I’ve been an animal lover since I was emancipated from the womb. My parents’ dog used to snap at me. My neighbour’s pony used to double-barrel (kick with both hind legs) my pram as a baby. I’ve been bitten, kicked, stomped on and charged at for as long as I can remember. Yet I love them with all my heart.
I was a vegetarian for about a year and a half when I was 11-12. I just got tired of arguing with my parents over what I wouldn’t eat. But I remained firm on two things: I would not eat pig, nor veal. And I didn’t. I haven’t eaten pig or veal since I was about ten-years-old.
There was also a refusal of rabbit and duck. I had pet rabbits and pet ducks (“pet”: ducks at the Newhaven Marina that I used to name and feed with my grandfather) as a child so I never ate those animals. This refusal also applied to goat. I could never understand why people would eat animals that are often pets, just like a dog or a cat.
I refused fish for many years. I had an anaphylactic reaction to medication while I was eating fish. It took many, many years to work up the courage to try fish again.
Last week, I had a nightmare. Which is common, sure.
Do you know how pigs are castrated?
I never knew, until I dreamt of it. In my dream, I saw the after-effects of this horrid process and one little piggy full of agony and misery. A calf was there. So was a lamb. A man told me I had to choose which one was to be killed. I chose the pig, because I don’t eat pig and he needed to be put out of pain. I woke up screaming and sobbing. How dare I have that responsibility on my shoulders; then immediately I realised that I make this choice on a menu, or at the supermarket. “Would you like the chicken or the beef, milady?” No. I decided then at a God forsaken hour that I would return to vegetarianism.
I feel better already.
Then I watched a video; forced myself to watch it because I was sick of lying to myself. I won’t detail it. It was too horrific. Let’s just say, my dream of the pig’s castration came to fruition. It was bad enough for me to think about suicide after I watched it.
Veganism. Veganism is the only way I can think of to cope with the guilt of contributing to the cruelty, and for lying to myself for so many years that the meat and dairy industry had regulations and are humane.
So I’ve become vegan. I’m not sure how long I can be vegan, because it’s a full-lifestyle change. Once I get over the shock and the trauma of what I saw in that video, maybe I’ll return to vegetarianism.
So that’s what I’ve been doing this week; a lot of crying and moping for animals and deciding to overhaul my lifestyle, for the better. Wish me luck.