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Editorial by Harry Mather, Vegan Views 95 (Winter 2002/3)

Looking back on the events of this year, is not a cheering exercise. The news constantly reports acts of senseless violence against innocent individuals or mass indiscriminate killings by bombing. People wonder how such things could happen. They ask why some people can be so indifferent to human life and suffering. Yet, they do not query the constant mass slaughter of millions of sentient beings in the animal kingdom which is carried out in their name.

If animals were treated with respect, then it must follow that all humans should be treated with respect. Present thinking is the reverse of this. The superior status of humans is interpreted as allowing humans to exploit animals in any way they like. So humans who believe themselves superior to other humans, look down on other humans and consider the inferior ones as expendable as beasts. Until we consider animals as being worthy of respect, and not as being created to be exploited by humans but having an independent right to exist, then some people who have no problem in looking on other parts of humanity as 'the other' can think those are not entitled to be respected as individual beings. The violence inflicted on humans is a reflection of the violence inflicted on animals, although the latter is often carefully hidden from view.

Christmas should be a celebration of life and peace, of the return of lighter days and the renewal of life. It is a time of rejoicing and feasting and plant foods can provide us with and abundance of fruits, nuts, puddings, pies and cake, all of which can be vegan. There is no need to resort to kill for this feast millions of birds that have been bred to a ridiculously unnatural size, raised in factory style conditions in crowded and dirty conditions.

Keep death off your table this Christmas and make it a peaceful as well as a joyful occasion.

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Cross-reference: Violence