Philip Wollen : Animals Should Be Off The Menu debate | Subtitles in 18 languages

On behalf of St James Ethics Centre, the Wheeler
Centre, The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, The
Age The City of Melbourne and the ABC
All of whom have worked together to make this event possible
I would like to welcome Philip Wollen ((Applause)) King Lear, late at night on the cliffs asks
the blind Earl of Gloucester “How do you see the world?”
And the blind man Gloucester replies “I see it feelingly”.
Shouldn’t we all? Animals must be off the menu – because tonight
they are screaming in terror in the slaughterhouse, in crates, and cages. Vile ignoble gulags
of Despair. I heard the screams of my dying father as
his body was ravaged by the cancer that killed him. And I realised I had heard these screams
before. In the slaughterhouse, eyes stabbed out and
tendons slashed, on the cattle ships to the Middle East and the dying mother whale as
a Japanese harpoon explodes in her brain as she calls out to her calf.
Their cries were the cries of my father. I discovered when we suffer, we suffer as
equals. And in their capacity to suffer, a dog is
a pig is a bear. . . . . . is a boy. Meat is the new asbestos – more murderous
than tobacco. CO2, Methane, and Nitrous Oxide from the livestock
industry are killing our oceans with acidic, hypoxic Dead Zones.
90% of small fish are ground into pellets to feed livestock.
Vegetarian cows are now the world’s largest ocean predator.
The oceans are dying in our time. By 2048 all our fisheries will be dead. The lungs
and the arteries of the earth. Billions of bouncy little chicks are ground
up alive simply because they are male. Only 100 billion people have ever lived. 7
billion alive today. And we torture and kill 2 billion animals every week.
10,000 entire species are wiped out every year because of the actions of one species.
We are now facing the 6th mass extinction in cosmological history.
If any other organism did this a biologist would call it a virus.
It is a crime against humanity of unimaginable proportions.
The world has changed. 10 years ago Twitter was a bird sound, www
was a stuck keyboard, Cloud was in the sky, 4 g was a parking place, Google was a baby
burp, Skype was a typo and Al Kider was my plumber.
Victor Hugo said “there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come”. Animal Rights is now the greatest Social Justice
issue since the abolition of slavery. There are over 600 million vegetarians in
the world. That is bigger than the US, England, France,
Germany, Spain, Italy, Canada, Australia combined! If we were one nation we would be bigger than
the 27 countries in the European Union!! Despite this massive footprint, we are still
drowned out by the raucous huntin’, shootin’, killin’ cartels who believe that violence
is the answer – when it shouldn’t even be a question.
Meat is a killing industry – animals, us and our economies.
Medicare has already bankrupted the US. They will need $8 trillion invested in Treasury
bills just to pay the interest. It has precisely zero!!
They could shut every school, army, navy, air force, and Marines, the FBI and CIA – and
they still won’t be able to pay for it. Cornell and Harvard say’s that the optimum
amount of meat for a healthy diet is precisely ZERO.
Water is the new oil. Nations will soon be going to war for it.
Underground aquifers that took millions of years to fill are running dry.
It takes 50,000 litres of water to produce one kilo of beef.
1 billion people today are hungry. 20 million people will die from malnutrition. Cutting
meat by only 10% will feed 100 million people. Eliminating meat will end starvation forever. If everyone ate a Western diet, we would need
2 Planet Earths to feed them. We only have one. And she is dying.
Greenhouse gas from livestock is 50% more than transport . . . . . planes, trains, trucks,
cars, and ships. Poor countries sell their grain to the West
while their own children starve in their arms. And we feed it to livestock. So we can eat
a steak? Am I the only one who sees this as a crime? Every morsel of meat we eat is slapping
the tear-stained face of a starving child. When I look into her eyes, should I be silent?
The earth can produce enough for everyone’s need. But not enough for everyone’s greed.
We are facing the perfect storm. If any nation had developed weapons that could
wreak such havoc on the planet, we would launch a pre-emptive military strike and bomb it
into the Bronze Age. But it is not a rogue state. It is an industry.
The good news is we don’t have to bomb it. We can just stop buying it.
George Bush was wrong. The Axis of Evil doesn’t run through Iraq, or Iran or North Korea.
It runs through our dining tables. Weapons of Mass Destruction are our knives and forks. This is the Swiss Army Knife of the future
– it solves our environmental, water, health problems and ends cruelty forever.
The Stone Age didn’t end because we ran out of stones. This cruel industry will end
because we run out of excuses. Meat is like 1 and 2 cent coins. It costs
more to make than it is worth. And farmers are the ones with the most to
gain. Farming won’t end. It would boom. Only the product line would change. Farmers
would make so much money they wouldn’t even bother counting it.
Governments will love us. New industries would emerge and flourish. Health insurance premiums
would plummet. Hospital waiting lists would disappear.
Hell “We’d be so healthy; we’d have to shoot someone just to start a cemetery!”
So tonight I have 2 Challenges for the opposition: 1. Meat causes a wide range of cancers and
heart disease. Will they name one disease caused by a vegetarian diet?
2. I am funding the Earthlings trilogy. If the opposition is so sure of their ground,
I challenge them to send the Earthlings DVD to all their colleagues and customers. Go
on I DARE YOU. Animals are not just other species. They are
other nations. And we murder them at our peril. The peace map is drawn on a menu. Peace is
not just the absence of war. It is the presence of Justice.
Justice must be blind to race, colour, religion or species. If she is not blind, she will
be a weapon of terror. And there is unimaginable terror in those ghastly Guantanamos.
If slaughterhouses had glass walls, we wouldn’t need this debate.
I believe another world is possible. On a quiet night, I can hear her breathing.
Let’s get the animals off the menu and out of these torture chambers.
Please vote tonight for those who have no voice.
Thank you.

