The following article
was written by peta2 Youth Marketing Coordinator Helena Soh.
"I love meat too much." "I could never give
up cheese." "Ignorance is bliss." I, too, used to make these excuses
when trying to justify eating meat and dairy products—until about a year ago.
I've always loved animals, but I am also an avid foodie and was convinced that
giving up meat and dairy products meant dropping my "adventurous
eater" status. So, like many people, I chose
to turn a convenient blind eye to the blatant fact that I loved animals even
though I was eating them.
What I didn't know—until
I decided to give myself a dose of truth and watch "Meet Your
Meat"—was that I was supporting the unimaginable life-long pain
and suffering of tens of billions of animals. It's easy to disconnect the meat
on your plate from the animal who was killed for it when you've never witnessed
how it got there. But once you see the pain and fear in the eyes of an animal who
is being senselessly abused at the hands of a human, burgers and bacon look
like violent death on a plate. Not even baby animals are exempt from abuse on
factory farms. It was like I had peeled back the corner on a label full of lies—and
I had to rip the rest off like a Band-Aid.
Veganism hit me like an avalanche. The more I learned, the
more I wanted to know. Many people choose to ignore the fact that animals who
are raised for meat endure horrific abuse. But I had no idea that when I ate cheese, I was paying for cows to be forced to live mired in their own feces and urine
and to endure rape racks. I also didn't know that male calves on dairy factory farms are torn away from their mothers when they are less than 1 day old and chained
inside tiny crates for four months, unable even to turn around, before they are
finally slaughtered and made into veal.
I didn't know that my scrambled eggs came from chickens who have part of their beaks cut off and who are crammed
into cages so small that they are forced to trample each other. And that "spent" hens are ground up and fed to fellow hens when they're deemed no longer useful. Not only
do eggs come from chicken periods, they're also a byproduct of cannibalism!
Keep in mind that animals who are raised for food spend their
entire lives in fear. Who wants to knowingly digest another being's lifetime of
fear and pain for dinner? Not me.
Since going vegan, I have become MORE of an adventurous
eater and have come to love cooking and dining out so much more than I did before. I get to eat all the same foods that I've
always loved—only now, my food is murder-free. Who knew that making the right
decision for animals would also allow for a more fulfilling and exciting dining
Ever wonder why there are plenty of vegans who made the
switch for reasons other than cruelty to animals? It's because animal
agriculture isn't just killing animals. When you see the meat industry for what
it is, it becomes undeniably obvious how much animal agriculture contributes to
the world's biggest problems. I might not have been vegan my whole life, but
I've always been passionate about making healthy choices, fighting climate
change, and protecting human rights. So you can imagine my reaction when I
learned just a few of the many, many ways in which raising animals for food is
killing us and the planet, including the following:
When you sit down and face the truth about the meat and
dairy industries, there's no other way around it: Going vegan is the only way to go. It's the easiest way to make the biggest impact on the world. With
one decision, you can stop contributing to what's killing animals, the planet,
and people. In the words of PETA activist and Humanitarian Award winner
Christina Cho, "Go
vegan and everything else will fall into place!"
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.