President Donald Trump: Bad for Animal Rights, Animal Welfare, Animal Activists, Vegans, the Biosphere

Donald Trump, his two oldest sons, and many of his top political advisors are blatant enemies of innocent animals.

Let’s examine what a Trump presidency will do to animals and the biosphere…

To see a perfect symbol of Trump’s attitudes towards animals and ecology, look at Trump’s sons Eric and Donald, Jr.

They’re notorious for staged trophy hunts during which they’ve killed an elephant, leopard, buffalo, alligator, waterbuck and other animals in Africa.

Montana media outlets report that businessman Greg Gianforte, the Republican politician who assaulted a journalist and won a House seat anyway, took Donald Trump Jr. on a Montana hunting expedition to shoot Black-tailed prairie dogs.

March through June is peak breeding season for prairie dogs, and Trump Jr. will be shot pregnant females along with males.

When Donald Trump has been asked about his sons’ proclivity for killing innocent animals, he said he was hugely proud of them for doing it.

When Ringling Brothers circuses bowed to pressure from animal welfare lobbyists and ended its elephant entertainment acts, Trump tweeted that he was disappointed.

Trump is a developer.

Developers bulldoze and pave open spaces, springs, rivers, creeks, meadows, wetlands, forests and the animals who call them home, replacing them with asphalt and concrete.

Trump is also a golf course developer, which means his employees demolish native ecosystems, geologic features, and native species, replacing them with non-native grasses and artificial terrascaping and landscaping.

His golf courses are maintained through massive water waste, and require hundreds of tons of herbicides and pesticides per year.

Trump’s inner circle includes mega-millionaires who make money abusing, exploiting, and killing animals.

One of these people is Forrest Lucas, a billionaire whose organization Protect the Harvest works to block and repeal any laws or regulations that limit cruelty in the meat, dairy, pet, and poultry industries.

Lucas also fights against regulations that protect animals in the so-called animal entertainment industries such as circuses, SeaWorld, and zoos.

He even opposes anti-cruelty laws that seek to protect pet animals like dogs and cats.

Also in Trump’s inner circle influencing the new administration’s USDA policies is Brian Klippenstein, executive direct of Protect the Harvest.

Trump is in bed with the gun industry, people who profit from GMOs and chemical-laden industrial agriculture, and people who oppose food quality and organic farming.

Forrest Lucas is only one of several members of Trump’s inner circle who enjoys harming animals and is an advocate of animal cruelty.

Trump is also influenced by Republican Iowa Governor Terry Branstad– the first governor to attack the First Amendment right to free speech by signing a law stipulating prison sentences for people who expose cruelty and criminal behavior in the animal food exploitation industry.

Trump wants Branstad to be his ambassador to China, a country known for brutal treatment of animals and humans.

Branstad’s pro-Big Ag laws are called “ag-gag” laws.

The laws criminalize people who try to expose how factory farming operations harm animals and their human employees.

Trump advisor Republican Ann Sweeney sponsored the Iowa ag-gag legislation.

Another Trump advisor, former Nebraska governor Dave Heineman, vetoed legislation to end sport hunting of mountain lions.

He’s a staunch defender of animal cruelty practices such as cages that cause electric shocks and “gestation crates” that imprison pigs in spaces so tiny that the animals can’t move at all… for their entire life!

Former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Trump’s anti-environment choice to head the EPA, has long advocated animal cruelty and worked against factory farm regulations.

When the Humane Society of the United States fought an Oklahoma ballot measure that would give “farmers” the right to do whatever they want to animals, Pruitt tried to destroy the organization.

The Humane Society sued Pruitt for harassment and defamation. Pruitt finally backed off.

Pruitt is a hero to the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association.

He doesn’t believe in anthropogenic global warming, and he seems intent on dismantling the EPA.

Trump’s failed choice for Labor Secretary was Andy Puzder, CEO of the parent corporation that owns Hardee’sand Carl’s Jr. junk food chains.

He’s famous for creating advertising campaigns showing women in bikinis eating dead cows!

Donald Trump’s highly-publicized chauvinistic views on women are signs of the human impulse to dominate, exploit, harm, and even kill weaker beings, including other humans.

Recall that during the presidential campaign, Trump explicitly stated torture would be an integral part of U.S. military policy.

Consider the fact that vice president Mike Pence looks at women the same way factory farmers look at female cows and pigs.

Pence’s extreme anti-abortion policies would force women to gestate against their will, even in cases of rape, incest, and severe fetal abnormality.

