Embarrassed to be a human sometimes

image from pixabay.com

The above image is what most of us would like to think is how most cows live.  Unfortunately, it’s not.

I spent most of my afternoon watching different videos for my Animal Protection class, and one of them was the 2005 film, Earthlings, which you can watch for free by clicking here.  (I must warn you, the film has graphic images.  The first link goes to the Wikipedia description.)  If you watch it, I can guarantee you will be changed as a person.  I cannot believe what some humans are capable of doing to another living creature.  I really can’t.

Now, I know that telling people all the things that they are doing wrong will just result in their tuning you out. So I’m not going to do that.  But I will say that it caused me to rethink the cavalier way that I sometimes react when I really want a cookie and it might have been made with eggs.  “Oh, it’s vegan today!”  I sometimes say.  Crunch, crunch.

Well, no more.  The images from that movie are seared into my brain.

Chickens crammed into cages so tightly they can’t even move or stretch out their wings.  Dairy cows unable to move from their milking area all day long, pumped full with antibiotics and pesticides so that they will produce more milk, having had their babies ripped away from them on the very first day of their lives.  The slaughter scenes are what really did me in, as I knew they would.  (I’d already known what happens in those buildings but seeing it again is something else.)

Another thing.  In the past, I thought I could be in a relationship with someone even if they ate meat.  I don’t think that I could do that, going forward.  If I were dating someone, and they sat down across from me at the table and started to eat a raw steak, I think it would be nearly impossible to not imagine a cow being slaughtered and the immense pain it suffers from how it’s treated.  I would hear its cries as my partner munched away.  And I really don’t think I can do that again.

I choose to no longer be a speciest. 

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, speciesm is defined as the following:

Definition of speciesism

1prejudice or discrimination based on speciesespecially discrimination against animals
2the assumption of human superiority on which speciesism is based
When I was eating meat and using dairy, I was being a speciest without even knowing it.  I was raised to think that eating meat (even veal) was just something everyone did.  Animals were put on this earth to make our lives easier.
I’m not condemning others who eat meat.  But I do think that more people should step out of their comfort zones, and open their eyes to the suffering that goes on every day with so many thousands of animals who are raised for purposes of our food, clothing, entertainment and scientific research.  I no longer accept the phrase “Yeah, I’m good.  I don’t want to know,” as being a valid excuse.  In this day and age, we have so much information at our fingertips.

It may sound like I might be going to too much of an extreme in saying I can’t be with someone who eats meat.  However, I realized today, watching that movie and holding Snuggles closely to me, my animals are all I need.  I don’t need a romantic relationship in my life to make me feel complete.  A few very good friends, located near or far, are enough for me.
A line in the film really stuck with me.
Humans are the one species on this earth that inflict pain just to inflict pain.  No other species does that.
Animals may inflict pain on one another but it’s for survival reasons.   The predator kills and eats his/her prey.
Humans have so many other choices for food and clothes.  We don’t need to kill an animal just so we can have the newest “cute” handbag or “sexy” boots or softest fur coat.  We have so many other options.  The only vitamin a vegan needs to take in order to supplement their diet is B12.  The rest can come from foods that don’t include dairy or meat.
I will add links to some of the other videos I watched to my animal rights page of this blog in the near future.
If you’d like to leave a comment below, please do so.  If someone else’s comment goes against what you believe in or think, please respond in an above-board way.  A healthy exchange of ideas is best.
As always, thank you for reading.


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14 thoughts on “Embarrassed to be a human sometimes

  • Hi Terri….I did not read your post…It looked like it was going in a direction that I don’t want to read/see (right now). I HATE awful animal stories/videos, etc. They haunt me. Sorry – maybe I’m wrong and that isn’t what you post is about – I’ll check it later when I’m feeling fortified.

    • I did not show any graphic images in this post – it was more about how it affected me personally and some decisions I’ve made in my life, going forward. The only image is of the cows at the beginning. But I understand – everyone deals with what they can handle. Would i have watched the film if I wasn’t part of the Humane Education program? I don’t know.

  • Hi Terri,

    I do eat meat and at the same time I am haunted by the what we do to get meat. I am, however, severely limit the amount of meat that I would eat. I supplement my protein needs with an abundant amount of nuts, soy beans, etc.. Hopefully, someday I can cut all the meat out of my diet but I am doing a little to help reducing the problem. I do firmly believe that the issue should be raised to a high awareness level so that we don’t treat meat as “abundant” item and treat it with a cavalier attitude

    • You are doing much better than most. For the meat that you do eat, are you able to get it from a local farmer who you know treats his/her animals humanely? And yes, it’s not abundant at all. Not in a natural sense it’s not. And the only ones who really need cow’s milk are calves. Almond, soy and coconut milk all work just as well.

