I can still remember the very moment which moved me to make that shift. But it didn’t happen overnight.
It was like a bubble that gets bigger “with each moment”. That “each moment” is an occasion I see how animals are being mistreated with brute force and cruelty. That “each moment” is an occasion that animals are considered as profit-making commodities. Such moments are stinging and question my conscience & food choices.
Then came the moment of truth. I was at a local market helping my mom to get her grocery. I saw a truck parked nearby and noticed a few heads moving rapidly.
They were chickens and their fate was written all over them. It was somewhat similar to what you see in the image here. They could hardly move and crammed in containers like sardines in a tin.
Their eyes were filled with terror possibly in anticipation of hell to come and rest of the body language I don’t have to explain.
Then I asked myself an important question, “what right do we have, to take the lives of these innocent animals?”.
Honestly, I had no ethical answer. Though it took me 28 years to come to that realization of truth, I give a pat on my back for the ability to disengage myself from the masses that I have been born & bred to, who probably consider such acts to be normal.
It was also a gratifying moment, that I can judge things not based on social norms, but on my own moral compass and critical thinking. In my book, there is nothing called a necessary evil. If something is necessary, it better be good.
So I became a vegetarian first and then a vegan later, and that’s how the bubble ultimately burst and freed my conscience.
How The World of Animals is Beautiful On Its Own Merit
Today when I see animals, it’s different and refreshing. Unlike the state I was in before becoming a vegan, there is nothing holding me back from appreciating them as our non-human fellow beings.
Just take a look at a few facts of the animals that are considered food that show how sentient they are,
- Did you know that mother cows distressfully cry and search for their calves when the baby and the mom are separated and calves being sold for veal or meat farms? Just picture yourself as a mom or a would-be mom. After going through all the emotional distress, the contractions, the pain, the labor & delivery, finally you get to see your baby who becomes your new world. Then within the first 24 hours, your little one will be separated from you and you will no longer see or own your baby because others decide who gets your milk and who owns the baby.
- You know how we get excited when we find a solution to a problem which challenges our intelligence. Apparently, cows get excited as well when they learn to move a lever on a drinking fountain when they’re thirsty. They also know to push a button with their heads to free the grain when they’re hungry.
- Hens can signal (communicate) danger to her chicks and may even sacrifice her own life to save them.
- In some studies, chickens have shown their numerical skills at a very tender age.
- Pigs love listening to music, play with each other and have mock fights like dogs.
- Cows tend to select their leaders based on ability, maturity, and good social qualities, while harassment, selfish behavior, size, and strength are not considered proper qualities for leadership. Yes, they prefer genuine leaders to fake leaders.
- Before they even hatch, chicks are able to have some form of communication with their mother.
- When turkeys are in farm sanctuaries, they identify their pet visitors and will run to welcome them.
Is Disconnect an Excuse?
I am quite sure, many would be hesitant to take that sizzling steak into their mouths if they were shown how it got into their plates. Unfortunately, many are either ignorant or failing to see the connection.
If the cow was slaughtered right in front of them, where they sight the agony, the bloodshed and death before the meat was presented as steak, how comfortable one would feel eating it?
This is exactly what I heard once from a public debate. If all slaughterhouses were made of glass, many would have the difficulty of watching it and feel guilty of consuming animal products.
Our Capacity for Compassion
Empathy & compassion forced me to make changes and pursue a vegan diet.
There is no difference when I see underprivileged children, people affected by war and an animal in pain.
All of humanity has such capacity and let’s have faith in human spirit.
With education, empathy, and morality we can save & protect the species and the planet!
“Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” – Anatole France
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