At this festive time, even many of us who do not consider ourselves to be ‘religious’ may talk of love, of peace, of joy and of grace; of still, silent and holy nights. We may all celebrate the bonds we share with our family and friends, as we recall anew just how irreplaceable they are in our lives. Surrounded by seasonal decorations and twinkling lights, we listen to the familiar refrains of festive times of old, moved by the cherished memories of those who no longer walk the world beside us as we repeat the comforting verses and tunes that speak of our youth and childhood, instantly taking us back to simpler, innocent days when all we knew was childlike wonderment and fascination, our sparkling eyes filled with the magic of a time when the whole world seemed to reflect our uncomplicated joy.
And for many of us, that is where it ends. Such ignorance is bliss, but in this age of Google such ignorance is a choice; a choice by those who find honesty too hard to face.
However, for those who have faced the heartbreaking realisation that our tide of emotion is not an exclusively human experience, this and every festive season brings a sadness that overwhelms the joy, a grief and a poignancy that tears at the heart. This feeling is with us every day of every year, but for me it is sharpened, heightened by the outpouring of emotion of almost every human we meet at this particular time of the year.
This feeling is the heartbreak that no amount of tinsel can disguise; that when we refuse to be vegan, all of our love, our peace, our festive joy and grace; our silent, still and holy nights are a self-deception built on violence and bloodlust, a charade that celebrates ‘peace on earth’ while the slaughterhouses struggle to cope with our demands for the slaughter of those who have no defence against us and our technology.
This is the heartbreak that no amount of tinsel can disguise; that when we refuse to be vegan, while we are carolling blissfully, there are mothers calling out desperately for infants taken from them so we can drink the breast milk meant for them, there are newborns pining for mothers they barely met, there are tiny chicks dropping into macerators because as males they can never lay eggs, while the beaks of their sisters are seared from their sweet, bewildered, cheeping faces in preparation for the hell that we subject them to, as their reproductive systems destroy themselves to lay eggs for our self indulgence.
This is the heartbreak that no amount of tinsel can disguise; that when we refuse to be vegan, the reality is that our festive family tables will be laden, not with the love and appreciation and devotion that was in our hearts, but rather groaning under the weight of the bewilderment, the blood spattered horror, and the unbridled violence that our consumer choices demanded.
While we are using words like ‘humane’, ‘compassionate’, and ‘kind’, there are millions of frightened creatures quaking in utter terror, listening to screams and whimpers, watching the blood of their family and friends flow through gashed throats onto killing floors. While we pat each other on the back, congratulating each other on our shared ‘love of animals’, we steadfastly refuse to acknowledge that there is absolutely NO difference between ourselves and our victims except in our fantasies.
It doesn’t have to be this way and all it takes is for us to draw a line and say, ‘Not in my name’. This year, why not decide to find real peace by showing true respect for those who share this planet with us. The only way to do this is to become vegan. Find out about it here.