ANIMAL EQUALITY: Why are some more equal than others?

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The shelter kitten who changed my life

I am an engineering professional in my late 20s. I had a pretty ordinary childhood, except during my childhood I was never allowed to have pets. Not because we particularly disliked animals, but because my parents were too busy. Both my parents worked full-time. My mother barely had any maternity leave when she had me and my sister. So I grew up being quite indifferent to animals, even scared of little kittens and puppies.

It wasn’t until my 21st birthday that I ever had a pet. On my 21st birthday my then boyfriend convinced me to adopt a kitten named Winkle from the RSPCA shelter. Winkle changed my life.

Winkle made me realise that animals have personalities; they feel joy, sadness and pain just like humans. And so my transformation began.

Following Winkle, I welcomed Billy, Meg, Lily and Speckles into my life. I have also watched hundreds of foster animals come and go. I called myself an animal lover.

But I felt something was not right. So I started questioning what was so different between the animals we love, like cats and dogs, and the animals we eat, like chickens, cows, pigs, and goats. The answer was nothing.

Subsequently I changed my lifestyle. I stopped consuming and using animals. I felt liberated to finally call myself an animal lover. My actions finally aligned with my values.

I have visited various farm sanctuaries. I have met Heather – a sow rescued from a piggery, Coco – a rooster rescued from a broiler farm, and Mary – a dairy cow who has had her babies taken from her for the majority of her life. My interactions with Heather, Coco, Mary and many of their other friends only confirmed that humans and animals share the same capacity to suffer and enjoy life.

The more I learned about the animal agriculture industry, the more I believed that I have done the right thing by eliminating the consumption and usage of animals. For example, I learnt that male piglets are castrated without anaesthetics and unwanted baby pigs are killed. Apparently this was standard industry practice.

I was heart-broken. I think any person who aspires to being a good, kind and compassionate person would be.

I also read the recently published 82-paged “Life of a Dairy Cow” by Voiceless which reports that the dairy cows are impregnated and their offspring removed within days of birth. The male calves are then killed while their female counterparts are grown to endure the same fate as their mothers.

The way the animals are treated in today’s society affects the way I function my life. This includes my work, what I buy, what I eat and what I do.

Living a life that has no direct contribution to the use and abuse of animals has benefitted not only those animals but also myself. My diet is much healthier now and as a result I am healthier. I am contributing less to adverse environmental impacts by not actively participating in animal agriculture, which causes greenhouse gases, water pollution, deforestation and climate change.

We are privileged to live in a time where there are various non-animal based products available – to eat, wear and use. So if we can thrive without hurting others, why wouldn’t we?

I believe that we should thrive for a world without the use and abuse of other creatures. It will lead to a better future for creatures on earth, including us humans.

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10 thoughts on “ANIMAL EQUALITY: Why are some more equal than others?

    kristinakoti said:
    August 24, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    I can relate to the pet part of your story. I wasn’t allowed any pets when I was little, and I was also scared. I am on my late 20s now, and gradually I am starting to feel animals and connected to them. Sometimes I actually prefer animals to humans, honestly speaking.

    I really hope you have some time to pay a visit to my blog 🙂 http://kristinakoti.com/
    Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

      Vegan_Charms responded:
      August 24, 2016 at 8:11 pm

      Hi there kristinakoti thank you for the comment. I hope your connection with animals continue to grow, and not just with pets but also other animals, especially those who we regard as “food”. I would be more than happy to discuss any thoughts, feelings you might have as I had many when I first started my “journey”.

      I visited your blog. I like your posts. Very thought provoking also. I would like to follow your blog 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

        kristinakoti said:
        August 24, 2016 at 8:46 pm

        Thank you for reading me. I am very glad to know that you like it. 🙂
        As to the animals we regard as food. I won’t deny that I eat meat and other animal products, but as I have also shared other times, in Albania, the food culture, our traditional dishes, include food or ingredients from the animals. This is a country which has been more cattle cultivated then agriculture.
        As a grown up I know more things now and also considering in changing my lifestyle for the best.

        Liked by 1 person

        Vegan_Charms responded:
        August 24, 2016 at 9:30 pm

        I am glad to hear you are giving thought to these topics. Human mind is fascinating and we are capable of many good things ❤

        Liked by 1 person

    Gemma said:
    August 25, 2016 at 12:56 am

    Really interesting post! I’m a vegetarian and often think about becoming vegan, maybe it’s something I’ll do at some point!! Hope you’ll check out/follow my blog too 🙂 https://myhappycornerblog.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

      Vegan_Charms responded:
      August 25, 2016 at 5:59 am

      Hi Gemma, thanks for the comment. I was first vegetarian and then turned vegan myself 😊 I hope to post more about veganism, maybe recipes, that you might find helpful 😊 I will checkout your blog today xo

      Liked by 1 person

    Peter Schreiner said:
    August 25, 2016 at 2:32 am

    I’m always encouraged to find the young, in today’s self-centered society, breaking away from the pressures of culture and tradition to embrace veganism. Thank you.

    Peace, strength, courage.

    Liked by 1 person

      Vegan_Charms responded:
      August 25, 2016 at 5:57 am

      Thank you Peter and I couldn’t agree more about breaking away from the pressures of mainstream cultures.

      I quite enjoyed reading your post about why we should be vegan. I am now following you and hope to read and connect with you more. 🌱

      Liked by 2 people

    Three Irish Cats said:
    August 26, 2016 at 5:58 am

    Great post! I often have this conversation with others, and I don’t understand the divide between companion animals and those others eat.

    Liked by 1 person

    Why Vegan? « Conscious Business said:
    January 15, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    […] I became vegan 3 years ago, at the end of 2014.  Before then I followed a vegetarian diet (I didn’t eat meat but still consumed dairy & eggs).  You can read a summarised version of my vegan journey here. […]

    Like

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