Liv was born and raised in Romania, but has been living in London since her early 20's. Shortly after her arrival in the capital, she became vegetarian, only to become vegan 3 years later after looking up some information on the dairy and egg industry. Organic and free range are just a sadistic joke when it comes to animal rights after all!

Or should we say “pet rights vs humane slaughtering”?

In my ‘vegan’ opinion, it shouldn’t even be a question. I strongly believe that all animals should have the same rights, with a special focus on endangered species of course.

Can anyone still remember the horse meat scandal the UK not so long ago? If you need to refresh your memory just google it. A looot of people were so revolted that on the frozen lasagne package the meat labelled as being 100% beef was in fact 100% horse meat. For the first few minutes I couldn’t even get my head around it. I read article after article (as I don’t have a TV, not because it’s cool not to have one, but because it’s too expensive to have one in this country. Plus I do a better job strictly researching the subjects that are of interest to me rather than ingesting a big lump of information that doesn’t really interest me. But let’s not get into any conspiracy theories) and watched a few interviews on YouTube of people that bought that particular product. Every one of them was horrified! They immediately pointed the finger at the country that exported the meat to another country to prepare the frozen product to then export it to the UK to sell it. OK… my first reaction was to feel sorry for the people that had bought the product. I understand that the cost for the single meal was around £1 and about £3 for a family-sized one. From my personal experience in our society, there is no such thing as a £1 (fairly) healthy meal for one that contains meat, dairy and eggs. It’s simply impossible! So I felt sorry for those people in 2 ways: firstly, for the ones that don’t have a choice and have to buy such products otherwise they’d starve and secondly, for the ones that are so caught up in our modern society that they just throw things in their shopping basket without reading the label. You wouldn’t give any medicine to your children without reading the label!

Then came secondary thoughts of this situation that wasn’t calming down for days and days. If you are a meat eater, say it doesn’t offend your religious or cultural beliefs, why do you care so much which animal was sacrificed? Cows and horses are so much alike! You would have to be and expert to know the difference once they are slaughtered and hung from the ceiling. They even have the same diet, so I imagine they have to taste similar. I had beef and veal meat before, but to my knowledge, I never had horse meat, so I am only assuming the taste is not too different.

Then came the debate that people were horrified to know that something that they associate with being some sort of a pet got killed for them to have it as their Thursday dinner let’s say. I find this fact fascinating! These people are in the same boat as the people horrified about the diets that include cat or dog meat. It is in our nature to be peaceful creatures, to get attached to things, animals and people around us. So if you grow up having a dog as part of your family, it will be in your nature to associate that animal with being a companion and not food. It’s perfectly normal and I totally understand that. What I don’t understand is why people refuse to look into factory farming when there is so much information available on the Internet? You even have us vegan lunatics running around and trying our best to spread the word without offending anyone or making them feel guilty.

Animals are animals no matter which one you had in your back garden growing up! They feel the cold, they feel warmth, they have reproductive instincts, they feel hunger, they feel thirst, they feel fear, so why wouldn’t they feel pain or have maternal instincts? Why would they feel everything we feel, but pain and love for their kind?

If a cat was kept in a dark room with no windows or artificial light, in a cage barely larger than their own body, pumped up with steroids and antibiotics, have her kittens taken away from her too soon and killed for a tasty dish, how would this make you feel? I know it would make me feel her pain, her desperation. I would feel responsible now that I have this information, I must act upon it!

I remember the days back when I was a meat eater (if you don’t remember or haven’t read my previous post ‘Animal lovers: putting your pet on a pedestal, supporting zoos, exterminating pests and humanely slaughtering the rest’, I grew up on a mini farm,) I had no idea how badly animals were treated in farms, never wondered where meat came from other that the supermarket, which I found OK (!!!), and our back garden, which I’ve always found barbaric. But as I grew up, I started asking myself questions and that’s how my journey began.

Just as a female dog would weep her puppies if you take them all away from her after birth, a cow would feel the same way. A puppy’s life shouldn’t count more than a calf’s life. They should all be equally treated, at least that’s what we’ve learnt as humans from the last 70 years or so, to treat each other with equal respect, no matter our body, skin colour, religion, etc.

I agree that starting a fight for a change in how factory farms are allowed to operate is a step forward, but I also have a personal theory that I hope doesn’t offend anyone: It’s 2015 and as a human being on this Earth, living in an European society, I am proud to say that I love animals and that animals are my friends. I do not depend on animals to feed me or work the land for me like they did for our ancestors. I believe that animals should be put on a pedestal, not on a plate, to celebrate all the help they’ve given us over the past thousands of years. They have fed us, kept us warm, helped us carry things that were too heavy, took us from point A to point B as we couldn’t walk that far, etc. They helped us evolve as a species and what do we give them in return?! It’s the 21st century and we have evolved so much that we shouldn’t depend on animals. Furthermore, we should not deprive them of their basic rights and needs, no matter what shape they are or how fluffy they are. I am proud to be living in this era where I have a choice not to buy any animal products: food, cosmetics, cleaning products, shoes, clothes, etc.

I dream of a time where not only the cages will be empty, but there will be no cages! And if people will decide to hunt to put meat on their plate, I can only hope that this will be regulated and watched very closely. People will do what they want to do anyway, but at least I will not have to explain to my children what factory farms are, why a horse has different rights from a cat, why it’s OK to kill a young calf because they taste better and are useless to the dairy industry if it’s a male and why you could end up in jail for doing the same to your puppy, why male baby chicks are grinded up alive only a couple of hours after their hatch, why they will never meet their mother and never have the right to freedom, and so on.

I dream of a day when we will live in harmony with nature without having the instinct to rule the world and enslave animals of any kind. I dream of real animal rights, not pet rights…

Special thanks to my life partner Theo who is an inspiration and a pillar for me. This ex farm boy started his journey as a vegetarian in 2013, shortly after he met me, and he’s been doing an amazing job so far. I am so proud of him!

Never underestimate the power of information! Do your research on factory farming, the dairy industry, the egg industry, everything! You would find interesting things as well if you research Cow Nation and Hen Nation – if you love the taste and the real thing so much, there is another way – Good Food Nation.


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