Welcome to the first post in a series called My A-Z of Veganism. In this series, I will discuss and explore a topic or issue related to veganism, and my experiences as a vegan.
A is for…
Specifically, non-human animals; those sentient beings that humans share the planet with. Our fellow Earthlings. The motivation behind my transition to veganism.
Whenever I am asked ‘Why did you become vegan?’, my answer- whether brief, or more detailed- always includes ‘for animals’.
In my late teens, I stumbled across a book in my local library called Old McDonald’s Factory Farm. My world view changed that day. For that I am deeply grateful. I remember feeling horrified as I flicked through the pages – horrified, sickened and shocked. Broken bodies, over-crowding, eternal darkness, filth, misery. Why did I not know about this?
I immediately stopped eating ‘land’ animals. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was the first step on a journey that would lead me to embrace a vegan ethic.
Until that point in my life I had never heard of factory farming. Why? Why did I not know about the suffering of ‘food’ animals?
The answer is simple, really. The industries concerned do not want us to know.
In factory farms, the miserable existence (and death) of pigs and chickens is hidden from public view. This protects the interests of companies and individuals that profit from the torture, slaughter and consumption of these animals. Industry profits are dependent on our ignorance. But we do not have to be ignorant.
Many of us share our lives with companion animals. When they are sick, we seek help to heal them. When our animal friends die, we grieve. And rightly so. (Most) humans love, nurture and protect companion animals.
Yet, we turn our backs on animals raised for food. Suffering on an immense scale is happening right now. And it breaks my heart.
I gain inspiration and hope from the following quote:
“If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others… why wouldn’t we?” – Edgar’s Mission