Trump’s now-famous confession that he’s a serial sexual predator goes along with predatory capitalism and other dominator memes that people use to justify harming “weaker” humans and animals.

Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, is a lifelong Exxon Mobil executive.

Credible reporting indicates that Exxon knew 30 years ago that fossil fuels when used as directed cause climate change.

Instead of warning the public, Exxon created front organizations that use propaganda against global warming science and scientists.

In Trump’s first months in office, he’s deactivated regulations that protect air, land, water, parks, ecosystems, and human health.

Trump openly says he doesn’t “believe in” climate change.

He’s already removed mining regulations governing the foulest of fossil fuels: coal.

He yanked the USA out of international agreements that fight pollution and global warming.

He wants to sell millions of acres of federal wilderness and other protected lands to developers, miners, loggers, and fossil fuel extractors.

As a sign of how brutal Trump’s police are for animals, he instructed the  U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to remove public access to thousands of reports on Animal Welfare Act compliance for animals kept by research labs, companies, zoos, circuses, and animal transporters.

The same blocking of public access was extended to reports mandated by the Horse Protection Act.

In an act of Orwellian irony, the USDA said it’s blocking access to formerly public reports “based on our commitment to being transparent.”

It’s obvious that Donald Trump will accelerate the cruelty and death inherent to the way humans treat animals.

Those of us who care about innocent sentient beings have a duty to be a voice for the voiceless, to oppose Trump if not have him impeached or forced to resign.

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Be Fair, Be Vegan: A Powerful Campaign Tells the Truth

People who adjust their dietary choices for ethical reasons are most often vegetarians or vegans.

But as I’ve pointed out in previous articles, vegetarianism supports animal cruelty and oppression.

Vegetarians want to consume dairy, and some consume eggs.

So they aren’t happy when I explain that dairy products come from mechanical rape of a female cow, the cow’s baby being stolen from it, and the cow’s breasts (udders) being roughly handled to steal the animal’s milk for use by humans.

I ask vegetarians how they’d feel if cows or humans corralled human females and did to them what’s done to cows so that human milk was used as a commercial food.

I ask them how they’d feel if other animals harvested and ate human eggs.

The stark fact is humans are brainwashed from the day we’re born into believing that we’re the only species that really matters, so we have the right to do whatever we want to all other species and the earth itself.

Vegan animal rights activists are part of the very small fraction of humans who do authentic personal and public work against the human dominance and abuse of other species and the planet.

By refusing to consume any products derived from animal harm, we do what we can on an individual level to reduce the harm we cause to other beings.

It’s so very hard to get non-vegan people to see other animals as “persons” who have feelings, memories, social groups, language, intellect, and rights.

The concept of being fair to other animals challenges people’s way of life and their core beliefs.

That’s why I’m glad whenever I see a marketing-savvy, media-savvy approach to educating people about animal rights, animal sentience, and veganism.

Effective, creative, and compelling pro-vegan media activists created a campaign called Be Fair Be Vegan.

Using the most modern public media such as electronic and static billboards in New York’s Times Square, Be Fair Be Vegan points out that animals are people too.

Be Fair Be Vegan media work uses photos of animals, and rhetorical questions, that dismantle people’s defense mechanisms and allow them to see how badly our species treats other animals.

When people see Be Fair Be Vegan materials, their core paradigms are immediately challenged as they’re confronted with the scientific fact that humans and other animals share significantly uniform psychological, social, genetic, and biological characteristics.

Most humans believe that only humans and their pets have feelings, family, intrinsic value, and rights.

Most people believe that animals used for food, vivisection, and entertainment are “living machines” that can be harmed and used without any concern about inherent cruelty and brutality.

Be Fair Be Vegan directly confronts these core delusions by showing that animals have personalities and want to live without being persecuted, oppressed, and murdered.

Their campaign and website explicitly call out the lack of logic, empathy, scientific factualness, ethics, and intellectual consistency that allows people to believe myths such as “humane farming.”

The campaign explains that when you enslave other living beings, it doesn’t matter much if they’re enslaved with less abuse than in some other enslavement venue– such as free range versus caged.

Slavery is slavery.

As a deep ecologist and environmentalist, I appreciate how Be Fair Be Vegan ties non-vegan lifestyles to the destruction of the biosphere.

At present, human population and consumption growth is on track to extinct the entire biosphere.

