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Editorial by Harry Mather, Vegan Views 96 (Spring 2003)

Spring arrives slowly, first crocuses and daffodils bring colour back into our lives, but it takes a long while before we can experience real warmth and abundant growth of flowers and fruits.

Vegans are impatient for change and would like the whole world to embrace their lifestyle immediately. Yet, historically, even great revolutions have only brought change gradually, though change has certainly established itself in the long term. Movements for democratic participation in government went through revolutions and repressions before they established themselves. Women's rights to own property, have a vote and claim equality made slow progress through the 20th century before being accepted.

Banning hunting is also proving a long struggle. Parliamentary action resulted in loud opposition from vested interests, but still progress continues towards a ban and the general opposition to hunting will not decline. Bull and bear baiting and cock fighting were once popular sports but are now banned. The idea that society should impose rules on the treatment of animals by their owners was at first ridiculed and the Society for the Protection of Animals had a hard struggle at first, but is now accepted as a civilising influence.

Caring people may feel themselves marginalised by what seems to be the uncaring masses who are only concerned with their personal pleasures and advancement. Yet suddenly, we see unprecedented masses worldwide marching against the threat of war in a distant country. A significant number of people are concerned about important matters and are prepared to act about them.

We have to show them that, as Kathleen Jannaway believed, veganism plays a vital part in establishing peace and justice in the world.

Related Vegan Views articles...
Cross-reference: Violence
Cross-reference: Hunting and Shooting