Welcome friends to Cruelty Free Eating: All are welcome here!
“If your rights take away the rights of others then it is not a right. It is a wrong.”
“Peace on earth begins and ends with you.”
This blog was created to promote peace on earth for all, not some, who dwell here. You are important to this world and the truth is you have just as much power to make a difference as anyone else who ever has.
This is the story of how I came to understand what veganism really is and how it fits in with a desire for peace and a better world for everyone. Veganism is not enlightenment, but it is an important part of it. My journey into enlightenment is just one click away. Click here “. . . . I was 10 years old when I witnessed the cruelty of humans towards other humans for the first time. . . . .”
While the rest of this page is all about animals, this blog is about all life, not just animals. I may seem to concentrate on animals but that is only because all of us already agree that no human should be enslaved, given only a number but not a name, forcibly impregnated, slaughtered, thrown away while still alive or otherwise.We accept that these things are not acceptable and we actively engage in activities or opinions to prevent these terrible things from happening to people. Sometimes we extend these same feelings to animals, but only to certain animals, despite the fact that all animals have the ability to suffer equally. All animals possess a unique intelligence, as unique to them as our intelligence is to us. All animals have the same rights, whether we believe they do or not. No one, no matter what race, species, gender, nationality, social status, education, sexual orientation, religion is less valuable than anyone else, even if we do not believe that to be true. The truth is every living being deserves to live their natural life and die a natural death with freedom and family and a chance for what is a meaningful life according to their own definition of such in between. Both humans and animals have passed through this earth with none of these things – but all deserve it equally.
In the year 2012 I made a new year’s resolution to eat an ethical diet. I called it eating ‘cruelty free’. At the time I wasn’t sure what that would be but I made it my goal to find out. Initially I assumed this meant simply avoiding foods where child and slave labor are often involved such as chocolate and coffee that are not fairly traded. I thought it meant avoiding foods that have been genetically modified by companies for unethical reasons. While these are true,
I also thought eating ethically and cruelty free meant only eating animal products that came from organic, ethical, humane and/or family farms.
Since January 1, 2012 I have learned that there is no such thing.
I should have figured it out sooner than I did but I had been so conditioned to believe that my life was worth more than any farm animal that I never made the connection. For example, the eating of something in and of itself which requires the killing of something, how can that be cruelty free? That should have been obvious to me but 43 years of conditioning made it so it wasn’t.
The abuses I have uncovered have opened my eyes to animals, to these peaceful creatures who have never harmed anyone or anything and to the value of life itself, any life at all, not just my own.
The abuses I uncovered have scarred me for life. The following are a sampling of what I have learned. I warn you the links lead you to the dark side of the humanity. But please remember, there is no light side when it comes to animals and how they are being used. Even on the most ‘humane’ ‘happiest’ family farm there is no way to ‘farm’ an animal without harm, both physically and emotionally. These links do not take you to the exceptions. The industries would have you believe otherwise. If you are convinced everything is just fine and that anything bad with regard to animals is minor then the industries have done their job well.
Even when there are seemingly no abuses, I must tell you that there still are. For every animal used for food or its products no matter where it lived its life or how ends up thrown away, tossed in a grinder or ends up in a slaughterhouse. I didn’t want to give up cheese, dairy (remember dairy cows give birth in order to produce milk, the calf is taken away from her and these mothers cry click here to experience what she experiences), eggs (there is no such thing as free range once you investigate this further), fish. Around each and every corner, when it came to animals being used for food or as entertainment, in a zoo, at a circus, in a shelter, in a medical lab, a rodeo, a dog race and in other places that are simply unspeakable that you probably never even realized existed I found mental, emotional, sexual and psychological abuse and physical abuses some of which were so horrific they sank me to my knees with a despair and sadness of which I had never experienced before.
I realized that the animals, like me and in the same way as me and as a mother, feel pain, cry, give and receive love, possess intelligence and want to live their lives fully. As a culture we have been taught that these things are only true for some animals. The truth is that these things are true for all who live, not just for some who live. Click here to watch a video that might explain how we have come to disregard animals and their lives collectively as a culture.
I found these abuses to exist even in the most seemingly kindest of settings. It is an unavoidable consequence of viewing another living being as food or as something less than what it is- some of their rights must be taken away, least of which the right to live because every animal from the dairy cow to the egg laying hen will end up in dog food, a hot dog, a nugget or in the trash even while still alive. And their journey from one to the other will be filled with tremendous suffering along the way. Even a fish will suffer. Just because they are not like us does not mean they do not possess the same capability for tremendous suffering. In this we are all the same. Click here to read about the problem with believing that you and your life is worth more and therefore more valuable than the lives of others.
