A Different Message This Christmas
As our current campaign Not New November draws to a close, it’s time to focus on our Christmas campaign – “Say No To Speciesism” – A Compassionate & Nontraditional Christmas”
The wearing of Christmas jumpers and t-shirts during the month of December has almost become as popular and traditional as many other parts of the festive season! In fact, it’s almost mandatory that we all own at least one festive piece of clothing to don for the “Christmas jumper season”; an event which has actually become a focal point in many workplaces during the festive period.
Although the wearing of such sparkly, jingly festive tops is often in the spirit of raising money for a charity, in theory it is actually just another part of the capitalism that has almost devoured Christmas as we
know it. It’s merely another way for that industry that is fast fashion to cash in and make more and more excess throwaway clothing to generate more and more profits while massively impacting on our planet and on the human rights of the workers making such garments.
Last year at Bohemian Hippy we decided to make a Christmas design
with a difference! A design that would deliver a message loud and clear in every workplace it entered into – a message to speak volumes and raise awareness for anti-speciesism. The image shows Nipper (dog) & Prince (bullock) side by side – different but equal, one in the same, there is no difference! A dog is a cow as a cat is a pig, as a horse is a bunny as a bird is a boy! We are all sentient beings…ALL Earthlings!
“We Wish You A Yappy Christmas and a Happy Moo Year”
The design shouts out your message while still adding a festive twist ~ “We Wish You A Yappy Christmas and a Happy Moo Year” (Big shout out to Dave Ross for coining that awesome phrase for us Happy Moo Year – he conjured it up in the click of a finger for the Christmas/New Year fundraising event we ran at his pub The Admiral in Glasgow back in 2016 – don’t worry, we received his blessing to use it on our exclusive design)! Here’s the Bdaily & Glasgow Live article from that awesome 2016 Happy Moo Year event! Prince inspired Dave with the Moo and Nipper of course inspired me with the Yappy!
Every penny raised from the sale of this design (and everything) sold at www.boheminahippy.com (soon to be www.LotusHeartsanctuary.com ) is donated to Lotus Heart Sanctuary to rescue, transport, feed and care for animals – so when you purchase any product, you are not only raising awareness for animals, but raising money for them too!
All our products are ethically sourced and printed in vegan ink.
We ran 2 campaigns this year for 60 days in total promoting and selling second hand clothing. The first was “Second Hand September”; a pledge we took in an initiative run by Oxfam, and then our own initiative campaign called “Not New November” – we have worked hard in aiming to raise awareness around fast fashion. (click the links to read our blogs on both)
Say No To Speciesism
Our focus this Christmas is to “Say no to Speciesism”
We are all earthlings whether we have skin, fur, scales or feathers. We are either a human animal or a non-human animal, it’s that simple. Humans are mammals as are very many of our fellow earthlings, yet we as humans judge and decide the ones who shall have superiority. We made the choice to firmly place ourselves at the very top of that “Earthling pecking order” then proceeded to pick and choose the ones who follow behind us.
We view some mammals as our family, our friends, beings who we care for like our own children; beings who we worry over when they’re sick and grieve over when the pass away; I am of course referring to cats & dogs! In the West cats & dogs are the most popular animals we choose to share our homes and lives with, animals who we truly view as our “companions”, our children, our family!
Of course there are many other animals we love and care for in a similar way; rabbits, budgies, Guinea pigs, hamsters…and so the list goes on…but you get the picture?
Turkey’s and Cows and Pigs – oh my!
However, then we start to think of some other animals, a select few in particular – animals like cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, turkeys, goats…painting a picture? So when we think of these animals what do we think of?
Well first of all it depends in what context and also what time of year it is! For example, at Christmas the cattle are lowing and set the scene for a perfect Christmas nativity, at Easter the “spring lambs” and “baby chicks” adorn every Easter card you’ll see and comments are aplenty on how cute and beautiful the little spring lambs are.
There are also toys, sweets and TV shows for kids everywhere featuring “traditional” farm animals; as far back as 1957 we were making cute TV programmes for children featuring 2 of the nation’s most well-known characters; a pair of the cutest puppet pigs, known and loved as Pinky & Perky (originally starting out as Pinky & Porky…but maybe that was too close to reality… they possibly considered that animal loving children may have made that connection just as I did as a child)!
