Before I began going vegan, I used to think of farming as an idyllic way of life. Green, rolling hills and open spaces still hold the same appeal for me. Unfortunately, when I see the animals in those fields, my viewpoint changes. I know now, that there is no such thing as a happy cow, pig, sheep, goat or chicken on farms.
I don't see rodeos and zoos the same way, either.
Just why do we feel that it's alright to exploit other beings for our own uses? In fact, the more educated I become, the more jaded my opinion becomes.
I'm not sad about it, though. Here's two reasons why:
1. I'm a realist.
I don't like being lied to or misled. I'm glad that I know the truth about the meat and dairy industries. I don't like the way they use the image of peaceful farms to market their products.
Yes, some farms do care about the animals. However, they still use many cruel practices, believing them to be a necessary part of farm life. Plus, those animals are bred to be used and to die, no matter how you look at it. It's incredibly sad to know the truth. It would, however be sadder to be purposefully ignorant of it, simply to serve my own needs. .
2. I crave knowledge.
I'm not afraid of knowledge. I crave it. The more I learn on any subject, the more I grow as a person. I like the idea that I can take my knowledge and do some good with it, too.
I like spreading the word about veganism because I know that it's a positive change we can all make to save the planet, curb world hunger and of course, stop animals from being over-bred as food or commodities.
Knowledge is power, as they say. While I'm not as interested in wielding power as I am about using my knowledge for good, the saying still holds true.
So, even though my choice to be vegan often reveals the ugly truths of this world, and our society in particular, I have no regrets. In fact, I'm doubly inspired when those rolling green pastures remind me of some of those truths. Farms are not idyllic. They never have been. I just wish I'd seen them for what they really are long ago.