We’ve become a mass extinction event. Nature itself is being slaughtered. The following video shows the reality of what we do…

The Be Fair Be Vegan website points out that the average non-vegan is responsible for the consumption of 356 animal lives, 401,500 gallons of water, 10,950 square feet of rain forest, 14,600 pounds of grain every year.

And the generation of 7,300 pounds of Co2 every year.

The industrial agriculture grid that supports our unsustainable population numbers is one of the main drivers of climate change, habitat loss, and animal abuse.

Be Fair Be Vegan is probably the most honest and savvy vegan marketing I’ve seen.

Unlike PETA, which often uses questionably salacious and needlessly controversial counterproductive media tactics, Be Fair Be Vegan is precise, solid, and appeals to ethics and the heart.

I highly recommend that all Vegan Samurai provide donations and other assistance to Be Fair Be Vegan.

They’ve gained the support of famous people like actor Joaquin Phoenix, and they deserve everyone’s support.

The Protein and B Vitamins Lies They Tell About Veganism

I used to listen to a bi-monthly health and nutrition public radio program on radio station WMNF.

On the program, a licensed nutritional counselor named Eve Prang Plews accurately warns about bad health effects of pollution, pesticides, herbicides, junk foods, fast foods, GMOs, and unhealthy lifestyles.

I didn’t become vegan until 2015 because I believed Plews when she said vegans were the most unhealthy people she sees in her health counseling practice.

Plews never misses an opportunity to slag veganism by claiming a vegan diet doesn’t provide enough protein, minerals, and B vitamins.

In 2015, after researched proved that her anti-vegan ideas were incorrect, I realized that for the sake of morality and health I had to give up all animal food products.

And now that I’ve gone vegan, I’ve discovered that the fears Plews planted in me about B vitamins, other nutrients, and protein were all unfounded, as long as I understood the simple and easy to follow concepts of whole-food organic vegan eating.

Listening to Plews, who also has a thriving in-person practice in Sarasota, Florida, you’d say she seems well-meaning, caring, and knowledgeable about many health topics.

But her unfounded prejudice against vegans and veganism is a serious problem for her and her listeners.

On that topic,  she’s just another lemming in the vast herd of deluded animal-harming humans culturally programmed to believe in two very damaging paradigms: speciesism, and carnism.

Speciesism tells us we have the right to do whatever we want to the earth and innocent animals, including exploit animals for food.

It’s the selfish belief that our species is ultimately the only one that has rights.

We use speciesism to justify killing and otherwise enslaving other animal species– not for “survival,” but for fun, gluttony, pride and ego, and for blood lust.

The second paradigm almost all humans are brainwashed into believing is called “carnism.”

Carnism is the idea that humans eating other animals is a good thing to do and has no moral violation attached to it.

Carnism fosters the worldwide animal enslavement and slaughter industry, creating immense suffering for billions of innocent, sentient animals.

On the radio show, I heard Plews constantly extolling the virtues of eating animals, while downplaying the blatant harms that accrue to humans and “food animals” because of our non-vegan dietary choices.

Plews has recipes for meat and other animal products on her website.

Before I went vegan, when I was eating the kind of diet Plews recommends, I noticed that whenever I ate even small amounts of meat, poultry, dairy, fish, and eggs, I felt sick, sluggish, fat, and had digestive problems.

I wondered why even though I did hardcore exercise nearly every day of the week, I was at least 50 pounds overweight.

I wondered why the World Health Organization warns that eating meat and processed meat is as harmful as smoking cigarettes.

I wondered what I could do about my guilty conscience, which bothered me every time I consumed animal food products.

I have to tell you.. if you don’t have a guilty conscience about eating other animals, I wonder if you have a conscience at all.

I’m a deep ecologist animal lover who’s seen undercover videos showing animals enslaved, tortured, butchered alive, and otherwise abused to provide the animal food products that Plews and other carnism advocates claim are healthy to eat.

Eggs, dairy, fish, beef, pork, lamb, etc.– whatever euphemism you use, and no matter if you tell yourself it’s from a “free-range, humane farm,” it’s all produced by exploiting and harming sentient animals.

So I went vegan in December, 2015.

The first effect was my conscience is now clear. I can look animals in the eyes and assure them my dietary choices aren’t causing harm to their kin.

The ongoing effects are I’ve lost 50 pounds, my skin has cleared up, my mental clarity has improved, my athletic performance has reset to what it was when I was 25 years younger, and my food bill has dropped.

I now can run 7-8 miles per day. I swim 2 miles per day in the open ocean.

