It still hurts every day

by Elisabeth Eastley
(South Africa)

I love animals. No,I REALLY love animals. But for most of my life I ate them. 18 months ago, my beloved black Persian died at the age of only 10 from congenital heart failure. We had known for nearly a year that he would die and gave him all the love and attention we could and all the medical assistance we could to extend his life. When he died on 13th August 2011 I made him a promise. I would never eat meat again.

Then I started questioning the ethics of the milk and egg industry. What happened to all the boy calves on a dairy farm? And what about the male chicks on an egg farm?

So I started researching these issues. And I quickly found out that I had made a terrible mistake. I had thought that being a vegetarian meant that no animal was dying to feed me. Until I found out exactly what happened to those boy calves and hour old male chicks.

And I became vegan. And I have spent many hours researching exactly what goes on behind the scenes in bringing food to our tables. I can never unsee the horrors that I have encountered. Every day I am surprised once more when I uncover another form of animal cruelty. There seems to be no end to the torment humans are capable of inflicting upon animals.

And I am happy with the choices I have made. But when I see the huge displays of chocolate ducks and bunnies and eggs on sale everywhere, I cannot help but be sad that all over the world people are celebrating at the tremendous cost to millions of animals, without even realising it. Happy cows smile at me from cheese packets and cartons of milk. Egg boxes exclaim Free Range. And I long to do more than just be a lonely passive vegan amongst all of the billions of people out there who just don't KNOW. And who really don't want to.

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