In March 2019, the UK vegan activist Ed Winters, also known as Earthlings Ed, gave a TEDx talk at Bath University, in the West of England. A 20-minute YouTube video from this talk shows Winters, in a logical manner, centred on ethics, addressing several of the classical “arguments” people use against veganism — from cultural tradition to the infamous “we have canine teeth.” 

In the talk, he said, “’ I, personally, have no problem with you being vegan, but can you not force your views and just respect my personal choice to eat animal products?’ For some of you, you might be thinking, ‘Ah, no, vegan. I could never be vegan. I love the taste of cheese far too much for that.’ And some of you might just be confused and thinking, ‘But eating meat is the circle of life, and after all, other animals eat other animals, so why can’t I?”’ This is a selection of the things that I used to say when someone said the word vegan to me. But I also used to say that vegans were crazy and that no one should ever go vegan. But now I am vegan.”

In his characteristic calm and soft-spoken style, he cast irrefutable statements such as, “In essence, what I’m saying is that every action that we make is a choice that we personally choose to make. And so to imply that it’s morally justifiable to use animals because it’s a personal choice would mean that every action that we as humans can make must also be morally justifiable because every action is a personal choice.”

Ed Winters is a vegan educator, public speaker, and content creator based in London, and he is the co-founder and co-director of Surge, an animal rights organisation determined to create a world where compassion towards all non-human animals is the norm. In 2017, Winters produced the documentary Land of Hope and Glory and launched the ongoing moving activism project The Big Vegan Activism Van. In October 2018, Winters opened Unity Diner, a non-profit vegan diner in London where all of the profits go directly back into helping animals.

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.