In recent months, alongside the success of the ‘Earthlings Experience’ protest, Vegan Malta have attended various festivals and events, took to the streets to ask members of the public their views on the meat industry, chalked meaningful messages in prominent areas of Malta, appeared in the local paper after being interviewed on why we believe a vegan lifestyle is the best and our reasons for choosing it, been on TV to discuss the health benefits of a vegan diet and why one should abstain from animal products, and are currently working on a new campaign in order to encourage businesses here in Malta to become more vegan-friendly!
So let us take this opportunity to go into a little more detail on the things we’ve been up to.
We attended The Sunscape Festival in Gozo back in July and The Bubble festival in September. We set up a stand offering information on veganism which included books, leaflets and magazines. We gave people the chance to immerse themselves in the experience of a slaughterhouse by watching a 3-D virtual reality film of a slaughterhouse in Mexico. The viewer cannot escape the terrifying sights and sounds, the looks of panic as each pig waits helplessly in line with the next pig to be slaughtered, without the ability to distance oneself from the film. The profound effect this had on people was undeniable. Some people covered their mouths in shock while others cried. It was most certainly an effective way to give people an insight on what these poor pigs have to endure.
We also offered people the chance to win a double-chocolate vegan cake by taking a 15-question quiz on various issues related to ethics, environment and health. This raised awareness on some of the key issues and left people in disbelief when, for example, they realised it takes 660 gallons of water to make just one hamburger which is the equivalent of showering for 3 months.
We had a lot of mixed reactions from the public. We had fellow vegans telling us to keep up the good work, we had vegetarians and meat-eaters who were interested in transitioning to veganism but needed some guidance, we had people coming up with every excuse in the book as to why meat is ‘normal’ ‘natural’ and ‘necessary’, and we had people who were genuinely curious about veganism who wanted to know more about it and the reasons behind it. We felt that we struck a chord with many people and were really pleased with the success of both festivals.
We took to the streets of Sliema with a drawing of a boy stroking a dog with one hand, while holding a knife in the other, surrounded by dead ‘food’ animals.
We approached members of the public and asked them if we could show them a piece of art and for them to tell us their immediate thoughts. Some understood the exact message that the picture was portraying while others overlooked it. We asked them questions. We didn’t give our opinions or confront them in any way, we just wanted to hear their views on the picture and how it’s relevant to today’s society and how they felt about it. We noticed that people often became caught up in their own contradictions. We encountered mixed reactions, from a woman telling us how extreme we were over and over for being a vegan to a woman who only ate ‘humane’ meat but when asked whether it would be OK if a dog met the same fate as ‘food’ animals, quickly responded with ‘no’ but couldn’t give a valid reason.
We met with a journalist who conducted an interview on ethical, environmental and health aspects of veganism. We really enjoyed meeting him and having the opportunity to go into detail on the topic. He was very open-minded and fully understood our reasons for being vegan. He even decided to vegan himself after the interview which was amazing!
Our group member, Chris, participated in a group discussion on a well-known Maltese programme called Skjetti in which a nutritionist, body-builder (who relied on meat and other animal products as part of his body building regime) and Chris, had a debate on whether meat and animal by-products were necessary in order to be healthy. We are really proud of Chris for explaining the concept of veganism and its health benefits in such a clear, concise way. It definitely gave everyone on the show a run for their money!
Find out more about our current project ‘The ‘V’ Alternative Campaign’ in one of our upcoming blogs.
Yep, were busy over summer! And this is just the tip of the iceberg. We plan to continue speaking up for the animals in whatever way we can, fighting against the injustices they endure every day and making Malta a more vegan-friendly island