based offerings, and the vegan Awesome Burger debuts in selected Costcos. More importantly, industrial meat production giants like Tyson and Cargill see the writing on the wall, and are investing in vegan companies like Beyond Meat and Memphis Meat. See the trend, everyone?

There’s so much more good news that both Forbes and The Economist dubbed 2019 the Year of the Vegan due to the explosion in everything from media coverage to the growth of vegan products and restaurants to massive investment being made in lab-grown meat by people like…um…Bill Gates.

And yet if we’re to be our best selves in service to the animals, we’ve got to look through the “glass half empty” lens as well:

Deforestation due to animal agriculture is accelerating—according to a recent report, we’re losing forest the size of the United Kingdom annually. 

Science is predicting that by 2050 due to factory fishing, there will be no more edible fish in the ocean.

At factory farms around the world, the horrors inflicted on billions of precious individuals crying for their lives continues…relentlessly. Some of the farms making headlines include East Fork Farms and Fair Oaks Farms, both in Indiana, Cooke Aquaculture Facility in Maine, and BIA farms in Canada, but even the “best” ones are chambers of horror for those begging us, you and I, for mercy.

Yes, indeed, it is an interesting time to be alive. How this mess ends up is anything but certain, but today, on World Vegan Day, we invite you to appreciate your profound capacity for compassion, and to link arms with Catskill and like-minded organizations to usher in the day when all beings can know what we, the lucky ones, take for granted. If the research about tipping points is right, we just might get there. 

Onward, friends…for all of us.



Herd Around The Barn


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2 replies on “Onward, Friends, for All of Us: Reflections on World Vegan Day”

  1. I am your neighbor, and want to contribute (Once!) to your program, but having visited your website, it’s not at all clear how to do that. Please send me more information.

    1. Hey neighbor! That’s so kind of you. There are a number of ways you can contribute to our organization! You can head right to our donate page, you can find us on Venmo or PayPal, or you can send us a check in the mail! No matter how you choose to give, we’re so grateful to you for helping us care for our hundreds of farmed animals. Love Spoken Here!

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