On some days, I also bicycle 20 miles.

I’m in my late 50s, feeling like I’m in my 20s.

Going vegan turned the clock back!

Do I have B vitamins deficiencies, calcium, iron, or protein deficiencies as the Plews predicted?

Hell no!

I recently had a doctor test me six months after I stopped eating all meat, fish, and dairy, and I don’t have any deficiencies.

My lean muscle mass and exercise performance have increased now that I’m on a plant-based diet!

The doctor says I’m in the top .5 percentile when he examined health indicators such as LDL cholesterol, and that I’m healthier than most people 30 years younger than me.

I eat organic, plant-based foods rich in protein and/or B vitamins, such as beans, rice, chlorella, hempseeds, fermented foods, leafy-green veggies, legumes, and raw cacao beans.

I avoid all processed foods, including plant oils and tofu.

I’m leaner, stronger, and happier than I’ve been in years.

If you have any worries that being vegan will deprive you of protein, B vitamins, Omega-3s, or other crucial nutrition, consult an intelligent naturopathic or holistic physician, and you’ll find out veganism is by far healthier than carnism or even vegetarianism.

In rare cases, your particular metabolism, genetics, lifestyle, health issues or body type may predispose you to deficiencies in protein, B vitamins, Omega 3s problems.

These problems happen in some people regardless of their dietary choices.

Your physician can tell you about vegan supplements that erase any deficiencies.

Loving Guilty Pleasures Leads to Lies About Veganism

There’s a hidden psychological reason that Eve Prang Plews preaches against veganism.

The problem is, people such as Eve Prang Plews dearly love eating animal foods.

It’s one of their most cherished pleasures and they don’t care enough about the harms their food pleasures create for the animals they eat.

They don’t want to feel bad about their dietary choices. So they look for “evidence” to justify their dietary choices that harm innocent animals.

And then they spread bogus information that discourages people from becoming or staying vegan.

Plews has been brainwashed by the multi-billion dollar animal exploitation industries that dominate nutritional training paradigms in academia and at the USDA.

She mouths anti-vegan propaganda put out by craven, profit-driven corporations that sell flesh foods, eggs, fish, and dairy.

She doesn’t understand nutrition as well as she claims she does.

Many people on all kinds of diets make mistakes in the ratios and sources of protein, carbs, and fats they intake, and in the amount of calories they take in.

Instead of telling people to quit veganism like Plews does, if she was a truly intelligent and creative health counselor, she’d advise them how to adjust their vegan diet to make it work better.

The simple fact is whole food vegans have far lower rates of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and other disorders than do meat-eaters and vegetarians.

Take a look at the videos in this article from the fitness expert who calls himself “Vegan Gains.”

He doesn’t look weakened by veganism, does he?

Plews should educate herself, by watching videos like this one:

What’s really sad is that when esteemed vegan scientists contacted WMNF and proposed an on-air debate between Plews and a scientist who knows that veganism is the healthiest dietary choice, the station’s programming director Rob Lorei REFUSED to air the debate!

On his own radio show, Lorei is always going on and on about justice, fairness, free speech, open exchange of ideas.

But when it comes to Plews and her lies about vegans, he won’t allow anyone to say anything to challenge her on his radio station.

That’s why I stopped listening to WMNF, and stopped donating to it.

The really ironic thing is, WMNF portrays itself as a “progressive” radio station.

It even has a fantastic, unique, world-class weekly show for animal lovers, called Talking Animals, that features interviews with the world’s leading animal scientists and advocates.

WMNF portrays itself as an advocate for humans oppressed and exploited by powerful individuals and organizations.

Its political rants are about underpaid fast food workers, illegal immigrants, police misconduct, racism, prejudice against LGBTQ and similar humanist concerns.

And all that is good.

But you’d think they’d extend their proclaimed compassion to the BILLIONS of innocent animals slaughtered every year in the USA to feed people like Eve Prang Plews!

If they truly wanted to serve the public interest, they’d have had the vegan scientist on the air with Plews, and let the public hear both sides of the vegan debate.

Why does Rob Lorei not allow a vegan scientist to debate Plews on the air? I can guarantee you Rob Lorei consumes animal food products.

He’s part of the carnism and specieism team, and has his guilty food pleasures to protect.

The bottom line is, when I stopped following the advice of Eve Prang Plews and adopted a vegan diet, I became healthier than ever.

I guarantee you I’m healthier than Plews or Lorei, healthier than almost anyone who eats animal food products, even people half my age!

