…the question is not,
Can they reason? nor, can they talk? but,
can they suffer?
Jeremy Bentham, 1748 – 1832
1614,000,000,000 (1614 billion) animals are slaughtered annually for one reason: human consumption. Most suffer abominably.
Is this the action of the aware, caring and loving beings, as we all like to consider ourselves to be? Or is it that, as we cuddle our cats and play with our dogs, we are blind of the suffering dealt to other members of the animal kingdom?
Paul McCartney famously said: ‘If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian’. All animals suffer when they are being killed. Chickens endure the worst suffering, followed by fish. Once fish are out of water they continue to suffer for up to four hours. Just because these actions are mostly invisible to us because we usually encounter our meat on sanitized supermarket shelves, it does not mean that we are not responsible for them. It is important to realize that that we are complicit in this.
Maybe it is now time to be more mindful and compassionate. To reconsider our food choices and reduce the suffering in the world. Compassion is a big part of being human. In fact, it defines our humanity. We also need to have courage to step out of the norm and demonstrate our personal convictions. Melanie also explained that if we are to live a life of integrity then integrity means doing the right thing even when no one is watching.
If the above argument alone is not enough to sway opinion, then it should also be noted that the evidence is showing that a well-balanced vegan diet is healthier for humans than a standard meat-eaters diet. It helps us to live healthier and longer. A plant-based diet helps us to stay more calm, positive and energized. And taking the spiritual aspect into account, as we clean up our diets we also clean up our karma. We have to remember that our complicit actions have their consequences. As we are no longer taking in the stress hormones of the animals, together with the vibrations of fear and suffering, we are doing a favor for our minds and our souls, as well as our bodies.
As we ask for more alternatives, more will be available on the market and it will be easier to go vegan. Our economy is always driven by demand and supply. Many families have meat or dairy products three times a day, seven days a week. Reducing that number would certainly help the animals. And as you try alternative meals, you will be surprised at the variety and taste. It may even be better than the norm!
Movies to consider watching:
Forks Over Knives
Books to consider reading:
Meat Hooked – Marta Zaraska
Vegan on the Go – Jerome Eckmeier and Daniela Lais
Why we Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, Wear Cows – Melanie Joy
How to Create a Vegan World – Tobias Leenaert
It’s time… to consider going vegan