About Lee Hall

A commitment to a great cause is a solid foundation to build our inner lives upon, and also one virtually guaranteed to bring turbulence into the course of our lives. This is an experimental diary. If things go well, it'll help myself and others on a parallel course. See you at veganplace.wordpress.com

Year of the Boar

On 5 February we enter the Year of the Pig in the Chinese Lunar calendar.

Now, Wikipedia tells us, the Japanese zodiac and the Tibetan zodiac do not have a pig; they have a boar.

I’m going with the Year of the Boar.

Because if we want to get to animal liberation, the ideal to keep in mind is a community of free-living beings. Not beings who were selectively bred to be controlled by the apes known (to ourselves) as Homo sapiens.

Decide for yourself. Would you want advocates to represent you this way?

Sure, the cut-paper caricature seems happy, but there’s no joy in being born dependent on, and ultimately killed by, a controlling owner.

Very few purpose-bred pigs make it to refuges. Those so-called lucky ones wouldn’t need luck if we humans would just stop breeding away their independence.

So much for the happy pig motif. Let’s get real.

Now look at the banner photo. Free-living boars live and move together, in groups. If the image of young sibling boars evokes a happy feeling in the viewer, it happens in a more respectful context: freedom.

Representing pigs as adorably happy in a pet-like state isn’t the best we can do. But it’s what a lot of vegan advocacy does.

Here it is, at the most extreme, with this cute little lonely pig. 

Yes, lonely.

Undomesticated boars live in groups. Babies stick together. So, this image should trouble us and make us question whether what seems “cute” to most human eyes is a profoundly sad state for the animal who’s displayed.

And now, are we really going to share a video clip of a helpless baby pig in a bidet for “National Dog Day”?

OK, yeah, I’m gonna get preachy here.

In the Year of the Pig Boar, how about we focus on these beings’ ancestral, free communities?

Most people don’t know what young boars look like, or where they live. We, as vegans, should know. Because veganism is not about making selective breeding seem adorable. Veganism is about challenging it and refusing to obscure the reality of where animal communities come from and who they really are.

Best wishes to everyone in the Year of the Boar. Let these images of boars interacting set the tone for a new year in vegan outreach.

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Run That By Me Again?

According to Britannica.comDecember 26 is the feast day of St. Stephen, the patron saint of horses, so Boxing Day has come to be a day of sporting events, including horse races.

Imagine a saint who’d ride you, spur you, whip you, and discard you once you are deemed unfit to compete. With saints like this…

A Call for the End of Deer Control

No one needs a scientific survey to notice that very few deer at Valley Forge National Historical Park have aged beyond two years. The photo here was taken before 2010—the year Valley Forge started shooting its deer.

According to park officials there were 1,277 deer when they first baited the hapless beings and shot all they could, looking to reduce this long-established group to fewer than 185.

Any individual deer who survives one such annual massacre is highly unlikely to make it through the next. The lifespan of a deer is about 16; Valley Forge’s deer are infants and adolescents. For them, preserving intergenerational memory is out of the question.

Continue reading at CounterPunch.

This Idyllic Scene

The thing that shocked me, along with the chief impact of the whole setup, was that my Uncle George, of whom I thought very highly, was part of the crew, and I suppose at that point I decided that farms, and uncles, had to be re-assessed. They weren’t all they seemed to be, on the face of it, to a little, hitherto uninformed boy. And it followed that this idyllic scene was nothing more than Death Row. A Death Row where every creature’s days were numbered by the point at which it was no longer of service to human beings.

—Donald Watson


Banner photo: Lee Hall. Inset photo: Peter Lloyd, via Unsplash.

Vegan 101: Free PowerPoint Download

World Vegan Day, the First of November, is just one week away. Need a simple resource for World Vegan Month outreach in Novemberor any time? Vegan 101 is a free slideshow you can use. It includes 100% evergreen material suitable for general audiences. An extra slide provides notes for presenters. Everyone is welcome to share comments and suggestions in the comment field under the slide deck.

Enjoy this resource. And let me know if you have any issues opening the PowerPoint file. The file extension is .pptx; that can be changed to an earlier version if improves accessibility.

Best wishes for World Vegan Month!

Lee.