There are many arenas for vegans to prevent suffering and needless death (more about that in later posts at thisishopethebook dot com). This was the case when a three-person delegation returned to the International Whaling Commission conference last year in Panama. At every meeting over several days we stated our names and our organization, Green Vegans. Whenever we spoke, whenever we introduced ourselves to commission members from other countries, to other organizations, and U.S. officials at meetings, when others saw the placards at our tables, and on every document we distributed, we were there audibly and visibly repeated as “Green Vegans, Green Vegans, Green Vegans.”
A relatively small vanguard of professional environmentalists is trying to stem the loss of biodiversity, loss of habitat, and in some cases stop wanton cruelty (whaling and sealing, for example). Cruelty and killing is the active ingredient in environmental destruction. In the same way, at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), our opponents are global economic systems and worldview beliefs that do not know the value of a life and are not willing to state what it actually takes in terms of changes in our human ecology to really protect ecosystems—something we are already familiar with in animal agriculture.
What is our lesson in this? We cannot afford simply to “be vegan” and then rest. The same reasons for our becoming vegans and vegetarians also compel us to become knowledgeable environmentalists, advocates for reduced human populations, and supporters of social and economic justice. Increasing human populations increase the suffering of both domesticated and wild individuals from other species and damage their ecosystems. The decline of ecosystems and unfolding extinctions cause excruciating physical and psychological pain, misery, and bewildering homelessness for countless species during the process. These are calls for vegans to act.
We must act on the reason that these issues are about grievous harm to individuals of other species and people, our health, and sustainability. As deep vegans, we must expand into other causes. Instead of a slow introduction into front-line environmentalism, and to those of you who already are there, I’m asking you to jump into the deeper end of the pool for a moment.
Here are two links related to a past CITES meeting. From a guest blog by Dr. Margi Prideaux on the Shiftingvalues website is a description of the difficulties wildlife advocates are facing there. Without our vegan human ecology message at CITES and other environmental forums, they will not succeed in saving biodiversity and abundance. They will not be able to stop the harm we care so deeply about as vegans.
http://www.shiftingvalues.com/cites-conference-risks-driving-a-split-in-international-efforts-on-the-conservation-of-elephants-manatees-and-polar-bears. More on that conference here, http://www.cites.org/
This isn’t more work for us as much as they are opportunities to be more effective. In doing this we improve and complete the characteristics, culture, power, and blessings of veganism.