The vegan organisation Gen V has been putting up billboards in several European cities that were deeply affected by the Second World War, including London, Manchester, Liverpool, and Milan, to make people reflect on the deaths of victims of animal exploitation, by using numerical comparisons.

The billboards show black and white close-ups of cows, pigs, sheeps, and chickens, with the text in big capital letters, “Every 30 minutes we take as many lives as the Second World War took in 6 years.” Then, with smaller letters, the billboards read, “All lives have value. Learn more at Gen V”.

An estimated 70 billion land animals and 1-3 trillion fishes are slaughtered for human consumption every year. That equates to around 60 million animals every 30 minutes, which is the number of lives estimated to have been lost during World War II.

On its website, Gen V states about the billboards, “When we tested this advert in the London Underground, we discovered it made some people angry. They were not angry at the number of animals bred, fattened, and systematically slaughtered for products we simply don’t need; they were angry that we dared to compare the number of animals killed with the number of people killed. Our aim is to bring the scale of suffering and slaughter into sharp focus. We want only to provoke thought, discussion, and self-reflection, not to offend. Our hope is that people will start to see that ‘the little bit of chicken’ they have for dinner is part of a vast and very lucrative global trade that takes the lives of billions of animals every year, each one of them an individual, with a personality, preferences, friendships, and a will to live.”

“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’.