Here comes Halloween again, with putrefying corpses, clanking chains and the tormented screams of the damned. Adults and children alike, scream and giggle with spooky delight, their nervous shivers of horror heightened by icy frissons of fear and chilly unease while ghouls and the unquiet dead leave their mouldering graves and strike fear into all.
But wait. Why should anyone need to confine this thrill of excitement to a single night of the year, when we can have it every single day and night, throughout the year? All it takes is a slight shift in perception and it’s all there waiting for those who enjoy that sort of thing. Just think on this…
All day every day, defenceless and terrified creatures whose only desperate wish is to live unharmed, are trucked on transports and in crates to the slaughterhouses that ‘prepare’ them for our shopping trolleys. Every week of the year over a billion terrified innocents, their legs scarcely able to hold them for fear, are manhandled and goaded into pens and lines, to wait in gut-churning horror for their turn with the chains and the blades and the saws.
Because they are sentient, as we are, they know only too well the peril of their plight, blood pounding in terrified hearts as they listen to the high pitched screaming; screaming so desperate as to be almost soundless with the sickening pain of their bleeding, their seared and scalded, electrified flesh, screams distorted by the gurgling of blood in hacked throats, screams of mind-numbing terror, screams wrenched from the panicking hearts of their friends, of their family, as the grating torment of their agony weaves a cacophony in counterpoint to the dismembering saws and machines.
There is the sound of despair, of liquid terror gushing and spurting down legs that are quaking too hard to stand. There is the clamour of frantic pleading, of whimpering, of sobbing, of hooves on metal walkways, feet kicking and scrabbling for purchase, struggling to go back, to get away, to hide, to be anywhere but in this place that smells of death and blood; this place that smells of hell.
Yes, every day behind the scenes of our non-vegan ‘choices’ are the clanking chains, the tormented screams of the damned, and very much more besides. There is more horror than a lifetime of Halloweens encapsulated within every single non vegan choice. And for what? The putrefying body parts, the fluids, the breast milk and the eggs that are marketed to us as ‘fresh’. They are indeed fresh – from Hell.
So when we are not vegan, we are paying to have Halloween, not the phoney consumer extravaganza but the real horror of Halloween, inflicted on defenceless innocents every day. To savour the spooky thrill, all we need to do is simply walk through the mortuary aisles of any supermarket. The chill in the air, the smell of death, the miasma of putrefaction – it’s there all the time. All we need to do is close our eyes and breathe deep, to find ourselves there in that slaughterhouse.
And on the day the ‘thrill’ just gets too much to bear, we do have a choice. We can make the decision to stop paying for the torment of innocents and can say, ‘Not in my name’.
That’s the day we become vegan. Be vegan. Today.