Friday, August 15, 2014

Connecting with that creepy feeling

This deer was once alive and free (public domain photo)
You know that creepy feeling you get when you watch the old “Planet of the Apes” and the people are all locked up in corrals? Ya, so, that's the same exact feeling vegans get when we see farms, animal production, someone eating meat, dairy or eggs and/or that juicy steak dinner post on Facebook. That's the feeling we get when people talk about hunting or fishing too. It brings chills because we know.

I know this isn't exactly the most positive post. I never said they all would be. Or did I? No matter. What it is, though, is the truth. There are some pretty bad connections that we vegans make in order to come to the conclusion that we should go vegan. We really have to pry our eyes open to see the horrors sometimes in order to make the right choices as compassionate individuals.

For instance:

I wasn't always a vegan. I used to think of farmland as idyllic too. That's because I never really thought beyond cows grazing in pastures. I never really thought about how it feels to be castrated or have your tail cut off or your horns burned off without pain relief. It's quite unsettling, isn't it?

I never really thought about the fact that in order to make cheese, a baby calf has to be taken away from its' mother (and either killed for veal or used for future dairy production) so we can have the milk products or that the dairy industry supports the veal industry. Now that I do know these things, eating dairy feels creepy to me. It makes me feel insensitive.

That same creepy feeling happens when someone talks about how much they love bacon. I know that not everyone knows most male or “imperfect” baby pigs are slammed against a cement floor until dead or that slaughterhouse workers are just as cruel and uncaring to humanely raised pigs as they are to the ones raised on factory farms or that mother pigs grieve for their babies just as much as you and I would. Not everyone knows that mother pigs are kept perpetually pregnant just like mother cows.

I know it's not the fault of the average meat eater that they are conditioned to NOT think about these things even when they do know them because they are told that it's perfectly natural and healthy to eat meat and if they think about it too much they won't be able to do it. And that makes me feel creepy too. Seeing perfectly nice people manipulated always does.

When I hear about someone raising backyard chickens, well, that makes me feel creepy too. They don't know that because they mainly want laying hens, little male chicks are ground alive for lack of demand. They don't know that the unfertilized eggs eaten by humans were actually intended to nourish the hens. They don't know that constantly laying without having that extra calcium to ingest, shortens the life span of the hens as well.

They don't know that the “free-range” farms where they get their brooding hens are, in actuality, just huge, windowless chicken coops packed standing room only. Factory farms are often started using the same suppliers. They don't know that a home chicken coop is also nothing but a prison as far as the hens are concerned. They don't know that the baby brooders have their beaks burned off without anesthetic to keep them from pecking at each other before they are even sold to them. But I do. And it's creepy. I want no part of it.

Hunting and fishing may seem a bit better than farming on the surface. At least those animals aren't imprisoned. To me, though, there is nothing natural about killing another being when there is plenty of food to eat that does not require taking a life. Still, some people actually seem to enjoy it. And, ya, that's creepy too. In fact, I just cannot imagine being directly responsible for killing another creature. I cannot imagine looking a deer or a bear or some other land animal in the eye and taking its' life when it's simply not necessary. Of course, once again, a lot of people are societal convinced that it is indeed necessary. That's not only creepy, but kind of sad. I feel bad for them.

As for fishing and eating seafood, I have learned through endless hours of research that by 2054, the oceans will be essentially fished out. We will then have to rely on factory farmed fish and seafood. It only takes a second to make the connection that tells us that's going to be an unnatural process that will likely further impact the already fragile natural balance that we have already screwed up beyond repair. Isn't it creepy that we're so addicted to consuming animal products in general that we are willing to kill the planet to get them? Um, we kind of need the planet. Just saying.

In fact, the meat and dairy industry is responsible for more pollution than big oil.

What's even creepier? There are some non-vegans who know all these things and still consume meat, fish, dairy and eggs. They still wear leather coats, shoes and furs. Heck, some of the hunters even revel in their “masculinity” or noble hunting “skills”. They actually call hunting and fishing “sports”. There is nothing sporting or noble about sneaking up on or tricking and killing a fellow animal who has no idea they are about to die. There is, however, something very creepy about knowing that all the pain and suffering mentioned in the above paragraphs is very real and still participating in it.

By the way, do you know who else keeps their prey captive, then cuts up the bodies of their victims and freezes them to eat later or saves them as trophies? Serial killers. SO creepy! As Ellen says, “I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They say because it's such a beautiful animal. There you go. I think my mother is attractive but I have photographs of her.” So, creepy hunter types, whose mother (or other loved one) is that hanging on your wall?

Make the creepy connections and go vegan.

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