So don’t let anyone scare you away from going vegan.

It’s the best thing you can do for yourself, for innocent animals, and for the biosphere.

Time for Vegetarians to Go All the Way

I was in a health food store this evening, buying vegan goodies–organic sauerkraut, barley, lentils, millet, aduzki beans, celery, carrots, cabbage, and lots of other delicious foods that help me stay healthy.

One of the sweetest things about being vegan is knowing nobody had to torture or kill an animal to produce the food I eat.

The person ringing up my order noticed I had no processed foods, no animal foods, and asked if I was vegan.

I mentioned that since I became vegan in December, 2015 I’ve become lean and fit, losing at least 45 pounds of fat, my food bill is reduced, my digestion purrs like a happy cat, my skin cleared up, I have more energy, I run, swim, and bike faster.

Because my life is focused on ethical principles of non-harm, the most important aspect of being vegan for me is I can look a baby cow, a pig, a chicken, or any other animal in the eye and assure them I’m not supporting systems and people who enslave them, torment them, murder them.

I’d been a vegetarian for years.

It hadn’t given me the health benefits and the clear conscience that being vegan gives me.

 

“I’m vegetarian,” the health store staffers said. “I’ve never thought about a lot of of the things you just said, never heard these concepts or ideas about food. I think I might need to become vegan too.”

The idea that seemed most intriguing and persuasive for her is that vegetarians aren’t being morally or logically consistent if they say they’re vegetarian because they care about animal welfare.

Vegetarians consume dairy products and eggs taken without consent from other sentient species.

Some people who call themselves “vegetarian” consume fish as well.

I explained to her how dairy products are sourced:

I said to her:

“Imagine if a gang of cows captured you, forcefully impregnated you, kept you in captivity for nine months while your fetus gestated, then after you delivered your baby, the cows stole your baby from you, put your baby in a tiny crate, attached machines to your breasts or handled your breasts with their hands, stole your milk from you, and drank it themselves,” I said.

“How would that make you feel?” I asked. “Would you allow anyone to treat you the way humans treat cows?”

“Of course not!” she replied, shocked.

I could see the dawning of vegan truth in her eyes as she realized the obvious fact: if it’s not right for cows to do those things to her, it isn’t right for her to buy dairy products sold by people who do those bad things to cows.

Of course, you often hear vegetarians defending so-called “humane” dairy farming, claiming that only factory farms harm animals.

But we must admit there’s nothing humane about imprisoning another sentient animal so you can handle its breasts and take its milk.

“Why are people so mean to animals, why are we raised to eat them?” the staffer asked.

I explained to her that part of the reason is a meme called speciesism.

It’s the mega-conceited idea that the human species is the best, the only species that really counts, the one that gets to do whatever it damn well pleases to all the other animals and organisms on this planet, and indeed… to the entire planet itself.

The next time we talked, she said our conversation helped her realize that from the moment we’re born, the adults around us hook our attention and plant a bunch of speciesist memes in our head.

The most pernicious memes are the ones that tell us we’re better than all other animals.

These memes allows us to justify the fact that we cage, rope, plunder, corral, imprison, experiment on, tear apart, torture, chain, flay, skin, hook, trap, shoot, chop, slaughter, and butcher millions of other animals… and plunder the earth itself.

Just take a look at the videos embedded in this article and you’ll see the terrible things caused by these pervasive memes.

And when you see past the culturally-implanted desire to consume products made from milk meant for baby cows, you’ll transition from vegetarian to vegan.

You’ll give up dairy products and all other foods derived from exploiting animals.

If you’re vegetarian, now’s the time to give up the ice cream, omelets, cheese, and other animal-exploited products, and go all the way.

Time to really get a clear conscience in relation to how you view and interact with animals, and become a Vegan Samurai.

If you want to see more truth on this topic, read my article about the Vegan Samurai Golden Rule.

You’ll be healthier, happier, and have a blameless conscience when you transition from being vegetarian to being vegan.

What Happens When a Vegan has a Non-Vegan Lover or Spouse?

One of the most poignant conversations I ever had was with a woman whose deeply-held religious beliefs led her to become a vegan… but her husband didn’t share her views and loved to eat meat, dairy, eggs, and fish.

The marriage was falling apart because of the pair’s divergent dietary choices.

The husband labeled his wife a “looney” and “hippie” for recognizing that harming animals isn’t moral.

The wife labeled her husband immoral for not recognizing that his dietary choices support a system that egregiously harms and kills animals.

