I’d asked a good vegan friend of mine (who’d like to remain anonymous & will) to write an article about why people should become vegans. It’s a hot topic among people & she hemmed & hawed about writing it, understandably, because #1, Vegans are passionate & #2, Meateaters are passionate. So, when the two collide, it’s never pretty. I thought she’d silently bowed out. But…what she wrote is 110% SPOT ON! Her reasonings are some of the same (main) reasons I’ve been considering becoming vegan myself. Read on and see what T. P. has to say about veganism in The V Word.
THE V WORD by T.P.
When my friend Dean first asked me to write a blog about “Why Vegan,” I said no. I’ve been vegan for 13 years and have endured all sorts of criticism, rude comments, judgment, and false assumptions, and I wasn’t about to put my sensitive self out there on the internet like a target. Plus, I was looking at it as though I was supposed to write an article to somehow persuade the reader into going vegan, which, as you know, doesn’t really work that way. So, instead, I decided to write about my vegan story, which can’t be debated.
Thirteen years ago I had a phone conversation with my mother. She told me about how she just got off the phone with her ex-boyfriend and when she asked him how his cats were he told her that one of them had died. He then nonchalantly told her that his kitty was breathing funny, so he put him in a shoebox, covered him with plastic, went out to the store, and when he returned home his cat was dead. My head exploded, and continued to explode when I had to try to explain to my mom why suffocation is not a “humane” way of dying. I was livid and went on the internet to find out what the animal cruelty statute laws were in NJ, and quickly found out it is illegal to kill your own domestic animal. I contacted the NJSPCA who went out to his house to confront him, however because it was second-hand information they were unable to pursue it legally.
In my search for what is considered cruel treatment towards domestic animals, I came across industry standards for livestock that read like a horrific nightmare: chicken’s beaks cut off without anesthesia, female pigs trapped in gestation crates for their entire lives unable to move, veal calves not allowed to stand up or see the sun, thousands of baby chicks ground up alive, cows attached to automatic milking machines that rip and tear at the skin and cause abscesses, and animals artificially impregnated by a human inserting their gloved arm all the way up into her vagina.
How did this become industry standard against living, breathing, loving creatures?
After reading webpage after webpage in horror, sobbing uncontrollably, I looked up from my computer screen and that’s when the guilt set in and I knew that nothing would ever be the same for me. I felt horrible for not knowing where my food came from, because if I knew I would never have voluntarily participated in that. From that point on I went completely vegan, eliminating all animal products from my plate, as well as donating all my animal product clothes and accessories to charity (wool coats, leather shoes, leather belts, etc). I just couldn’t in good conscience be a part of something so unnecessary and cruel. As I continued to research, I found more reasons to stick with this, such as it’s better for my body and better for the environment.
A lot has changed in 13 years in the vegan community. There are amazing dairy substitutes (two words: cashew cheese!), many milk substitute options in convenience stores, Ben & Jerry’s came out with a vegan ice cream, more restaurants are giving vegan options, and way more people are at least aware of what the term vegan means. That doesn’t, however, stop the comments, judgments, and inappropriate jokes. I’m vegan because I’m satisfied with knowing nothing has to die or suffer in order to fill my pie hole, it’s gentler on the environment, it’s kinder to the animals and my own body, and, most importantly, it’s the one constant in my life that, even when the sadness of the world threatens to overtake me, comforts my soul. Some days it’s all I have.
So? What did you think? Pretty impactful, no? We’d LOVE to hear what you have to say in the comments below. Any stories of veganism horrors that you’d like to share. Or, if you’re looking for more information I’ll be happy to pass along the requests. I know that I, for one, am definitely moved towards the direction of veganism, after reading this excellent, heart-wrenching piece. It would do us all a bit of good & the animals a WORLD of good if we all chose to not support the cruel meatpacking industry. I’ll never be able to eat another chicken without thinking about the inhumane way in which it was “processed.”