Lately I haven’t been reading as many books as usual. You know that guilty feeling you get, especially if you are a book lover like me? It has been a while since I held a real book for all the e-books available so easily online.There were books I browsed through in bookstores but I always put them gently back into their places.I came across a book while surfing on the internet that didn’t have a fancy cover or a mysterious name, but it caught my attention. A few minutes later I decided to order with one click. Two days later I received it and sat down and read a couple of pages. Back then I was a person who left everything unfinished, so I put the book in a drawer to read it later for when I had more time. I don’t know why but a few hours later I started to visualize the events in the pages I’d read. I could not put the book down after that… and started to repeat the book’s name in my head! “MERCY FOR ANIMALS”!
Nathan Runckle, who founded one of the most successful and active animal rights organizations in the world, Mercy For Animals (MFA), when he was almost a child and brought it up to what it is today. Runckle also made an overwhelming impression with his book by answering my questions about the book and animal rights. I would like to thank Runckle and the countless MFA members once more for being the voice of the animals.
1-) Hello, Mr. Runkle, there is a lot of interest around your book. What motivated you to write ‘Mercy For Animals’ (MFA)?
I wrote the book because I wanted to inspire people to take action to help animals. We each have incredible power in preventing cruelty and inspiring compassion. I also wanted to share the stories of the brave individuals who go undercover on factory farms to expose the hidden war being waged against animals in our food system.
2-)What sort of work does ‘Mercy For Animals’ do?
The mission of the organization, Mercy For Animals, is to prevent cruelty to farmed animals and promote compassionate food choices and policies. We work through four program areas: undercover investigations, corporate outreach, legal advocacy, and education. Our programs focus on inspiring people to move away from eating animals and toward eating plants while also reducing the suffering endured by animals unfortunate enough to be confined on factory farms right now.
3-)What are the characteristics of individuals working with (MFA)? How can interested people get involved?
Compassion is the leading characteristic for people working with MFA as well as a drive to give a voice to the voiceless and build a more peaceful future. People can get involved by making a donation to MFA, volunteering, or interning. You can find details on our website, www.mercyforanimals.org.
4-)Can we say that farming can be more innocent than the industrialized meat and dairy sector?
What do you think about raising animals to benefit from their flesh and milk in small farms?
All animal agriculture is inherently exploitative. Even on small farms animals are separated from their families, often times mutilated without painkillers, have no control over their lives or futures and violently killed.
5-) Based on your experience, what is the most effective way to draw attention to animal rights?
Showing people the harsh reality of factory farming through undercover videos is incredible effective at opening hearts and minds to the plight of animals who suffer on factory farms.
6-)What can we individually do to help animals?
The single most powerful action we can each take is to move toward a vegan diet. Simply by making changed in our diet we can spare dozens of animals lives each year. Going vegan is a matter of putting your ethics on the table and choosing kindness over cruelty at every meal. It’s also a powerful way to improve your health and protect our environment.
7-)What do you think about the artificial meat (clean meat) project?
I’m a big supporter of plant-based meat as well as clean meat (meat grown from real animal cells that are grown outside an animal). These alternatives are not only cruelty-free, but take up to 90 percent less land and water to produce, release 90 percent less greenhouse gases and requite about 50 percent less energy to create. Most people make their food choices based on cost, taste and convenience. Once plant-based and clean meat alternatives outcompete traditional animal products in these three areas, factory farming will begin to disappear.
😎 As a vegan, would you try clean meat, given that it will replicate the texture of meat without harming animals?
Yes! Absolutely. I gave up meat because I wanted to protect animals, not because I didn’t enjoy the texture and flavor. I think it’s crucial that there are products with familiar flavors and textures for vegans (especially new vegans) to enjoy.
9-) What do you think about fast food chains including vegan products on their menus given that have played a major role in the massacre of animal for so many years? In your opinion, should we be hopeful of progress? Does purchasing vegetarian items from these sort of restaurants perpetuate their business models?
I fully support fast-food chains adding vegan items to their menus. We want vegan eating to be tasty, convenient and affordable. Current fast-food restaurants are well suited to help accomplish that, while also reaching a broad audience. Supporting these vegan options shows these companies that there is a demand for such products, which will encourage them to expand their offerings and encourage other restaurants to do the same.
10-) What do you think about the announcement that the Gucci brand will no longer use fur in it’s collections?
It’s fantastic! All clothing brands should adopt a fur-free policy immediately. Fur is cruel and outdated. There is no excuse for supporting an industry that gases, traps, electrocutes and skins animals alive for frivolous luxury items.
11-) Why do people think that using leather is more innocent than using fur? Is there any difference between production and use of fur and leather of different forms of animal exploitation?
Leather supports cruelty. The best thing to do is leave all animal products out of your closet.
12-) In your book, you describe how you were subject to bullying by children in school. Today, there are many children who are experiencing the same problem and unfortunately these events lead to very badly results. What advice do you have for the families of children that are exposed to the type of bullying you experienced?
Give your child unconditional love. Truly unconditional. Be understanding, kind and supportive. Create a safe-space. Celebrate them for the unique and special human beings that they are. Let them know that they are whole and perfect exactly as they are.
13-)If ‘Mercy For Animals’ were adapted to film, who would play you?
Ryan Gosling. I wouldn’t let it be produced with anyone else as the lead. 😉
14-) Finally, what is your message to your fans and followers?
Thank you for everything you do to make the world a more just, loving and kind place for all creatures. You are making a difference. There is a shift in consciousness that is