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A guide to nonviolence
Our relationship with animals
Animals are constantly a part of our lives. They share our homes, sleep
in our beds, and may even greet us at the door. We turn to them for
emotional support, consider them members
of the family, and mourn their deaths when
they pass. These animals may not be able to
balance a checkbook or speak our language,
but we love and value them highly. We
believe they enjoy their lives as much as
they enjoy the company of others. For
other animals who are, in many ways, no
different from dogs or cats, we stick forks
and knives into their cooked bodies and
wear their skin as clothing. If we believe
violence just for enjoyment against a dog
or cat is wrong, how do we reconcile
m o t h e r s o w in a gestation
what we do to other animals? We
A crate . certainly do not need animal products
to be healthy; we consume animals out
of habit and because we enjoy the taste or convenience
of their products. This strange contradiction is our “moral
schizophrenia.” If we want to overcome our social
affliction, we must take the first step in being
nonviolent and become vegan.

Veganism is not a diet, but a way of life
which excludes the use of animals for any
reason. This means a vegan does not eat, wear,
or use animals or their products. Instead, vegans thrive on
diverse plant-based foods, animal-
free clothing, and find Over 50 billion animals are killed
a l t e r n a t i v e every year worldwide.
ways to doing In the time it took to read that
anything that sentence, 3,163 chickens, 170
would involve an ducks, 87 pigs, 36 sheep, 40
animal. turkeys, 25 goats, 19 cattle, and 1
buffalo were killed across the globe1
1: Based on the 2007 United Nations Food and Agriculture report. Figures considered for a two second timespan.
What about “humanely-Raised”
An increasing number of consumers attempt to
address the devastation we cause to animals
not by going vegan but by purchasing products
advertised as “humane” or as produced
“ethically.” However, as you’ll see, these labels
are practically meaningless. The conditions of
“humanely-raised” animals are no more of an
improvement than putting air fresheners in
a torture chamber. Meanwhile, these products
encourage the public to believe it is okay to

Can’t we just have
exploit animals simply because we enjoy it.

“Do not let new welfarists [or anyone else]
convince you that veganism is “hard” or
better welfare?
that vegans think that they are “special”. When our habits are
Veganism is increasingly easy in the 21st threatened by our instinct to
century. What’s hard is being a nonhuman do what is right, we often
animal whose property status robs her of try to rationalize ourselves
any meaningful moral consideration.” out of breaking our habits in
-Roger Yates order to avoid this conflict.
One of these rationalizations
is to believe the solution for animals, if welfare regulation fails, is simply to
have better welfare. This is the vicious cycle of animal welfarism. As you’ll
see in the succeeding pages, the past three hundred years of animal welfare
laws have shown as long as animals are property, they cannot have rights.
Without rights, their exploitation is not only continued but protected by the
mantra of their increasingly better conditions. We all know the property
status won’t go away overnight, but with veganism, each one of us and the
friends we encourage can gradually reduce the very demand for their
exploitation in the first place. Going
vegan is easier than you think and “Never doubt that a
this guide will help you through it. small group of thoughtful,
The following pages provide committed, citizens can
examples of how animals are used change the world. Indeed, it is
and why veganism is easy, healthy, the only thing that ever has.”
and necessary if we claim to take -Margaret Mead
animal interests seriously.
“There is no meaningful distinction between eating flesh and
eating dairy or other animal products. Animals exploited in
the dairy industry live longer than those used for meat, but
they are treated worse during their lives, and they end up in
the same slaughterhouse after which we consume their flesh
anyway. There is probably more suffering in a glass of milk
or an ice cream cone than there is in a steak.”
-Prof. Gary L. Francione

