Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man…

You don’t have to do a lot of searching to find a plethora of quotes on animal cruelty.

George Bernard Shaw said

“The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence of inhumanity.”

I have thought long and hard about this very thing. How so many people walk around completely detached from the food on their plate. When people hear you’re vegan, many times they hit you with something along the lines of…”Oh, I love animals, but cheese tastes so good.” or “Oh, don’t tell/show me what they do to them…*whilst covering their ears/eyes*…I can’t bear it”.

So, people know that horrible things happen, but just chose to pretend it doesn’t and carry on eating anything their belly desires?

I cannot understand this mentality. How can we, as sentient beings, walk around contributing to terrible things (and know we are) but convince ourselves that because we don’t actively hear what happens we’re innocent??

I’m finding it hard driving around at the moment – I’m seeing loads of little calves in fields. None of them can be more than a few months old, with not a Mummy in sight. There they are, lying in the warmth of the midday sun. Enjoying life, albeit without their Mum by their side. They have absolutely no idea the horror their life will become…

20170520_122648.jpg

I don’t know about you, but for me I hope I’ll live a long, happy life. I hope I’m able to love and be loved. I pray I’m able to be free from pain and suffering…and (because it is inevitable) I really hope, when my time comes, that I have a peaceful and painless death. I don’t want to feel fear or terror when my last moments come. Isn’t that a similar picture to everyone’s?

Sadly, for any animal born into the factory farming business….these very basic wishes will never be met.

Let’s look at cows. They are only bred for one of two purposes – beef or dairy. If you’re lucky enough to come back as a cow…pray you’re born on a sanctuary that’s owned by a hippie vegan. If you’re not lucky enough for that…and let’s face it, you won’t be. Then maybe the life of a bullock would be the best option. Will you be free of suffering? Hell no! Will you live a long happy life? Don’t be daft!!!

A male calf will be removed from his Mum quickly (usually within 12-24 hours). This is VERY distressing to both the baby and the Mum. As you can imagine, she cries for her baby and he very much cries for her. A cow can recognise the unique cry of its calf and vice versa. They’ve been known to call out to each other for days.

Let’s take veal for an example. This little calf is the bi-product of the milk industry. A cow (like her human counterpart) lactate in response to pregnancy and birth…with the sole purpose of feeding her baby. So…she has to birth a baby cow in order to produce milk. Calves from ‘dairy’ cows are less suitable for meat that those born into the beef industry, so these calves are often shot at birth – born to die, unnecessary consequences of milk production. Shockingly, 55’000 calves are shot every year in the UK, immediately after being birthed from a dairy cow.

The remainder of these little guys are destined for the ‘veal pen’, this is where the party really starts. They will be kept in dark pens – so small they cannot turn around, lie down or even have a good stretch. Heaven forbid they get to use any muscles, I mean veal is renound for its anaemic soft flesh. I use the word anaemic on purpose here, as…wait for it…the milk substitute they are given is deliberately lacking in iron and essential nutrients so the calve is anaemic, which gives the pale colour that is considered desirable to the buyer! *vom*

Have I repulsed you yet? Oh, right…you don’t eat veal, so this is all nothing to do with you?

Actually, you drink milk? eat cheese? partake in a yoghurt or two? Then you VERY much do contribute to this little fella’s story.

So, after the very brief time in the veal pen (usually 14-18 weeks) these BABIES are taken to a slaughter house. They’re seeking maternal comfort so much that they’ve been known to suckle on the fingers of the slaughter-men. Human babies suck to self sooth….would it be to abhorrent to imagine that these little things do the same?

What a fucking life, eh? Makes you happy you’re not a cow!

These little beings never see the sun; touch the earth; eat the grass. They’re simply born – and before they have even had the umbilical cord severed from their mother, their fate is sealed. Literally born to die!

If you’re one of the lucky bastards that get to graze – woohoo, your life is relatively limited in terms of torture. You’ve only got to endure castration, without anaesthetic by the way, because pffft….you’re only a cow, you can’t need anaesthetic or analgesia. You’ll have your horns burned off and be branded. Oh, and have your ear pierced and even maybe your nose! The big bonus to this life is…you get to feel the grass…lie on it, taste it, run if you want. Shortly before you’re due to be murdered…I mean, slaughtered humanely for food…you’ll be moved to a ‘fattening shed’, where you’ll be fed loads of grains and high calorie food to ‘fatten you up’. You’re life will be ended around 20-24 months following your birth (sometimes they can even get 5 years). In your prime – but, you should know, you didn’t die in vain…hundreds of people found you delicious in their sandwich!! That gives your life real purpose, right?

Anyway, if all of that hasn’t freaked you out enough, let’s explore, briefly, the life of a female calf.

Now…this story can’t possibly be as tragic? No way, I hear you say. I mean, come on….a cow doesn’t die for its milk. 😩

Sorry pals, that’s totally not true! A female is born into a life with a fate pre-written for her. She will be removed almost immediately from her Mum, which makes perfect sense. Mummy is going to produce tons of milk immediately to feed her baby and we can’t have that baby getting any of the precious milk destined for us! Come on…get a grip!

