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If you signed the petition to free this sad polar bear, go vegan

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The world’s saddest polar bear is helping collect signatures, but should be adding to the vegan population.

Shanghaiist reports that activists are trying to free a polar bear that currently resides at the Grandview Aquarium in a shopping mall in Guangzhou, China. An animal right’s group, called Animals Asia, shared a video of the bear and is calling for heartbroken viewers to do something. In the few months since the videos release, around 150,000 signatures have been collected, about the same number of YouTube views. And while the group claims double is needed, more vegans are what’s truly necessary.

Signatures aren’t going to close the multi level, approximately 624,000 square foot aquarium. That means this bear and the arctic wolves, beluga whales, and walruses also exploited in facility are no closer to escaping the feces, larvae, and insect overrun entertainment plaza. And while the image of a cute bear seen motionless except for the quiver of it’s lips is enough to make anyone weep, it should be enough to make anyone vegan. I think this group has good intentions, but should be encouraging that actions greater than boycotting this one establishment are crucial. They’re far from the first animal rights group to call for signatures, volunteer work, and donations without suggesting that the first thing we can do to help animals is go vegan.

The atrocities of animal entertainment are no better or worse than those humans act out for animals used for food, clothing, or other unnecessary means. Posing for a selfie with this bear is no more morally corrupt than eating a burger. When groups bring attention to single animals, acts, or facilities, they spend time that could be used educating people on veganism. How many of those signatures came from people who are comfortable exploiting animals in their day to day lives? How many would be happy to see the bear freed, but would continue to support the enslavement, torture, and death of other animals?

Of course as vegans we want to see that bear released and that aquarium closed, but we want that for all animals and all facilities. And the permanent solution is to help people make the switch to veganism by understanding why we shouldn’t go on supporting exploitation in all of it’s facets around the world. Any number of new vegans would make a bigger difference to more animals that are just as in need as this polar bear.

Please consider going vegan today.

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