I have been an animal rights advocate/activist/vegan for decades. As such, I am aware of the horrific cruelty and abuse that humans inflict on animals — ‘circus’ animals, animals imprisoned in zoos, puppy mills, dairy farms, farms in general, elephant poaching for ivory, “sport” hunting. Years ago, Sir Paul McCartney said “if slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.” Well, I will carry that one step further to say “if people with decency knew what happens at dairy farms, everyone would be a vegan.”
Cows and goats are continuously artificially inseminated to produce milk. The male calves and baby goats are murdered and, of course, sold for human consumption. The Food and Drug Administration allows egg companies to label eggs as “cage free” when the chickens are out of the cage for 20 minutes A DAY! They cannot move, turn around, or open their wings.
“Veal” is an innocent, murdered calf; “pork” and “bacon” are innocent, murdered, intelligent pigs; “beef” is a kind, gentle cow; “lamb” is not a food choice. It is a tiny, adorable, baby sheep who has been deprived of a life.
As I mentioned previously, there are numerous other instances where animals are abused: greyhound racing, horse racing, elephant poaching for ivory (it has been proven in numerous studies by wildlife biologists that elephants have a greater emotional capacity than humans), “sport” hunting. This is not sport; it is murder. I donate to an elephant calf rescue in Kenya. These calves’ mothers were murdered by poachers. I donate to many animal rescue organizations and sanctuaries all over the world — bears rescued from bear bile farms, dogs and cats rescued from abuse abandonment.
These are but a few of the horrific cruelties inflicted on innocent, intelligent, sentient animals. I was a teacher, so it is very important to me to educate children and make them aware of the importance of kindness to animals. But adults also need to be informed. In order to do this, it is critically necessary to donate to animal rights organizations, animal rescues, animal sanctuaries.
I volunteered at a horse rescue. Most of the horses had been seized by animal control after having been abused and neglected. I, of course, volunteered at Luvin’ Arms. Interacting with the furry and feathery residents simply served to corroborate what I’ve always known about their sentience. I would sit in the hay and Fiona, the piglet (who is now in Heaven), would crawl onto my lap and lay down, just like a puppy or kitten would. Arya loves to be petted, as do Tito and Leroy. Rocky, the rooster (who also is now in Heaven) loved when I petted his feathers. Another example of their capacity to feel, after Desmond, the pig, passed away, Felix, was obviously mourning because he missed his best friend. Pigs are smart. As with all the animals, they deserve and must have a safe, happy life — not end up on someone’s dinner plate. Just the thought of it makes me cry!
In order for these kind, gentle, beautiful, innocent, intelligent, sentient beings to be saved, protected, and given the opportunity to have the safe, decent, happy life they deserve, humans must donate time and money to the organizations that are working and advocating for them. It is not possible to accomplish any of this without people donating money.
I am glad and I am honored that I am able to both ‘educate’ people I know about this, as well as donate money. I hope that, as time goes on, increasingly more humans will realize how all animals deserve for us to help them in every way we can.
– Suzanne Westgaard, Luvin Arms Supporter & Volunteer