At this year’s Earth Garden, Vegan Malta proudly held a workshop titled ‘Veganism for Animals, for Life’. We wanted to make this workshop as interactive and engaging as possible, by asking the audience questions throughout and ending with a Q&A session. We began the workshop by showing the audience a picture of two circles on different backgrounds. We told them ‘Here you can see two circles which are different colours. Does everyone agree?’ Everyone nodded. We then went on to tell them that the two circles in fact, were different colours, and it was in fact the backgrounds that were different colours which created this illusion. We explained that we had manipulated them just like that, by making them believe something that wasn’t true, and without even questioning it. We then explained that the circles represented animals, which appeared to be different, but were in fact the same, and the backgrounds evidently different cultures. Regardless of the different cultures, the value of the animal remains the same, despite appearing differently. For example, dogs are viewed as food in parts of Asia, but as pets in other parts of the world, cows are viewed as food in many countries, but are sacred in India. The most important thing is that all have the ability to suffer and feel pain, all form family bonds and love their children, and ALL want to live.
We then went on to talk about the 3 ‘Ns’, which are used by the majority of people as justifications for consuming animals and their secretions. These are it’s ‘Normal’ ‘Natural’ and ‘Necessary’ to eat animals. It was at that point we introduced Marley the rabbit, a bunch of grapes, and a knife. We asked the audience, so, if it is ‘normal’ to kill animals and eat their flesh, then let’s kill Marley right now. How do you feel about that? They all responded with ‘No!’ We asked, ‘If we went to kill her, would you try to intervene?’ Every person responded with ‘YES!’ We replied, ‘Well if it were normal, you would say, ‘Go ahead, we’re hungry after all’ and would have no issue with us killing her’. The second ‘N’ we introduced was ‘Natural’. We explained that if it were natural, we wouldn’t need to use a tool to kill her, and even if we managed with our own two hands, would we be capable of tearing through her flesh with the teeth we have and consuming her raw flesh without getting sick? No. We would need to cut her body into parts using a tool, and cook her body parts in order to make them fit for consumption. The final ‘N’ was ‘necessary’. We asked the audience, so we have Marley, and we have a bunch of grapes. Is it really necessary to take Marley’s life when we have these juicy, nutritious grapes that we could eat instead? This really got people thinking.
We then proceeded with a Q&A session, and handed out small pieces of paper with useful sites listed for people to continue doing research on the ethical, environmental and health aspects of veganism. We were really pleased with how the workshop went, and hope that the non-vegan members of the audience will go on to make the best decision anyone could ever make in their lives, and that is turning vegan 😁 ❤