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Freedom’s New Frontier: A Guide to Animal Rights

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Even to those of us who are deeply involved with animal rights and vegan education, a brief look at the math veritably boggles the mind.

Every year around the world, for no purpose other than providing food alone (food which is not only inappropriate for human physiology, but actually contributes significantly to many of the most significant global health crises), approximately 56 billion nonhuman animals are intentionally bred, raised, and killed.

This entirely unnatural population of living beings not only causes our planet to strain under the weight of so many individuals, each requiring food, water and land that could otherwise be used much more efficiently, but also produces so much pollution and waste that the planet simply cannot recycle it fast enough.

The number of 56 billion does not even include those animals who live in water*, or those who are killed for other reasons, such as for clothing, experimentation or “sport”. In the US alone, we kill 10 billion land animals for food every year; far more than the entire current human population.

At this rate of killing, the number of deaths is greater in five days than the deaths we’ve inflicted on humans in all wars and all genocides in recorded human history (approximately 619 million). Even if every non-vegan cut their current animal product consumption by 90%, it would take us only about 41 days to kill as many sentient nonhumans as we’ve killed humans in recorded history.

* It is hard to find accurate figures with regard to the number of fishes and other aquatic animals who are killed by humans every year. However, a conservative estimate would likely be around 100 billion, making the total number of animals killed for food at least three times as much (156 billion annually).

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159 comments

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2:12AM PST on Feb 25, 2013

thank you

2:09AM PST on Feb 25, 2013

thank you

10:52PM PDT on Sep 2, 2012

C. Ruth, this is sort of an "old" discussion, but you're absolutely right on. Care.2 USED to be a place to get a bit "off beat" news or the stories that simply didn't make the nightly TV or front page, and allowed us as people to share our opinions on the issue. Lately, it's become a place to VENT hatred and hurl insults at anyone who thinks differently or has another opinion or belief. The name-calling and judgemental nonsense is astounding. I've read posts demanding DEATH to others for disagreeing on a subject!

10:42PM PDT on Sep 2, 2012

Wow, the folks here have completely stopped communicating and just gone to hate ..I am not a vegan, nor am I a person who would let an individual harm an animal for the sake of the pleasure it brings. I do not stop hunters who hunt for food. I do for those who hunt for pleasure and pelts. I am against removal of predatory animals from the land, and for the limited use of the wild lands we have left. I do not believe folks moving to the wilds, and then complaining the wild animals are eating their pet "Persy" have a reason to complain, Nor do I believe the that we should be encroaching on the few lands where the predictors still live and allowing humans to decide how many breeding animals of a species should be allowed to exist. Wolves should be in nearly all 49 states (sans Hawaii ) and we should ban hunting with planes or any other mechanical method to arrive at a hunting area. IT should not be a way for earning a living by taking a rich man to hunt from the comfort of a plane Helicopter or even a 4 wheeler. I think if you NEED to hunt, then you NEED to walk in to the area you want to hunt. That alone would prevent hunters from entering the deeper areas and allowing natural selection to occur and the animals to be able to replenish themselves. Humans should not decide on what animals can live or die in an area. They have placed so many on the extinct list and now are attempting to add wolves yet again because they are competing for game animals? We should not hunt game an

9:56AM PDT on Jun 24, 2012

Grazie delle notizie.

9:55AM PDT on Jun 24, 2012

Grazie delle notizie.

9:10AM PDT on Apr 20, 2012

interesting article thanks for sharing :)

5:06PM PDT on Apr 5, 2012

Thanks, Caroline! I couldn’t agree more.

Eddie, if you want to wallow in your “dark place”, go ahead, but please don’t pull everyone down with you. For some reason you choose a ‘negative persona’, but others who are genuinely depressed could read your perpetual doom-and-gloom and decide they cannot cope with the misery of this world any longer.

I’m not saying you or anyone should turn a blind eye to the bad things that are happening in this world, but I know firsthand how overwhelming it is. And when we are overwhelmed, we become paralysed, depressed and lose all hope. That isn’t healthy, and it isn’t going to save the animals or the planet.

We simply need to change what we can change, and accept what we cannot. We can look at our own lives and consumption and make positive changes there - as you have done - and feel good about that. We can lead others by example and encouragement, not hand-wringing and blame. We can add our support to organizations who are working on the big problems that individually we can do little about. And we need to stop the “them and us” attitude; of assuming ‘if they ain’t fer us, they’re agin us’. We’re all US: this is OUR planet, and these are issues that WE can and should be able to discuss in a friendly, positive manner.

2:36PM PDT on Apr 5, 2012

There are a lot of angry, jaded and negative people on this thread. I am almost afraid to comment. I will say, however, that negativity and a jaded philosophy will help neither humans nor animals. Try being postive and helpful. And btw, I am an animal welfare advocate and vegan but my family and freinds are not. TRY TO COEXIST.

9:12AM PDT on Apr 5, 2012

Lets pretend that your neck is on the chopping bock, and a million and a half of your brothers and sisters are in line with you to have your life taken from you today. Are you going to focus on how wonderful the people are that are going to take your life today?
Is all of the pollution that is killing everything in the ocean going to magically disappear because people care about 1 kind of animal. The one that they own. All the rest are quite well to die or to suffer all their lives. Is being happy and patting ourselves on the back about what wonderful creatures we are going to stop the devastation that we are doing to the earth, and the horrific train wreck that is coming in the very near future for all of humanity because of our unfathomable irresponsible wreckless behavior?
Did Ghandi bring about change because he said "Yes" I am going to go with the flow? No he didnt, he stood up to the madness and said "NO, this is not how it is going to be." He educated his people and showed them a better way.

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