Amanda Beatty, England
I once believed I was an animal lover, yet I had no idea what love really was. I never saw the cruelty I inflicted by what I ate, used or wore; causing so much suffering without a thought. I followed blindly what I had been told, by parents, teachers, governments and media. Then one day I woke up. I couldn’t bear to be part of the problem anymore. I saw who we really are and the pain we cause. I will never go back to who I was, because this is who I am and will be forever more.
Where you see meat and eggs, I see others butchered and ground up alive. Animals suffocated, babies dragged from their mothers, or imprisoned and without hope. Your glass of milk or slice of cheese screams rape, abuse, and abduction to me. How can I take a bite of that when every mouthful screams of suffering in my head?
There is no difference between any of us, as we are all animals. When you want a feathery down quilt, I see geese standing in pain and blood. You want to look pretty and unreal; all I see are others needlessly experimented on for the sake of vanity. We are killing all others, ourselves, and our planet.
So why would I choose this when there are so many other options that do not cause suffering and death? Why would I put others through that unnecessarily?
In my mind, I would rather see all this than know I am part of the cause. Once you know, really know, there is no going back. No matter what others may say, I know I have the facts on my side. I am on the side of truth and justice, and for this reason I will always be vegan.
Special thanks to Butterflies Katz for including this as one of 100+ entries in her short essay contest and the resulting published collection: Why I Will Always be Vegan.