  • I am having the worst kind of trouble with my laptop. I thought I left a message but apparently not. We’re trying to convert to vegan. Well. I am. Husband is being dragged kicking and screaming. Many nights I am eating vegan and he is eating meat. That I cook. So I know I could control it more but I have to pick my battles and it’s so much easier just to cook him what he wants then put up with all the sighing and groaning and eye rolling. However, it’s not that fun to cook two meals every day either…so this will have to get resolved. Easier said than done.

    I just made this quino, red lentil stew that is really really good. It makes WAY TOO MUCH, as most vegan recipes seem to, so if you were closer I’d bring a pot of it over to you. Want the recipe? I’d say half it at least.

    • Could you maybe talk him into giving up meat one night a week, then slowly move it to two, etc.? So he’s not forced to feel like he has to quit meat cold turkey? Or one night, give him some of the fake meat (Gardeine) but don’t tell him it’s not real meat until after he’s done eating. And tells you he loves it. 🙂

      About the recipe, yes, please!!!

      • Yes we’ve agreed to 2 meatless nights a week and he sort of is OK with that, but not really, know what I mean? I haven’t tried any of the fake meat yet, maybe I’ll give that a try. Sort of creeps ME out…but then you never really know till you try. RIght?

        Can you email me an address and I’ll mail the recipe to you snail mail…or I can type it up in an email response if you’d rather.

  • I have never been able to watch Earthlings all the way through. I decided to become a vegetarian almost 8 years ago after reading Dominion by Matthew Scully. Gradually I became vegan. It’s hard sometimes, but becoming vegan is one of the best decisions I have ever made. Everyone in my extended family are meat eaters, but I think some of them are at least becoming more aware of the cruelity in our food system and it’s making them think. That’s the first step, so I have hope that some day they will change.

    • Dana, just keep working on being an example for them, and encourage them gently when you see them making choices more along vegan lines. I’ve not read that book, I will have to check it out. For me, it was the book Slaughterhouse by Gail Eisnitz that did it for me. About 15 pages in, the idea of eating meat ever again, made me want to vomit.

      Thank you so much for commenting, Dana. I’m really glad you took the time and also that you made the decision to go vegan too.

  • Hi Terri,
    Once again making an effort to enlighten others! Being brave enough to stand up for the rights of animals that are being enslaved and abused, that’s making a difference. Most people love not knowing what they don’t know. However, ignorance is no excuse. I would absolutely love it if every meat eater had to personally kill, gut, and process every animal they ate. There would be an immediate upsurge in vegans. To all the meat eaters — enjoy your cancers. I know that is harsh, but the research proves it — meat is bad for us. Not to mention the air pollution and river ruining run-off from the cattle industry which is growing by leaps and bounds. I am 100% vegan, not because meat is unhealthy for me, but because I am an animal lover. I research everything from soaps, toothpaste, deodorant, and foods I eat to ensure no animal products or testing was done to produce it. I am never sick and feel wonderful physically, mentally, and especially spiritually. We are, by design, herbivores; science proves it. Thanks for sharing your life and points of view.

    • I’ve also decided to be vegan because of my love for animals. I just can’t be a part to that suffering or willful ignorance anymore. Yes, it’s more expensive and I do give up dairy-made cheese, which I love, but I have found a few vegan ones I am growing to really like. I do make sure my make up is cruelty free – Physician’s Formula, and it’s sold at CVS so it doesn’t cost me an arm and a leg. Same thing with my hair shampoo, conditioner, and colorant. Need to check on my deodorant, anti-perspirant, though. That I’m not sure about.

      I wish I wasn’t sick this past winter like I have been. I didn’t used to be, so I think my body is trying to tell me something, like “Move!!”

      And yes, one thing I have definitely learned is how factory farming is contributing to the problem of global climate change. So much methane gas produced from the animals’ excrement, so much overfarming of some lands for just a few crops to feed the animals, all the water that goes into being given to an animal his/her entire life, and then into growing the crops, etc. The list goes on and on.

      • Just a quick note — our CVS amd Walgreen’s Pharmacy sell Tom’s deodorant and anti-perspirant, as well as toothpaste. These items are listed on PETA. Also, I just tried the, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” vegan. Simply delicious. Oh yeah, I just bought 10 boxes of vegan Girl Scout cookies. Wow, was I surprised! This vegan thing may catch on. Two of my 3 sisters are now vegan after having watched Gary Yourofsky’s speech on YouTube and listening to my gentle nudgings.

      • Ok, good, Tom’s does sell anti-perspirant! It’s the only thing that has kept me from using it before, because well, I don’t just perspire, I sweat! (As the one commercial says.)

        I’ve been using smart balance, or something like that (it’s non-dairy) and am happy with it. Didn’t realize the other brand had come out with a vegan version! And yes, I’m psyched that some girl scout cookies are vegan – woohoo!! And thanks for the reminder to see that guy’s talk on youtube!

        Very cool about your sisters!!!

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