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Editorial by Harry Mather, Vegan Views 100 (Spring 2004)

This is issue no. 100 of Vegan Views so we thought we would take a glance backward over the years since we started in 1975.

So how has the world around us changed since those days of more than a quarter of a century ago? Signs of progress are hard to find. Meat still seems to be the mainstay of most people's diet. The burger 'culture' has increased, eggs are mainly from batteries and cheese is everywhere, so is fish in spite of disappearing stocks through over-fishing. Intensively farmed chickens are now imported from Thailand and Brazil.

Yet we can see that veganism has made progress. Many eating places include a vegetarian option, some even know what veganism means. Soya 'milks' are easily available, there are vegan 'cheeses' and vegan ices. Some food producers (mostly themselves vegan) are busily producing ready-made vegan foods. Several shops sell only vegan shoes We even have cameras that avoid gelatine by going on a computer.

But progress seems slow when we think of all the food scares that related to animal produce: the salmonella scare with eggs; the shock of Mad Cow Disease (BSE) and its transmission to humans; the horror of the foot and mouth disease with the mass burnings of sheep that shook the nation; the present threat of epidemics from respiratory diseases (SARS) and bird 'flu, send a momentary shudder down most people's spines. Then it disappears from the news bulletins, they forget, and continue shopping as before. Many (perhaps 50%) say they are reducing their consumption of meat (meat-reducers) and an increasing number are turning vegan, but few have even considered that drinking milk is unnatural for adults and that the milk of cows has a different composition from human milk. Would a cow willingly "give you her milk" and would you find it natural to go and suck a cow's udder? Do you teach your children how to hunt down animals or wring a chicken's neck? Then you should go vegan!

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Cross-reference: History