non-human lives

A beautiful close-up portrait of a turkey

Thanksgiving

As we approach the seasonal massacre of which these magnificent birds have become perversely and paradoxically symbolic, the momentary burst of happiness granted by their calls is interrupted by the painful reminder of who these individuals are considered to be by others of my kind: bodies without souls entitled to not even the most basic of birthrights — life itself.

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A white rabbit eating seedlings in a garden

The Magic Rabbit

While we were trying our best to ease his discomfort, we were reminded over and over that our special little man, the Magic Rabbit himself, would be seen by many as nothing more than a luxury meal or the makings of a high-end sweater; a bundle of meat covered in the softest fur.

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Portrait of sad imprisoned chimp behind wire of metal cage

The Voice of an Animal

The following article, written by Paul Harvey (an American nationally-syndicated columnist) was published in a Los Angeles newspaper on January 1, 1980.

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A tiny piglet touches his nose to his smiling mother's face

Nonhuman Animals Are Mothers Too

When domesticated animals become mothers, their children belong to someone else. They are nearly always separated from their young shortly after birth, and they have no power whatsoever over the future their baby will be forced to endure. 

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A close up on the eyes of a brown cow

Independence Day

I couldn’t help but wonder if it was blind passion that caused this particular mother to defy the boundary that threatened to constrain her frenzied search, or whether there was an element of calculation in this act of defiance against the barbs designed to keep her confined.

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A black dog with copper markings resting under a bush looks directly at the camera

The Spirit of Kisses

It was easy to forget that Kisses had good reason for behaving the way she did. She had been taught to fear. She hadn’t just chosen to believe that humans were dangerous. She had been forced to accept it on a very primal level – she had had it beaten into her.

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A beautiful brown hen sits with her eggs in a wooden roost

A Hen’s Relationship with her Eggs

During my time working around chickens, there were a number of experiences that changed my perspective on eggs and opened my heart to the hens that laid them. The first started with making a homemade “farm fresh” omelet out of eggs a friend had collected.

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A human hand rubbing a happy pig's belly

Belly Rubs and Bucket Lists

When I scratched Millie’s back she grumbled in delight and leaned closer. When all the food was done she used her nose to help lay herself down and after some good side scratches she presented her belly, ready for rubbing.

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A beautiful golden dog sleeps in her bed outside in the sun

A Feeling of Home

Dogs have not only been some of my best friends, but some of my greatest teachers. There is no doubt in my mind that my feeling for dogs was a significant factor in my vegan epiphany, since it was not a far leap from the eyes of my best friends to the eyes of the first cow I ever saw crying tears of sorrow.

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A black and white cow grazes on a green meadow with the sun streaming down in rays from directly overhead

How to Shoot a Cow

The reason I was asking Google how to shoo a cow was because I had suddenly learned very quickly that I didn’t know the first thing about how to stop these five from moving rapidly in my direction, shoulder to shoulder, closing in on me like a moving wall of cows.

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A tiny baby sparrow with eyes closed, sitting on a human hand

Phoenix Rising: A Second Chance

This tiny (but feisty) little fighter was covered with ants and just beginning to get her feathers. Our friend told us she frequently sees birds that have fallen from their nests, but this baby bird in particular seemed determined to survive.

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