On the 23rd of March I sat down in my BCM310 tutorial and watched exactly how Australian cattle in Indonesia are slaughtered (ABC’s “A Bloody Business”). I couldn’t stay for the second hour to watch the Blackfish documentary because it would have hurt me too much. I walked out of there with a promise to give up eating meat and so far, I haven’t broken it. My twin sister has been vegan for almost two years and constantly pressures the rest of my family to go vegan. I’d ignored her because I really like meat. Why would I give that up? But this video changed my mind completely. I was on the brink of tears. And I realised that despite how good meat tastes, I couldn’t be a willing party to the animal cruelty that exists in almost every animal-driven industry. The “open secret” of meat industries became too much to bear for me.
The motivation of giving up meat flagged during the first fortnight. I’d have late-night cravings for burgers, kebabs, chicken; basically all I wanted to eat when I was hungry was meat. Late-night cravings hit me so hard for the first month. My sister constantly shares videos about veganism on my Facebook timeline but all I had to do was think back to the single doco I’d watched to stay away from meat. It was hard though.
This topic ties back to humans in the media. The way we view animal welfare in the media isn’t taken seriously enough. Animals, inherently helpless and voiceless, need us to fight for their rights and lives. We can’t just spend a week outraged at Indonesian cattle abattoirs. We can’t give up bacon for the weekend and then give in to cravings. We need to lend animals our voices and our compassion to end the cruel treatment they endure every day of their lives. The benefits of giving up meat include helping the environment and keeping families together. It’s eye-opening to learn that animals are intelligent and compassionate beings. Their high cognition means that most will die scared. That is not the way I want any animal’s life to end.