Last Wednesday night, I was driving from State College, PA back to NYC like I do every Wednesday night. I was listening to podcasts, talking to friends (hands free, of course)—all the things I usually do to past the time—when my routine day was disturbed by the passing of a truck stacked three levels high with pigs on their way to the slaughterhouse. I am sure I have seen this type of truck before, but never has it disturbed me quite as much as it did that night. I could see a little pig on the bottom level standing there and he looked really cute. Poor guy is probably dead by now, his body split up on the shelves of a supermarket in clean packages, blood removed so it looks nice and pretty.
I have been reading Peter Singer’s seminal text on animal welfare called Animal Liberation and was actually just reading about the section where he talks about how pigs are raised on factory farms. It is a really sad affair and I think that if most people knew where their bacon came from, they would be less inclined to participate in the outright torture from birth to death of 100 million pigs in the US each year. As Peter Singer puts it, these pigs don’t see one second of peace in their short lives as they are taken from their mother’s at two to three weeks old, have their tails cut off so that they are not eaten off by their fellow pigs, and then are put into cages with slatted concrete floors so small they can’t even turn around. They have nothing to do; they don’t even get to interact with other pigs or even walk around on the ground before they are shipped off to slaughter at 6 months old to be eaten by us.
I know most people don’t want to think about the plight of the pigs, cows, and chickens as they are considering what they are going to have for dinner—trust me I was the same way up until about two years ago. But I implore all of you to really think about what you are voting for with your dollars as you go through your day. Are you really ok with the way factory farms treat animals like pigs, cows and chickens—animals all equally if not smarter than your average domesticated dog? If you don’t care about the animals, what about the impact this type of farming is having on the environment or the resources that are wasted feeding animals so that they can be chopped up and sold to consumers at a subsidized rate? Do a little research find out for yourself what’s going on with the food that you eat, see if its something that you are OK with and if not, do something about it.
I have decided after finding out what goes into the production of meat, dairy, and eggs that I am not OK with it. I feel like there are enough alternatives out there that I do not have to eat things that I am not OK with—and it turns out that it is actually healthier not to (and also better for the environment). For these reasons, I’m vegan and proud of it and out to convince as many people as possible to follow suit.
|Please don't eat us?|
We all access information in different ways so here are some different resources:
For books, I would recommend: