I grew up on a farm for a big part of my childhood and was somewhat desensitized to the idea of death.
Actually, I believed that since we all have to die some day, it really doesn’t matter when we die – if we die earlier or we die later really doesn’t matter to us (as long as we don’t know we are going to die). Once I’m dead, I won’t know I’m dead. And the only thing that matters then is how I lived. If I lived a good life and I could die a quick and painless death, that’s the only thing we can all hope for. This applies to both humans and non-humans.
Therefore, if animals could live a good life and be killed quickly and painlessly, then this fits within the above theory. (well there was one unanswered piece I had as a meat eater and that was the fact that all farm animals are social creatures and killing their friends and family was surely causing pain and suffering to those friends and family; but then again, nobody lives forever so they’re going to experience death of friends and family at some point so this is a sad but inevitable fact of life). I realized that this same theory could be applied to humans as well though and I realized that most people did not share the same viewpoint on this.
It’s interesting how we rationalize our behaviors as carnists. Ironically, I was extremely repulsed by seeing the killing on the farm even as a meat eater and I never wanted to kill the animal myself. Even as a little kid, the adults would have to lock me up in the house when they were slaughtering animals. They would often have me catch a chicken in the yard (I was the only person the chickens trusted so it was very easy for me to catch one while the adults would have to run around for a long time trying to catch a chicken) and give it to them. They would then put me in the house so that I wouldn’t see what was going to happen to the chicken (I did, of course, eventually see what happened to them as I watched my friend on the chopping block, head and body separated). I would do everything I could to spare my animal friends from death.
There were two main problems with my thinking however, and recognizing these two issues is what made me go vegan overnight:
1. We do not need animal products to have optimal health. So if I didn’t have to kill an animal, how could I possibly rationalize killing her/him? Same goes for exploiting an animal for milk or eggs – all of which results in the animal being killed anyway.
2. There is no such thing as humane meat. Even thinking in retrospect to the farm I grew up on which was one of the most “humane” farms you could have, none of it was “humane”. And what is humane anyway? Not only is “humane meat” full of cruelty but the thought of **owning** another live being is perverse and immoral. We all (humans and non-humans) feel pain, suffer and desire to live. If I wouldn’t do something to a human, how could I justify doing it to a non-human? I couldn’t.
“To examine whether something is humane, first determine if you wold want it done to you” – AK
Yes, I had always thought that killing was wrong (though I still have some level of peace and similar views in regards to death itself – death from natural causes of course).
I first realized that we don’t need animal products to have optimal health. From there I was able to make other conclusions.
For a while I bought into the “humane myth” thinking that factory farms had somehow made improvements to the way animals were killed to make the killing quick and painless unlike what I had witnessed on the farm I grew up on. Bizarre yes, but the marketing of the animal exploiting industry is just that powerful.
After learning more about factory farming I realized that not only is factory farming not quick and not painless but it made the farm I grew up on look like a “humane farm”.
After much research and deliberation it became apparent that nothing other than veganism is an acceptable moral baseline. It finally all made sense and I no longer had to do mental gymnastics to justify my way of life that was hurting others.
From that point on I became vegan for the animals, the people and the planet.
#MyVeganStory #NewYearsResolution #VeganEasyChallenge