For its second event the Social Change Collective chose the topic of humankind’s relationship with non-human animals. Our goal was to challenge the way we conceive of our relationship with other animals and to explore the ethical, environmental and health issues caused by our consumption of animal products.
We were fortunate to hear from three speakers exploring this issue from a range of perspectives.
The evening began with a presentation from Stephen Manson of Safe (New Zealand’s leading animal advocacy group) examining the various common forms of animal agriculture in New Zealand and the animal welfare concerns each involves.
Dr Luke Wilson then gave a presentation detailing the extensive health benefits of a vegan lifestyle in which he argued that a vegan diet will be the next great advance in human medicine.
Finally, Hannah Lessels talked about the environmental impact of consuming animal products as well as why she decided to go vegan.
A C T I O N S
Join the New Zealand Animal Law Association (NZALA)
The New Zealand Animal Law Association are engaged in several ongoing projects promoting animal welfare in New Zealand (lawyers only).
From Danielle Duffield, President of the NZALA:
In terms of law reform projects, we are working on a report on the connection between domestic violence and animal cruelty, and law reform options available to address this connection. We are also doing research into egg labelling issues, following the allegations regarding Palace Poultry earlier this year. The Ministry for Primary Industries is also currently developing animal welfare regulations, and we have made submissions and attended consultation sessions with them in relation to the proposals. This is an ongoing process and we will be making further submissions, and attending further consultations, as the next set of regulations are proposed. Additionally, we hope to soon prepare a report examining factory farming and the law, and suggesting reform options.
Becoming a member is free and can be quickly done at: http://nzala.org/membership/
Educate yourself further
Recommendations from SCC and Dr Luke Wilson:
Movies: ‘Forks Over Knives’, ‘Eating You Alive’, and ‘What the Health’, 'Cowspiracy' (on Netflix)
Books: The Starch Solution (John McDougall), The China Study (T. Colin Campbell), Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease (Caldwell Esselstyn) and How Not to Die (Michael Greger).
Dr Greger’s website nutritionfacts.org is also brilliant.
Talk to your doctor about going vegan
From Dr Luke Wilson: Another awesome action that could be taken would be to inform your own doctor about [veganism].
Kaiser Permanente who are well-respected and the largest managed care organisation in the US and published this article back in 2013 that people could take to their doctors: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662288/ This would also be helpful for any who decide to change their diet themselves so their GP can understand why and appreciate how healthy it is.