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Digital Subscriptions > Vegan Life > October 2019 > Creatures of the night

Creatures of the night

Why not to be scared of ‘scary’ animals

Over the years, folklores, traditions and superstitions associated with Halloween have come and gone, but some have persisted into the present-day — including supernatural associations with and fears of certain creatures, including real-world animals. Black cats, bats, spiders and rats have become synonymous with the spooky holiday, and many people around the world avoid and are afraid of them, but why? We explain how these animals have become some of the most dreaded on the planet, along with why you needn’t be frightened of them this Halloween, and beyond.

Black cats

In medieval Europe, black cats, with their dark coats and glowing eyes, became associated with evil magic, and were believed to be the companions of witches. This widespread belief resulted in the horrific mass killing of black cats — and sometimes even their owners. Sadly, the dislike of black cats still has some influence today, with the coal-coloured felines less likely to be adopted from shelters and with more abuse cases than any other colouration. In fact, black cats are two-thirds less likely to get adopted than white cats, and only half as likely to be adopted as tabbies. During October, many animal shelters won’t place black cats in homes, for fear of them being used sacrificially. Even people, who would never harm a black cat, admit that they find themselves crossing over to the other side of the street when one walks across their path, for fear of incurring bad luck.

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About Vegan Life

The year is flying by, but when things are moving at breakneck speed, it’s important to stop and take stock. This month’s interview with the brilliant Lucy Watson gave me cause to pause — when talking to Lucy about her hopes for veganism in the future, she replied, “I hope vegans will start being kinder to one another, we are in this for the same reasons and trying to ‘out vegan’ one another just isn’t productive.” Every day on social media we see vegans tearing into other vegans — emotions run high when you’re deeply passionate about something, but is this actually helpful to the cause? We are all after the same future — one where animal welfare is as important as our own — but, surely in-fighting in the vegan community is counterintuitive. We all need to think before we post, comment or reprimand, before we send that email or write the letter. Would that passion and fire be better spent elsewhere? Should we be channelling our energy into helping non-vegans make better choices, instead of attacking our own? It’s something to think about. There are some terrible crises happening across our Earth currently, and it is a very frightening time. I really enjoyed Fat Gay Vegan’s insightful piece this month — he discusses how bringing people’s attention to veganism with environmental issues is a great start, but that we shouldn’t forget to explain about how animal exploitation is a crucial part of the conversation still. Check out his guidance on p30. Enjoy the issue,

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