100 thoughts on “Philip Wollen : Animals Should Be Off The Menu debate | Subtitles in 18 languages

  • Its interesting the huge applaud and cheer at the end but how many of them actually changed their ways? I’d imagine very little

  • He pushed many emotional buttons but didn't provide much in the way of facts or figures to back up his statements, Quite unexpected for a man who was CEO (or chairman?) of Citi Bank.
    He didn't say what types of diseases are attributed to meat-eating, what their affects are on overall human mortality rates when compared to non-diet sourced cancers or other diseases.
    He provided no evidence whatsoever to back up his claim that farmers would be financially better off by switching away from animal farming.
    He gave no context for environmental impacts of meat eating, nor did he state what proportion of environmental impact/damage is caused by the meat industry and what proportion is caused by, say, the carbon extraction industries, the transport industries etc.
    I respect the emotional/moral points he made, and he made them in a clear and concise way. There is much to think about in what he said. He also went way over the top in attempting to attribute uncontextualised blame for social, economic and environmental ills to the meat industry alone. This diminishes his debating position enormously. Just be honest about what buttons you are pushing instead of doing a supermarket-trolley-dash of debate point-scoring.

  • I don't know if someone feels this pls let ne know when I see someone eating non-veg it sends shivers or chills in my body as if i feel the pain when they chew it I can literally hear them crying like something goes thru my ears i hope i explained it.

  • This thing has raised due to Christianity and Islam. Another world which is far more vegetarian is Indian culture. It is predominantly vegetarian for thousands of years. But for last few centuries, due to interruption of Islam and Christianity, it is also becoming more and more non-vegetarian.
    If you know about Indian culture and Dharma, every creature is this world are made up of same things. All creatures are equal. That's why, we bow down to not every human but every creature too.
    Proud Hindu and vegetarian since birth till death.

  • “The earth can produce enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed”

    This is my favorite quote of all time. I’m a proud vegetarian transitioning to vegan

  • This guy should be cloned. We desperately need more ppl like him. Having compassion is not a weakness…it's being enlightened.

