‘Why should we take their lives for our own pleasure?’ ‘Is all that torture really worth it?’
These were the questions I started asking myself in February 2016. Why should innocent cows, pigs, sheep and so many more gentle creatures have their lives taken from them just so that we can eat? They too are living creatures. They feel pain like we do, they feel love like we do, yet they are subjected to endless amounts of mistreatment for our benefit. Soon after vegetarianism, having asked myself similar questions regarding the production of milk and eggs, I converted to ethical veganism; and it’s a choice I will never go back on.
Ethical veganism refers to the lifestyle choice in which no animal products are consumed or used – out of ethical concern.
Many of us are aware of what mistreatment animals go through, and are fully aware of the truth behind “free range eggs” (Spoiler: they aren’t free range!) and young calves being stolen from their mothers at the mere age of several hours, just so that we can drink their milk. Yet we do nothing about it. We look down on animal testing when we are confronted with it, yet we purchase deodorants, shampoos and toothpaste without a moment’s hesitation, as to where it came from. I cut dairy, eggs and honey out of my diet over a year ago, and cannot see a time where I would consider bringing them back into my diet.
I never did it for the benefit of weight-loss, or to lower my chances of fatal diseases (that being said, pretty good bonus if you ask me!), but because I wanted to live with compassion. I didn’t want to use products – or eat meals – knowing that another life had suffered, just so for 10 minutes, I could enjoy a snack. That’s a whole life in exchange for 10 minutes. Many people use the response ‘We need meat’ or ‘Cows don’t need their milk’ when I explain my choice; unfortunately, in many cases out of lack of education on the subject, not realising that these reasons are false. The industry keeps so much under cover because they know the truth is horrific, yet the truth is also simple; all lives matter, and all lives deserve compassion.