I was aware of what we inflict on animals for the sake of our taste buds and I’m ashamed to say I chose to ignore it. I ignored it because it was easier for me to eat what was easily accessible. It would be a hassle to change my ways and become vegetarian, right?. That my personal choices were unlikely to make much of a difference and as many do, I thought I’d have to live on lettuce and lentils and never have a decent meal again. But was I wrong and if you think this way, then sorry.. but so are you.
Maybe 4 or so years ago I ended up watching (I say watching tentatively because I couldn’t get through 20 minutes of it without sobbing uncontrollably) a documentary that ultimately changed my life. Earthlings. It broke my heart, it made me sick, it made my skin crawl and my blood boil, it made me want to do something, it made me change my ways. I realized that you truly cannot profess to be an animal lover if you still eat them. And so..
I became a vegetarian for the animals, the environment and the planet.
For a while after seeing that I kept looking at my dog who we rescued from the pound and kept thinking “how are you really any different to them?. Her “expiry date” was overdue and she had very little time left to find a home. We took her in knowing she would have died there – we just couldn’t let it happen. Now she’s my pride and joy and makes me so happy. But I also knew pigs have a higher intelligence than dogs and made wonderful companions, so really.. why is my beloved house pet any different to the cattle on their way to slaughter?
There are a million reasons why meat sucks – human health, environmental issues, corruption etc. And please, spare me on your “we have canines, our ancestors ate meat, we need the protein!” – I have used those excuses myself and they’re all bullsh*t. So let’s move on.
My main motivation was he treatment and exploitation of animals. So I my intention is to highlight just some of these and let you do the rest of the homework yourself if it strikes a cord with you.
How can you humanely kill or exploit something that doesn’t want to die or can’t give consent?
Let me put it this way – cows are not our mothers so why are we drinking their milk? It’s unnatural for a start. There is no other adult creature on this planet that consumes milk let alone the milk of another species. What happens to their babies since we’re getting what they are supposed to thrive from?
Well.. they are forcibly impregnated, bound to suffer painful mastitis, birth complications, beatings, abuse and the heartache of stolen babies just so we can put their milk on our cereal. And when she’s not physically able to cope anymore she’s slaughtered.
Male born calves are taken from their mothers and killed with a bolt gun or slaughtered at a few days of because they’re either not profitable (milk) or are better put on someone’s plate (veal). Mothers cry for their babies for weeks on end, pining and searching for them only to have produce another who will suffer the same. If they don’t and they’re female then they end up growing up to live the same life as their mothers.
Chickens can recognize faces and have very complex social relationships and even their own languages. Did you know that? I didn’t. Confined to spaces no bigger than an iPad – their beaks are seared off so they don’t injure each other under the stress. Trapped in conditions a rat wouldn’t choose to live in and left to die under the weight over their own over-sized bodies.
Boy baby chicks are thrown into grinders at a day old or suffocated in plastic bin bags like rubbish, simply because they were born the wrong gender.
It’s not right and it’s not fair
Piglets are slammed on the ground or stomped on until they die if they are born/end up lame. Most likely because of inadequate care. The males also have their genitals ripped out by hand without anesthetic.. because doing it properly is too expensive.
The Mother’s are confined to cages so small they can’t even roll over for their entire lifetime. They can barely feed their babies and are then sent for slaughter because Joe Bloggs wants bacon with their burger. Fair? I don’t think so.
Sheep and lambs are clamped at the temples with electric rods and “stunned” so their throats can be slit. But they’re still conscious and aware. So they flail and bleed to death hanging from the ceiling. And that’s just because someone fancies a lamb chop for tea. Don’t forget they are also beaten, tortured, restrained and maimed for the sake of wool and profit.
This is just food agriculture. There’s more that happens to laboratory tested animals and those that are farmed for their fur, skin, body parts. It honestly doesn’t bear thinking about.
Isn’t being vegetarian hard?
It was a definitely a learning curve. But once I knew where to shop and what alternatives I had I didn’t think twice about it anymore. It became second nature and it’s so simple once you know how. The market has changed so much to accommodate for it and the demand is always growing.
It was actually the easiest decision I’ve ever made and I don’t crave meat, I don’t miss it. I don’t want it. Anytime I have eaten it since, I’ve been violently ill. Hardly a coincidence to me but there we go.
Personally I like to think of myself as vegetarian with vegan intentions. I try to avoid dairy and animal products as best I can. Hardcore vegans will scoff at this and say it’s half arsed, but it’s how I am choosing to live my life. I can sleep at night knowing I’m doing a little part to help a cause I care about.
I find that my tea and cereal tastes the same with soy milk. My fajitas are just a good with quorn chicken. My burgers are just a juicy and “meaty” with meat free patties. Everything is pretty much the same and I feel better knowing I’m doing my part.
Lets wrap this up..
For the record I don’t condemn or judge who does eat meat and animal products. My husband still eats meat, so does most of my family but they respect my choices and I respect theirs. Because it’s THEIR choice to make and I won’t force feed them a lecture they don’t ask for. If they do want to know then yes I will tell them, otherwise it is not for me to comment on.
I wanted to make my own choices kinder which wasn’t so difficult to do. Because I was doing it for the right reasons for me. Plus if I’m able to impact one person and have them consider being vegetarian or change their habits even just a little bit, then I’m happy knowing I made a small difference. ♡
[ Make The Pledge ]