This blog is really to discuss a little bit about my history and how I became vegan. It really boils down to the fact that I’ve always been an animal lover. I grew up on farms loving every moment of the outdoors, being surrounded by nature and of course, animals. It became a small childhood mission of
mine from to rescue animals and care for them back to good health.
For some reason I thought it was my purpose, much to my parents frustration, as it really became a frequent occurrence. Regrettably, there was even a time when I stole a small chick from our neighbours and kept him in my wardrobe, this lasted for half a day before my Mum discovered him (obviously I didn’t do this for the greater good; I just really loved caring for animals). I did manage to get my own way and he turned out to be a rather handsome and flashy cockerel that lived in our garden as family pet.
Ironically, my Dad was a dairy herdsman, but also an animal lover. This may come as a surprise but it’s often the case among a lot of farmers, even though they often have a bad rep with vegans. However, my Dad did love his cows and cared for them to the best of his ability, so in turn as a child I thought the cows were happy. He would often send me and my sister down to the fields and just by calling on the herd, they would tootle in to the milking parlour- ready for the daily routine. I wasn’t aware, nor have I seen first hand the emotional pain they suffered year in and year out. Little did I realise at the time, the calves were separated from their mother within 24 hours after birth…the calves that they had carried around for 9 months.
The calves; confused, taken away from their mothers, ear tagged and then on to powdered milk. The bull calves often killed in the first week because there is no other use for them. The heifers are succumbed to the same future as there mothers, slave labour, used as a machine for their milk enduring the same emotional pain and distress each year losing their calves.
At this point while writing, I called my Dad to clarify a few points. The conversation for me was emotional hearing more details first hand by someone who worked in the industry. I also didn’t know until this conversation about what his current feelings were. He was very opinionated on the matter and no in favour of the dairy industry, filled with regret. One of the things he said ‘its really quite shocking, the cows ball and cry for days, mourning their calves, its pretty horrific. They live a life of pain, pushed and shoved around for there milk” he added. Looking back now, he just followed the criteria that was set out in the farming industry and the culture he was brought up in. He wasn’t really aware that he was doing anything wrong, but in retrospect, he felt shocked.
I certainly can relate, as a family we were all vegetarian but I didn’t fully understand why and it wasn’t explained. So in my teens there was a time where I did eat meat, with little understanding, it was a time were I just wanted to eat the same way all my friends were and do what seemed ‘normal’. Still, something didn’t sit right with me and it’s what brought me to question food and what was on my plate more critically. It wasn’t long before I was vegetarian again. Taking the vegan leap was definitely a process which began as I gained more knowledge and awareness of the process of live stock production.
Animals are mass produced to live in inhumane conditions. Often sitting around in their own waste, injured, sick or even amongst other dead animals. This is also the most welcoming environment for bacteria and pathogens to spread. Hundreds of drugs are administered to animals, these drugs have no benefits to consumer health. Then after a miserable life, these animals will be killed by gas, electric current or bolt stunners to the skull to cause unconsciousness.
Sadly for chickens, ducks, turkey and geese over 1.5 million will die each year. These poor animals are being crushed by the doors of transporters before they even get to the slaughterhouse. Their heads are submerged in an electrified water bath to cause unconsciousness and then routinely many regain conciseness before they die. These are the slaughter methods in the UK, in other countries its often worse and even more inhumane.
A lot of money is invested to make sure that ‘we’ the consumers don’t know or think about this information.