Thailand Changed My Life…Why I Went Vegan
To be fair, it could have been any country.
But it was Thailand. And I could have been volunteering with orangutans, or sloth bears. But elephants are one of my favorite animals, so I chose elephants to spend time with.
I have been an animal lover all of my life, (or perhaps a “some” animal, lover) but that love grows much more powerful and true when you stop eating them.
How can you truly love them while causing them so much pain and suffering?
Two years ago I stopped eating cows, chickens, and pigs directly after watching Earthlings. I stopped eating fish a few months before going Vegan.
While at Elephant Nature Park, Cody and I had the honour of spending some of our time with a new born baby Elephant. The rest of our time was spent with several dogs, cats, and people.
We had the chance to take a trip to Nakhon Phnom (border of Thailand and Laos) to help out with over 2000 dogs that were rescued from the illegal dog meat trade.
We made a video about our experience (You can watch that here) and the response was great.
Many people shared the video and made several comments about how disgusting it was that people eat dog meat, and how terribly inhumane the dogs were treated.
This made me wonder why so many of us think it is ok to treat pigs, cows, chickens, etc, so inhumanely (I question it on a daily basis).
Billions of cows, pigs, chickens, and several other animals suffer all of their lives. Why are dogs any different? Because we chose them to be pets and not food? Because they are loving and sweet? Have you ever spent time with a cow, pig, or sheep? I have, and they are beautiful, loving, and gentle animals as well.
They don’t want to die.
I made the connection.
I am wide awake and fully conscious of what goes into my body, and the products I choose to purchase will never again be made with any or tested on any animals. I only wish I had made the connection sooner. I was not born Vegan, but I am Vegan for life, in more ways than one.
When it comes to flesh; a dog, is a cow, is a pig, is a chicken. There is no difference. Remember this when you are condemning another culture for eating dogs and cats.
There was a time not too long ago that we treated humans in the same way. Some were worthy of a life of freedom, and some were not.
My experience with all of the people at Elephant Nature Park who have so much love and care so much for these animals has permanently opened my eyes and changed my life forever. I can’t turn my back on them. I will no longer be responsible for the pain and constant suffering of another living being, and it feels wonderful and freeing. That is why I am Vegan.
I also encourage people to use their words wisely as it is not that you “could never quit eating cheese, chicken, or bacon”
It is a CHOICE. I loved cheese as much as the next person, but I chose non violence and peace, as I am well aware of the calf that gets ripped away from it’s screaming mother right after birth only to go straight to slaughter because he is useless. 5 minutes of flavor is NOT worth the tremendous suffering involved. There are alternatives to cheese, milk, eggs, and meat. Everything is an acquired taste.
The meat and dairy industry are not looking out for your health. People are being lied to, people are getting sick, and there is mass suffering going on around the world, not only for animals, but for humans too.
Such little compassion for our fellow beings, and all for taste?
They all suffer as much as we do.
This is what changed my life.
Animals are my family. ALL animals. We share this earth with them. There is no picking and choosing. We humans are not more important. The idea of difference is a human conception for man’s own advantage.
The exploiters making money from meat and leather have done an amazing job in separating a cow from a juicy steak or a $700 leather jacket.
It’s quite easy to be desensitized, but that steak did not want to die, and that jacket was once skin that felt the sun, and wind on it.
Just think about that. We extinguish life like it is nothing. Billions and billions of precious lives.
People think being Vegan is extreme.
I think shooting a bolt unsuccessfully into a cows skull so it goes down the slaughter line and is sliced in half while still alive is extreme.
Debeaking chickens without anesthesia, injecting them with growth hormone so they grow rapidly, and their legs are not strong enough to support their bodies so they break, or are severely crippled and in constant pain is extreme.
I think cutting piglets tails off with no anesthesia, beating pigs, and breaking their backs for fun while still alive and in excruciating pain is extreme.
These are not isolated events. This is insanity and violence on a daily basis.
The world will not change for the better until we begin to treat all sentient beings with love and compassion.
What I share is not opinion. It is fact and truth. The problem is, most of the time people do not like the truth unless it benefits them.
There is so much suffering that we can all so easily end. It really is that simple. It starts by thinking about more than just yourself.
I am being the change I want to see in the world. Compassionate, ethical, kind, aware.
It has changed my life.
For more information on living a compassionate cruelty free vegan lifestyle check out these links!
Gary Yourofsky is a Vegan animal rights activist. His speech helped in opening my eyes. How can you argue with him? You can watch his speech here GARY YOUROFSKY
Earthlings is a feature length documentary about the speciesism and animal abuse perpetrated by humans for entertainment, companionship, food, clothing, sport, and scientific research. The film is narrated by long time Vegan and academy award nominee, Joaquin Phoenix. You can watch the video here EARTHLINGS
But for the sake of some little mouthful of flesh, we deprive a soul of the sun and light, and of that proportion of life and time it had been born into the world to enjoy.
Non violence leads to the highest of ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.
“150 years ago, they would have thought you were absurd if you advocated for the end of slavery. 100 years ago, they would have laughed at you for suggesting that women should have the right to vote. 50 years ago, they would have objected to the idea of African Americans receiving equal rights under the law. 25 years ago they would have called you a pervert if you advocated for gay rights. They laugh at us now for suggesting that animal slavery be ended. Some day they won’t be laughing.
I am not interested to know whether vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn’t…..the pain which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity toward it, and it is to me sufficient justification of the enmity without looking further.