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Pushing Through to Freedom

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Susan Cho, Chicago, USA

I will always be vegan:

  • Because of the bear trapped in a tiny cage, continuously drained of the bile so prized by humans. The elephant whose family was shot so she could be used in a circus. The lobster who had been guarding her children when she was trapped and boiled alive. And the ground nestlings who were crushed when hay was harvested to feed “happy cows” during winter.
  • Because of Fasier; the Siberian tiger, mascot of a university. He lived at an accredited zoo that spearheads international conservation and educational programs. Fasier paced several steps to the end of his cage every day. Then he turned and paced back.
  • Because of Anthony, the beloved young goat in a small dairy herd. His legs shook with terror as he was carted off to die. His caretaker cried as the trusting Anthony bleated his bewilderment.
  • Because of the mouse who was force-fed laundry detergent until her organs finally failed and she died a miserable death. And the mother and baby macaque wrested away from each other, to study the effects of a human anti-anxiety drug.
  • Because of the first male chick of the morning to tumble from the conveyor belt to the grinder below. His sisters will live in a backyard and be called “happy chickens” until they are slaughtered.
  • Because of Oscar, Lucas, and Petunia who escaped the grisly fate of millions of pigs. They would have borne their torture in completely different ways, because they are different individuals, with their own personalities.
  • Because of the human child who died from dehydration and starvation because the water and land that once sustained her family are now used for cattle, to feed other humans.
  • Because of the calf who lived next to a sanctuary and daily tried to push through to freedom and companionship. Every day, the farmer carried him back to the reality of his life (and death) on a “humane farm”.
  • Because I have been told that the saddest sound in the world is a dairy cow calling to her stolen child.

I have literally billions of compelling reasons to remain vegan all my life. I may falter at times, but exploiting animals deliberately? It’s unthinkable.


Special thanks to Butterflies Katz for publishing this as one of 100+ entries in her short essay contest and eBook: Why I Will Always be Vegan.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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