“But you don’t have to kill C
the cow for milk, right?” owonwsfilttahgged and standing
in their
Some people may choose to avoid eating meat
because they do not want to hurt or kill animals. However,
these same individuals may also consume
non-meat animal products (e.g. eggs or milk)
thinking there is no wrong done to the animals who
make them. Truthfully, there is no moral difference
between eating a slab of steak or drinking a glass of
milk. The life of a dairy cow, for example, involves
a tremendous amount of suffering. When we find
someone is being treated in such a way that they
are suffering, we’ll naturally want someone else
to step in and stop the cruelty. However, in the
case of the animals we use for food, entertainment,
and so many other purposes, they suffer not because people are failing to better
the treatment but that they are “things” we use in the first place. So in the
case of the dairy cow, her labor begins with being raped by human hands and
bovine semen. Her babies are taken away from her to be raised as veal calves
and after she has endured a “life” of forced milking and confinement,
she and her babies are taken to slaughter. All of
this happens because we raise these
mothers so we may take their milk
for ourselves. This is not a matter of
misbehaving dairy farmers but what is
necessary to get us the milk, flesh, or whatever
[] else we want from these animals. The dairy
cow is only one example of why our treatment
of animals is not the problem but that we use
them as property in the first place. So the first
thing we must do as nonviolent people is to go vegan.
Left: ringworm infections consume a veal calf’s
face. Most veal calves are the babies of dairy cattle.
Anyone who’s ever owned anything wouldn’t think
it’s strange for a property owner to want to take care
of his or her property, especially when that person’s
money comes from keeping these possessions in good
condition. This is the case with animal property as
well. It’s in the best interests of an animal owner to
take care of the animal when it helps to make more
money or keeps costs down. “Humane treatment”
laws tend to actually benefit producers by getting rid
of “wasteful” methods while comforting consumers
to believe they can still exploit animals in a way that
is “ethical” or “humane.

How “humane” is humane
Objects of property cannot truly have
rights. To have a “right” is to have a
certain kind of freedom which cannot be
taken away simply for someone else’s Actual diagrams for
enjoyment. When we make something “humane” slaughter
or someone our property, any attempt by designer Temple
we make to ensure the best welfare (e.g. Grandin
bigger cages, less painful slaughter, etc.)
cannot interfere with our interest in getting what we want from
the thing or person. Animal products labeled as more “humane” still use an animal
as property. Treatment cannot be so improved that the animal products are
unaffordable to consumers or
“[The use of humane slaughter methods]... unprofitable to producers. This is
results in safer and better working why “humanely-raised” animals
conditions...brings about the improvement end up on the same trucks to
of products and economies in slaughtering the same slaughterhouses as
operations; and produces other benefits conventional animals. In fact,
for producers, processors, and consumers many laws against inhumane
which tend to expedite an orderly flow of treatment simply do not apply
livestock and livestock products...” during transport and other times
-United States Humane Methods of Slaughter when the law would prevent the
Act. profitable use of animals. For these
reasons, it’s not that welfare laws
“Humane treatment” laws still treat animals as
don’t but can’t meaningfully protect
objects of property and actually economically
animal interests. In any case, being
benefit the production of animals by legislating
against “wasteful” practices. property means not having rights.
Hatcheries “Veganism is an act of nonviolent defiance.
It is our statement that we reject the
Birds are raised from hatcheries notion that animals are things and that
where male chicks (useless for egg we regard sentient nonhumans as moral
production) are killed immediately. persons with the fundamental moral right
This process may involve suffocation, not to be treated as the property or
resources of humans.”
gassing, or even being ground
-Prof. Gary L. Francione, Distinguished
up alive. Female chicks endure Professor of Law, Rutgers University

overcrowding and are “debeaked” via
pressing a hot plate directly to the beak to
be singed blunt. This is a painful process
often resulting in infection and an inability
to eat or drink. Whether a chicken comes
from a backyard coop, a “free range” or a
crowded, filthy enclosure, birds are the result of
the standard industry practice of hatcheries. This
cruelty exists despite laws passed supposedly
to minimize the suffering of animals. Animal
welfare laws many of us believe protect
animals actually do nothing to prevent many of
the painful and deadly practices necessary to
efficiently profit from animals.
Free Range/Cage-Free I
While the atrocities of a hatchery are reason imnmehdiatcheries, male chicks
enough to abhor bird production, some
ately killed. are
consumers attempt to lessen the harm of
animal exploitation with the purchase of free range or cage-free
bird products. These labels have little to no legal meaning and may simply
refer to a small outdoor concrete enclosure or
a cageless but filthy and overcrowded barn.
As for egg production, chickens enjoy eating the
unfertile eggs we take away from them. “Free
range” or “cage-free” birds come
from deadly hatcheries. They may still be
debeaked, crowded, and cut off from light.
These birds end up in the same transport to the
same slaughterhouse as any other chicken. This
“improvement” is akin to putting nice paintings
A birdhterrehoscueused from a in a torture chamber.
Fish and aquatic animals
Fish are beings with muscles and nerves which allow
them to explore and feel just like land animals2. While
they may not have facial expressions or show emotion in
the same way we do, they have families, fear pain and love life as much as a
dog or cat. The death of fish for food is one of slow and painful suffocation.
They are decompressed, stabbed, and often cut open alive to bleed to death
in agony. To kill a fish is no more humane than to kill a rabbit or a cow.

