When I was a child I was always impressed by Mount Rushmore. This famous national monument located in the Midwest shows the carvings of the former presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. However, it never occured to me that there could also be such a thing like a “Vegan Mount Rushmore”. In fact, this has just been published a few days ago. In order to qualify for these top 4 positions it was the person’s commitment to the animal-rights movement, the impact he or she had on both the legislative authority and people and the appraisal being awarded by his or her supporters. Read on to learn more about the top 4 vegans that made it to the “Vegan Mount Rushmore”.
“Coming up with the four most influential vegans in history wasn’t easy, but we think we’ve found our veg dream team.
Determining the top four basketball players of all-time is often referred to as the “Mount Rushmore” of the NBA. While nearly everyone engaging in this conversation agrees that Michael Jordan is on that list, coming up with the next three players often leads to heated debates regarding the merits and resumés of an array of talented athletes. The fun—and frustrating—part of this argument is that at least 10 players deserve the recognition, but only four can make Mount Rushmore. This same difficult conversation applies to vegans, as naming the four most influential people ever isn’t as easy as it sounds. But we did it.
In determining our Vegan Mount Rushmore, we considered a person’s longevity in the animal-rights movement, the influence someone has had on both lawmakers and citizens, the authoring of best-selling books, media exposure, and awards bestowed by his/her peers. The result wasn’t easy, but after months of discussion, we’re certain our picks represent the four most important vegans ever.
1. Ingrid Newkirk
“Animal rights is not a tea party or a hobby—it’s a revolution, and to make it come about we must each vigorously play our part.”
In early 1980, Ingrid Newkirk co-founded People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to help raise awareness of the torture, abuse, and suffering faced by animals every day. Now, 36 years later, PETA is the world’s most-recognized animal-rights organization in history thanks to three million supporters, a social media following that reaches hundreds of millions of people each month, and celebrity spokespeople such as Paul McCartney,Pamela Anderson, Charlize Theron, Pink, Amy Sedaris, and Moby. The group has convinced cosmetic companies to stop testing on animals; shut down roadside zoos; led efforts to decrease the homeless dog and cat communities; obtained the first-ever photos of Ringling baby elephants being trained with violence; and banned cruel sports, carriage horses, and elephant parades. The 66-year-old Newkirk also founded Animal Rahat, which brings veterinary care to donkeys and bullocks in India while saving the country’s elephants, camels, and ponies from circuses. In addition, Newkirk is the author of Free the Animals: The Amazing True Story of the Animal Liberation Front in North America; Making Kind Choices: Everyday Ways to Enhance Your Life Through Earth- and Animal-Friendly Living; and 50 Awesome Ways Kids Can Help Animals: Fun and Easy Ways to Be a Kind Kid. These accomplishments are just a few of the reasons why Newkirk was inducted into the Animal Rights Hall of Fame in 2000.
Did you know? Newkirk is responsible for opening the first spay/neuter clinic in Washington, DC in 1978. During that same year, she also banned pound seizures in the District of Columbia, and closed the city’s only chicken slaughterhouse.
2. Howard Lyman
“An animal has the right to life, as they know it, as much as a human’s right to life.”
As a fourth-generation farmer in Montana, Howard Lyman knows a thing or two about raising cattle. So when he speaks about the environmental and ethical issues surrounding chemically based agriculture, you can bet he knows what he’s talking about. After a tumor on his spinal cord in 1979 forced him to re-evaluate his life choices, Lyman devoted himself to spotlighting the dangers of our country’s food production. He worked in Washington, DC as a lobbyist for the National Farmers Union and helped pass the National Organic Standards Act. Going through the legislative process showed Lyman that change came quicker and more efficiently at the grassroots level, which is where he’s spread his message since 1991. Since going vegetarian in 1990 (and vegan in 1991), Lyman has been a constant voice in the push for organic farming and a plant-based diet, which helped him receive the Courage of Conscience Award from Peace Abbey Courage in 1997 and entry into the Vegetarian Hall of Fame and the Animal Rights Hall of Fame. Lyman has published two books (No More Bull!: The Mad Cowboy Targets America’s Worst Enemy: Our Dietand Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won’t Eat Meat); has been featured in documentaries such asCowspiracy, Vegucated, McLibel, Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home, and Meat The Truth; and produced four vegan-themed DVDs. Currently, he serves as founder and president ofVoice for a Viable Future, a role he has held since 1993.
Did you know? In 1996, Lyman appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and convinced Winfrey to give up hamburgers, which lead to a highly publicized lawsuit by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.”
Read the full story at vegnews.com!