My "WHY" for becoming Vegan
As I began to research and find out what being Vegan is all about, I learned about the way animals were being treated and slaughtered for profit and it began to pull at my consciousness. I am ashamed that it took fifty-one years on this planet to become aware of the sufferings of the creatures created by God. It’s not as if I didn’t have an idea of what happened to cows when I used to eat steak. I’d have to be living under a rock for fifty years to not have a clue. I just remained willfully ignorant. It was a way of life for me and my family growing up, so I didn’t put much thought into it. Unconsciously, I knew something had bleed and died so that I could eat but I didn’t care enough to ask questions. That part.
To think I’ve lived my whole life not asking questions, just going along with so-called traditions or going with the flow. I think about the animals we so eagerly take our children or grandchildren to visit at the zoo. How could we think that’s cute? They spend their entire life in a cage, away from their natural habitat. It is one thing to help an endangered, orphaned or injured animal and quite another to imprison one. Yes, I said prison. The animals are not free to leave so that means their being held captive. I didn’t care how many baby chicks were crushed on a conveyer belt or how many piglets were snatched and chopped up.
Never once did I give a thought to how the cows might have suffered, to get those thick juicy steaks, so perfectly cut and wrapped, that I was picking through in the store, or how many pigs were slaughtered to get those perfectly, center cut, bone-in chops.
As far as I was concerned, it was all part of the food chain. That’s just how things were done. Animals didn’t have feelings, they were here to sustain human life. That’s it, that’s all.
WRONG! So very wrong. That kind of ignorant thinking has got to stop! We’ve all been programmed to think it's okay to kill for pleasure and it's not! Rather it is the pleasure of sport or pleasure of meat, it's all wrong! We can do so much better as a nation if we would just do a little research.
Since transitioning to this lifestyle and educating myself, I've realized animals have the right to live, love, and be happy the same way as humans do. Who are we to take that right away from them, just because we want to indulge in a T-bone steak?
Knowing what I know now, I have a moral obligation to do my part in reducing animal cruelty, and to fight for their rights since they cannot fight for themselves. And if it means I can make a difference every time I choose to eat a plant-based burger instead of an Angus beef steak burger, then so be it! That’s one less cow that has to suffer. Just think, if everyone in the entire world chooses just one year, to eat a plant based diet, how many animals will be saved?
I’m not judging anyone on what they chose to eat, merely stating how I came about that V life. Before getting my puppy, a full bloodied Yorkie Terrier whom we named Bella, I couldn’t say if dogs felt anything besides anger and hunger. Since having her, I’ve learned so much more. She taught me that they can feel and express love and happiness as well as fear and sadness. She is an extremely intelligent puppy. She can read and understand commands and motions. We got her at two months old, a few weeks before Christmas in 2016. She was black and tan, cute as she could be. We spoiled her with spa days at doggy day camp and lots of love and attention. My husband had her house trained in three weeks.
You may be wondering what all this has to do with becoming a Vegan but if you read on, you will understand why I said they can feel emotions like we do. If I sat on the floor Bella would come and sit in my lap and nudge my hand with her nose until I rub her head and then she would settle down in my lap for a nap. Every-time I stop rubbing her she would raise up as if to say, “Why are you stopping?” then she would roll over on her back with her paws in the air, begging for me to rub her belly. OMG! She just goes nuts getting her belly rubbed! She’d rock from side to side with her head thrown back and just growl or moan in delight. That’s a pleasure.
The back door to our home leads into the sunroom and the door that leads to the balcony of the deck and kitchen are all made of glass. When my husband comes home every day from work, he drives his work truck through the gate of our property which has an alarm. Every-time Bella heard that alarm, she would run over to the kitchen door and raise up on her hind legs to look out. When she saw the top of his work truck she went absolutely bananas! When I say she was crazy with excitement, I kid you not! She would start howling and wailing, yelping and her tail was wagging furiously, turning around and around, pausing to look out, to make sure he was there I guess and in between that, barking. She made so much racket, as soon as he parked the truck, I had to let her out.
It was as if she was saying “Daddy’s home! You see him, you see him?” As soon as he got out of the truck, she would pounce on him, demanding love and affection. It didn’t matter what type of day he had, he never disappointed her. He'd love on her and chase her around the yard. Sometimes he would throw the ball and play catch. After she got her fill, she’d follow him around until he settled down on the floor to wind down and she’d climb right into his lap and fall into a light snore. That’s happiness, love, and devotion.
I said all that to say, if Bella can express all those emotions, why can’t it be possible that a cow can feel sadness or cry when it’s calf is being led away to the slaughterhouse, knowing she will never see her again, or a pig is torn away from its piglets and slaughtered for pork chops or little chic’s thrown onto a belt that will separate them from their shell and be manipulated by a machine and if they survive that, they get transported to a fat farm. Have you ever wondered what happens to the animals during the process of getting meat into the stores and from the stores to your plate? Have you? Did you know there are six stages to the process? All I'm saying is we can make a difference by making a choice to do things differently. Yes, I'm still learning this life, and I don't know everything. But what I do know is change starts with you. What will be your why?