There were practical problems as well.

They had children; the woman wondered how she could make vegan meals the children would enjoy and that would also be nutritious.

The wife was eager to make vegan foods for her whole family, but her husband scorned veganism, and insisted she prepare flesh foods.

She ended up spending a lot more time in the kitchen than she wanted to, creating one menu for herself, and another for her family.

She solved part of the problem by using cookbooks such as Kitchen Divided: Vegan Dishes for Semi-Vegan Households, by Ellen Jaffe Jones.

Jones is rather controversial, in that she advises vegans make serious dietary compromises.

Another book she used was Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbookby Isa Moskowitz.

Specifically to please her kids, and to ensure they got good nutrition, she consulted Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes, by Dreena Burton.

But even though vegan foods are tastier and more healthful than non-vegan foods, those cookbooks didn’t solve the marriage’s underlying problems, one of which was that her husband didn’t share her religious view that it’s ethically wrong to harm non-human animals.

The other  problem was deeper and more revealing: the husband wasn’t sensitive to the pain he caused his wife by refusing to even consider going vegan.

The way she saw it, he cared more about satisfying his desire to consume meat, dairy, fish, and eggs than he did about his wife’s conscience and feelings.

This wasn’t the only way he showed indifference to her feelings– he smoked cigarettes.

She’d pleaded with him to give up cigarettes for the sake of his health, the children, and the financial cost of smoking.

But as with his flesh-eating, he didn’t care about the harms he was doing.

He said he liked smoking, it was “too hard” to quit, and he was going to keep on doing it whether she liked it or not.

The couple went to marriage counseling.

The counselor asked the husband to consider the win-win aspects of creating a vegan family, and of giving up cigarettes.

The family’s health would improve.

Their food costs would decrease.

The wife (who did all the cooking) would spend less time cooking.

And most importantly, adopting veganism would show the wife that her husband loved her enough to give up a bad habit in order to avoid harming innocent animals.

I wish there was a happy ending to this story.

The wife spent two years accommodating her husband’s non-vegan diet.

Fortunately, her children became vegan.

Immediately, their health improved. They learned to love vegan foods, and lost all their craving for the regular junk foods, fast foods, and flesh foods that most people eat.

But her husband became more and more intransigent.

Eventually, the woman realized he didn’t love her enough, or in the right way.

“It hurts to say this, but he loved his steaks, fried chicken, and barbecue more than he loved me and the kids,” she told me.

They’re now separated, heading towards divorce.

If you’re in an intimate relationship with a non-vegan, it doesn’t have to end or end badly, but it might.

Being a Vegan Samurai involves sacrifice, and hard choices.

If you’re a vegan intimately involved with a non-vegan, you have to question your own ethics.

If your spouse or lover was involved in dealing heroin, in child molestation, in Wall Street fraud and abuse, or other moral wrongs, would you continue being in love with that person?

Would you feel comfortable giving them the benefits of your body, love, partnership, and care?

Only you can decide if the person you’re intimately involved with is worth staying involved with if they’re a customer of the worldwide system that exploits, tortures, and kills billions of innocent animals every year.

There are many analogies I could use to summarize the situation often described as a “vegan mixed marriage.”

In the Christian Bible, a New Testament teaching advises followers of Christ not to be joined in marriage with an “unbeliever.”

During the American Civil War, families were fractured, brother fought in battle against brother, because some family members believed it was acceptable to own humans as slaves, but others opposed slavery.

When segregation and racist lynchings were still a part of the American experience in the 1960s, families and marriages split up when a family member or spouse refused to reject racism.

When Americans oppose immoral wars, such as the Vietnam War or the illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, marriages and other partnerships were torn asunder when a person of conscience refused to be joined intimately with someone who lacked conscience.

Being a vegan is not just a dietary choice… it’s a moral, social, and spiritual issue.

The problems of a mixed marriage involving vegan and non-vegan aren’t just about a crowded refrigerator, logistical problems at meal-time, or a vegan having to see and smell dead animals being consumed at the dinner table.

It’s about right and wrong, empathy, and what people are willing to do to create peace with their own conscience and with those around them.

If you’re a vegan man or woman, sharing your body, sexuality, money, life, heart and mind with someone who eats animal foods, someone voluntarily complicit in the system of genocide and ecocide that torments and kills billions of sentient animals per year, you really have to consider your level of devotion to vegan principles, and to defending innocent animals against the human onslaught.

