Like most every child, I was born loving all living creatures and empathizing with them intensely. I would beg my parents to not kill insects, and to instead let me save them on a piece of paper and carry them outdoors. Despite loving them so very much, I grew to reject television programs and movies where non-human animals were used, recognizing there was no way for them to have been given a choice to be in that position. I worried about the vulnerability of all non-human animals constantly, and yet consumed them in most every way society teaches us is the norm.
I did recognize we were eating animals in my family home and questioned it constantly. I was met with answers that would assure my compliance by conveying there absolutely was no other choice. The answers included phrases such as, I 'needed to stop worrying about animals so much because it is the only way for us to get nutrition, and no other alternative exists,' and 'these animals do not know what is happening and are killed painlessly,' and 'they are not like other animals not used for food,' and so on. I continually struggled with these answers and asked more questions, because in my heart I knew this could not be right.
I made some level of connection about milk at approximately 10 years of age when asking, 'how is it that stores have milk all the time when cows only make milk when having babies?' I was told it was certain, 'the 'milk cows' make milk all the time.' Never imagining the horrors actually created by 'dairy,' I knew that answer could not be accurate and stopped consuming milk. Unfortunately I was not enlightened enough to equate other 'dairy products,' or readily dismiss the other lies. I always knew that the animals in animal agriculture could not be 'different.' I knew when I felt the soul of any living being, they all loved and valued their life. Over time, despite still encountering opposition in the family home, I began rejecting all products derived from non-human animal use.
Why do I relate my story? Because had I been told the truth, I would never have participated in a barbaric practice that goes against everything I am and love. I would have saved untold numbers of lives. I could have educated others many years earlier including my own family. Had my peers been told the truth, collectively we could have turned the tide on brutal and senseless tradition and apathy.
As living beings we deserve the truth and being able to operate from that realistic position. We also deserve to have our values honored at every age. As individuals our choices not only affect our own lives, but the ripples they create are so far-reaching that they create the whole world. Collectively we must realize that those most connected to their hearts will make the most authentic and just choice when it comes to this matter.
Children inherently love non-human animals from a place of great empathy. We must stop forcing the numbing of our societal habits and traditions onto them through lies. We must have the respect for our children to allow them at least the right to know, if they consume non-human animals, yes, they are eating the very beings that they love. Children in fact are the future. They are encouraged to make the world a better place, and that will never be possible if they are disallowed operating from truth. Let us finally give them the truth on something that we know they hold so dear. Let them decide, and this will be a far better world.
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." Dr. Seuss, The Lorax