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March is Veggie Month!
Posted 29 February 2008
March is Animal Aid’s Veggie Month - a time when people are encouraged to find out more about the many benefits of switching to a meat-free diet. Choosing to go vegetarian is an easy, healthy and environmentally friendly step. It is also essential for those who genuinely care about animals. This is why Animal Aid has challenged celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to try the veggie diet for a week or a month.
Animal Aid was encouraged by the recent campaigns by the high-profile chefs, which exposed the terrible plight of farmed animals. However, the chefs’ attempts to alleviate animal suffering by promoting ‘high welfare’ production systems can only ever have a marginal impact and does not mean the consumer can rest easy. The fundamental problem is treating animals as commodities, which Animal Aid believes is unnecessary, cruel and immoral. In a letter to Jamie and Hugh, Animal Aid’s Director, Andrew Tyler wrote:
'There will always be a niche market for less roughly-processed chickens, but for so long as animals are mass produced, fattened, transported and killed for food products, then those engaged in such activities will obey the rules of the market place and seek to reduce unit costs and maximise output. These cardinal rules of the marketplace translate inexorably into animal suffering.
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Says Animal Aid Veggie Month Co-ordinator, Kelly Slade:
'Tinkering with irredeemably cruel production systems might salve consciences but those who really care should opt for a plant-based diet free from animal products. Making the switch is easy. And the good news is, we do not need to eat animals to live healthy lives. In fact, vegetarians have a longer life expectancy because they tend to have lower rates of diet-related diseases, such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.'