In the time it has taken you to read this far another 20,000 plus innocent loving creatures who lived a life of misery from birth to death have been slaughtered. Some of them never even having seen the sun’s rays until the day they are loaded onto the cramped transport truck with no water, no love, where many of them arrive at the slaughterhouse covered in their own feces and vomit already dead from being crushed, over heated and / or dehydrated. Innocent creatures who have never harmed another, yet who have never been known to anyone else except by a number drawn on their skin or stapled to their ear.
On May 27 I pledged to eat a 100% plant based diet as well as avoid any products associated with animals.
The only difference between my former self and who I am today is that I am now fully engaged with my core values and sense of right and wrong. I no longer bend my beliefs for the sake of popular culture or convenience. My actions are finally inline with my beliefs. I now live in harmony with myself. This means that I am, at last, who I believe myself to be. Click here to find out if you are who you believe you are.
There are many other questions people have asked me about the diet / lifestyle. I intend to address all of them in my “Where do you get your protein? And other questions answered / myths debunked” portion of my blog.
I have learned so much more than I ever expected to since January 1, 2012. I leave you with a sampling:
The plant based diet is 100% nutritionally sound. I took two nutrition courses at Rochester Institute of Technology, one standard and one for sports, and both courses confirm this for whether you are an athlete of any kind or not.
All nutrition comes from plants, not animals. Calcium, iron and protein are only in animals because they eat plants or eat plants that ate an animal that ate plants.
Vitamin B12 is not in plants. But it does not come from animals either. It comes from soil and water. Vitamin D comes from the sun, not dairy milk. The industry adds this in the same as if it were a supplement from a pill.
It does not cost more money to eat this way. It costs less.
It does not take more time to eat this way – it takes less.
The diet is not limiting in variety or flavor. Most people consume just four or five animal sources. Cow, eggs, dairy, and chicken are the most popular in the United States. What gives these few items variety are the 10,000 plus edible plants, fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and minerals that come from non-animal sources. In fact, there are just five basic tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami. Umami is a savory flavor and is the taste you get from eating an animal or its products or from eating vegetables. Umami is the only flavor that comes from an animal source. In contrast all five flavors, including umami, exist in plant foods. Plant foods flavor animal flesh and provide variety to the meal.
The fuel for a human being is the carb – not protein. Flesh and eggs contain no carbs, milk has just a few. Plants on the other hand contain the perfect balance of carbs and protein for the human body. They also contain fiber, vitamin C, flavenoids, and antioxidants which are all things lacking in an all animal diet.
The diet does not make you weak. And this should be obvious because plants, the soil, sun and water are where all nutrients come from. It should also be obvious by the size and strength of many other animals who consume only plants.
“The question is not, “Can they reason?” nor, “Can they talk?” but “Can they suffer?”
― Jeremy Bentham
“Auschwitz begins wherever someone looks at a slaughterhouse and thinks: they’re only animals.”
― Theodor W. Adorno
“I made the choice to be vegan because I will not eat (or wear, or use) anything that could have an emotional response to its death or captivity. I can well imagine what that must feel like for our non-human friends – the fear, the terror, the pain – and I will not cause such suffering to a fellow living being.”
― Rai Aren
“People care about animals. I believe that. They just don’t want to know or to pay. A fourth of all chickens have stress fractures. It’s wrong. They’re packed body to body, and can’t escape their waste, and never see the sun. Their nails grow around the bars of their cages. It’s wrong. They feel their slaughters. It’s wrong, and people know it’s wrong. They don’t have to be convinced. They just have to act differently. I’m not better than anyone, and I’m not trying to convince people to live by my standards of what’s right. I’m trying to convince them to live by their own.”
― Jonathan Safran Foer
“Human beings are a part of the animal kingdom, not apart from it. The separation of “us” and “them” creates a false picture and is responsible for much suffering. It is part of the in-group/out-group mentality that leads to human oppression of the weak by the strong as in ethic, religious, political, and social conflicts.”
“Although other animals may be different from us, this does not make them LESS than us”
― Marc Beckoff
“To be ‘for animals’ is not to be ‘against humanity.’ To require others to treat animals justly, as their rights require, is not to ask for anything more nor less in their case than in the case of any human to whom just treatment is due. The animal rights movement is a part of, not opposed to, the human rights movement. Attempts to dismiss it as anti human are mere rhetoric.”
― Tom Regan
I would like to say that I am not eating a cruelty free diet for my health or to live longer. I am going to get sick and die no matter what I eat. I was 100% healthy when I changed how I ate and ultimately how I live.
Another important note is that while I do live a vegan lifestyle, veganism is a facet of enlightenment and part of the journey, the road to enlightenment. The ultimate enlightenment is indiscriminate kindness, 100% nondiscrimination, and being the change always, no matter what.
I am a kindness activist seeking the ultimate enlightenment.