New Zealand Masterchef winner and cookbook author Chelsea Winter is loved by home cooks around the world. However many of them were stunned when she took to her social media platforms recently to educate her hundreds of thousands of followers on the realities of the dairy and egg industries.
‘I’ve only recently come to learn that each year around 4 million newly hatched day old baby chicks as well as 2 million tiny baby calves (bobby calves) are killed as waste products of the poultry and dairy industries respectively in NZ’, she wrote in her Instagram post. ‘I’ve spent many nights unable to sleep thinking about this – it has affected me on a very deep level and I’ve had to process a whole heap of emotions around it. I’ve got through a lot of anger and grief to arrive at the reasonable conclusion that killing over 6 million baby animals every year simply because they were born male is surely an indication that something has gone inherently wrong with the way we consume as a society. If we really listen to our hearts, do we consider this ethical? Moral? Surely all babies deserve to be nurtured and raised by their mothers, as do all living beings born on to our planet?’
In a nation widely recognised as ‘the world capital of animal agriculture’ this was a brave move and as predicted, resulted in backlash from the farming communities. However there was much celebrating and gratitude from Kiwi vegans across the country who were quick to show their support and the proudly plant-powered Chelsea says she has no regrets. ‘Research consistently proves that the massive amount of animal products we are now consuming is having a negative impact on our health, is no longer sustainable, and is for the most part staggeringly unethical’ she wrote in a follow-up post. I arrived at a place where I could no longer ignore the fact I was honouring some animals and willfully ignoring/inadvertently helping to cause suffering and oppression of millions of others (animals whose lives are carefully kept out of sight and mind to strengthen the disconnect between what’s on the shelf and how it got there). It’s much worse than I thought and I believe that one day, humanity will look back on these times and weep. I know I’ll lose some of my dear fans and there will be some backlash – a few years ago that would have scared the living sh*t out of me. (But) the animals and the planet need our urgent attention, it’s incredible the conditioning we have which makes us so blind to it. I just can’t live how I used to’.
Thank you for being a loud and proud voice for the animals Chelsea! If you have yet to discover Chelsea Winter’s incredible recipes, make sure you follow her Facebook page and keep an eye on our Vegan FTA platforms to learn how you can win a copy of her bestselling cookbook, ‘Supergood’, coming up soon!
Feature image from Chelsea Winter and We Animals Media.