“Because Of The Child Inside Of Me”
“I remember being 5 years old and asking if the chicken I eat for dinner is in fact “chicken.” To my dismay, that’s when I first learned that I ate animals. I was horrified. How could the chickens I saw playing during our kindergarten field trip to the farm be the same thing thats laying dead on my plate? How could the ducks that I fed be put into an oven to cook for dinner? Every bone in my body told me it was wrong. And that was that. It’s so fascinating to me how children see the world in such a different view, they have this innocence and pure sense about issues such as eating meat.
I have asked young numerous young children if they would ever eat an animal and I have yet to meet one that said yes. ’But they need to take care of their animal babies,’ ‘but they’re my friends,’ ‘but I would never hurt an animal by eating it,’ are some of the responses I have gotten. It’s barbaric to me that we would consume something that was once a living breathing part of our world. To say it simply, I don’t eat meat because the child inside of me says “it’s wrong.” I can’t help but listen to that youthful voice in my head.
“Because I Would Never Eat A Dog”
“I just never understood why it is okay to eat chicken, beef or turkey but everyone thinks it’s so wrong to eat a dog. What’s the difference to you? They have eyes. They have noses. They all have a heart, a brain and a life of their own. It just shows that deep down people believe that eating an animal could be wrong. People will say eating a dog is disgusting, gross and completely immoral and that’s what I think of eating any animal. If you can agree that eating a dog is “disgusting” there has to be some part of you that can understand that it’s wrong to eat any living creature.
The reasoning some people give is that a dog or a cat can be kept as a pet which is why you could never eat them. I challenge those people to live on a farm and spend quality time with one chicken, turkey or duck for at least a week and then ask them if they would be able to eat that same animal they met for dinner. Do the challenge: spend time with an animal and decide for yourself if you would later be able to eat that animal.
“Because I only Thought It Was Okay Because Everyone Else Did”
I was in my Sociology class and the professor talked about how often people tend to do things just because the vast majority does it, not because they want to do it themselves. More importantly, people don’t realize that they are doing things they otherwise would never do.
I realized if the whole world was vegetarian I would simply go along with it and be vegetarian too. I can imagine a world where the thought of eating animals would be disgusting and I would think that as well. That’s when I realized how easily influenced I can be by the world around me.
We watched a documentary and how a small society of people who were cannibals thought cannibalism was okay just because everyone around them was doing it and they’ve simply grown up seeing everyone do it. In a similar way, I grew up around people eating meat and I saw “good” people eating meat so I didn’t think me doing it as well made me a bad person. When I listened to the cannibals speak I couldn’t help but think “why wouldn’t you make a decision for yourself?” Why wouldn’t you ever sit down and ask your self “am I doing this because I think it’s okay or because everyone else thinks its okay?”
That’s when I began to ask that question to myself. When I asked it my answer was simple: I don’t think eating meat is right. So I stopped listening to everyone around me and started thinking for myself. It was the best decision I could have ever made.
“Because I Eat With My Arms”
Every time I would go to eat a chicken leg I would look at my own and just wonder: what’s the difference? When I would bite into a chicken leg and my teeth would hit the bone I would simply look at my own legs and arms and feel the bone and I couldn’t separate the two. The idea of eating something that has arms and legs gives me the same disgust that people feel when they think of people eating people. We’re all part of the animal kingdom, we all have living breathing bodies, what’s one arm versus another?
“Because of Grace”
My name is Grace and I was raped. They kept me tied up in a room with virtually no space to move. When they had to move me from one location to another, they would put me in a truck with others like me, who had been through the same thing. These trucks had terrible conditions, travelling for such long periods of time without stopping, we were forced to stand in our own urine and feces, suffocating, with no way to escape. Fear engulfs us as we wait to see what is to come next.
Not long after I gave birth to my baby, he was snatched away from me. I tried so hard to save my little boy, but they beat me with a shovel till I collapsed on the cold hard concrete, crying helplessly. What had I done to deserve this? I scream as I hear my baby cry, he’s scared, why are they doing this? Why can’t they leave my poor boy alone? What did he do to deserve this, he had just stepped into this world, he needs his mother! With an almost effortless swoop, I watch as the man picks up my little baby and ruthlessly throws him to the concrete. A puddle of blood forms around him, I can’t bare to look into his empty eyes. But the men don’t stop there, with a rope tied to his little limbs, they drag his lifeless body out, leaving me with just the trails of his blood.
Why are we vegan you ask? Because Grace is a dairy cow, and there are many other cows like her who are treated horribly in the dairy industry. Not only that, the meat industry is just as horrifying! We strongly believe that no life needs to be taken in order for us to have food in our plates.
-Kiran and Raman
Because I watched “Food Ink”
In university we watched a documentary that changed the way I looked at meat forever. I was so unaware of how animals are raised. I am not necessarily against the idea of eating meat but I am against the inhumane ways that animals are treated: they are constantly tortured and treated so poorly before they are brought to our grocery stores. The documentary showed how animals are injected with hormones that are not only painful for them but unhealthy for us as well. It is common that chickens are given so many hormones that they cannot carry the weight of their own body and their legs break due to them not being able to handle their body weight. They’re forced to sit on their broken legs in mass produce farms and many will die a slow and painful death due to their pain. Further, they are housed in farms where there is not enough room for them to even walk or breath at times. If animals were raised naturally, without these of hormones and are killed instantly and not tortured, I would not be opposed to eating meat that is healthy for you (such as organic meat, without the use of hormones) but the fact that I never know whether the meat I am eating on my plate was raised naturally or lived awfully.
Because I found Sikhi
The more I go to the Gurudwara and truly think of the values I want to abide by, the more I cannot think about eating meat ever again. When I sit and mediate and decide what thoughts to fill my mind and what food to fill up my stomach and want to fill it with everything pure to me. I think back to the fundamental Gurmant “Do not cause suffering to any living beings” and the decision for me becomes easy. I want my inner and outer world to be pure so I cannot eat anything that once walked and breathed. It only feels right.