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December 2001/January 2002
Voting Vegan: Is a cruelty-free, peaceful world truly attainable?

By Joseph Connelly


At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Shanghai on October 20, President Bush told leaders of the 21 nations assembled that the terrorists who struck the World Trade Center were trying to bring about a collapse of world markets. Governments around the world are asking their citizens and businesses to join the fight against terrorism by spending money.

While the U.S. government is doing its part by dropping $2,000 bombs on $10 tents with the mistaken and sad belief that this will somehow produce peace and security, it is vitally important that all who desire a truly free and safe world direct their “votes” to products and businesses that practice and preach a consistent message. As Einstein said, “You cannot simultaneously prepare for war and peace.”

Many vegetarian, animal, peace, and social activists work on the premise that they “speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.” Throughout history, groups of oppressed beings and those assisting with their liberation have often joined together and supported one another economically as one strategy to overcome prejudice or injustice. This holiday season, as the world spirals into chaos, you have an opportunity to direct your resources to those individuals, organizations, and businesses that sincerely strive towards creating the world in which most of us desire to live and work. How can you accomplish this? By being conscious of where and with whom your dollars are spent.

During our lifetimes each of us has the potential to spend millions of dollars. Imagine the difference we could collectively achieve if we directed all of our spending to vegan-owned and supported companies, from vegan wedding resources to companion animal food, chocolate gift baskets, organic cotton and hemp clothing, bed-and-breakfasts and fresh-baked vegan goodies. By using VegNews, Satya or similar publications as a resource, individuals and businesses can find what they are looking for across a broad spectrum of their needs—a guide to help them “Vote Vegan” with their dollars and with their hearts.

By Voting Vegan you show your support for companies that dare to be different. Very often these are small companies that have a difficult time finding capital and funding from so-called “mainstream” sources. Your way of life and philosophy have already created the demand for their products. By patronizing cruelty-free, socially-conscious businesses over their less ethical competitors you can ensure their survival and assure that tomorrow it will be easier to find environmentally- and animal-friendly goods.

Finally—and most importantly—when you spend your holiday dollars, loonies, pounds, and yen on cruelty-free products, you speak loudly for the animals and the environment by becoming their voice. When you support companies that truly care, you allow the vegan, animal, peace, and environmental movements to survive and attain sustainability. By doing so, you help these movements and their ideas (and ideals) become successful, legitimate, and accepted. The Earth and all beings benefit.

May we all enjoy peace and happiness during this holiday season...and beyond.


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