Heather Mills Discusses Veganism on the Ray D’Arcy Show
Heather Mills was interviewed on the Ray D’Arcy show in Ireland this week. Heather describers herself as vegan, although her stated motivation was personal health following the loss of her leg in an accident. It is likely, therefore, that Heather Mills promotes a plant-based diet, rather than veganism. Mills owns vBites (formerly known as Redwood Foods) which produces Cheatin’, VegiDeli and Cheezly products. She is a Patron and Celebrity Sponsor of animal charity Viva.
To be invited to represent veganism on television in another country is a privilege, and a priceless opportunity to educate oneself about vegan education and animal rights activism in that country, and to use the show to educate viewers about something that is their right to know.
Veganism = Recognising me as Someone, Not Something
During the Ray D’Arcy show, Heather was asked her opinion on Go Vegan World, and in particular on our ad featuring Marjorie, a goose resident at Eden Farmed Animal Sanctuary. The ad states: Veganism = Recognising Me as Someone, Not Something. Heather responded by stating that she knows, from her twenty five years experience, that the only way to help people ‘meat reduce’ is not to shock them. Furthermore, she went on to discuss the campaign and the ad with reference to militancy and extremism. When pressed by Ray D’Arcy to make a statement on the content of the ad, she finally admitted that ‘everything should be a someone’. She added that she doesn’t eat pigs because ‘they are so blooming intelligent’. She continually brought the conversation back to her plant foods industry and her efforts to ‘convert’ people, and promote reducetarianism.
What a lost opportunity to advocate for other animals.
Veganism vs Plant-Based or Reducitarianism
Veganism is a way of living that is motivated by acknowledgement that other animals share our capacity to feel and value their lives. Their intelligence is irrelevant, just as human rights are not contingent upon human intelligence.
‘Meat reduction’ has nothing to do with veganism. Using other animals for their flesh is just one of the ways in which we exploit them when we are not vegan. Veganism boycotts all forms of animal use completely; it is not about reducing one type of animal use.
All vegans eat a 100% plant diet, but a plant diet does not constitute veganism.
A plant diet has many benefits, among them human health benefits. But it is not a miracle cure for all human ills: it is a way of ending our participation in the exploitation of other animals.
Fact-based Vegan Education
Vegans who engage in advocacy, vegan education and animal rights activism, do not ‘convert’ others. We impart accurate information about animal sentience and animal rights, and practical support so that others know how to live as vegans. The people we speak to do their own work of changing how they think and feel about other animals, and living without exploiting them. None of us has the power to do that work for someone else.
Everyone calling themselves vegan needs to be aware of the difference between plant based and veganism. There is a difference between profiting from the rising popularity of vegan friendly products and advocating fairly for animal rights. Many people have jumped on bandwagon of the recent trend in plant based living and are profiting from offering vegan options in their restaurants, writing vegan cookery books, and offering educational, nutritional, lifestyle and cookery courses despite the fact that they are not vegan and continue to profit from using and selling animal products.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a ‘celebrity’, a wealthy patron and philanthropist, or an ordinary vegan doing rights based vegan education like those of us at Go Vegan World: the least we owe those on whose behalf we advocate is to be clear about their rights and the need to rapidly and completely abolish all human use of them. It is also the right of everyone we address as part of our advocacy efforts, to access factual information about animal rights and veganism.
Go Vegan World is disappointed that someone who refers to themselves as vegan, indeed someone who publicly trades on their image as a vegan, should so blatantly and unfairly misrepresent our work to the very audience we are working so hard to educate.
The full show can be seen here for the next 30 days and the following clip shows her discussion of the Go Vegan World ad.