Why Vegan?

This post, by its very nature, will probably be more controversial than my trauma posts.  People seem to have more trouble hearing about veganism than trauma sometimes.  So, to start– I am not judging vegetarians or even omnivores.  I’m simply writing about my experience in case it helps others along the way.

I went vegetarian all the way back in 2009.  A friend of mine worked in what’s referred to around here as a chicken barn.  It’s actually a large, windowless metal building where chickens and chicks are caught, debeaked, often have their wings broken, and killed sometimes in gruesome ways.  My friend laughingly told me stories about how some of the chickens died.  I was horrified, and no piece of chicken has ever touched my mouth since.

That experience got me thinking about other animals who are used for food.  What made them less than a chicken?  Why was I okay to eat those but disgusted by chicken?  I didn’t look up anything about the animal food industry, but I did decide to stop eating animals one by one.  First went other poultry, then fish, then finally beef (I didn’t eat pork anyway).  By the end of that year, I decided to try one more cheeseburger just to make sure.  Literally could not keep one bite down.  It felt disgusting on my tongue and had no taste at all.  So that was vegetarianism.  All from the story of chickens in a barn.

Veganism was harder for me.  I went on and off of it many times.  Learning about the dairy industry was enough to make me detest dairy, but I still slipped up.  When I feel tempted now– and I still do sometimes– I just remind myself that that calf’s life is more important than my desire for cheese.

I am vegan because I believe it is the only way to truly respect all life.  I believe it is the most kind way of living and that it leaves a lighter carbon footprint.  It’s best for the animals, best for the planet, and best for my mind and soul.  From one tiny little chicken in a barn came a whole new lifestyle.

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I highly recommend Alicia Silverstone’s ‘The Kind Life’ to anyone interested in vegetarianism and veganism.  Interesting facts and some tasty recipes, too!

History Repeats

They are crowded into hot, smelly transport devices.  They are disoriented by the lack of personal space and stifling heat.  They can barely breath and are pressing on each other with enough force to cause internal injuries.  Some are injured by the strangers who have taken them from their families and thrown them into this terrifying new world.  Some cry out, some are already too weak to do so.

Their journey is arduous.  They must endure the heat and darkness for an undetermined amount of time.  They have no idea where they’re being taken, only that the people taking them are painfully cruel.  Locked up as they are with no escape, they urinate and defecate on each other.  The waste burns their skin.  Some of their fellow prisoners die along the way.  They are crushed or suffocated.  Limbs are broken, skin is torn.  The dead exist among the living in this hell.

Finally, they arrive at their destination.  Thick smoke from burning corpses fills the air.  It chokes them as they are pulled out of the transportation devices.  Who knows what their thoughts were upon being removed from those horrible chambers?  They find no relief.  They are handled once again by the strangers who show no regard for their lives.  Some are found undesirable and immediately killed.  Some are placed in holding stalls .  Most are taken into what will be their last living quarters.  They see others like themselves.  They see mangled bodies and severed limbs.  Aware, once again, that they will soon face a violent death, they fight.  Their captors prevent their release.  Every single one of them dies.

This isn’t an account of Nazi Germany.  This is the final days of chickens killed in processing plants.

Go veg.  Life depends on your decision.

Shocking Reality

Having trouble sticking to that New Year’s resolution to adopt a vegan lifestyle?  This site will definitely motivate you to keep working towards a cruelty-free life.

If you’re still a meat eater, the videos on the site might very well help you understand why so many of us have chosen to rid our diets of animal products.  Fair warning– the videos are graphic.  Sometimes, though, it takes a bit of a shock to get people to consider change.  And when the change involves saving innocent animals from torture, no amount of shock is too much.

http://www.meat.org

The animals of the world exist for their own reasons.  They were not made for humans any more than black people were made from white or women created for men.

–Alice Walker