I have to admit; I didn’t originally transition to a plant based diet for the animals. I was thinking about my own health first and foremost and how the food was making me feel. But then, as happens with many vegans, you start to have your eyes opened to something that had been closed off for so long.
A level of compassion that had been suppressed and disconnected for decades began to slowly rise up and overtake me. I started to remember that the chicken on my plate didn’t just magically appear at the grocery store. It came from a real live chicken, a smart chicken that was tortured in the worst conditions before making it to my plate. Animals feel pain, animals suffer, and they don’t want to die. They are beautiful creatures with a purpose to fulfill in this world beyond being turned into a big mac.
I have a dog that I adore. I would never want to inflict any pain on my dog or see my dog in any pain. I started to think, why would I want to be responsible for the pain of other animals then? Why are they so different from my dog? Less deserving of the chance to live out their lives as nature intended?
I realized I never had the chance to spend a lot of time with the animals we chose to eat, so I decided to visit some animal sanctuaries where animals rescued from factory farms get to live out their lives in peace. It didn’t take long for a cow to look deep into my eyes, cuddle up against me, a goat wanting to cuddle, a chicken eating food out of my hand, a lamb who followed me around, a pig that wanted her snout rubbed, that I realized these animals are NO different from our dogs and cats. They have souls, feelings, and the desire to avoid pain. They are so smart and kind. They are bonded to each other and have deep familial bonds.
I consider myself a kind and compassionate person and it was easy for me to see that putting my money towards an industry that causes such brutal cruelty to these beautiful creatures did not align with my values. Paying for their slaughter and torture was not something I was going to participate in any further. There are many resources available when it comes to learning the truth about what happens on factory farms.
Here are a few I recommend:
Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism
Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy