No one who eats tortured animals wants to think about this but the reality is slaughterhouse workers and factory farm workers are routinely known to sexually abuse the animals that they're meant to control. How do people not think about the piece of flesh they're eating, besides having been tortured to death, that he/she was raped/ assaulted by a human man. That is disgusting. You think that this is okay?
People use many different excuses to refrain from supporting any industry that exploits the innocent and vulnerable, the list is long and rather frightening but the excuse that makes me laugh my cackle of disbelief the most has absolutely got to be 'veganism is a privilege'. This excuse completely erases all those living below the poverty line who still manage to live and eat vegan, and gives people who are in the same situation a reason to believe that they can’t do their best. It also suggests that veganism in some way brings some sort of opportunities...if anything, it is the exact opposite.
The people who throw this excuse around must not actually do their own shopping. These people have clearly never looked at the price of a piece of corpse and compared that to rice and beans. I've never been to a supermarket that sold dead beings at a price cheaper than vegan staples which include; rice, beans, oats, tofu, pasta and bulk foods. 100% of people who use this sad excuse have never really tried a plant-based diet let alone living vegan and therefore have no idea how simple veganism actually is. They base their reasonings off some health conscious vegans who only eat 'organic' food and will only shop at 'whole foods' or who enjoy and can afford speciality ingredients such as mock meats and vegan cheeses which can be pricey (pretty much the same price as a dismembered innocent animal) but these can also be made from scratch at a much lower cost. Most vegans do not only buy from whole foods or eat everything organic and even if most did this still does not give anyone the right to demand another being die for their pleasure when there are so many cheap cruelty free options available.
Things like white male privilege, male privilege and straight privilege are all things that exist because people gain certain privileges from being in those groups and the advantages of growing up in certain places . Vegans as a group gain no privileges from being vegan, we are however socially and institutionally oppressed. In fact, we deal with a lot of abuse, ridicule and questioning for our choices. Which is understandable as we go against what is considered 'normal' for the cruel world we live in. To repeat: we do not gain any privileges from being vegan.
Face the facts, you have no excuse to not be vegan other than this; You are too fucking lazy and apathetic to give a shit that every day someone is killed/raped/maimed/abused just for your meal.
When I tell people that I'm vegan they often reply with something along the lines of 'oh my cousin is vegetarian' or 'I was vegetarian' for a couple of years. I've never actually heard anyone tell me that they were 'vegan for so many years' as is it near impossible to go from knowing the truth back to living a life contributing to injustices and heartbreak. The difference between vegan and vegetarian is as simple as compassion and 'vegucation'. If someone is vegetarian because of animal rights issues, they ultimately would be vegan if they knew what happened to dairy cows and egg laying hens, unfortunately society is adept at hiding these facts from us...but no more. No one wants to knowingly support an industry that kills babies within weeks of being born or one that throws one day old males into grinders because they have no use for them otherwise. Vegetarians have taken a step towards veganism but most just want to stay at that one step and not completely stop supporting animal enslavement industries. The sad part of all of this is how upset vegetarians get when you point these facts out to them because, of course they feel that they are doing something, which even I will admit, they are, but it's not enough. They still pay for dairy cows to be continuously artificially inseminated, have their babies stolen from them so that humans can drink their milk and condemn egg laying hens to cramped spaces and horrible lives just so that humans can eat the remains of their reproductive cycles. The point isn't whether vegetarianism can be justified and why vegans think that they should be doing more. What it essentially comes down to is the fact that vegetarians still use animals, animals that might not have died at the time of getting their products but they all still eventually get sent to slaughter and that is heartbreakingly unnecessary because 100% of animals would agree that everyone should be vegan, none of them want to be used in any way whatsoever.
It's been about six years since I transitioned to veganism or, as I put it, I'm doing six to life. In those years I have gone from making bland tofu stir frys to homemade breaded seitan cutlets. My family and friends have also taken the time to make peace with the fact that my stance on the rights of animals is not just a phase. Looking back, I can't blame them for thinking that my vegan shift would be temporary. Check out how excited I am to tear into some innocent, dead animal's body in this photo.
Gazing at pictures like this are a trippy experience for me. I recognize myself but it's hard to believe that it's me. If someone had told me then that I'd be a vegan someday, I would have responded with a face full of confusion followed by, "What's a vegan?" Even after being given an explanation, I would have balked at the idea. So what in the blue hell got me here?!
Just a few months after the above photo was taken, during Easter of 2009, my family gathered at my mother's house for dinner. After eating, I gave my laptop to my nieces so that they could show me some games they frequently played online. One of those games, a game that tugged at my seams, was Super Chick Sisters. Unbeknownst to me, the game was developed by PETA during a campaign against Kentucky Fried Chicken and their suppliers. If you have a PC or Mac, you can play it here. The game is mildly fun and plays like a mix between Sonic and Mario Bros. The goal is to take the heros, Chickette and Nugget, through Colonel Sanders' lair to save Pamela Anderson. Seriously. During your quest, you encounter protesters that give information on how badly chickens from KFC suppliers are treated.
When I reached this point in the game, my youngest niece looked to me and asked if the statement is true. I struggled for words and when they didn't come, I suggested that we play another game. Once I was alone later that night, I grabbed my laptop and, for some reason, I started playing Super Chick Sisters again. This time I played until the end, at which point I was invited to view undercover footage from KFC's suppliers. I watched the videos because, like my niece, I wondered if the statements presented were true. I found that not only was the information true but the full story was much worse.
Most of the footage I watched was from undercover investigations and contained various instances of slaughterhouse workers viciously beating animals before killing them. I spent the rest of the night searching for any video or article that would cast doubt on what I'd learned. The more I searched, the deeper I fell into the truth. Finally I came across a video showing two men standing over a defenseless pig. She was lying on the ground, posing a threat to no one. Without provocation or reason, one of the men hoisted a cinder block high above his head and released it onto the pig's body. As I watched in horror, I realized that not only was I disgusted by the act but I was hoping someone, anyone, would swoop in to help. I knew then that I could not be a part of such cruelty. By morning, I was ordering a vegetarian starter kit. Despite the name, the information contained within pushed me towards veganism. As I flipped through my starter kit, I read certain parts aloud in disbelief. "Male chicks are routinely killed for eggs?!" "Cows need to give birth to have milk?! They're forcibly impregnated so that they'll give birth?! The calves are stripped away and killed?!" I had no room to make excuses. I had to change myself to align with my morals, even if I couldn't articulate them.
I spent twenty-three years eating the bodies of chickens and other animals. The final picture captures a moment between a rescued hen, Tina, and myself. The picture was taken during my first trip to an animal sanctuary. After contributing to the deaths of so many of Tina's brothers and sisters, I was too nervous to even touch her. Tina hovered near me waiting for attention. When she was finally placed in my arms, she was so docile and comfortable that she ended up dozing off. I can't think of a more peaceful moment that I've experienced, if there is one. This is how animals deserve to live; with the same safety, love, and comfort that any of us are entitled to.
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I will never see her again. She was as spent as could be. Her bones were sticking out and her udders were dragging on the floor. She still came to me and let me give her love she even did a little wiggle to show me that she wanted to play but my heart was breaking the entire time. For knowing I still love people that could condemn such a sweet, beautiful being to a lifetime of pain. Having her babies taken away from her so humans can have her milk. I don't want to hate anyone but right now, typing this out and crying my eyes out I hate non vegans' selfishness so much. How can you be okay with what you pay for. How can you drink the milk meant for the young of another species and how can you eat products made from broken hearts? I don't know how you live with yourselves. I feel so sorry for you.
A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I went on a walk up our house and accidentally had to cross a dairy farm.
As we got closer, we realized that there were calf hutches outside and decided to take a closer look.
The hutch section was closed with fences so I had to sneak my way inside. My boyfriend stayed on the outside. As soon as I got inside and could see the hopeless calves, I knew my life had changed forever.
I have been vegan for years now, and I've watched Earthlings and lots of footages of slaughterhouses or other form of animal abuse. But nothing conveys the horror of animal exploitation like witnessing with your bare eyes the despair of another being, and seeing that they're begging you to help them and there's nothing you can do.
I spotted a very young calf (the brown one that's laying on the floor on the photo) and I started petting his beautiful coat and couldn't hold back the tears. The anger and sorrow were overwhelming. As I was still sitting on the floor with the baby, the farmer came in and my boyfriend joined us, fearing I'd get in trouble. The farmer started saying that these calves were very happy and that they were fed organic food and weren't given antibiotics. My boyfriend asked why they weren't with their mothers and the farmer said, in a laughter: "because we need the milk!".
The only thing I could do for the billions of cows and calves that go through this organised slavery every year, was to share this story. I tried, but I can't describe with words what we witnessed. The pictures I'll attach may help conveying the horror : helpless beings, tagged, separated from their mothers, crying, bouncing against the fences and the plastic hutches, sitting in their secretions and surrounded by flies.
I never saw so much distress.
And keep in mind that this is the best scenario they tell you about.
This is an organic farm in Switzerland; supposedly, it doesn't get better than that.
Be mindful that if you're not vegan, you are supporting this, you're funding the rape and abuse of others, the destruction of families, and systematic slavery. In addition to that, still thinking that human beings need to drink milk from other mammals, especially after having been weaned is moronic and quite disturbing, to be honest.
What we do to the nonhuman animals every second of every day of every week of every month of every year violates every law of compassion and justice.
Look at all the pictures.
