Carol Williams, United Kingdom
I was raised to eat animals, just like most children in our society. I spent 58 years condemning sentient beings to lives of ruthless exploitation that would end in brutal death. For a few years I was vegetarian and then lapsed back into my old habits. I have no excuses for any of this and will make none. I am guilty. I paid people to kill animals so that I could eat them, just as my parents taught me to do. Like most people I did not question it. Now I am vegan, I have to make up for lost time, make amends, try to educate other people. There is not a second to lose. This is the most important moral revolution in the whole of our history.
I have been involved in the environmental movement for many years but not once have any of the organisations which I support encouraged veganism. Friends of the Earth will campaign tirelessly for greener energy, more recycling and fewer roads but never once mention the contribution animal farming makes to climate change and resource depletion; never once profile its unsustainability.
Similarly—world hunger. Not once have I been advised, by any of the Third World Aid charities I support, to go vegan and free up more food for people. This, despite the fact that 40,000 children die every day for lack of food while the privileged eat animals who have been fed the grain that could have fed these children. It is a scandal that few seem willing to confront.
I have always wept over the suffering of neglected horses and abused dogs, despised “country sports” and been horrified by vivisection, fur farming, whale slaughter and so forth. I see now, at last, that there is no difference between all of this and farming animals. All of it is horribly wrong.
I will always be vegan because now, at last, I understand that other animals are not, and never have been, a “resource” for human use. We have committed a crime against them. It is time to evolve away from this way of being. The future has to be vegan, or there can be no future. This is nothing more—or less—than Truth.
Special thanks to Butterflies Katz for publishing this as one of 125 entries in her short essay contest and book: Why I Will Always be Vegan.
Image courtesy of Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos.net