Planting Seeds of Compassion
You’re here because you care about animals. Maybe that concern already brought you to a completely plant-based diet. But maybe you’ve not really thought about the plight of those animals destined to be food.
APLNJ is here to plant a few seeds. Not to grow broccoli, spinach or apples. But to nurture compassion and empathy and to offer support and guidance as you transition from eating animals to a humane, healthy and environmental diet.
What is your answer? If you love one and still eat the other, ask yourself why. What makes us allow unspeakable torture to be inflicted upon one species, but not on another. They all have a strong will to live, the desire to avoid death and the capacity to feel pain. Yet, by and large, humans ignore the suffering of cows, pigs, chickens and other animals raised for food.
For most people their contact with animals is at least three times a day—breakfast, lunch and dinner. Once feeling, living beings are reduced to sausage, chicken nuggets, veal Parmesan or any other number of dishes whose main ingredients, no matter what the recipe, are suffering and death.
We are so far removed from the living animals who end up on our plate that it can be easy to ignore or diminish their suffering. We intellectualize and rationalize: “I won’t eat veal, because they are only babies.” “There are laws to protect them, so they must be treated well.” “They’re already dead, so why not eat them.” “That’s what they are raised for.”
Just because it is what they are raised for doesn’t make it right. We have no right to take that which is rightfully theirs – their lives.
Experience points to either extremely positive or extremely negative motivation to create a change in personal habits. Stretching our moral fiber and watching a video (negative motivation) can possibly help our resolve to change “for the animals.” We can then follow up with some truly positive motivation, feeling better and the knowledge that with every meal of delicious plant-based food we eat, we literally save a life.