“Sentience” describes a feature of animals (humans or otherwise) which separates
us from things like plants and inanimate objects. Animals are sentient because they
can feel, sense their surroundings, and process this in a brain. While some plants
have ways of responding to predators or the changes around them, these are
chemical reactions and biological events which do not
involve thinking. That is, plants and rocks do not
have a brain. They do not feel pain nor have
emotions or thoughts. Plants and lifeless
objects are not sentient. We could break
sentience into further characteristics
like the thinking abilities humans
have that nonhumans do not (or
vice versa) but when it comes
to having a right not to be used,
what more does a being need than
sentience? When sentient beings are
used, they have an understanding about
it. They can have negative or positive
feelings about their situation. However,
our obligation is not to ensure animals
have only supposedly positive feelings
about their being used but not
to use them in the first place.

“The animals of the world exist for
their own reasons. They were not
made for humans any more than
black people were made for white,
or women created for men.€”
2: Sneddon, L. (2003). The evidence for pain in fish: The use -Alice Walker
of morphine as an analgesic. Applied Animal Behaviour Science,
83(2), 153-162. doi:10.1016/S0168-1591(03)00113-8.
It’s not how we treat nonhumans but that we use
them as our property "...In relation to so-called
“The issue is not whether we can farm animals, animal welfare
make the process more ‘humane.’ organisations seem to be forever
The issue is how we can justify forced into a ‘never-win’ situation....
any of this under any circumstance.
The issue is not treatment; the
issue is use.”
-Prof. Gary L. Francione

Not only do the welfare groups spend
years campaigning for change, this is
followed by a long period of implementation
and then these same groups spend years
monitoring the reforms they supported,
exposing violations of regulatory laws they : t w o “h u a s o s ” chase and
were instrumental in creating.”
Chiledown a calf.
-Roger Yates,
PhD. lecturer in Sociology, Becoming Vegan
Bangor University “I’ll admit, it all started with a girl. I
first started giving up animal products
because I wanted to impress her. She was my first girlfriend. Gradually,
I came to learn how animal products were saturated in so many things.
I had never thought about how most baked goods, for instance, were
stuffed with all kinds of secretions, enzymes, and random chemicals all from
animals. At first, I was a little worried about giving up some of my favorite
foods. But I learned from her there were plenty of
options available and I developed new tastes
for all kinds of foods I had never tried before.
Looking back, I can’t believe I ever thought
any of this would be difficult. When I went
vegan, I just looked for alternatives and gave
it up completely--no excuses. Even though I
was practically addicted to cheese, I never
missed meat or dairy or anything else. My
A horse limps from a body and cravings basically adjusted to what I
injury. Later, he wil racing was eating. While I changed my eating habits
l be killed. and my wardrobe, I gradually began to clear
my head of this idea that
animals didn’t matter--
“Let’s stop talking about veganism as
like they were significantly
a matter of compassion, benevolence
different from me in the ways
and other nice-sounding, but ultimately
that matter the most. I came
anthropocentric missives. The idea
to understand that we are
that we are being kind, acting
constantly thinking of animals in
compassionately€, or saving lives€ just
the same way we think of cars,
by being vegan is misguided. It’s also
cellphones, and music players.
paternalistic. Veganism is a matter
It wasn’t until I understood the
of justice, and it reflects the absolute
pervasive status of animals as
minimum of justice that I owe other
property that veganism was
persons (human and non). That
solidified for me. I love being a
doesn’t mean we’re not compassionate
vegan, I will always be one, and
people. It doesn’t mean we can’t act
am never shy to tell my friends
compassionately toward other animals
they should go vegan too!“
(human or non). It just means that
veganism is what we owe them. It’s
not an act of charity.”
Omaha, Nebraska, USA
-Vincent J. Guihan
A nonviolent life
At times, individuals considering going vegan look at all the many non-vegan
things around them and wonder “where do I draw the line?” Indeed, it’s no
secret we live in a very non-vegan world. But we don’t need to define limits
for ourselves to start off doing what we believe is right. If your favorite
snack cookie uses refined sugar, why
not spend the extra
fifty cents to buy
the organic knock-
off product? There
is no vegan police,
yet it is up to us
and only us to know
what we are capable
of doing. Leading a
nonviolent life does not
mean being perfect,
but ultimately it us up
to us to reject violence
wherever we see it.
“Aren’t humans naturally carnivores?”
Some maintain that, despite the
ethical problem of our use of “God loved the birds and
animals, humans are biologically
invented trees. Man loved the
meat eaters and have historically
been so as well. They may also point birds and invented cages.”
to a set of teeth in the upper jaw -Jacques DeVal, “Afin de
called “canines” as proof. However, vivre bel et bien”
humans are not obligate carnivores
but omnivores. We can easily subsist on a plant-based diet. Our canine teeth
are actually very small and blunt. Compare them to real carnivores like
cats whose canines are pointed and
protruding for piercing and shredding.
In fact, we are anatomically more like
herbivores in a number of important
ways. For example, we have jaws
which can move horizontally and flat
molars for grinding plant fiber. Our
The small intestine (white) of a carnivore intestines, especially the small intestine,
(left) is considerably shorter than that of are strikingly identical to those of
an herbivore and a human (right) many herbivores--long, winding, and
ridged to slowly move plant material and absorb nutrients. The intestines
of a carnivore are short and smooth to quickly dispel meat and its bacteria.
Carnivores are distinguished psychologically as well. For instance, do you
salivate at the sight of blood and screaming? For these and many other
reasons, is it any wonder why we must sterilize our meat (heat) or why
heart disease is the #1 natural killer of human beings? A similar question
may be: “Is it okay to consume animals if other animals kill for food in the
wild?” Whether or
not other animals
make ethical choices,
humans can. We can
choose not to exploit
animals. In addition,
if we were to justify
our actions this way,
Tiger canines Human canines we would also justify
a number of other
socially unacceptable acts of violence.
Being healthy
A vegan diet is one of the healthiest diets in the world and eating vegan
doesn't require breaking the bank or moving to a big city. You can start
today with a balanced and flavorful meal. However, as with any diet, you
should take care to get all the nutrients needed for healthy living. While
some will tell you to worry about your protein, most people actually get
too much. A vegan can get all the protein they need from lentils, tempeh,
tofu, beans, nuts, seeds, and even vegetables in marginal amounts. More
importantly, a vegan should pay attention to their calcium, iron, and B12.

