I adopted vegetarianism in 1978, and became vegan in 1999, and I often view Facebook pages dealing with Veganism.
On 23 October 2023, while reading a Facebook page about Veganism, I noticed a recently-posted image depicting an animal suffering and an accompanying statement about why people adopt a vegan lifestyle, However, I also noticed a laughing emoji mocking the animal suffering and the statement accompanying it. On looking at the emoji posted, it had been sent by someone with the name of
Dicken Shailen Pillay Mardaymootoo
I viewed his Facebook page, and was astonished to see that he said he was studying a Master’s Degree in Clinical & Counselling Psychology at University of Toronto. Therefore, someone who one would reasonably expect to be intelligent, sensitive and empathic, spends his time mocking and deriding the belief(s) of other people. Obviously, this leads to the question of whether he would also mock the belief of someone who followed a diet because of religious belief, e.g., a Jew, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu (etc.), when counselling them?
His Facebook page was headed "To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid." It seems that he is doing just that, although mid(late?)-20s is hardly "young".
On his linkedin page, it says he is:
"Counsellor Brampton, Ontario, Canada"
indicating he is already counselling. It confirms his Facebook statement that he is "currently completing" his Master's degree in "Counselling and Clinical Psychology at the University of Toronto."
I sent him the following message:
"To: Dicken Shailen Pillay Mardaymootoo
I see that within minutes of "I went vegan because I saw the horror in their eyes" being uploaded to the"Vegan Art" Facebook page, you posted a smiley emoji to indicate that you find animal suffering and peoples' beliefs about this to be humorous.
Does the University you attend teach it is acceptable to mock the beliefs and deeply-held ideals of people? And certainly so as you claim to be studying a Master’s Degree in Clinical & Counselling Psychology at University of Toronto.
I await your reply. If I do not hear from you, I will refer the matter to the University.
D. J Nicholls (Dr)
Dip.RS (Cambridge), B.A (Hons.), MPhil, PhD"
His response? This was it...
I believe it is possible to draw some conclusions about Dicken Shailen Pillay Mardaymootoo from this event. Hopefully, the University of Toronto will do so: also anyone employing him or considering using his counselling.
People adopt Veganism to prevent/reduce animal suffering, but also because it assists with (a)environmental issues and (b)personal health, e.g.
(a)"Half of the world’s habitable land is used for agriculture. More than three-quarters of this is used for livestock production, despite meat and dairy making up a much smaller share of the world’s protein and calorie supply. There is also a highly unequal distribution of land use between livestock and crops for human consumption. If we combine pastures used for grazing with land used to grow crops for animal feed, livestock accounts for 77% of global farming land. While livestock takes up most of the world’s agricultural land it only produces 18% of the world’s calories and 37% of total protein."
"The worldwide phase out of animal agriculture, combined with a global switch to a plant-based diet, would effectively halt the increase of atmospheric greenhouse gases for 30 years and give humanity more time to end its reliance on fossil fuels, according to a new study by scientists from Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley...Based on the model, published in the open-access journal PLoS Climate, phasing out animal agriculture over the next 15 years would have the same effect as a 68 percent reduction of carbon dioxide emissions through the year 2100. This would provide 52 percent of the net emission reductions necessary to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, which scientists say is the minimum threshold required to avert disastrous climate change."
(b)"Conclusions: Among generally healthy adults, contrasting Plant with Animal intake, while keeping all other dietary components similar, the Plant products improved several cardiovascular disease risk factors, including TMAO; there were no adverse effects on risk factors from the Plant products.This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT03718988."