  • I introduced this speech to my class, looking at it as an example ultimately of how NOT to make a debate speech. While many of his arguments may have validity, they are very poorly organized. His arguments are frequently offered with little explanation and even fewer citations. Sometimes he goes off topic, or at least his arguments are so poorly explained that it can be hard to see the connections. For example, it seems like Wollen argues that meat consumption is responsible for the majority of the Medicare costs, but with no evidence at all. Surely the matter is more complicated than that! Over and over he makes sweeping statements with little explanation. Eliminating meat will eliminate starvation forever? Really? How? Nations are going to go to war over water? Why? Has that ever happened? What are the biggest causes of potable water being wasted? No idea!

    I am sympathetic to his arguments, but they are so poorly argued here that it’s really frustrating! And yet virtually all the comments are gushingly positive! What’s going on?

  • This guy makes it sound like meat is the sole cause of all of earth's issues. I don't really agree with that, but if it is true I better start eating more meat. Come at me Vegans!

  • Fruitarians=vegetarians, more often die from cancer, due to the fructuse.
    So there is the answer to your question to "name one disease caused by vegetarian diet"
    In only thirty years, we'll be 10 billion people, with most people living in poor countries who can't afford to think of the environment and animal welfare.


  • Rights and value systems are a human construct that exist only to facilitate human coexistence. They do not apply to animals. Veganism is a naive over-expression of empathy.

  • I am a vegetarian , still eat dairy products .But here in India we(majority) treat animals with care hence it is okay to use dairy product.

  • No. They will only make big profit if they GMO everything which Monsanto has already spearheaded! Look at all.the problems they created w their GMO and pesticides! People dieing animals dieing because of what they are creating. You make it sound like meat eating is the culprit of everything. No it's not! Ban Monsanto and whoever else is like them & ban factory farming. Who will? I dunno. Why? Because they're too powerful now. They patent their own seeds. You just touch the tip of the iceberg. Good try anyway. But oh, isn't there sooooo much more!? Because you're very one sided. And ok, that's fine. But there's more and kosher farming is not wrong!

  • If other nations would have 3 children instead of 22 per man. It would solve all in 25 years.
    What has the stone age to do with that. People with vety bad habits ,
    Pure vegi children g4t weak legs.

  • What next? Compulsary chemical castration because the world is overpopulated? We are on top of the food chain. Nature killed us for thousands of years and now it's time for humans to enjoy being on top. If you want to live like a slave, go ahead, but I'll fight for my BASIC freedom to eat whatever I want.

  • What about the colossal amount of(cancer causing) fertilizer that would be used if farmers made this change in production? Don't get me wrong a very powerful speach but the "this will end world poverty" and disease is getting way too carried away with a dream and turning into unrealistic fantasy. ps(Vegans can eat unhealthy too)

  • Si un français passe par là et si ça lui dit, il peut signer une pétition contre l'expérimentation animale sur le site : 30 Millions d'Amis.

  • that bitch in the dress with the smug face i hope she ends up in a slaughterhouse herself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! see how she likes the torture!!!!!!

  • Wow, so true. Opened my eyes. I'm going Vegan. I wish people would stop being ignorant and be open minded. I agree that farmers will thrive if they change the productline.

  • From our side, we need to send a strong signal to all animal farming & livestock industries

    The best strategy is to become vegan, one thing is that we respect & show compassionate to all animals.

    Lead a healthier lifestyle

    Documentary on animal farming in UK :

    Support other NGOs as well:

  • name one desease caused by vegetarian diet: depression, anemia, suicidal thoughts, dizziness, weakness, irregular sleep, insomnia, cancer, Aids, hart failure, tumors, teeth falling, blindness, azma, sudden death, … and that's only the first 5 hours of a vegetarian diet

  • When will the masses get it?! If it hurts to see the undercover footage how can you continue to support cruelty and suffering?!