The baby is removed and placed in a lovely nursery type pen, with grass…lovely comfy hay beds and a foster Mummy, who lovingly fills the hole left by her mother. Only kidding!!! She’s removed and placed into a solitary pen, where she spends the first 8 weeks of her miserable little life. Calves are energetic and need to play, but the stalls don’t allow for that. They are fed on milk replacement from a bucket or bottle.

After 8 weeks of age they are moved into shared accommodation  (or out to pasture if weather permits). Despite in the wild feeding from mum for 9 months, these little ladies will be weaned by a few months old.

By 18 months it’s time to start earning her keep, so to speak. She will be inseminated for the first, but not last time. The poor girl doesn’t even get a hint of enjoyment from that experience…instead the farmer uses artificial insemination. A cow is being milked and pregnant at the same time for 7 months of every year!! This is very painful for her and she is often suffering from mastitis and trauma as a result.

After 9 months she births her beautiful baby….only for it to be taken and the process to be repeated 2-3 months later!

Due to the tremendous strain on a cow, she usually burns out within 4-5 years. So…when she falls down with exhaustion she gets picked up and retired to a lovely field where she lives out her days in cow bliss, right?

Eh, no! 😭

She gets bundled in a van and taken to slaughter…where she gets made into LOW GRADE burgers and dog food!

🤧 Is there anything worse than being a cow???

I think not! ✌

Advertisements

Surely suffering is not necessary…

Warning, before we start, this post may contain some shocking information. As you all know, I don’t go out my way to scare/shock people into veganism, but I’m also not going to avoid talking about topics that mean something to me. It is a vegan blog afterall.

My reasons for becoming vegan may differ from yours. I became vegetarian many many years ago, very suddenly. I was travelling to work (I had corned beef sandwiches in my lunch bag) and I passed a truck transporting cows to the abbatoir (I call It a coo carrying van). As I overtook it I caught the eyes of a brown cow….he/she looked out at me and for a moment we connected (aye, I can almost hear some of you laughing). It let out a big sigh and I could literally feel the pain and see the worry in its eyes. Such beautiful soulful eyes!

I immediately felt overwhelmed with emotion and started crying…I drove to work, got out my car and threw my sandwiches in the bin. I vowed there and then that I would NEVER touch meat again and, true to my word, I never did. I continued to eat cheese and drink milk, because nothing died for that, right?

WRONG!

As I gradually I realised how awful the dairy industry was I knew I had to stop consuming anything associated with it. Yes, I’m absolutely ashamed it took me almost a decade to equip myself with the full knowledge that would lead me to become vegan, but it did. I was ignorant. I was in denial. I thought vegans were mental and I’d be starving. I was wrong and if I could turn back time I would. But…here we are…and finally I have listened to my heart.

I feel it’s only right that I explain the dairy industry, to support and outline why I have these views. I could write loads on the topic, but the video I’m going to post explains it far quicker and better than I could. However, be warned, it’s not a ‘feel good’ clip. Before you press play ask yourself if you’re ready to see the truth behind an industry you are probably heavily involved with. Are you ready for the possibility that after watching it you may be moved enough to give up your cheese…your milk…your yoghurts?

If you’re not ready today…or tomorrow…maybe one day in the future you’ll press play.

Dairy is scary!

I feel that in this day and age, with all the wonderful alternatives to milk, cream, yoghurt, cheese, etc…there really is no reason to inflict such suffering on another living creature.

An oat cappuccino is every bit as enjoyable (if not more) than a cow’s milk one. Vegan cream cheese is gorgeous. Soya cream makes a lovely creamy sauce (and doesn’t even split). There is an abundance of ‘butter’ alternatives, from coconut oil to avocado spreads.

With so much choice, why can’t more of us make more compassionate decisions? Surely there isn’t a person alive who can watch this traumatic footage and not feel moved by the plight of an innocent ‘earthling’ (proper vegan words getting thrown about tonight) just trying to avoid pain and suffering…and live a life?

I don’t think we’ll ever get to a point where the entire world is vegan, sadly. But, if we all made one small change to reduce the demand for animal products, we’d all be making a small contribution, which would have almost no impact on our daily life but would lead to bigger change and different demands on these sectors, right?

Like I say, being a vegan is not all about diet. It’s about much more than that. But ultimately, for me, it’s about living compassionately and responsibly. It’s about being aware of the impact you and your actions have on…well….everything. It’s about showing empathy and trying to be connected to the world we live in. I don’t care what you label it as….but surely we should all strive for some level of that awareness?

My original post tonight was going to be about products, but I got caught up in this and couldn’t bring myself to post about anything else. I’ll do the products one tomorrow.

For now, I’m going to enjoy my ‘guilt-free’ supper and head off to bed.

20170427_225138

Thanks for reading this. I’ll probably lose some followers for this post, but I didn’t start this for ‘likes’, I started it to document my journey…and this was a learning curve I went through in my exploration of veganism.

20170426_222342.png

Sleep easy….and let’s all thank our lucky stars we were born human and not a poor cow!