I personally have turned down explicit offers of sex and romance from attractive women, solely because those women consumed animal foods and wouldn’t consider becoming vegan.

I won’t intimately share my body, mind, or heart with someone who is so cold-hearted.

I hope your devotion to conscience, ethics, and innocent animals, will outweigh your devotion to a human who harms innocent animals.

Living Vegan in the Death Culture

I went to a non-vegan restaurant with friends and was reminded how challenging it is to live vegan in a society founded on animal abuse and the psychological mechanisms that facilitate it.

The three people I had dinner with are all “good” people… a married couple who both had eminently statured careers in academia, and an engineer.

They’re interesting, personable, friendly people whom I respect and care about.

The restaurant was classy, full of diners. The interior had attractive aesthetics.

But I felt uncomfortable because my companions are non-vegans who ordered meals containing cut-up animal parts.

I haven’t seen non-vegan food for a while. It made me sick to see other animals’ breasts and other body parts on a plate.

I studied the menu trying to find vegan options. Out of approximately 25 main entrees or side orders, only two appeared to be vegan.

I asked the waitress if there were any animal products in the items and she said there were not.

My companions questioned me about being vegan. Why  had I done it? What about protein deficiency? Did I miss non-vegan food?

I recommended they read VeganSamurai.org for a full explanation of why I went vegan, but that the short answer is, veganism is the only dietary system that’s good for personal health, environmental health, and animal health.

And that’s when my companions’ cognitive dissonance, deliberate unknowing, and moral evasion became very apparent.

They agreed that veganism is the morally defensible dietary paradigm.

But they cavalierly talked continuing to eat meat, fish, eggs, and dairy even though the animal food industry, and animal foods themselves, are harmful to animals, Nature, and people.

Not only that, one of my companions is severely overweight because of his dietary choices, and suffers greatly because of it.

In an ironic moment, he talked about his addiction to foods that were killing him… as he ate foods that were killing him.

It was if I’d been sitting in a restaurant with companions who casually admitted they were shareholders in or employees of a company that committed genocide or other horrors.

It reminded me of a conversation I had with a self-described “pacifist and anti-war activist” who worked for a military contractor making weapons of war.

I recalled the book and videos by Dr. Melanie Joy who explains that carnism–the belief system that supports the eating of animals– creates moral deadening, denial, and self-delusion.

When my beet salad and veggie burger main course arrived, I looked at them carefully to see if there were any animal components.

I couldn’t see or taste any, but to my dismay, at the end of the meal when I was asking if there were vegan desserts, the waitress told me my salad had had cheese in it.

This explained the queasy, heavy feeling I’d started to experience as soon as I ate the salad.

And I mused to myself that if there was a Church of the Vegan Samurai, I’d have to go to confession and tell the priest, “I need forgiveness, for I’ve eaten foods produced by harming cows,” and seek absolution.

But as of  yet, there is no Church of the Vegan Samurai.

I was left to feel guilt about my inadvertent “cheese sin,” and the incongruous experience of communing with nice people I care about… except they’re willing participants in the violent, dominant culture of speciesism and carnism.

To put it bluntly, my friends support the animal-killing system that to me represents the greatest moral failing of our species.

All of us who truly care about animals realize that living vegan in a death culture means we’re often forced to compromise, camouflage, and “be quiet” when we’re with people who participate in carnism.

We love our family, lovers, friends. We want to “get along” with people.

We don’t want to dislike people for the deliberate, needless sins they commit against innocent animals and the environment.

We grieve for the obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other maladies they create for themselves because they eat animal foods and processed foods.

Vegans are the dismayed witnesses to the core immorality that animal-eating represents.

Other than the animal victims themselves, vegans are the only people who viscerally recognize we live in a world dominated by carnistic people and systems that create massive harms and suffering.

This is yet another reason I created the Vegan Samurai concept.

A samurai is a warrior who works hard to stay strong and resolute no matter what battles are looming.

A Vegan Samurai is often alone in a cruel world, surrounded by carnistic people who participate in the genocide against animals.

All you have are your vegan ethics, honor, principles, and strength as antidote to the heartbreak of being part of the only species that enslaves billions of innocent animals, destroys its own health, and trashes the earth.

Lacto-Ovo Vegetarians, Pescatarians & The Vegan Samurai Golden Rule

As a vegan, I’ve had conversations with vegetarians about why they’re not vegan, and every one of those conversations left me with a sad feeling.

