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Jonathan Young

Writing for the animals

The main aim of this blog to raise awareness of the many welfare issues faced by farm animals worldwide. In the process, I hope to learn something too. Occasionally, I may deviate into discussing politics or personal experiences (apologies in advance for that)!

Three Reasons To Be Wary Of The Egg Industry

There are a number of ways we can improve the welfare of hens with our choices. Some free range varieties are better than others - anything that is Soil Association approved meets the highest welfare standard.
09/11/2017 10:51 GMT

Jeremy Corbyn's Switch To Veganism Is Great News For The Animals

Of course when influential people like Jeremy Corbyn go vegan, the positive impact goes way beyond Jeremy Corbyn himself. As any marketer will tell you, celebrities act as huge multipliers on public behaviour. Whether it's Lenny Henry promoting a well-known hotel brand, Jess Ennis, health insurance or Russ Abbot, a cigar company (congratulations if you're old enough to remember the last one!), the impact of celebrity is significant.
06/09/2017 09:32 BST

The Cruelty Of The Egg Industry And How We Can Help

I discovered that the average broiler (meat) chicken lives only 45 days (up to 70 days if free range or organic), despite a life expectancy of about 10 years. The majority endure short lives in overcrowded barns or sheds, beaks clipped, with less space than a sheet of A4 paper. When they reach full-size they are cruelly transported to a premature and painful death.
29/08/2017 17:27 BST

Animal Lovers: We Need Your Help

But as a nation of animal lovers, we do have a bit of a blind spot. Amidst the outpouring of affection we give to dogs, cats and budgies, the miserable fate of equally lovable animals is ignored. I'm talking about the pigs, chickens, lambs and cows - all of which share one or more of the qualities we ascribe to our pets.
10/08/2017 13:39 BST

Social Media Is Dragging Us Into The Gutter: But I'm Told There 's A Way Out

Back in the real world, the social media use around me is continuing to irritate. The family and the twenty somethings are on their 16th choreographed photo - which is double the amount of conversations they've had. One of the cricketers is pretending to film his dad bowling, but I can see he is just watching YouTube. Most importantly, my battery is only on 10% - I'll have serious FOMO if it goes dead. I'd love to hear your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter.
27/07/2017 17:30 BST

I Don't Eat Meat Because There's No Need To

Often when I tell people I don't eat meat, I immediately see battle lines being drawn. Some will go on the defensive, countering with rationalisations about their own behaviour (completely unprompted). Others will attempt to undermine me by finding inconsistencies in my behaviour. Perhaps they saw me step on a snail when I got off the train.
30/05/2017 16:52 BST

Forget The Facebook Likes And Enjoy The Journey Instead

For sure, I would miss out on a medal, a t-shirt and 97 Facebook likes. But how does a hefty medal compare to the resilience gained from grinding out those long runs (and many quinoa salads)? How does 97 likes stack up against achieving a hitherto unachievable goal?
18/04/2017 16:59 BST

Mud, Sweat And Tears: A Half-Marathon With A Difference

Running events evoke all sorts of emotions. There's the nerves in the build-up; the desire as you spring from the start line; the agony of over-worked muscles; the flickering between camaraderie and competition.
24/03/2017 17:06 GMT

Three Steps I Took To Become Alcohol Free (And Carefree)

Of course, eventually I would succeed, and far from the life downgrade I feared, the opposite happened. My success wasn't a fluke, it didn't happen overnight, it wasn't a result of willpower nor did I live in a hut in the woods for two years. In fact, there were three deliberate stages to it and I've shared them below.
03/02/2017 12:09 GMT

Who Needs Turkey When You Can Have A Nut Roast?

Rewind back to 2013 or any year before and the thought of a nut roast as the centrepiece of my Christmas meal bordered on blasphemy. I would give it similar short thrift as other usurpers like quorn, tofu and seitan (or Satan as I assumed it was spelt).
22/12/2016 12:54 GMT

I'm Donating Every £5 Note I Receive To The Vegetarian Society

On hearing the revelation I reacted in the usual ways. I searched for the inevitable petition, signed it and shared it. I tweeted to the self-validating echo chamber that is my twitter following. Naturally, I attacked the trolls who were insensitively (if slightly amusingly) telling distraught vegetarians "they shouldn't be eating £5 notes anyway".
01/12/2016 16:19 GMT

How Not To Reduce Meat Consumption

The preacher in the town square exists in all areas of life. You can find them in religion, in atheism, in politics, sport or anywhere else where passions run high. Often you'll find them in animal rights circles. Many a meat-eater has told me of a time they were verbally attacked or belittled by a vegetarian or vegan.
27/11/2016 22:38 GMT

I Used To Think Vegetarians Were A Bit Weird - Now I'm One Of Them

The truth is, I've always loved animals. I was brought up in a household where our pets were part of the family. Our first dog Seamus (a gigantic Newfoundland) was my best friend, as was Spot our black and white cat. And there came a point when I realised that a love of animals just wasn't consistent with the cruelty of meat production
27/09/2016 16:53 BST

Fox Hunting Is Cruel and Ineffective: Let's Not Legalise It

It seems crazy that in our animal-loving society, cruel 'sports' such as fox hunting have even a slim chance of becoming legal. But from David Cameron's manifesto pledge, to Andrea Leadsom's leadership comments, the chance is very real.
20/07/2016 11:22 BST