Vegan activist group reaches out to Christmas shoppers to spread eco message
- Manchester Animal Action hosts weekly events encouraging people change society's attitude towards animal cruelty
- Members claim vegan diet could help the environment
Vegan activist group Manchester Animal Action gathered in Manchester city centre to promote animal rights and the benefits of a plant-based diet.
Leaflets for both vegan and non-vegans filled with useful information were handed out, showing how the group collaborates with organisations such as the Anti-Fur Movement Manchester and Manchester Animal Rights Team.
Activists chose the busy retail spot in Market Street situated close to the sausage-selling Christmas markets to speak about veganism and animal cruelty. Facts were given out about the welfare of the animals involved in the meat industry and organisers brought a selection of home-made vgean snacks to share with the public.
Veganism’s effect on mental and physical health was also discussed.
Kieran Engelke, 34, vegan for four years, said: “One of the main things for me is my mental health. I’ve always had mental health issues, bipolar disorder, and lots of guilt-based things, feeling guilty for things that weren’t my fault.
"Since going vegan my mental health has been so much better, I feel more confident about who I am”.
With the growing concern over climate change, Animal Action members say more and more reports are revealing the meat and dairy industry’s contribution to environmental issues and suggest that a plant-based diet can help fight them.
Kiery highlighted what she said was the media's influence on people and their interest in veganism: “The BBC are posting articles about it and also the documentaries on Netflix. People are starting to realise the importance of it."
Claire, who has been involved with the group for seven years, said: “I think for saving the planet it’s the single biggest thing we can do.
"Animal agriculture is the biggest threat we’ve got, it is the leading cause of climate change and the science backs that up and even the governments are starting to recognise that. If we don’t stop eating meat we’re going to eat ourselves in to extinction.”
Animal Action is changing its name in the new year to underline climate concern. From January their new name will be Manchester Climate Action.
Meet-ups take place between 2-4pm every Sunday, with event details posted on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@manchesteranimalaction)