The moment I saw him at my local animal shelter, I fell in love with Scout. His beautiful Bengal coat was matted and his skin was rough from being covered with fleas. His overgrown claws were clinging to the cage. I knew he needed a home.
I told the shelter staff that I wanted him. They warned me that he may be scared at first, but when I opened the carrier at home, he came running out and jumped on my lap. He knew he was safe.
At the time, I was trying to cut back on my meat consumption but had yet to make the leap to veganism. After adopting Scout, however, I knew things had to change.
You see, the animals we raise and kill for food are just as sensitive and intelligent as the dogs and cats we adore at home. For example, chickens can recognize more than 100 individuals, cows form close friendships, and pigs are thought to have the intelligence of a three-year-old child.
In all the ways that matter, farmed animals are very similar to dogs and cats. Daily life at a factory farm is one of pain and misery. We relegate these poor animals to a life of unimaginable cruelties: extreme confinement; brutal mutilations; and bloody, violent deaths.
The truth is that if we treated just one dog or cat the way the meat, dairy, and egg industries treat billions of animals, we’d be behind bars for animal abuse. This is because no federal law protects farmed animals during their lives at factory farms. What’s more, the law that’s supposed to protect them at the slaughterhouse, the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, only extends to cows and pigs, leaving birds and rabbits with virtually no protection from abuse.
Fortunately, after rescuing Scout I was able to make the connection. I mean, how could I love him so much and eat other animals? I knew this was a serious conflict, so I went vegan.
No one needs to eat animal products to thrive. In fact, ditching meat, dairy, and eggs greatly benefits our health and the planet.
So, if like me you adore your companion animals and see them as the unique, sensitive, and intelligent beings they are, it’s time you opened your eyes and started seeing farmed animals the same way.
One great thing about going vegan is that it’s never too late to make the switch. Click here to get started!