We live. As we live, we evolve. As we evolve, we hopefully realize and tap into the reasons for our existence. There are two schools of thought that I am aware of. We either believe there is a certain path already set for us or we believe that we pave our own roads and create our own destinies.
I take a bit from both beliefs. In this life there are so many issues and causes I wish I could align with and make a difference for. A Cure for Cancer, the War on Terrorism, Child Abuse, Poverty, Mental Illness, Drug Abuse, Education…to name a few. For now, I am wanting to share about one that has always been close to my heart.
For the past couple of months, we’ve spent a lot of time passing by and visiting livestock pastures and farms. I’ve been overwhelmed with sadness and a longing to save these animals from being commodities and used for commercial purposes.
I stare out the window and I feel compelled to pull over and just be with them, as we often do. We all talk to the animals and always tell them we love them as we pull away. I often cry thinking about their lives. They walk around eating grass and hay, they lie down and take in the sunshine, they nurse their little ones. I see little lambs playing around and chasing each other happily. I witness cows and their calves cuddling together on a hillside. It all sounds and maybe even is, lovely.
The sheep herds are tagged with big numbers and dyed with vibrant hues across their backs to separate and differentiate. The cows are adorned with yellow ear tags as they innocently graze through their days. I understand these are for identification and other useful purposes, but I can’t help but wonder if they are aware of their fate. Do they watch their friends, family members and babies get carted off to the trucks never to return? Do they realize they are numbered and their destiny is pre-determined by humans? Do they suffer when they are humanely, conscientiously or atrociously brought to their termination?
I wish I didn’t think about this as often as I do because it hurts. As we drive through the beautiful countrysides and pass the Livestock Haulage trucks, I am sadly reminded.
I have been a vegetarian/vegan for most of my life. I originally stopped eating meat based on this same premise. My love and compassion for animals. We are raising our boys as vegetarians and people have asked why I don’t give them the choice. Beginning a person’s life knowing only this way establishes a foundation that is important no matter what they may choose when they are older. They love vegetables, fruit, beans, lentils and all things vegetarian. They would choose broccoli over candy. Yes, it’s true.
I am proud to be raising compassionate and loving boys. My 5 year old asked me the other day why people eat meat? I told him that people enjoy it and it’s what they’ve always known. I explained that we are simply choosing a different path. He asked if we could make a sign and post it on a billboard to read:
Please Don’t Eat Meat. We Love Animals.
My 3 year old often asks if we can visit a farm or have one some day with pigs, cows, sheep and goats. He says he wants to milk a cow and get the milk out but doesn’t want anyone to drink it. He says he just wants her to feel better because she may be uncomfortable with all of that milk.
These statements and wishes melt my heart.
I’ve been told since I’m a little girl, “It’s the natural Circle of Life.”
That has never been a comforting or justifiable reason for me…
I know there are many debatable arguments you could present to me on this topic. The fact that there wouldn’t be enough farmland to grow fruits and vegetables if our population was all vegetarian. You might argue that meat, poultry and fish are healthy and necessary sources of protein, iron and omega 3’s. You could be a farmer providing jobs and food for your family. I know there are numerous reasons and facts you could quote. I’ve even witnessed vegetarians eating meat again based on these facts.
I am not here to debate you or tell you how or what you should eat. I am not judging you for not living the way I do. I simply feel the need to express my thoughts on this matter as it has always been a sensitive and important issue for me.
That said, I will kindly ask you to consider this…For you, an animal is simply a meal. For that animal, it is simply, life itself.
“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, the whole world would be vegetarian.” ~ Linda McCartney
With Love and Compassion,