We can’t deny our understanding of the feelings that each animal has. The ability to suffer pain or loneliness. And to fear. Like us also, each animal has the ability to express contentment, to build family structures, and want of satisfying basic instincts and desires. The disconnect that exists between consuming a product and the reality it takes to bring that product to market is a phenomenon to itself.
And we pay people to do things to animals that none of us would engage in personally. Just because we don’t see it up close does not mean we’re not responsible. Around the world this year 65 billion animals will be killed in factory farms. How many animals’ lives is one human’s life worth? A meat eater in this room will consume, on average, 8,000 animals in their lifetime. Ocean pollution, global warming and deforestation are driving us towards the next great mass extinction and the meat industry is the greatest negative factor in all of these phenomena.
Whether we’re talking about factory farming, live export, poaching, the fur trade, logically, it’s all on the same playing field to me. Suffering is suffering, and murder is murder. And the more helpless the victim, the more horrific the crime. So in a few days, my son’s gonna be born. I find myself wondering, “What kind of world is he entering?” Are we gonna be the generation that defines our failure as a species? I believe our generation will be judged by our moral courage to protect what’s right.
And that every worthwhile action requires a level of sacrifice. Well, I now offer myself, without reservation, to animals. And when I strip away all the material belongings around me, I see that I too, am an animal. We’re family. Together on one planet.
And of the five million species on that planet, only one has the power to determine what level of suffering is acceptable for all other sentient beings to endure.
So now back to the beginning. My reason for being here is my question for you: next time you have an opportunity to make a difference for animals, will you be brave enough? Yes or no? Thank you very much.