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JYF Animal Rights Proposal
JYFs Animal Rights Proposal
As of JYF Camp 2019 (13-17th January), the JYF cohort concluded that Quakers should be more heavily involved in animal welfare. A Quaker movement towards vegetarianism and veganism would positively impact animals worldwide. The JYF aim is to have vegan catering for JYF gatherings because veganism strongly reflects the Quaker testimonies.This has been displayed by quakers from all over the world who already participate in the veganism movement.
Furthermore, we propose that all future JYF quaker events are mostly vegan and fully vegetarian. We have just experienced our first trial of this menu, at the 2019 JYF camp, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Hopefully, this will eventually expand to involve quaker gatherings from as small as morning tea to as large as Yearly Meeting. Our overall aim of this movement is to minimise the negative impact we have on other sentient beings and the environment.
Veganism and vegetarianism is linked to the Quaker testimonies. An animal-free diet is nutritious enough to sustain a healthy and fulfilling diet. In reflection of simplicity, JYFs believe that it is not necessary to consume non-plant-based products. We cannot live peacefully whilst oppressing animals, just as we could not peacefully live in a violent community. In order to live a peaceful life, JYFs believe that we must support animal welfare and maximise the positive impact we have on the animal community. A major part of veganism is not considering any animal higher than another just as we Quakers do not consider any person above another. In light of equality, we believe animals should be valued as equally as any other sentient being. Animal agriculture plays a big role in deforestation, methane/waste production and water/crop consumption and other factors which all contribute to climate change. In regards to sustainability, JYFs believe that veganism/vegetarianism contributes to maintaining a healthy environment.
In closing, we believe that Quakers should join the movement for animal rights, by introducing veganism and vegetarianism into our community. Many quakers are already involved as we believe we should be.
Here is a quotation from Quaker Faith and Practice, Fifth Edition, Chapter 25.06, Vera Haley, 1988:
“If it is right that we should show love and compassion for people, surely it is right that we should extend our love and compassion to animals, who can feel fear and experience pain in much the same way as humans. They may not be able to speak, but we can certainly see the fear in their eyes and demeanor. I feel that being a vegetarian is a natural progression from being a pacifist and a Quaker.”
Australian Junior Young Friends, JYF Summer Camp 2019