Vegan Sidekick

I only have 4 social media accounts, that you can find links to in the top right corner of my website. Any other accounts you may find named "Vegan Sidekick" on those social media sites, or anywhere else on the internet, are unrelated to me.

About the Page

I began Vegan Sidekick on facebook in April 2013. I did it because I'd become apathetic and essentially given up on any kind of activism. Nearly everybody I talked to about veganism didn't want to know, and found it offensive to even be told what was going on. So I had just become a "nice guy" who was vegan, trying to set a positive example. The trouble with that is - practically nobody asked me anything. For over ten years I did that, and I felt depressed that I couldn't do more for the animals who are routinely abused and killed for no good reason.

The page seemed like a good way to get information across, since nobody can complain that I'd "forced" anything upon them, as they could just scroll past a post if they are that upset about it, or even block my page.

The page is not intended to insult or "demonize" anyone, or make it appear that I (or any other vegan) is "superior" to anybody else. The point of the page is to expose the absurdity of supporting and defending animal abuse, in a new way which is funny. Many other attempts at animal rights activism are very stern, and rightly so, since animal abuse is a very serious subject. But, I wanted to take this approach because I feel that everybody will react differently, and require a different approach to get them to understand the issue. So the straight forward approach may work for a great many people, but others might be switching off because of either graphic images, or "walls of text". My images might reach those people, with simple ideas, expressed in humourous ways which should challenge them.

I am frequently contacted by people who tell me they have dropped animal products from their life, specifically because of my page. It's something I've always wanted to be able to do in life - to have a wider impact on animal abuse than I could do personally by just being vegan. This page has allowed me to do that, and I thank everybody who has shared the images so widely, and especially thank people who have had the humility to change their perspective as a result.

I create the images using Photoshop and a graphics tablet, so I am essentially drawing by hand.

Why vegan?
I became vegetarian as a child when I first found out what meat was. As I always had consideration for animals, I had no intention of harming them, and so killing them for me to eat their dead body seemed outrageous. Similarly with leather, animal testing and so forth, I understood very clearly what the problem was.

Sadly, nobody ever explained to me anything further, and so I remained vegetarian for many years.

As a teenager, I began to think more carefully about how animals are used, and I realised that I was against the very idea of breeding them into captivity for our own purpose. So I eventually reached the conclusion that veganism was the only sensible thing to do.

It was later that I found out more about animal agriculture, and there are a few truths that people need to realise:

1) When breeding for hens to lay eggs, the males are of no use, so they are killed immediately upon hatcing. Since they are layer breeds, not meat breeds, the male chicks serve no purpose.

2) In order for a mammal to produce milk, she must be made pregnant. This is true of any lactating mammal, including cows. So first she is impregnated, which is generally done by the farmer by tying her up and then putting one hand into her anus, and then inserting a syringe of semen into her vagina with the other. Once the cow gives birth, the males are of no use within the dairy industry, and as such they are killed. Either they are killed immediately, or they are sold into the veal industry (killed after a few weeks) or they are sold into the beef industry (killed after a matter of months).

3) Once a layer hen's egg production starts to drop, she is killed. This typically happens at about 1 or 2 years old, when she could live to around 8 years.

4) Typically a dairy cow is forced to be pregnant twice, and as such, has two milking cycles. Her milk production is not as profitable after this, and so she is killed. The typical age of slaughter for a dairy cow is about 5 or 6 years old, when she could live to 20.

5) Though I have picked out these particular animals to underline the fact that slaugher awaits them, the same is true for all species. For instance sheep. Many people might think buying wool is harmless. But actually, sheep are farmed for their meat. They are sheared for their wool, and then put to death. You pay the people responsible when you buy wool.

6) On top of the slaughter, there are other routine acts of cruelty which are common throughout the industry. For instance castration without anaesthetic, tail docking, de-beaking and de-horning. Then of course there is the fact that mother and child are separated at the whim of the farmer, not when it would naturally happen, which is extremely distressing for all involved. And then the fact that as it stands in the united states, the vast majority of animals are enslaved in factory farms, which involve nightmarish conditions, tiny cages / stalls which don't allow animals to even turn round for their entire lives.

7) There are simple alternatives to animal products, and you do not require them in your diet. Check out Dr. Greger, Julieanna Hever, or Max Seabrook for any questions you may have, if you want to drop animal products but have some particular concern about a particular nutrient. Indeed, plant foods are far more nutrient-dense than animal products.

8) Veganism is by definition more sustainable than non-veganism. In order to raise livestock, they must be fed, and due to the intensive nature of farming at the moment, this means growing crops to feed billions of animals every year. To feed them takes far more resources than if we just ate a plant-based diet ourselves. It might seem counter-intuitive unless you really think about it, but yes, if we all just ate a plant-based diet, that would mean less plants were necessary, since we are cutting out the middle man (livestock) who have a population of dozens of billions, and we are only 7 billion. On top of this, animals produce greenhouse gases which are a massive contribution to global warming, many times that of all transportation emissions combined throughout the world. So if you are concerned about that, veganism should be your first step in environmentalism.

9) Veganism is as affordable as you need it to be. Just like any lifestyle, you could choose to spend a lot, or you could choose to spend a little. But the basics are cheap, rice, pasta, bread, beans, vegetables, fruit they're all affordable.

10) As a vegan, I have no "agenda" other than what I have presented. These animals are sentient, are aware, feel sensations, and we have no business exploiting and harming them when there are simple alternatives. It is not a religion, it is not a cult, and I have no particular affiliation with anybody else, I just promote non-violence, it's as simple as that.