26th March 2023

Go Vegan World’s Spring Campaign

In the run up to Easter, days lengthen and become brighter and warmer. Flowers begin to bloom and there is a general lightness in the air. Not so for the animals we continue to exploit in ever increasing numbers. Whenever there is cause for humans to celebrate or take a break, our consumption of them increases. The term ‘spring lamb’ that is bandied about on television cookery shows, in supermarkets and restaurants, sounds innocuous to most people. But what could be more obnoxious than the true meaning of ‘spring lamb’: killing a baby of about three months old who wanted nothing more from life than to play with their friends, and stay close to their mothers. The ‘tenderness’ that producers of their flesh boast about is because they were so recently born and were still drinking their mothers’ milk just hours before they were slaughtered. Chicks and are also associated with this time of year, often in the form of boiled and decorated hens’ eggs or artificial chocolate eggs, usually made with dairy milk. Most people think very fondly of baby chickens (chicks). They depict innocence, vulnerability, new life, and birth/rebirth. Yet they are slaughtered in mind boggling numbers every year. Isn’t it strange that we use these symbols of life to celebrate our right to life, our enjoyment of our lives, by taking the lives of the most innocent, vulnerable, young animals we can think of.

How Many Animals Do we Kill?

We kill more than 80 billion land animals to feed and clothe a human population of 8 billion, every year. Chickens are slaughtered in the greatest numbers, followed by pigs, sheep and cows. We kill over 70 billion chickens every year. This figure does not include the 7 billion male chicks killed at birth by gassing or live maceration because, being male, they cannot lay eggs and do not profit the industry (S.I. No. 14/2008 – European Communities (Welfare of Farmed Animals) Regulations 2008, Part 7 of Schedule 4. https://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2008/si/14/made/en/print).

Aquatic animals are killed in even greater numbers. Unlike land animals, they are not counted as individuals but by their collective weight. This amounts to thousands of billions of animals being killed, unnecessarily and horrifically, every year, to meet the human demand for their flesh, including their use in animal feed.

Species: No. of individuals killed:
Land mammals: more than: 83 billion
of whom chickens account for: 74 billion
Male chicks killed in the egg industry: 7 billion
Farmed fish: 160 billion
Wild/sea caught fishes up to: 2.7 trillion

Numbers of individual animals killed every year to feed approximately 8 billion humans. Figures are the latest available, some of which date from 2019.

Joining The Dots

The role of Go Vegan World is to help people to think about the incongruity of celebrating our own lives by taking the lives of others, and to illustrate the connection between the non-vegan products we consume, and the animals they were before they were killed for us. This Spring our focus is on the animals killed in the greatest numbers, traditionally eaten in greater numbers at this time of year. We are also running our Dairy Takes Babies ad, and illustrating the link between animal agriculture and climate change. Our ads can be seen on billboards and buses around Ireland, Liverpool and on some of the busiest stations on the London Underground (Liverpool St, London Bridge and Waterloo).