I’m a seafood-eating vegetarian who is an aspiring vegan. I have been a mercurial vegetarian over the years. Recently a few events collided and now I’m solidly firm on my stance to not eat meat. One easy way to look at the animal-eating debate is that I love my dog. I’d never eat him. I’ve read great books on the minds of animals and I’m convinced they too suffer pain, torment, angst, anguish, fear and horror when living in a factory farming setting. It pains me to think that something would have gone through horrible trauma to become a thin, slimy layer in my sandwich.
I realized this as I watched the movie War Horse. There’s a dramatic scene where Joey, the beautiful horse, is caught in a mess of barbed wire. You see him thrashing blindly and kicking wildly at the air. You see the blood where the barbs have pierced his flesh. You hear the horrible moans and cries of his suffering. It’s one the of the most gruesome scenes I have ever seen in a movie theatre. If I would have watched this at home, close to the bathroom, I would have run to the toilet and puked. It was graphic. It was intense. And it made a deep impression on me. For a cow to become a meal, it endures a pretty similarly horrific experience. I watched that scene and something resonated inside me, something deep and primal connected to all the living creatures on this planet.
Then I started watching some undercover footage gathered by PETA and Mercy for Animals. I know, I know. PETA’s pretty dramatic but I think the group means well. I watched interviews with Ellen where she talks about becoming a vegan. I googled the movie Earthlings that Ellen mentioned. Actually she says, “I finally worked up the courage to watch Earthlings.” Wow. Worked up the courage to watch a movie? It’s pretty harsh material in juust the movie preview. One scene in particular has haunted me ever since, where a cow isn’t efficiently and swiftly killed. His deep bellowing sounds of distress and fear cut through my soul.
These events just seemed to piggbyback on one another. The feelings I had became clearer and I knew I couldn’t eat meat any longer. I’m still struggling through the ethical quandary of eating seafood. We can’t change a mountain overnight. However, we can take small steps on the right path. This blog is about advocating for more compassion in the world and that extends to our animal friends.
A good friend of mine is doing a 30-day vegan challenge and I’ve decided I’ll go along with her. I’m not staunchly committing to the full 30 days; I’m taking it slowly. The past few days I have made delicious, amazing meals from Tal Ronnen’s The Conscious Cook. However, contrary to what some celebs will have you believe, my skin hasn’t cleared up, I’m not walking on moon beams, and my PMS is as raging as ever. I make this comment light heartedly. I feel great right now that my beliefs are lining up with my actions. That peace of mind is more meaningful than I thought it could be. But like my friend pointed out in an email, after skimming Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Life, not everything else is moonshine and roses.
In Alicia silverstone’s book she is talking about the inner peace you will feel when you go vegan and give up sugar. hahahahahahaha,
oh surely you jest Alicia!
I’m in this for now. I’m not making any bold sweeping statements for the future. Partly because I’m a little scared about how I could follow through with this in all possible settings, partly because I know it makes meal time a bit more challenging between me and my husband, partly because it’s pretty fucking crazy. I mean, it is! It’s a true paradigm shift. However, I think it’s the right thing to do ethically, so we’ll see how it goes.