It wasn’t until recently that I made the connection. Finally the imaginary rationalizations I had invented growing up disintegrated. These walls I had built in my head demolished so quickly I was overwhelmed with emotion. I scurried to try to build them back up; but it was too late. After a few documentaries, a few photos and an article that I will put at the end of my post; I finally made the connection that pigs, cows and other farm animals are no different than my puppy Brooke. Humans don’t instinctively want animals to suffer. We naturally feel compassion, love and empathy towards them. Because of this growing up our minds had to create false rationalizations, they HAD to separate certain animals in order to comfortably dine on their dead bodies for dinner. I’m overwhelmed because the way I see eating meat now is NOTHING like how I saw it growing up; and not how I saw it the past two years as a vegan. I had done such a good job separating farm animals from pets; I had done such a good job convincing myself they were different; that their lives were not special and that they didn’t have intrinsic value…..that I could look around and feel sad because I’ve always cared for animals; but I didn’t see it the hypocritical and sadistic way I see it now…. I don’t judge ANYONE for eating meat, because I can recognize it’s no one’s fault for creating these false ideals in order to COPE with eating animal’s dead bodies. We have taken their lives so that we can have the pleasure of eating them; when we can get all we need from non-feeling plants… Now when I see people petting their dogs while eating a pig it seems so FUCKED UP to me!? How can you sit there and LOVE your dog but eat his friend. How can someone ask me to donate money to save dogs but say they could never stop eating pigs? Why should I give my money to you to save animals when you’re going to go home and eat murdered ones!? When I saw photos of skinned dogs hanging in Asian supermarkets and of live dogs in crates waiting to be slaughtered; that’s when my walls really came crashing down. That’s when I realized our ability to eat pigs, cows and chickens is 100% socially constructed and internally constructed. And maybe the people who love to tell me how much they loooooove eating animals are the ones that would struggle the most if they made the connection. They have to overly convince themselves that eating meat is RIGHT and that animals are nothing but food because if not they couldn’t cope with the dead body parts in their fridge.
Well, I can’t cope. I am reminded every time I give love to my dog that I used to eat animals just like her. I now see meat for what it really is and considering its everywhere; it’s brutal. I almost have to try to build those walls back up. I almost need to convince myself farm, entertainment, and product testing animals ARE different than my pup because I can’t cope with the cruelty that happens to them otherwise. The thought of someone taking a gun to Brooke’s head; unbearable. The thought of Brooke spending her entire life in a crate just the size of her body; unbearable. The thought of Brooke going into a grinder alive; unbearable. The thought of Brooke having her eyes burnt from cosmetic testing, or a machine being drilled through her body/brain; unbearable. The thought of killing her right now and eating her ribs for dinner; sadistic and unbearable.
It sucks because I can’t point the anger, which is sparked in me when I see animals suffering to become meat, at anyone. Because just like them; at one time I had no idea of the deceptive ideals I had created in my mind. They haven’t made the connection. Maybe for the sake of their sanity they never will; and I can’t blame them for that.
Although I am glad my walls are gone and that I’ve made the connection. Even though it’s so hard, I can recognize that the measures my mind went to to avoid the trauma of eating animals had nothing more than surface value. Deep down my mind knew what I was doing and it became buried emotional trauma. I have started to deal with that trauma and I have never felt freer in my life. My heart and my mind match up. And any tear shed for animals is a meaningful one that one day may change the way things are for them. A world where our ethics match up, where the love we have for most animals is extended to all animals, where the underlying values of humans are compassion, love and empathy, that’s a world that will not just survive but will THRIVE.
To this beautiful soul who deserves the same life my dog does,
It was wonderful to meet you and I promise I will spend my life trying to save your sons and daughters, grandchildren and great grand babies. I love you!