The Constant Vegan Struggle

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I ate meat for most of my life and happily enjoyed pork ribs at every opportunity. That is, until I finally chose to actually look into how it is produced. I can’t help but constantly look at people and wonder, Have you ever actually watched a pig or cow being slaughtered? Have you read about the standard practices of overcrowding, regular abuse, degradation and tools used for mutilation? Are you Honestly aware of  the entire process, or do you allow yourself relief through deceitful labels such as “Organic, cage free”, and “certified humane?”

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It is the most difficult thing in the world for me to hold my tongue (so people won’t label me as a preachy vegan) while I eat my chips and salsa and attempt to enjoy a bbq party. I want people to like me. I don’t want to make people uncomfortable. People smile and laugh, petting their dogs, sharing pictures of their cats, while eating hamburgers and macaroni and cheese. Meanwhile, 3,000 baby animals every second are having their limbs hacked off while they are still alive with open eyes, their skin pulled off while their spinal cord is still intact, watching their own skin hang around their face as they hang by their one remaining limb, dying eventually in the process. I can see it in my mind’s eye as people chew on ribs.

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I told myself for years that fish don’t have feelings, only to discover that they can feel pain, stress, and they enjoy gentle touch from each other during courtship, just like us.

In order to produce cheese, female cows are artificially inseminated with a steel rod in a confinement device called a “rape rack.” When the baby is born, he is taken away to a feedlot or raised briefly in confinement and kept purposefully anemic until he is killed for veal. If she is female, she will be raised for a lifetime of annual rape, pregnancy, birth and baby kidnapping, all the while being suckled harshly by machines to the point of painful, bloody mastitis, which leaks pus and blood into her milk. Each time her baby is taken away, she bellows endlessly and follows the truck with her baby in it, streaming tears. It is the ultimate female exploitation.

All of the people I love pay for this service, but I don’t expect them to change just because I did. What I hope is that if people really love animals, they’ll educate themselves thoroughly on what they’re supporting. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction. Meat and dairy are known  leading cause of inflammation leading to cancer and heart disease.

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It’s so easy to not support the production and sale of body parts and secretions, once you figure out some staple meals.

Hear me please when I say, I DO NOT JUDGE ANYONE, seriously. I have an intense, regular meditation practice. and anytime my mind judges, I’m immediately aware and I think of how that person is simply an aspect of human consciousness, and that particular one struck a cord within me. “What do I need to look at within myself now that I’ve observed this aversion my ego has to this personality?” These are my thought patterns. My spiritual practices include MUCH self reflection, and quick judgment is a great indicator that I need to meditate more to reconnect to my higher self. I need a solid, ongoing connection to the part of my consciousness that recognizes my individuality as equal to, and not more important than, other personality types.

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How can I expect everyone to have researched this as diligently as I have, right when I did? All I ask is that my friends educate themselves with an open mind. I don’t want this to be a debate, it’s just, living in this world, with people all around me, feeling no guilt while feeding their kids hot dogs and worshipping their puppies, wearing leather shoes and mink eyelashes…it is difficult to not feel sadness and loss of hope.

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Everyone tells me they love animals, without actually changing the habits of supporting animal agriculture and it’s inexplicably horrible exploitation of the vulnerable. Every single person I love continues to support the abhorrent, violent, outrageous practices humans are blindly supporting, just to not have to confront ignorance and make an inconvenient change. I want to be liked, loved, included, not alienated, so I avoid the subject as much as possible. How may I be a voice for the voiceless when I barely have the courage to make a post? All I can see when I see hamburgers is the wide eyes and foaming mouth, shaking with vibrating death from the slice of a blade to the neck, of a perfect baby cow. Why is it so difficult to entice people who love animals to stop paying for them to be tortured and murdered? I know why. Habit, Tradition, Convenience, Indoctrination, Taste. This is why I am devoting myself to writing and dropping out of social society. No one wants to hear what I have to say, no one wants to feel bad, no one wants to be made uncomfortable. No one wants to change.

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