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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.”

Click here for my most recent post.  Thanks friends!

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. Therefore this blog was created to promote peace on earth through you.

This is the story of how I worked for 33 years to understand what why cruelty exists.  Cruelty prevents peace on earth.   Click here “. . . . I was 10 years old when I witnessed the cruelty of humans towards other humans for the first time. . . . .”

One of the easiest things we can do to promote peace on earth is by removing ourselves from participating in cruelty both directly and indirectly. ‘Not’ doing something is one of the greatest things we can do when it comes to peace on earth.  If you’re like me then you would love to physically free any person who is suffering from cruelty right now.  Sadly it is often a risk to your own life and my friend your life matters.  Often it is not even possible to physically help others since there is so much cruelty every day to so many people in every corner of the world. What you 100% absolutely can do is not participate in cruelty.  Imagine if every person did this?  Then you would not need to rescue anyone.  This is why peace begins and ends with you, with what you do and the choices you make.

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.  I also thought eating ethically and cruelty free meant only eating animal products that came from organic, ethical, humane and/or family farms.

In my quest to promote peace on earth and to remove myself from cruelty I have learned that there is no such thing as  a cruelty free animal product.  I tried to find one but it doesn’t exist.  Not even an egg from a loved back yard chicken is cruelty free.  It just takes a little bit of investigation and the ability to understand that what what we perceive as not harmful to something else does not mean it is not harmful.  To know if something is harmful we must see it from the point of view of the ‘something else’.  We must observe more than just a snapshot or two in time to know if what we are doing is cruelty free.  And then, this is critical in order to be able to identify if something we are doing is cruel in any way, we must be able to apply what we are doing to ourselves and to ask ourselves the question ‘if done to me would I be ok with it?’.  We must also be able to answer that question honestly.

Not even an egg from a loved back yard chicken is cruelty free.   Click here.

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 and not just the lives of those that are most like me.

Peace on earth begins with how we treat all life, not just some life.  For I have learned that discrimination is the root cause of all cruelty.  Discrimination in any form opens the door to discrimination in every form.  The viewing of some people as more deserving of rights than others.  Here are some examples:

Nazi’s versus Jews

Straight versus gay

White versus Black

All of the above are human beings, all equally deserving of life and freedom and love.

Dog versus cow

Cat versus pig

Parrot versus chicken

Hamster versus lamb

All of the above are animals, all equally deserving of life, freedom and love.  Just as a man cannot help if he is born black or gay or into a Jewish household, neither can an animal help that it is born a cow, a pig, a chicken or a lamb and not a cat, dog or hamster.  We use the same principals used by those who have enslaved and committed the most heinous of crimes against certain groups of people and apply them to certain animals.  An animal may be different than a person, but the ability to directly or passively participate in cruelty is the same whether it be toward a human or an animal.  And it is this quality that exists in all of us.  It is this quality that not only allows us to care about some animals but not others but for it to be applied to certain groups of people throughout history to the present day as well.  It is this quality that explains why cruelty exists. The quality is anthropocentrism.  The result is discrimination. The outcome is indifference to cruelty.  And this creates the environment for a few to directly participate in cruelty and for the masses to indirectly participate and support cruelty, in most cases, through financial support and consumer support.

I have always known about abuses caused by humans to humans.  Since I was 10 years old I have been reeling from the things I have learned.

The abuses I uncovered towards animals have further 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

“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.”

“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

IMPORTANT NOTE:

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.

The ultimate enlightenment is indiscriminate kindness, 100% nondiscrimination, and these things will lead to peace on earth.

I am a kindness activist seeking the ultimate enlightenment.

Peace

19 Comments
  1. Bryan permalink

    Good for you! I am all for fitting into my lifestyle peices you learn about that I agree with, especially the animal cruelty free portion.

