In September I had the pleasure of meeting my blogger buddy, Jean, in person. While chatting over a meal at The Plum Bistro, Jean shared how her mom went vegan. I already knew her mom, Carmen, from her blog Fashionable Over 50 and I knew that she was vegan, but I didn’t know why she made the transition. When I heard Carmen’s story I loved it so much that I asked her if she’d be willing to share it on my blog. Here’s the story, and when you’re done, check out her Animal Rights Day post.
What’s Wrong With Eating Eggs and Dairy? By Carmen from Fashionable Over 50
I used to be only a vegetarian until my daughter became vegan, informed me how cruel the dairy and egg industries are, and gave me John Robbin’s Diet for a New America. It was also around this time that my young son was raising a rescued hen. An acquaintance, who is a chicken farmer, offered to sell us feed in bulk. We dropped by the farm and I had a look inside.
To my horror, what I saw was not the worst part – the stench burnt my eyes and I could hardly breathe (my husband walked in and immediately had to leave; it was wicked!). Those poor chickens remain in abominable conditions for their entire lives until they are ‘spent’ (one to two years). There are several hens crammed into each filthy cage with their beaks chopped off, feathers missing and so little space that they are unable to spread their wings. What’s more is that they never even get to walk on the ground.
I witnessed an SUV pull up and some people got out to buy some spent hens. They grabbed them by their legs and mercilessly stuffed them into crates. I’m sure those hens endured more suffering without food or water during transport and then, of course, they were slaughtered. That’s the thanks these little hens get for having laid eggs in these deplorable, painful conditions. This cannot be justified by any means.
For me it was like a dog-lover walking into a puppy mill. I love all animals and cannot contribute to this cruelty. As a vegetarian, I thought eating eggs, and enjoying ice cream and yogurt didn’t hurt animals. However, dairy cows and egg-laying hens have it worse than their “beef” and “poultry” cousins. They have short, miserable lives and end up being slaughtered in the end. I really wish vegetarians, who are vegetarian for the sake of animals, knew this. Almost everyone I talk to asks me, “What’s wrong with eating eggs and dairy since it doesn’t hurt animals.” Well the truth is that it does!!
As for my health, I am 61 (soon 62) in excellent health: no cancer, no osteoporosis, no heart disease, no arthritis, no diabetes. I have as much energy as I had in my 20s.
I believe that if people (especially vegetarians who already care about animals) learn how cruel the dairy and egg industries are, they will choose compassion. By doing so we will be healthier and contributing to a better world. I encourage everyone to make steps toward a plant-based diet: meatless Mondays, cutting down on animal products and being vegetarian (everything helps).
Together we can stop the misery and suffering of people and animals.
With love and compassion,
Photo courtesy of the Coryell Group.