After the expose on factory farmed pigs on 60 minutes last night, I decided to write a letter to Coles & Woolworths:

Dear Decision Maker,

It is a no brainer that the industrialised abuse of farmed animals will not be tolerated by an informed society – and that your patrons will be looking to you to support “humanely raised” animal products. Whilst this is, of course – an essential step for a retailer such as yours to take – I sincerely hope you will also increase your stocks of meat alternatives (vege meats). The simple fact is that free range and organic are again just “labels” and “guidelines” that can be manipulated and abused – at the end of the day producers will “do what it takes” to meet demand and this very fact is what has created this mess in the first place. If we significantly decrease our meat demand the production levels can be scaled down – removing the supply/demand “need” for intensive farming. When you consider too the environmental implications of animal agriculture, the reasons to reduce meat are more compelling than ever. We look to you to please fill this growing need for alternatives.

Sincerely …

I hope the terrible realities of intensive farming gives us all reason to think deeply about the role we play and the effect our purchasing choices have. It’s all very well to demand that producers change their methods but we have to remember that they are doing what they have to do to keep up with heavy demand. So it is up to us to reduce that demand – and reduce it significantly!

As you already know – I decided to remove myself from the “consumer chain” completely two years ago and became a vegan. I did this because it suddenly became clear to me that every time I purchased an animal product, I was saying “I’m ok with whatever the producers are doing to these animals, I support it”. I could see that no amount of “labeling” (ie; freerange) will ever be a guarantee that the animals I eat will be treated well. I came to this conclusion as I considered a society that starts to put heavy demand on these labels … How could this industry ever really change if the demand is so high? There will be an ever increasing population of people, increased competition, fewer resources and dwindling unoccupied land …. It just doesn’t pan out. I then started to investigate the health & environmental impacts of a meat versus vegan diet. Everything started to make sense – all of these very important issues were linked – so it was an easy decision for me to make, and a decision I have been very happy with ever since – no regrets. (yes, there is life after cheese!! 🙂

I’m not asking you to become a vegan (although that would surely make my heart sing with hope) … I’m just laying out the situation as I see it and inviting you – dear reader – to consider these points and to think about what you can do.

We are all responsible for our world, and in these troubling times we have much to consider. The writing is on the wall for the animals, our environment and our health – it really is up to us to take a stand and demand change.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Will you be making any changes to tackle the issues that are important to you? Please share your thoughts with us, I would love to read your point of view!

Peace & love – from Mars xxx

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Posted by animalactionist

Co-Owner/Founder/Director of Animal Actionist Ltd & Happy Hooves Farm Sanctuary. It's all for the animals.

5 Comments

  1. Vanessa Williams 23 Nov, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Thats a great letter Maree. The segment on last nights 60 minutes was wonderful to see, I dont normally watch the show, but loads of people do, and I truly hope it made a lot of them rethink their food choices… I pray that your letter makes it all the way to the top, and we begin to see some real changes!! I think I will write a letter too!

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  2. animalactionist 23 Nov, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    Thanks so much for your comment Vanessa! I’m so glad to hear you will send a letter too.. and hope you will share any feedback you get on here.

    I did receive an email back from Coles, they mentioned they work very closely with their suppliers and monitor them – that they have a couple of free range suppliers and are working towards an “outdoor breeding program” that will be years in the making – but is a goal. They did not mention anything about offering more meat alternatives – nor did they make comment on the idea of scaling down on demand. It was a canned response so I’m not overly impressed with it. Factory farms keep to certain “guidelines” too.. it’s the guidelines themselves that are the trouble, factory farms are not breaking any laws – that is the horrible reality of them – everything they do is within guidelines and legal! For me – this confirms my view that it is absolutely up to US to reduce the demand – shops will not do anything until consumers demonstrate a shift in buying patterns.

    Thanks again for your comments Vanessa! xx

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  3. Totally agree Mars, the 2 big chains being Coles and Woolworths purely provide what the consumers demand, so we all must start (or continue) to demand alternatives. The more we unite and all demand these alternatives then the supermarkets will listen, they’re a business, in it to make money so they will ultimately provide what the consumer demands. We all can make a difference, it starts by talking to the manager at your local supermarket. I have voiced my requests continually to Coles and Woolworths in Mundaring as I know others have as well. Slowly changes in their provisions for vegans has changed, but much more is needed. It just takes you to make a difference.

    Keep up the great work Mars, you truly are my greatest inspiration!

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  4. I am a vegetarian and advocate for animal/environmental protection. I appreciate this post and your website. You are doing wonderful work and you are helping to inspire change for the better and that is what I am working toward too. Thank you for caring and for helping to spread awareness.

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  5. Animalactionist 13 Jan, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Thank you so much for your support Stacey :). The world is a better place with people like you in it. Together we can move mountains! Stay in touch, maybe we can work together sometime. Hugzzz

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