  2. Bryan permalink

    Good Magazine is perfect for your journey! Check it out. It is fun and socially conscience. http://www.good.is/tag/food

  3. I hate diet because it’s make me eat more and more. please help me what’s good method for weight loss.

    • I agree a ‘diet’ never works because it is only temporary which means your weight loss will also be temporary. Or as soon as you start you feel deprived and it causes intense cravings! But don’t worry you can still lose weight and keep it off. Instead of dieting change your lifestyle one small step at a time. A diet requires a massive life change all at once. But a lifestyle change requires one tiny change at a time. For example, if you normally eat 2 donuts for breakfast try eating just 1 and a half – give the other half to a friend. Once you are comfortable with that, go down to one. Once you are comfortable with that, go down to one a day, but on the 7th day eat something healthier. Keep going until the donut is no longer for breakfast and the breakfast you have replaced it with is healthy and the right amount of calories. It doesn’t mean you can never have a donut again no! It means that on occasion you will but it is no longer a habit. You have now replaced a high calorie unhealthy habit with a lower calorie healthy habit. This is your key to success – one tiny step at a time!

  4. steve119 permalink

    where as I respect your intentions I feel it is necessary to point out there is no such thing as a cruelty free diet as farming for fruit and vegetables kills millions of animals (mammal. reptiles, birds, amphibians and insects per hectare) and not just accidentally the majority are killed on purpose for pest control even on organic farms actually even more on organic as there is more land used. so every stick of celery every carrot every potato every soy based food has a blood trail leading right to it. Sorry that’s how arable farming works first you take a piece of land then you kill every thing on it even most of the bacteria in the soil then you plant crops which as a by product kills animals then you have to keep killing the animals on purpose that harm those crops ,(pest control) then you have to harvest those crops and again as a by product kills animals studies have shown that in rice production alone during harvesting as many as 10000 to 50000 frogs (just frogs alone not including the insects reptiles, mammals and other amphibians) are killed per acre http://consciouslifenews.com/vegan-ethics-myth/1121370/

  5. I often have people tell me that there is no such thing as a cruelty free diet and therefore I should not even try. But I equate this to everything in life. Just because I cannot parent my child perfectly should I not try at all and just give up and use corporal punishment? Just because I cannot prevent myself form causing some form of pollution by my mere existence should I start throwing my garbage anywhere? Should I not run if I know I will never win a gold medal? Should I not sing if I can never win the Grammy? Should I not attempt anything if I cannot do it perfectly? Not call myself a singer despite the fact that I do sing if I cannot do it perfectly? Not call myself a runner even though I run if I can never win a race? And not call myself a cruelty free eater if I cannot be 100% cruelty free? So while you are 100% correct I certainly do hope that your comment is not designed to make me believe that I might as well not try if I cannot be perfect. My blog is called cruelty free eating and nowhere do I state, nor would I ever, that I am 100% cruelty free because that is not possible. What is possible is that I can try and do my best to be a cruelty free eater. So on that, I agree with you. All I can do is my best, which can never be perfect. But I will never stop trying just because I can never be perfect at it. If I had such an attitude then I would never try anything for there isn’t anything I can ever be perfect at. Thanks for making me think about this my friend! And I am well aware of what farming does. This is why I have begun to eliminate certain things from my diet such as sugar and opt for a sweetener that does the least destruction by tapping my maple tree or visiting a local maple tree farm. Growing my own tomatoes, potatoes, salad and zucchini this summer. And trying to find farms to purchase products where the things you have mentioned are taken into consideration. I do find myself fading further and further into the most natural form of eating with the least harm going so far as to discover the edible plants that grow naturally right on my property and how I can incorporate those into my diet as well. I believe in small personal gardens and I believe in living in harmony with what is already there. I don’t even kill the insects anymore – in fact insects on a plant are a sign that it is a healthy plant and not genetically modified. So much to learn and know and I’m grateful for your comment. I’m going to explore this even further!

  6. A fantastic read thank you so much for leading me to it!! Much love to you. <3

  7. Suze permalink

    Well put! You so eloquently expressed logical thoughts and feelings (with links, no less!). Thank you! I hope people continue to find what you’re sharing here and realize that it’s time for them to pay attention to truly senseless (And totally unnecessary!) mistreatment and torture.

