Young, English, Vegan and Proud Volume #4 Teaching Not Preaching: Fish are friends, not food.

Although the vegan diet is vastly superior in terms of nutritional balance and health, there are other reasons that someone may go vegan. Personally for me, as an animal lover and avid activist, I became vegan for the animals that suffer as a result of the meat and dairy industry. I remember once, on my way to maths in yr10, talking to a classmate about vegan and vegetarianism, when she spoke to me earnestly “I don’t care about the animals, meat is just gross”. Astonished, I replied a jumbled response of “oh”. I simply didn’t know what else to say. It was baffling. And since birth I had never been so disgusted with human beings up until that moment. Although young, there is still a sense of empathy that is assumed to be in all of us and perhaps that classmates lack of respect was just as an anomaly of all human kind.

However my naivety was short lived as upon further research, I found many people to share this view albeit more passionately than she had with her passing comment. It then struck me so profoundly that all of us, brought up eating meat, have been conditioned to forget that these farm animals are actually animals at all. Our dog is a pet and our cow is a food. No question. But what happens when we change our perspective to subvert the conventions of western culture?

For example, for one moment think of your most precious pet. Now, replace your pet with a piglet, still innocent , still intelligent, still loving. Would you be comfortable eating pork in front of you pet piglet? I certainly know I wouldn’t be at all. It seems barbaric to eat one animal and love another just because of its appearance. As far as I’m aware that is the true definition of prejudice; disrespecting one creature because of its appearance. I see no difference in the twisting tail of a piglet and the puffed tail of a puppy. A tail is a tail, A heart is a heart, A life is a life. And all animals should be equally treated and respected. the issue of the meat and dairy industry, to me, is as disgusting and heart wrenching as whale and dolphin hunting that exists in eastern cultures. No violence should be accepted as tradition. Our tradition should be freedom, for once and for all.

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