Essays and Musings on Animals and Society

Monday, December 12, 2005

"Meat Market" Book Tour - Part 15: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? 

"When I was a teenager, my greatest ambition was to one day be a millionaire. In my twenties, as my primary ambition shifted away from making money and toward protecting animals, I adapted the millionaire concept for purposes of activism. I decided that I still wanted to be a millionaire, but not in terms of earning a million dollars. I wanted to be a millionaire in terms of keeping a million animals out of slaughterhouses.

Some people may scoff at the idea that one person can save a million animals. But I've met at least a dozen people in the movement who've achieved this level of success. I think saving a million animals is a lifetime goal that every serious activist would do well to adopt.

But is it realistic to think that a typical person could keep a million animals from slaughter? Absolutely! A twenty-year-old college student is likely to live for at least fifty years. And the average American eats more than forty chickens a year. So if you can convince a college student to give up meat, you've saved around two thousand birds, hundreds of fish, plus several pigs and cows. At two thousand animals saved per new vegetarian, this means that during your life, if you convince five hundred young people to become vegetarian, a million animals will be saved."
Meat Market, by Erik Marcus, page 118-119

What a wonderful, unselfish ambition. Readers in your teens and twenties — you can do it! Just think if we had a thousand "millionaires" across the country. We would be well on our way to dismantling animal agriculture.

The animal agriculture industry is unnecessary. It perpetuates mainly due to habit, sunk costs, promotion and marketing, resistance to change, and widespread ignorance of the extent of its animal cruelty.

Animal agriculture in the developed world is morally indefensible due to its massive and severe exploitation, and lack of need for its products. In its most dominant form — factory farms — the animals are treated worse than prisoners of war, just to increase corporate profits. In any of its forms, including so-called "humane" and "free-range" farms, it reduces complex sentient creatures to mere resources that are created, slaughtered as soon as possible, and forced to endure pain and suffering so humans can satisfy arbitrary and frivolous desires. Animal agriculture also wreaks havoc on the environment. Let's get rid of it.

Generations that grow up without animal agriculture won't miss it, and will in all likelihood be disgusted by the idea and horrified by how thoughtlessly previous generations (e.g., ours) mistreated animals.

Here are three (of many) tools to help you become animal savior millionaires:

I love that idea of being a "millionaire." My first goal was to save as many animals as I killed in my 28 years of meat eating (I figure about 2800). After that, I'll up the number.

I definitely have to read Meat Market.
Both ideas are excellent I think: $1 million, and 1 million souls in animal bodies.

Saving 1 million animals is obvious. As for the $1 million... consider this:

Consumer choices are largely created and maintained or changed, through what ideas people repeatedly see most in the media, tv, radio, magazines... and what is most available (ie. conveniently found in supermarkets, resturants, fast food stores, etc).
Both of these largely form any trends in the culture of what foods are expected and normal -> bought and consumed -> and more produced.

The meat,dairy,egg industries spend millions to shape the culture of food consumerism, by placing advertising and promotions all over the media.

We have the ability to include a more holistic understanding of food (on animals, health, environment, as well as taste) by helping spread pamphlets and supporting tv ads. And these require $ also.

In a way, we are offering a more holistic, caring source of finformation, than what people would otherwise see/read/hear.

So, what if you had a million dollars? Or even less? I believe the cost of the Vegan Outreach pamphets (which was my tool for me to go 100% plant) are less than 30 cents each.
So $30 would pay for 100+ pamphlets, and $30 is far less than $1mil. (Of course VO will supply pamphlets for free for you to hand out, but they still need the funds to have them printed).

What if you focused on making money, and you can eventually donate a few thousand $ to any of the effective efforts to spread information... that could help tens of thousands of people learn a more caring way to live.

So a focus on $ can be a great thing for the animals also :)

It takes money, and personal effort. Use your money as carefully as possible, it is a powerful tool :)

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