  • stop killing will help the world be peaceful.

  • I don't have to hurt another to survive. As a woman, who understands how hard it is to create a new life, I cannot kill a soul to survive.

  • GOD* NEVER* intended that "MEAT" should be part of man's diet!!!

    Genesis 1:29 tell us: "EVERY HERB BEARING SEED SHALL BE FOR MEAT…"

    After the #Flood, meat was given for 2 reasons: the major one – "TO SHORTEN MAN'S LIFESPAN…"

    No longer could #Jehovah allow man to live for 100's of years in abject depravity!!!

    If #ClimateChange is new #ExistentialThreat to humanity – "KILLING ANIMALS 4 FOOD" will only hasten our demise!!!

    I never thought I would ever agree with a #Banker but this former #CitiBank Ex seems to have had an #Epiphany of #BibicalProportions…


  • Vegeterians are almost as evil as the meat, cheese, milk, eggs and honey eaters, the only way to be the more peaceful as it possible is by being vegan, the dairy and eggs industry is the worst I ever seen

  • What an incredible speech. His heart and eyes are truly open. Taking the lives of others isn't about 'choice'. That's a mind game played to perpetuate the meat addiction and conditioning. It's simple. Either you are authentically kind, or you are the problem and choosing a pathway which is bound to attract more criticism the more aware people become. Much better to be the future solution and contribute to a world of authentic kindness.

  • Great feelings said by sir Phillip… Its the real voice of a man who feels the nature call… who heard the call from nature. ..

  • Had to come from Melbourne the "progressive state" didnt it LOL.
    If I choose to eat meat its my choice, if i choose to be vego its my choice not yours.

  • I have recieved slaps in My face for trying to defend the animals. But I Will never give up, one day i Will give them my voice again. We ha e guardian angels, us humans who try to protect the animals. And when i recieved My Also i knew that i had guardian angels around me, i Will give away My soul to be emotionally hurt for our poor beautiful creatures ✨because Imagine What They go through every day☹️. AND I WILL NEVER REGRET getting "yelled" at from redicilous and aggressive owners for Simply telling the truth of how the animals feel like. Absolutely redicilous, i have No words for How incredibly redicilous that we can be treated sometimes that it makes me want to vomit😬🔥. That is the least i can do for them at the moment😪And i am sorry But we Will never give up❤️🐾🌎

  • So that dick-head who stood first wants animals off the menu. He thinks vegans won't fart. So now he thinks that meat has bankcrupt the US. What's he going to do with all thses animals we don't want. Kill them off?

    It's man that sould stop breeding. It's us that's out of control. We can't destroy the animals, we need them. Our soil lives on blood and bone it always and without it, it would turn to sand or dust. Leave the animals alone and castrate the population of man after we've had a child or two. Too many people are having twenty children.

    The population has doubled in forty years, it will double again in the next twenty five. Where the hell is it going to stop? This is the reason we can't feed our population. Not the animals.

  • If meat has off the menu how am I going to eat meat do you really expect McDonald's to shut down no I'm still going to eat meat

  • "Let's get animals off the menu and out of these torture chambers…"
    (what kind of monsters are we, that such a statement must be spoken?) Eating vegan is a win-win-win. For the animals, for our health, and for our world. The solution is staring right at us.

  • One of my favourite of all time speeches. Standing ovation from me ❤️🦍💙🌱💜🐮🧡🐷🐇🐔🐥🕊️🦆🐨🐾👏👏👏👏👏👏🐾🐾💜

  • This man is a sick pervert, this man is also lying, the oceans fishes will not disappear by 2048, liar! Also the Bible prophecy's in Timothy chapter 4, that in the last day's they would " command to abstain from meat"!!!! This man would actually force you to eat the way he thinks you should, he's a tyrant, he's dangerous. He's also lying about vegan's not being sick. We will continue to eat animals because we like the way they taste and satisfying protein we get from them.

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