Many vegetarians have some of the same ideas that vegans have. They want a healthier diet. They may share our disapproval of food industry abuse of animals.

They may consider themselves lacto-ovo vegetarians—people who consume dairy and eggs but not meat.

They may consider themselves pescatarians—people who consume fish, dairy, and eggs, but not meat.

What I try to help vegetarians and pescatarians understand is that their food comes from exploited, abused animals.

I ask them to consider the clear fact that if they became vegetarian or pescatarian because of moral concerns about animals, that only veganism fully addresses those concerns.

But I’m shocked when vegetarians and pescatarians argue vociferously to defend the exploitation and their consumption of dairy, eggs, or fish.

Pescatarians claim “fish feel no pain.”

Biologist Victoria Braithwaite has definitively shown that not only do fish feel pain, but also they’re intelligent and social animals.

Her book “Do Fish Feel Pain?” accurately and convincingly shows that from a moral and ecological perspective, fish should not be on the menu.

Dairy-consuming vegetarians claim dairy production isn’t as abusive as “meat” production.

I ask all people who consume fish, dairy, and eggs to adopt the Golden Rule of the Vegan Samurai.

This rule is as simple as it has been throughout the ages: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

In the world of the vegan samurai, “others” includes all sentient beings, not just humans.

I’m sure that lacto-ovo vegetarians wouldn’t appreciate having done to them what humans do to dairy cows.

Let’s take a brief look…

First of all, dairy cows are engineered by humans through selective breeding.

Female cows are force-impregnated starting when they’re less than a year old.

Given that cows can never give explicit consent to anything humans do to them, it’s accurate to call this a form of rape or at the very least, sexual abuse.

The force-impregnated female cow carries her baby for nine months, just like a human mom!

Within a few minutes, hours, or days after the calf is born, the “dairy farmer” steals the baby calf from its mother.

This causes the mother cow and her calf serious emotional distress.

Baby cows are often kept under cruel conditions in veal crates.

They’re rarely allowed to see their mother again, and are fed processed “food” instead of the milk meant for them.

In the factory farming dairy businesses that produce the vast majority of dairy products used as milk, cheese, yogurt and other items, female cows are subjected to very rough handling of their “breasts,” aka, udders.

The most sensitive parts of a female cow’s body are subjected to gross abuse in the dairy industry, which is why many dairy cows have infected and damaged udders.

Some vegetarians talk about “humane” dairy farms where lactating female cows are treated a little better.

In rare cases on so-called humane dairy farms, baby cows are allowed to be around their mother, at least for a few weeks until they’re weaned.

Even on so-called humane dairy farms, the simple fact is that a machine or a person handles the cow’s udders, which is totally unnatural… the udders are designed by Nature to be used only by baby cows.

Lactating cows are fed a vast array of chemicals and hormones, and many are sprayed with toxic pesticides.

In factory farms, cows are kept in prison conditions, standing in stalls, separated from their young, suffering from infected udders, totally unable to live the life Nature intended for them.

And of course, dairy cows are force-impregnated over and over, until they reach the end of their productive life, after which they’re slaughtered for meat.

When vegetarians who consume dairy products are confronted with the facts about how female cows and their babies are treated, they struggle to justify their continued use of dairy.

Sometimes they get angrily defensive. The same holds true for pescatarians and people who eat eggs.

At that point, I ask the person:

If a group of cows imprisoned you, force-impregnated you, pumped you full of hormones, sprayed you with poisons, stole your baby from you at birth, and attached machines to your breasts to take milk meant for your human baby and give it to a baby cow, would that be acceptable to you?

If the person is a pescatarian I ask:

If someone put a hook in you or netted you, captured you, hit you over the head or suffocated you, and then gutted you, would that be acceptable to you?

If the person consumes eggs, I ask:

If someone reached into your ovaries and took your eggs and fried them or scrambled them, would that be ok with you?

If the person I’m speaking with is a male, I ask him to imagine these scenarios being done to his wife, sister, mother, or other female he cherishes.

The lacto-ovo vegetarian or the pescatarian quickly says it’s not acceptable for those abovementioned scenarios to happen to them.

I then ask: if it’s not ok for someone to do it to you, how is it ok for you to pay someone to do it to another animal on your behalf?

As you can imagine, there’s no answer they can give that’s consistent with moral logic, ethics, or compassion.

That’s why one of the main tenets of the Vegan Samurai code is the following, and I urge you to remember this always:

Being vegan is the only wholly ethical dietary choice.