  8. Robert E. Henry permalink

    I find your views very admirable, but having a mind for thoroughness of perspective, I will give you my response as honestly as I know how. The answer to living a good, decent life is the endeavor to live in concord with God, honoring Him, His children (that’s us – we alone have been given His nature), and His creations, starting with the animals He created. The answer to finding out whether eating meat or fish is ethical – i.e., in harmony with God’s plan for us as stewards – not tyrants – of the Earth He created, will take some time, and I will not jump into any camp without examining it in the full context of living on planet Earth. This will include understanding whether the human race could have existed from its outset on a meat- and fish-free diet, whether some races and groups of humanity, as they settled in different parts of the world over the millennia, could have survived as pure vegetarians. I will try to understand why humans find meat and fish agreeable to eat, and why humans must be exempted from a meat- and fish-free diet when the animal food chain depends so largely on certain species relying on consuming the flesh of fish and land animals … I must know whether it is reasonable or not for me to be an omnivore. Regardless of what my quest for truth yields, I want you to know 4 things. First, I know nothing about the matter and must acquaint myself with it thoroughly: I will also seek to understand whether humans are meant to be vegetarians or omnivores. Second, I will do all I can to avoid cruelty in the raising or slaughtering of animals. Third, I find your message to be both reasonable and stimulating – you have caused me to examine what I otherwise would have ignored, possibly to my detriment and that of animals, which I dearly love and want to treat kindly. One of my favorite saints is Saint Francis, who did not consider referring to animals as “Brother fox,” etc., as diminishing his appreciation of the special divine status conferred on humans by God. So … vegetarianism, wherever it is possible to pursue it without causing the death of humans from starvation, may well be compatible with my Christian beliefs. Right now, I must simply admit my ignorance on the subject until I study up on it from many standpoints, and I am grateful to you (and to Paul McCartney, whose documentary I just now saw led me to find you) for having broached the subject for me! Note: starting when I was 12 and living at the beach in Connecticut, I would snorkel alone and occasionally spear a blackfish or flounder – always for the family dinner. I had grown up to regard having a conscience as my greatest imperative, and I regarded my hunting as an honorable thing to do, by not relying on my father to provide all the family’s food. Thus, I never felt that my hunting was hurting the sea or its creatures I found so marvelous, but an act of participating in the cycle of life and death that sustains life. Thank you -

  9. Hi Robert! First of all thank you for taking the time to write to me! I don’t often get feedback so this really made my day. I can see that you are very thoughtful and that is a wonderful quality. I want to encourage you to find those things about you that are separate from the culture – I want you to find the pure you that would make a decision based on nothing else other than your own goodness inside that you were created with. Sometimes without knowing it the culture can strip a little of it away, tiny bits over time, that we don’t notice. I like everything you have said here. I am very interested to hear from you again. I would like to know if you have any further thoughts on this. I like to learn from other people, especially deep thinkers such as you. It’s been my pleasure to read your thoughts here. Peace to you friend!

    • Robert E. Henry permalink

      Hello, and thank you so much for your thoughtful and considerate reply to my own which was so full of unresolved questions. Your attitude toward those who tell you their misgivings or uncertainties is one of patience, rather than irritation that I was taking time to sort out the issues in my head. In short, I love how you think and will enjoy continuing our dialogue. Your reply was courteous and civilized – a rarity in these impatient, polarized times when so many simply want to know “which side are you on?” rather than hearing what you have to say. Such people value their point of view more than they value people. Your conclusions have certainly endowed you with a genuine kindness to people as well as animals. I will do as you asked and get back to you with what I learn and infer from my study of this. One thing is already evident to me and my wonderful wife: we will have no truck with the callous mistreatment of animals in how they are raised and slaughtered – we have a profound dislike for those who replace a healthy resourcefulness of nature’s bounty with the ugly manipulation of nature that is dissociating all of mankind from it in so many alarming ways! God’s creations, from animals to eloquent scenery, should evoke our awe and respect, and they will if we keep our spirits in touch with Him constantly. Even in my ignorance about the subject, I love of all He has made, with love of animals very high on that list of priorities. Right from the very start when God gave Moses His laws for the Jewish race to follow, He included humane methods for killing animals to avoid their pain. I am already furious at what I have seen of the brutality of our hateful, greed-driven system of mass animal raising and slaughtering – something my wife and I thought was restricted to veal (and so caused us never, ever to order veal over many years of marriage). Now we learn that it pervades our whole mass-produced animal slaughtering, leading to a hideous system that is detaching the human race from nature. That alone is a wake-up call to us that we cannot afford to ignore. It seems the Industrial Revolution has instilled an insatiable desire for profiteering – and I am no Socialist by any means – that cannot be allowed to spiral into madness. We have to take back our humaneness from a system that depersonalizes all of us in society. I already like the work you are doing, and again, promise to get back to you with some better thought-out insights than I can offer now. Thank you again for a response that shows you to be a really decent person with legitimate concerns. I hope I can bring some useful insights to this matter. Give me a little time – this won’t happen overnight. All the best in your work! – Robert

