The badger cull has clearly been a political tool to keep traditionally conservative-voting farmers and farming communities onside. The government have been keen to show that they are doing something to help, that they are taking a strong stance. In reality this is manifesting in violence and cruelty rather than addressing the root cause - modern farming methods.
A very real but subtle war is quietly being waged against those who would challenge the status quo. Government's are reliant on the huge profits generated through animal agriculture. And with a looming pensions crisis and creaking health services around the world it could be argued that governments don't want us to live the extra 7 good years that a vegan diet could provide us with.
In an ideal world obviously I would love for everyone to be vegan, so I don't want this post to be seen as telling people with eating disorders to run off and bite the nearest sheep immediately. What I am saying is that if you are vegan or have a friend who has recently turned vegan, be sure to question it (especially if they have a history of eating disorders), and be fully aware of why that choice has been made.
Why has animal agriculture been brushed conveniently under the carpet? There is of course intense pressure from an extremely powerful meat and dairy lobby, the extent of which should not be underestimated. There also remains historical links between consuming meat and social status, and misinformation about the need for animal products in a healthy diet.
Whilst I will always argue that the motivation for asking such questions should be in the interests of the animals who we exploit, I don't think it hurts for me to make my next point. Which is, unless we can put aside our arrogance and realise we must exist alongside, rather than in control of, other species, chances are we'll be joining the endangered list soon enough ourselves.
For the last decade, The Vegan Society has been asked on a weekly basis how many vegans there are, and all we've been able to say in recent years was that we thought numbers would probably have doubled since 2006. On occasion, I've also replied that everyone eats vegan food on a daily basis, but that vegans just eat a little more plant-based than others.