Calcium, Iron, and B12
A vegan gets his or her calcium from dark green
leafy vegetables like kale or collard greens. Iron can
be found in lentils, spinach, or hummus and is made
more absorbable with adequate vitamin C intake.
Whether or not vegans need a supplement for B12
is a controversial topic. However, we do know
humans need only a small amount over a very long
period of time. It doesn’t hurt to take a supplement, but
B12 can be found in some fortified foods and nutritional yeast.

A Green Lifestyle
Consuming a plant-based diet also has a significant
effect on the environment. For instance, the amount
of potatoes which can be produced on an acre of land is
about 40,000 lbs compared to only 250 lbs of cow flesh
which can be grown from the same acre. When we feed
plants to animals in order to eat the animal, we waste an
enormous amount of food. For only one pound of cow flesh,
16 lbs of plant food and 5,000 gallons of water are required.
Compare that to 25 gallons of water for a pound of wheat.
Animal agriculture is also responsible for most of the food
borne illness epidemics from water runoff. Our use of
animals contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions
as well as the destruction of forests for grazing. More than
250 million acres of forests are cleared every year in the US
alone for this purpose.
Food Choices
While you convert your diet, also convert your kitchen. Keeping your living
space stocked with diverse vegan snacks and meals makes finding good food
at any time a snap.

Where to eat? What to eat? What to buy?
A transition to a vegan way of living can be Check out Vegan.FM's vegan
made very easy by stocking up on healthy, lookup tool at
Find out if your products, ingredi-
non-perishable foods (seeds, nuts, granola, ents, stores, or alcohols are vegan
dried fruit.) Meanwhile, try making meals or tested on animals. You can also
with plenty of servings from each section of look up vegan locations where
the vegan food pyramid. you live.