Look into their eyes and realize that they are *someone* and that you can never own and use someone for your own ends.
We claim so hard to be superior as a species but what really differentiates us from the nonhumans is our expertness in creating endless cruelty and planetary annihilation.
Evolve. Go vegan.
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Whenever I mention that I avoid as much as possible hanging out with nonvegans, people always say a variant of :
"Isn't that a bit restrictive? I find it sad to have such little diversity within your circle of friends, and I think categorizing like this makes you narrow-minded."
What I say : you might have a point. And I think the fact that you decide not to hang out with child molesters or rapists because you don't agree with their actions makes you narrow-minded. Isn't it sad that all your friends are against abusing women or beating kids? You're probably missing out on a lot of amazing people by categorizing like you do.
It's very simple : if you believe that it's okay for other beings to be enslaved, tortured and killed so you can have a meal or a new pair of shoes, we can't possibly connect.
My friends come from all continents and all backgrounds, they're all interested and talented in a vast variety of domains.
The only thing all my friends have in common is that they believe that if justice matters at all, it shouldn't be reserved to one and only self-proclaimed superior species. Therefore, they are the only people I relate to and I feel comfortable with.
We do not spend our time together talking about tofu and hemp shirts. Reducing vegans to one homogeneous group with similar interests and backgournds makes you narrow-minded.
I've all my life kept myself away from racists, sexists or any type of bullies so I don't see why I'd have to make an effort and spend time with speciesists. It it very disturbing that people point out vegans for doing what everybody does on a daily basis : judging what values we stand up for or against. Vegans, moreover, act accordingly.
There is a palpable hypocrisy that in my opinion relies on a problem with people's conscience: vegans are living proof that living by your values is possible and practical; so what's left for the rest of the world? The fact that they claim all kinds of things ('animal abuse is wrong', 'hurting another being for unnecessary reasons is barbaric', etc) that don't align with their actions, and the guilt that goes with it.
And for vegans to pay the price of their guilt.
The most extreme example of vegans forcing their beliefs on others is an aggressive conversation. The most mild example of non-vegans forcing their beliefs on others is the abuse and slaughter of living beings.
You wouldn't believe how much hatred I get from your fellows on a daily basis, some of them being 'relatives' of mine, which urged me to write you a little letter to clarify some things.
There's a saying that goes 'vegans aren't crazy, they're just from the future' and it's perfectly accurate. Vegans are marginalized and mocked like anti-racist militants were in the 50s or anti-sexists in the 80s (I'm not saying that these forms of discrimination don't exist anymore). None of the segregations within humans can disappear if we don't work on the roots of segregation, which is the arbitrary concept that some species (humans leading) are superior to others.
Truth is, humans destroy literally everything, and the fact that we can make art or solve arduous math problems do not make us superior in any kind of way. We choose the criteria that assert our domination over the world, but since we make the rules, they can't be neither fair nor rational. The fact that we can reason and have intricate ways of communicating only make us superior to other species because we decide so.
Fighting for animal rights doesn't mean that nonhuman animals should get the right to vote or to go to school, it means that they should have as a basis the right to live a free life and to exist for their own reasons.
In front of people that fight for justice and nonviolence, bragging about your 'opinion' isn't pertinent in any kind of way. Opinions have no moral relevance whatsoever. One's opinion can be that people of colour are inferior to white people or that all Arabs are terrorists, and I don't believe anyone would advocate that it's something that we should respect. Opinions have no weight on the scales of morality.
I do not respect your lifestyle choices and your opinions, not in the slightest way. Paying other people to enslave, torture and murder other species and to pollute the waters, the soil and the air of our planet is not something that calls for respect. Your choices directly support the exploitation of the vulnerable and actively refute biocentrism. I know that we live in a society that forces animals products on us, but if that's why you're not vegan, I hope you realize that this means that you would have been happily sitting on the bus section reserved to white people 70 years ago.
Most people are outraged when vegans draw a parallel with the human holocaust, but to be honest I'm the one who's upset by such comparison: the holocaust occurred in a very short period of time and even when happening, it was cried out against. The animal holocaust is happening every single second of every day, is killing more than a trillion land and marine animals every year, and is funded and defended by 97% of the world population today. Excuse me for calling it an unfair comparison.
Now, the person who wrote this text is the person I will be for the rest of my days, the person you'll have to deal with if we talk on the phone, if you come over to my house, if we go for drinks or on a holiday together. We all choose our friends, I wouldn't be friends with a racist, a sexist or a homophobe, so quit calling me judgemental and fanatical when I say I don't want to be around speciesists and anthropocentrists.
When the paradigm starts shifting and you have no other choice but taking your responsibility, remember the vegan that came from the future to hurt your feelings.
If you eat eggs or honey, ride horses or go to zoos or aquariums, you're not vegan. It's not something you can debate your way around.