When I was about 7 years old I was at a ‘working farm’ with my family. I was talking to a lamb who was only a few months old, stroking him and generally enjoying having a cute fluffy animal in my company. So imagine my horror when one of the farm workers told me that in a few weeks this particular lamb would be “made into chops”. It was at this moment when I asked my parents about other types of meat that I ate at the time – and to their credit they didn’t lie. As such, it was at this time that I decided that I could no longer eat animals and became a vegetarian.
Fast-forward another 7 years and I was speaking to some people that I knew who were vegans, who informed about the realities of the dairy and egg industries, gave me some things to read, and following my own research I realised that I could no longer contribute to these industries either and thus adopted a plant-based, vegan diet.
We are often told that Britain has the ‘best animal welfare laws in the world’, but I find that very hard to believe. Animal Aid has undertaken scores of undercover investigations of farms and slaughterhouses over our 40+ years; we have uncovered some of the most atrocious animal suffering and abuse imaginable. In one ‘RSPCA Assured’ abattoir we filmed workers beating pigs and stubbing cigarettes out on their faces. This is just one example. You can see more about Animal Aid’s undercover investigations here, please note they are not for the faint of heart.
Even when animal welfare laws are followed to the letter, the processes involved in the animal farming industry are still horrendous. Take the egg industry for example; because male chicks cannot produce eggs, and they are too skinny to eat, they are killed at just 1-day old, usually through gassing but other permitted methods include mincing them alive. Pigs routinely have their tails, and other parts, cut off with no anaesthetic. Dairy cows are forcefully impregnated and have their calves taken away from them; male calves are either sent to veal farms or shot at birth. All of this is entirely legal.
The good news is that adopting a vegan diet is so easier these days that you do not need to continue supporting such cruelty. The Summer Vegan Pledge is the perfect way to try a vegan diet, learn about nutrition and alternative products, and incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet thereafter.