What is Veganism?

The greatest problem on earth today is the notion that some lives matter less than others. We imagine that non-human lives hardly matter at all. We live as though our difference from other species entitles us to use them and that they exist for our benefit. This view is not only inaccurate, it is unethical.

Non human animals are sentient and aware. When we hurt them, they feel it. There is hardly an exception to animal use that does not harm them.

The only hope for other animals is complete cessation of our use of them.  This defines veganism. The term ‘vegan’ came into being when the word was coined by Donald Watson and others, using the first and last letters of the word vegetarian. Veganism came to be defined as

“a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”

Being vegan entails becoming aware of all the ways in which we use others, and the harm that our use inflicts on them. Humans are also other animals; part of veganism is the acknowledgement of the connection between the exploitation and oppression of non-humans and that of humans.

Veganism is about equality, fairness and justice for everyone. However, the focus is on other animals because in terms of both numbers and degree of suffering, the greatest harm of non vegan living is inflicted on non humans.

When you choose to live vegan you tackle the issue of animal use at its core. The issue is not how we treat other animals while they are alive; it is that we breed them into this life for our use at all.

At its heart, veganism is about how we relate to others, ensuring that we live in ways that accord them the things we wish for ourselves, regardless of any perception of difference to them, or distance from them.

Go Vegan World is a Public Vegan Advertising Campaign run by Eden Farmed Animal Sanctuary, Ireland. It is animal focused in nature, and seeks complete cessation of animal use. The first of its kind in Europe it was launched in Ireland.

In celebration of World Vegan Month 2015, vegan advertising appeared on buses and trains, on bus shelters and in colleges and universities throughout Ireland.

The campaign was accompanied by the practical resources of a website and a Free Vegan Kit and social media tools such as Go Vegan Ireland and Go Vegan Northern Ireland Facebook Pages.

The campaign gives a voice to the animals humans use so unthinkingly. It gives them the opportunity to look right at the viewer; to tell them how we harm them; to ask for what they want. For us to Go Vegan.

The campaign is inspired by my work as Founder and Director of Ireland’s first vegan sanctuary, Eden Farmed Animal Sanctuary. Since I opened the sanctuary in 2008 I have been humbled by the character, personality, complexity, sophistication and courage of the individuals who have lived here. I have been appalled by the harm we inflict on them by our use of them. I have been horrified by the hidden nature of this harm. It is my hope that this campaign will bring public awareness to the truth of how they live and how they die.

I have seen the light go out of too many eyes. Every one of them struggles to hold onto their precious only life, right until their last breath. A vegan world is only the starting point; our goal must be their freedom from us.

Sandra Higgins

Founder & Director
Eden Farmed Animal Sanctuary Ireland

Find us on Go Vegan Ireland Facebook Page and Go Vegan Northern Ireland Facebook Page.

images facebook


NOTE: The information on the website www.goveganworld.com temporarily links to www.govegan.ie with a focus on the South of Ireland. This will be updated to include information relevant to the North of Ireland, in time.