Celeste of Honk If You’re Vegan yesterday posted a wonderful idea of using ‘Popcorn Activism’ as a tool to help people become educated on veganism and on the issues surrounding a non vegan lifestyle. It is a gentle form of activism, and Celeste always has in mind the best ways to promote the ’cause’ without isolating those that she wishes to reach.
I admire Celeste’s creativity and enthusiasm for coming up with such a fun term and such a fun practice to spread the word!
There is a stereotype that all vegans are judgmental, narrow minded ‘hippies’ who care less about humans than animals. Of course, vegans with some or all of those credentials exist, but so do non vegans! Quite simply, the majority of us are people who simply want a better world for all who co-exist here.
For me, I share my life with a recently turned ‘meat reducer’ who still every now and again walks into town to get a bacon sandwich fix. That’s his choice. I do of course encourage him to have something else but I don’t slam the door and refuse to talk to him when he tells me nothing else will do! I acknowledge and deeply respect the fact that a man who would otherwise have no intention of reducing or giving up meat is making a big commitment to get on this journey. He is not doing this ‘just for me’, otherwise he would have done that 6 or more years ago, but because over the years he has become more and more educated, seen more and more realities of what meat means for animals and has become much more in touch with our Earth and those that live on it.
Based on this, I see huge importance in sharing Celeste’s idea. Education is not pushy and doesn’t (mostly) cause a disconnect with the majority of humans who live a non-vegan lifestyle. Facts are facts and they simply cannot be argued with, many people see that when they learn from a good, factual vegan resource that is not ‘over-extreme’.
It is a no brainer that in order to gain widespread change, we need to work with those able to make it happen, so sharing a film is a great way to do that. let’s get the corn popping!
So why this whole ‘vegan thing’ anyway?
I could answer that question in a million and one words, but instead, I’ll simply tell you about my four chickens, Isis, Pepper, Lavender and Silkie.
Some of you may remember my chicken Lynxy who disappeared earlier this year. Sadly, a few weeks after her vanishing, her two sisters were taken in the night by, I presume, a fox. It was an awful learning experience for us. We realised (too late) that there was a clump of straw blocking the door groove which had left about half an inch space between the door and the wall of the coop. The door (a horizontal sliding door) had been pushed open. We spent a lot of time blaming ourselves, riddled with guilt that will always linger. But, it was a mistake, that could easily happen and we had to try to use the sad experience as a learning experience to ensure we never let something so simple pass us again.
I started to look around for chickens that needed homes. I came across an advert for ‘Silkie and Lavender Orpington chicks for sale, need to go, no longer breeding’. That meant one thing to me, they had a time limit and if they didn’t go in time….
I took four chicks, there were quite a few left but I knew I did not have the facilities for more at that time and it would have been bad practice for me to have taken them all in that knowledge. They were in a nice enclosure and the people seemed friendly, good people but they were unable to continue their business. They were very thorough in their measures to protect their flock from predators and they said they only ate the eggs and never killed them for meat so I felt more reassured that they wouldn’t just kill them all in cold blood. I didn’t tell them I was a vegan so I don’t think they were saying this for my benefit. Anyway, I spread the word about these chicks as much as I could and I know a few people who took some.
So whilst the new chicks stayed inside to grow up into little chickens. We set to work making the coop extra safe. Now, there are three sturdy, locked doors a fox would have to get through and a base so that he can’t dig under. So far so good.
Often when people find out I’m a vegan and have chickens, they ask why I have chickens when I don’t even eat their eggs. What’s the point? Well it’s simple, I love them and I think they love me too.
When you have chickens for reasons other than them serving you a purpose, you can connect with them in a whole different way. They don’t owe me anything, they’re just my friends.
When you have gorgeous waddling birds who come running to you when you whistle, who sit on your knee and eat from your hand, who sneaks up on you in the kitchen whilst your cooking or who comes hilariously running through the house at full speed when your sitting watching TV; the idea of them being eaten is just inconceivable.
When you hear your little boy chickens try and crow for the first time and hear how their crowing efforts develops over time from a mere screech into a full on, proud morning song. You just love them.
Chickens apart from other main meat animals are often justified for being eaten because they are ‘just birds’, ‘stupid’, ‘don’t have feelings’ and have we all come across the ‘I only eat things with 2 legs’ ‘chickentarians’? This is so far from the truth. Chickens are social animals, no less sentient than a dog. Intelligence has nothing to do with feeling. Besides they’re not stupid nor boring. They know where home is and they have relationships and social systems (pecking order anyone?). They are so funny to watch, as they work out how to get to a juicy berry high up on a bush, they chase the cats around the garden, they jump up and down on things and make it look like so much fun.