Fats (2 servings)

Fruits (2 servings)

Vegetables (4 servings)
Calcium rich
Legumes, nuts, and foods
other protein-rich
foods (5 servings)

(6 servings)

“People are able to do all kinds of horrible things, but the fact that they
can do them should never be accepted as justification for doing them.
The thing we must emphasize is that we can be vegan, and be healthy
and live comfortable lives. That is what is important, so whether meat
is healthy or not is irrelevant. What is relevant is that it is healthy to be
vegan, so we have an alternative to animal exploitation and are therefore
morally obligated to do that.”
-Elizabeth Collins
Recently, more and more foods are being produced without animal products.
For instance, you can find vegan ice creams, yogurts, cheeses, milks, deli
meats, roasts, chicken, burger patties, meatballs, scrambles, egg replacers,
and more. However, a good vegan transition doesn’t mean eating processed
foods. Try these healthy suggestions for planning your first vegan meal.
Plan your meal with ease
& Fried bulgur with agave nectar/maple syrup
& Vegan cereals or oatmeal with nondairy milk
& Fresh fruit
& Pancakes or waffles (using an egg replacer)
& Tempeh bacon
& Tofu scramble

Soup, salad, and a sandwich &
Baked potato and chili beans &
Falafel &
Edamame &
3-bean salad &
Rice and veggie stir fry &
& Quinoa and mushroom stuffed peppers
& Bean tacos with lettuce and tomatoes
& Masala dosa
& Black bean burger with sweet potato
& Sushi (no fish) and rice

Snacks and Sweets
Fruit smoothie &
Granola &
Celery with peanut butter &
Chips and guacamole &
Fried cinnamon tortilla strips &
Free vegan recipes
Don’t know how to make these meals or don’t know what they are? Visit for details and instructions.
The essence of "Ahimsa"
By adhering to “ahimsa,” meaning “nonviolence,” we
recognize that treating a sentient being as a means
to our ends cannot be justified simply
because it gives us pleasure.
Avoiding the consumption
of any and all animal
products (e.g. wool,
honey, silk, etc.)
is the first, not
the final step, in
embracing the
principle of ahimsa. Most “The most important form of incremental
people are born into a habit of change is the decision by the individual to
consuming animals at nearly every become vegan. Veganism, or the eschewing
meal and are raised to believe our of all animal products, is more than a matter
use of animals is humane or fair. of diet or lifestyle; it is a political and moral
statement in which the individual accepts the
However, if you consider yourself principle of abolition in her own life. Veganism
nonviolent and you believe, at is the one truly abolitionist goal that we can
least, that animal interests should all achieve and we can achieve it immediately,
be taken seriously, you must take starting with our next meal.”
the step of going vegan. While -Prof. Gary L. Francione
vegans are everywhere and there are plenty of like-minded people to
help you, only you can make the decision to regard animals not as things,
but as persons. Only you
can embrace ahimsa,
Only you can decide to
practice nonviolence
by going vegan and
you can start today
at your next meal.

“Go vegan. It’s easy and better
for your health and for the
Becoming Vegan planet. But, most importantly,
See the back page of this pamphlet it’s the morally right thing to
for recommended websites to do.”
learn more about animal rights, -Prof. Gary L. Francione
nonviolence, and veganism.
Meet Katie.
Below are stills from video footage of the outside of a slaughterhouse.
The girl you see turning around never lived with a name, but to those
who remember her, she is known as “Katie.” Presently, she is afraid
of the sounds she hears. She is confused about what is happening. She
wants to get out, but the walls are so close, she cannot turn around.

This is not a gory video. There is no death or bloodshed--only the panic of
a frightened animal who appears to know it’s all coming to an end. As you
witness Katie’s story, think of her before you eat that hamburger, ice cream
cone, or slice of cheese and ask yourself...
is it really worth it?
animal rights
Read “Introduction to Animal Rights” by
Gary L. Francione or one of his other works:
Rain Without Thunder; Animals, Property,
and the Law; and Animals as Persons.
Also, see the abolitionist approach blog
at with
free pamphlets, video, and audio
interviews and podcasts.

Meet Vegans
A transition to veganism is always
easier when surrounded by like-minded
people. Join an animal rights forum at
or to ask
questions, get advice, or just make new

Find food and products
Animal products, unfortunately, are
everywhere. They’re hidden behind
cryptic ingredient names in the foods we
eat, they find their way into restaurant
food unmentioned, but this doesn’t have
to make being vegan difficult.
Search any ingredient name or
alcohol product to see if it’s vegan or
find your region to see where you
can be accommodated while eating
out. Also find recipes for making
great vegan meals at home. It’s all at
For a free copy or copies of this pamphlet, visit

Revision 1
Adam Kochanowicz