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“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian” -Paul McCartney

Posted by: jennchen115 | October 4, 2011 | No Comment |

In 2008, my mom came home with a slaughterhouse video. The video had a huge impact in my life. Before she played it, she did ask for my permission. “Jennifer, as my daughter, I wish to give you your freedom to choose what kind of food you wish to eat. But before you do, you should watch this. I warn you that it will contain things you’ve never seen before and may never ever want to see again. Do you wish to continue? ”

Now, I’ve heard rumors of what goes behind those “houses” but never have I witnessed it on screen. I was curious; my mind was fresh at the moment. Kids are often sheltered from the true cruelty outside their protection. Curiosity caught the better of me and I played the video.

It was… tragic, disgusting, heartbreaking, and horrifying. A mixture of all those emotions all at once had me stopped eating meat once and for all. I couldn’t help turning my head the other way when I heard the man slice the throats of those cows half way and then let them die slowing from loss of blood in a den. I can still remember the screams of those cows. The image was still fresh in my mind. I couldn’t help but feel repulsed at how “deformed” those chickens were in their cage or how sick and dirty those pigs were and the food they fed them and how they killed them. And I couldn’t help running a few tears down as I saw those poor chicks jumping on top of each other trying to run away as their comrades were being grinder-ed live into the machine.

There were plenty of other scenes but I couldn’t bear to watch them all. It should be a crime! The way animals were treated there. It was… too much for me to handle. I’m now glad my parents raised me as a vegetarian. I’m glad that although I can’t change what goes behind a slaughter house, I can still make a small difference by not supporting their actions and eating meat. Human beings have emotions, they have attachments and bonds. If you bond with an animal for a long enough of time, you will be repulsed when you see the animal you once played with, sliced up into pieces and served on your plate. If you think you can just not eat the animals you’ve bonded with and just eat the ones that you don’t know and never seen killed, then I’m sorry, but you’re just a hypocrite. It’s like saying, I can’t kill my friends or family but if they’re strangers it’s okay.

I’ll have to admit, I’m a hypocrite too. Even as a vegetarian, I’m often criticized when I say I don’t eat meat because of the animals. I really do feel bad for them. Honestly, killing animals is 90% of why I couldn’t bring myself to meat in the first place. “Yeah, what about your leather boots? Or leather bags? And the make-ups you’ve use? Leather comes from cafe skin, and those makeup and medicines are all tested on animals before they’re put on display.” It’s true. I own a few leather boots and bags. And I’m not really sure how half of my makeup or lotions were tested before they were brought by me. I’m not perfect. No human is. The idea of a vegetarian diet on behalf of saving animals isn’t perfectly developed yet. It’s just too broad to make the argument flawless. But it’s better than nothing. At least I can make a small difference by not eating meat. If more restaurants were veggie friendly, and more products can be produced without testing it on animals then it would be easier for people to turn or staying a vegetarian. As for medicine, I guess if it’s inevitable, then we have no choice. There are many experts who are still searching for ways to make things possible.

As for me, being a vegetarian, didn’t just turned me into a non meat eater, it turned me into a “genuinely compassionate human being,” like it did to Phillip Wollen.

I believe that any difference will work. There are also a lot of improved slaughter houses recently. They’ve found ways to kill animals in a painless method and that’s great. The ideal world would be if everyone turned vegan. But that’s why it’s called an “ideal” world. Even I don’t have faith in giving up eggs and milk. However small changes are the first step to a bigger change. The term vegetarian is already a lot more popular than it was a century ago. I’m sure in the future the term will spread even more. “You should be grateful,” my mother always say.  “Back in my days, there really was nothing to eat for vegetarians. Now, you guys have it easier.” And it’s true. It not really as hard as you think, replacing a burger with a veggie burger or taking out the meat in pasta and replacing them with vegetables. As long as one makes an effort, it’s really not that hard at all.

I guess it’s easier for me since I was raised as a Vegetarian, but I have close friends that i’ve grew up with who eventually became a pescetarian and are slowing climbing their way up to a vegetarian. And trust me when I say, I wasn’t the one that “bit them on the neck” and converted them. They had their own experiences with slaughterhouses and brochures. I didn’t do anything. Honestly! =)

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