When it comes to what we care about, few people have clear principles. People like to pick and choose what they’re passionate about when it’s convenient for them, and ignore terrible consequences of their behaviour if it means they might have to make a change.
Nobody has bipolar morals quite like us Aussies. When it comes to animal cruelty, our distinction lays in whether we as Australians traditionally eat these animals. Do we commonly eat them? Then cruelty is OK. Do other cultures commonly eat them? Then cruelty is not OK.
This is why we devour some of the most intelligent, beautiful and gentle species on Earth but go on to post hateful xenophobic rants on social media when we see somebody eating a dog.
Dog meat = bad, pig meat = good
Seal clubbing = bad, joey clubbing = good
Killing whales = bad, killing dolphins as tuna by-catch = good
Skinning for fur = bad, skinning for leather = good
Dog racing = bad, horse racing = good
If you cruise the eco-blog scene you’ll see ocean conservationists that eat seafood, and rainforest conservations that eat livestock. There are also zero-wasters whose online persona is based on reducing resource waste, who go on to post photos of red meat without apology. The refusal to take personal responsibility for crimes they claim to be against in jaw-dropping.
It is a true anomaly for one person to stand up for all issues of ethics and environmental protection, and not just those most easily suited to their lifestyle. And although there are other hypocrisies, refusal to acknowledge the damage of animal agriculture is the #1 blindspot.
As the primary cause of climate change and leading contributor to global warming gases, even if we abolished all palm oil and fossil fuels today, we would not stop climate change.
There is only one solution to reducing the damage of climate change. And it’s going vegan.
This is why a movement of intersectional compassion and activism is critical. It needs to come quickly, and it needs to come now. The palm oil activists fail as long as they eat meat, which is far more responsible for land clearing and animal extinctions. The climate change activists fail as long as they eat meat, as it’s the leading contributor to greenhouse gases. The anti-poverty activists fail as long as they eat meat, because the poor are the most affected by resource scarcity and rising temperatures.
We will never achieve peace and environmental protection while activists refuse to acknowledge harms they cause in other areas of their life. Compassion must encompass all relevant issues, and we must work holistically if we want results. You can not defeat a system you support.