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Opinion

Climate change: A Big Issue seller’s plea for compassion towards animals and our planet

Our vendor in Leicester Jules Daniels has huge concerns about the state of our planet. And she’s calling on us all to take action before it’s too late.

There’s a major issue with climate change hitting us smack in the face, even though we’ve had years and years of warning. When I was a kid, for example, we’d have bees all over the place. Now I’m running around trying to rescue them.

All the answers to life are here on this earth but we’re killing it all. Take the rainforests.

If they’re removing out so many acres a day it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that sooner or later you’re going to run out of rainforest. Which means animals are chased out of their habitat. We have to replant, but it’s taking centuries.

I think action will have to come from the people rather than their leaders, but not everyone understands it or is educated about it.

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When I was at school we weren’t going on about climate change. We are becoming aware but more people need to have a better understanding and grip on it. If we’re going to be the top predator we have to be responsible.

I don’t expect everyone to become a vegan but how animals are abused for food is upsetting. I value life – all life

The way we treat animals is affecting the climate too. Seaspiracy is a brilliant film. It explains about the ecosystem in the sea and how, when an animal is taken out, it spoils the balance.

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Taking sharks out of the sea without a need, for example, means the pecking order is totally spoiled, and that’s affecting the ecosystem.

We all know plastic in the ocean is a big issue but it’s not the only one – there’s all this discarded fishing gear which is killing just as many, if not more, animals that don’t need to be killed.

When animals are held captive or killed it really, really bothers me. Why put a tiger or a monkey in a cage when there’s no reason for it to be there? Or kill an elephant or a rhino for its tusk?

I’ve been a vegetarian more or less since I was born. My family ate meat, but in such little amounts that meat meant nothing to me. I’m not saying it’s the only diet, but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

I don’t expect everyone to become a vegan but how animals are abused for food is upsetting. I value life – all life.

We humans have got all this knowledge. We should be able to grow that knowledge and not carry on making the same mistakes or ignoring this crisis.

We presume those in charge are the top people with big brains, trying to guide the countries we all live in. But they’re not doing it with any great urgency. Making money always comes first.

Jules Daniels sells the Big Issue outside Pilot, High Street, Leicester

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