      • Are you a writer? Because your writing is lovely. I wish you would write something like a journal on things that matter. I know I would love to read it. And please keep me posted. I would love to look through your comments here and even quote you with your permission. Some of the things you have said I could not have put better. Wow!

      • Robert E. Henry permalink

        Thank you for your kind words – I’m so glad my impressions and their articulation are a help to you. I would be pleased to have you share my comments, though not my poems, for in order to let you know some of the range of my writing abilities, I am pasting one here for you – I hope you enjoy it. When you do use my comments on the more prosaic issues, could you please let me know where they are used so I can keep up with your most interesting dialogue? For yes, I confess that in my heart I am a writer and have been since I was 17 when I began writing poetry, short stories and essays. I earn my living as best I can writing articles on healthcare and scientific matters and have founded several healthcare journals, one of which circulates to 26K managed care directors, another of which goes to oncologists. I hope you enjoy the following poem. If you would like to share your email address to facilitate the exchange of my work, you can send it to me at robert.emmett.henry@gmail.com. Thank you – Robert.

        Night Watch

        Mellow night,
        and all the earth’s alight with Spring,
        Rejoicing in her river’s ring
        her softness shining when you’d swear
        There’s no one left who has a care for you

        Here I walk,
        I’ll try hard not to talk of smog
        And politics that wish to fog
        the magic of my instinct’s slight
        Simplistic grasp of what is right – so help me

        Come the Dawn
        a mighty flow of life goes on,
        Ablaze beneath a sweetened sky
        where living breezes ply a holy song

        Till then I’ll walk alone at night
        content with silent starry light
        And chart each new unsteady step
        and light my climb, so full inept, to Thee

        Robert Emmett Henry
        (Copyright, Robert E. Henry)

  10. Wow! My email is crueltyfreeeating@yahoo.com and I will surely notify you!

    • Robert E. Henry permalink

      Thank you – I look forward to hearing from you.

      Robert

  11. I needed to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it.
    I have got you book-marked to check out new stuff you post…

  12. Jenny P permalink

    For the past few years, I have been considering cruelty free eating. I stopped eating meat a couple of years ago. The thing that bothers me, that you touched on slightly, is it seems like a lot of talk about cruelty to the animals we eat. What I find lacking from the dialog is the fact that all the fruits and vegetables we eat are grown by humans. Having done no research, I know that American agriculture relies on migrant farm workers. I am going out on a limb and guessing these people are not exactly living a lavish, cruelty free life. I guess I just wish there was more discussion about all our food (not on your blog, as you are the first I see who mentions fair trade in connection with vegetarianism).

    And yes, growing your own food, and visiting local farms are both great ideas. Perhaps if there was more discussion about cruelty in general, as opposed to focusing on the animals, then it would be easier to find local alternatives….

    • Thank you for the inspiration. I will write blog just for you. I have done some research and am currently enrolled in a class that focuses on culture, food and power and this is part of what we are learning about. This is important and I am glad you brought it up!

  13. Tamme permalink

    Thank you so much for this. I recently made the decision to eat cruelty-free, but really have no knowledge of it and no support from friends (while I don’t try to force my decisions on them, I have to explain things like why I won’t drink milk even though they know I love it) who like to remind me that one person won’t make a difference. They don’t understand that it’s a personal thing, that I simply can’t eat meat without remembering the horrible things I’ve seen and wondering if it happened to what I’m eating. I never knew the extent of humankind’s cruelty, and now that I have an inkling (thanks to Facebook, that fount of “truth”), it both saddens and sickens me. I was beginning to get discouraged, as I am finding that nearly everything I have eaten in the past has some type of animal product in it (right down to the stinkin bread!), but your words in regards to not being perfect have really hit home. Thank you, Peace, Light, and Love

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