This round table proposes a look of wonder at the life of all beings and all things. According to Matthieu Ricard, if we are capable of having compassion for our fellow human beings, why not extend it to all living beings ?

Watch this exchange in its entirety

Discover our speakers

Hugo Clément is a French journalist and reporter. Committed and militant for ecology and animal welfare, he created the referendum for animals :

The current level of consumption of animal products is not compatible with any animal welfare

Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk, humanitarian and photographer committed to environmental protection. He co-founded Karuna-Shechen in 2000

Fighting against intensive farming is also fighting for the humans who suffer from this system […]. Over the past thirty years many harmful viruses have appeared because of human encroachment on the habitat of wild animals and crowding of animals raised for their milk, eggs, and meat. 

Brigitte Gothière is co-founder and spokesperson for L214, an animal rights organization that publicizes the conditions in which animals are reared, transported and slaughtered :

Today, here, now, in our societies, we are absolutely not struggling to survive or  having to defend ourselves  . In fact, the opposite is true: our survival depends on our commitment to stop eating animals.

What can we learn from this exchange ?

Today, it is more difficult for a journalist to enter a slaughterhouse than an atomic power plant! The violence against animals is such that disinformation campaigns and advertising propaganda are necessary to preserve this sector, whose considerable economic benefits are important for certain lobbies. If peoplef  were  confronted with what really happens in intensive livestock farming, we would  not be able to support such mistreatment. The opacity of this system deliberately prevents a general awareness of the magnitude of this system: between 110 and 120 billion animals are killed every two months, and it is  as if nothing had happened !

To produce such a large quantity of meat, animals are mutilated, crammed into cages or on slatted floors with no access to the outside world, the young are separated from their mothers and selected for profitability. The over-consumption of animal products is just as tragic for humans as it is for the environment. An incubator for viruses, a factor in pollution, deforestation, poverty and the precariousness of farmers, but also in malnutrition, which is the cause of cardiovascular and chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes, intensive livestock farming is a cause that unites us all in the face of an ethical, environmental, health and social emergency.

Despite the crucial priority of these issues and a growing societal expectation of efficient measures for an agricultural and food transition, there are  still  governmental obstacles. Hence the importance of acting together to change the conditions of farming and to move rapidly towards a more plant-based diet by putting pressure on our elected representatives and politicians through the ballot, advocacy, and by consuming differently. Many simple, exquisite and balanced alternative recipes exist.

Of course, it is normal to feel apprehensive or resistant to change. At your own pace, combine legumes, oilseeds, cereals, fruits, seeds and vegetables… for a real gastronomy of flavors, each more exquisite and tasty than the last. Eating plant-based food is a real treat! Respect for our environment is on our plate: it is up to us to act for a more just and sustainable future.

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