As babies and very small children we are surrounded by the cute, soft, cuddly and lovable representations of these animals – I personally had a cuddly lamb which hung from my pram, and I was always up to my eyes in cuddly cows, pigs and sheep. Jakers, Peppa Pig, Babe, Ferdinand and Percy Pig to name but just a few farm animal characters children are raised with. This continual image is instilled in the brains of children around the world, and to the children, these beautiful animals are our friends…to children they are lovable, they are comforting and of course they are “cute” – and quite rightly so, because they are beautiful, cute, lovable and our friends…well…if we allow them to be!
It would not be unusual to see our children with a cuddly Pinky in one hand and a bacon roll in the other….this is how our attitudes towards these animals conflict so drastically, it is a complete disconnect and a perfect example of cognitive dissonance. The attitudes towards these animals conflicts so drastically that we actually confuse ourselves and our children. As humans we have held this belief for such a long time, it is deeply ingrained and instilled into us, we are heavily conditioned to perceive that all this is actually normal.
By allowing this clouded perception to continue, it water seeds of discrimination! We are educating our children that it’s right, moral, ethical and acceptable to treat some beings very differently to others. If within we deem this “judgement” to be acceptable with non-human animals, we will never challenge our own perceptions and so, we simply sail through life in a state of complacency believing we do not need to question our own behaviours – that is a very dangerous place to be! When we live in this way we can subconsciously and unknowingly begin to harbour judgements…they can be so miniscule we have absolutely no idea they are even there; however, if we keep watering them, they will grow. It is our duty to always examine closely our own behaviour, because if we don’t, we will never allow ourselves the opportunity to change it. If our choices and behaviours impact on the lives of others, it is no longer simply “our choice”, it’s no longer only about us – there is a victim at our hands!
When we treat other humans differently due to age, gender, sexual orientation, disability etc we all know only too well it is a form of discrimination; examples of different “isms” are sexism, racism, ageism, ableism and so on. So when humans treat certain animals differently simply because of their species, there is absolutely no difference whatsoever to when we do that with other humans…make no mistake, that too is a blatant form of discrimination – it is officially known as speciesism.
If you put a child in a room with an apple and a lamb, the child will eat the apple and play with the lamb – in fact, the child would probably be so enamoured with the lamb…it would be highly unlikely that eating the apple would even enter the child’s head, simply because they’d be so happy just to do nothing but play with the lamb!
Peace & Goodwill
Christmas is said to be a time of peace and goodwill, yet we feel compelled to follow this constant list of behaviours and traditions- many of which are so far removed from peace and goodwill they’re at the complete opposite end of the peace and goodwill spectrum. In the UK alone around 10 MILLION turkeys are consumed each year at Christmas. Celebrating a religious festival by mass breeding sentient beings, fattening them up way beyond their normal body weight, killing them by immersing them into an electrically charged stunning bath to make them “unconscious” (this often fails), then slitting their throat, is a disconnected way to celebrate unity, love & peace and the birth of the son of God! These beautiful turkeys are only babies when we take their lives for our celebratory Christmas feast; they are between 9 and 21 weeks of age, yet turkeys have a life span of 10 years! Where is the love, peace or compassion in eating a baby at any time of year…or any once-living being come to that, baby or not?
Another Christmas tradition is of course “pigs in blankets”!Pigs literally scream for their lives before they are brutally killed – they scream out with fear on their way to the slaughterhouse, and in terror as they make their trip to death around the various departments of the slaughterhouse of horror before finally having their throat slit and bleeding out to death…but hey….THIS IS TRADITION – it’s Christmas – that time of peace and goodwill!
Make That Change…
We don’t have to do things this way, we can say no to tradition and yes to compassion. Try a Tofurky and Pigless Blankets or make your own cruelty free options – it’s not difficult at all.
There are so very many ways we can have an even happier Christmas than ever before, we can swap tradition for compassion and have a peaceful, cruelty free and compassionate Christmas. Change what you do every Christmas, make this year and the following years different, but start in 2019!
Donate money instead of overspending, buy presents from charities & sanctuaries, buy second hand, be constantly mindful of greed, think about others less fortunate than yourself – and eat something, not someone!
Say no to speciesism!
May all beings be peaceful and free from suffering this Christmas and always
Help & Support
If you want to go vegan be assured it’s easy & literally gets easier every day – there’s now a vegan option for everything!
If you want to transition to a cruelty free, compassionate vegan lifestyle – do it easily with help & support
Vegan help & support is available here –
For further info watch these life changing documentaries
What The Health
Forks Over Knives
Live & Let Live
Vegan Everyday Stories