Five Reasons for Animal Rights Activists to be Hopeful
It occurred to me that my post yesterday contained some pessimistic observations about the human race. Whenever this blog features despairing observations, I like to counter with a more hopeful follow-up. There are plenty of reasons why Animal Rights advocates should be hopeful.
Here are five!
1. In the Flushing section of New York's Queens borough, Public School 244 (pictured right) has gone vegan! All of its meals are now completely free of animal products. This occurred in response to Mayor Michael Bloomberg's noble attempts to make New York City a more health-conscious metropolis. And guess what? Apparently the switch has been a big hit with the kids! As one 9-year-old put it: "This is good. I'm enjoying that it didn't have a lot of salt in it." In addition to P.S. 244 going vegan, more than a thousand local schools - at Bloomberg's urging - have switched to whole grain breads and pastas and now have salad bars. (Source)
2. The number of vegans in the United States is on the rise! A study commissioned by the Vegetarian Resource Group in 2012 found that the number of Americans identifying themselves as vegans was 2.5%, a sharp increase from the 1% of self-identifying vegans in 2009. In other words, in that three-year period, the number of vegans in the United States more than doubled! As I've said on this blog many times before: Our numbers are growing all the time! (Source)
3. On May 1, Vietnam Airlines stopped shipping primates for research purposes. "Even though Vietnam Airlines has never been in breach of international regulations governing the transportation of live animals," a V.A. statement said, "we decided to stop transporting primates destined for experimental purposes from May 1, 2013. The relevant operation manual shall be deployed system wide by Vietnam Airlines to ensure this decision." (Source)
4. Here in Canada, every major grocery chain in the country has now pledged to stop buying pork from farms that use gestation crates. This is a huge breakthrough victory that shows how much clout animal rights activists have in this country. As Twyla Francois of Mercy for Animals Canada quite rightly stated: "We are pleased that retailers have finally listened to their ethically-minded customers and are taking action to end the abusive practice of confining pigs in tiny metal crates so small the animals cannot even turn around, walk or lie down comfortably for nearly their entire lives." Moreover, restaurant chains such as McDonalds and Tim Horton's have also pledged to no longer purchase from farms that use gestation crates. (Source)
5. More encouraging news from Canada: In April, the General Court of theEuropean Union, based in Luxembourg,upheld a three-year-old ban on seal products from Canada and Norway. This policy has inflicted tremendous damage on one of this country's most vicious rackets, our sorry equivalent of the Latin American cocaine trade. Despite the ban, this gruesome, vicious, bloodthirsty seal hunt continues. More than 70,000 seals were murdered in 2012, and that number jumped to 76,000 in this season. Dismayed by the E.U.'s decision, a representative from the Ottawa-based Seals and Sealing Network issued a statement: "It's bad news for the seal industry, but it's even worse news for other industries. If they're starting to ban products based on so-called moral issues, then who's next? Is it lobster because boil them? Beef? Pork?"