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November 1st -World Vegan Day

Story ID:9360
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:various various usa
Year:2013
Person:Suzana
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Happy World Vegan Day! I was happy to read on the In Defense
of Animals website that today - November first is WORLD VEGAN
DAY. I am pleased that a day has been designated to bring
attention to those who have taken the big step to improve
their health and the environment, and help suffering farm
animals.

Re the latter, I remember George Bernard Shaw saying at one
time that he envisioned seeing all the animals he DID NOT
EAT, at death coming en masse to his bier to pay homage.
I love the thought and wish the same for myself.

Today is All Saints Day for Catholics - and so I now have two
reasons to celebrate this day. As Catholics, we are taught
that we are all saints with a small "s"- so long as we try to
live by the principles of Jesus Christ and His church. The
big "S" saints are those like St. Francis of Assisi who went
over and beyond just trying to be good. Their everyday lives
reflected a very special love for God. I find the stories of
so many of them each day at liturgy where I read their abreviated
lives in my little Magnificat missal. But St. Francis is and
will always be my favorite saint.


THOUGHTS ON VEGANISM

This week I got into an e-mail exchange with someone who I have
come to appreciate in his concern for people, the environment,
and animals. But I was surprised to find out that he is not
vegan or even vegetarian. A two way conversation ensued.

He said that he ate meat, and he didn't think animals had to
suffer because of that- in reference to my opposition to
Heifer International which sends animals to impoverished
countries as gifts from us.

My response: I forgot to mention that we, as a supposedly
civilized people, don't even treat our own animals with compassion.
In one country which received goat gifts, I remember reading
one who was slaughtered in sacrifice in expiation for a crime
a young man had committed.

As for compassionate treatment generally re our food animals,
the only way one can be sure that the animal you eat has been
treated compassionately is if you raise and kill it yourself.
I was surprised to hear that he read Mercy for Animal posts
and still kept on eating meat.

He then reminded me that every being lives and dies. Of course
I could not help thinking -but isn't it important to know how
they live and die? Most of our farm animals live horrible lives
confined to cages, crates, or stifling factory farm barns. And
slaughtering practices often leave much to be desired.

And then he reminded me that some animals eat others and this
seems to be "natural." Of course it is, and it is called -
balance of nature. It is something that I personally have difficulty
coming to terms with myself, but it is beyond my scope to do
anything about.

However, what I put into my mouth is within my power to make
compassionate choices. Being vegan for many years is a gratifying
lifestyle for those of us who have embraced it for the right
reasons. How could it not be? We are not responsible for animal
suffering in the cafos or the frightening deaths of food animals
in slaughterhouses.

His next comment I often hear from other meat-eaters. If all meat-
eating would be abolished, what would happen to the cattle. pigs,
chickens, etc. if we didn't eat them?

Well, I think it would be a much easier problem to address rather
than the problem of animal suffering in cafos and slaughterhouses.
But then I told him he should rest assured -that this would never
happen. I would be supremely happy if only HALF of the world would
become vegan.

Some people will never change their eating habits and will demand
to eat meat. However, if half of the world would become vegan,
I see the cafos from hell being dismantled first of all because there
would be no need for them anymore, and the small farms of yesteryear
could now return. The fewer animals could now enjoy the sun and
fresh air once more. They could intermingle with their own and be
able to move around- no longer being restricted to life in cages,
gestation crates, or milking lines.

And some of us living in rural areas could even enjoy having
calves, cows, lambs, etc. as companion aimals if we choose. Some
people already do use them this way. I would love to have a lamb,
calf, or piglet as a companion animal and yes, of course they would
mature and become sheep, cows, and pigs. But if I had the wherewithall,
I would love to make them a part of my animal family.

While I have to admit, I don't love all God's creatures equally, I
do have a special love for those who do no harm, and certainly farm
animals belong in this category.