12/24/07 Animals Want to Live as Much as We Do

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Animal Friends invites you to spend these holidays by showing compassion to all living beings

In the days to come, a message of compassion and mercy will spread around the world. But despite all their wishes for peace, welfare, and happiness, people tend to forget the suffering of animals that will be killed in order to make their festive meals.

All animals – that is, all living beings – are born with the need for love, warmth, play, and friendship, as well as with their own reason to live. Instead of making it possible to follow their needs, we separate them from their mothers, confine them to narrow spaces in which we could never bear to find ourselves, waiting to be slaughtered and eaten.

Animals are created with the capacity to feel pain and to suffer. Not only that – they can understand, just as we do, what is happening to them. There is nothing nice or compassionate about factory farms and slaughterhouses, where 56 billions of animals are "produced" every single year in order to die a violent and bloody death. There is nothing good about eating bodies of other living beings. Nothing compassionate or kind.

While enormous quantities of food are spent for breeding animals on factory farms, children keep dying of hunger all over the world. In Third-World countries, the soil is increasingly used for producing food for cattle, which is then exported to rich countries, instead of growing food for the local population. Meat is an exceptionally squandering way of producing food. A single person with meat-based diet spends up to 20 times more food than a person whose eating habits are vegetarian. Thus, by eating animals we are increasing famine in the world, whereas our compassion towards animals indicates that we are also compassionate towards people.

Holidays need not include violence. If our ideals are love and peace in the world, we should be consistent and refrain from causing pain to anyone. Let us spend at least these last days of the year in non-violence and in eating healthy and ecologically acceptable food – vegetarian or vegan.

On Christmas Eve, December 24, there will be an info stall at 12:00 noon on the corner of Petar Preradovic Square and Varsavska ulica. Animal Friends' activists will lay a festive table, on which all plates will be empty except for one with a piece of meat on it, illustrating the direct connection between eating animals and the problem of hunger in the world.

Animal Friends will also distribute printed materials and Christmas cards, while visitors will have an opportunity to taste festive dishes made without animal ingredients, e.g. roasted seitan, deep-fried soy steaks, Russian salad made with egg-free mayonnaise, and vegan Christmas cookies.

Eventually, let us recall the words of a man who said to his followers: "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." Animals want to live just as much as we do. And what’s more important, they have an equal right to it. Let Jesus' words inspire us in our attitude towards animals, so we may show them mercy and compassion by letting them live.

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