For many years, even decades, I lived in blissful ignorance. Of course, I heard from time to time that our fellow creatures in the animal exploitation industry were not doing so well. „It won’t be that bad,“ I managed to convince myself. Advertising made a significant contribution to this. You saw and see happy cows running around in the pasture, cute little pigs digging in the ground or alert chickens scratching in the ground. Somehow it was also conveyed that the AMA seal of approval stood for animal welfare, even if the AMA denies this. That was a pure figment of my imagination. Too bad actually. But because it was shown so often, I thought to myself, this is the reality, and everyone feels the same as in the pretty little pictures or in the homely videos. Except for the few exceptions that also exist. But just as some so-called domestic animals are poorly kept, so it is occasionally the case with so-called farm animals. Of course, not wanting to see is also a certain protective mechanism.
But one day I decided I no longer wanted to look away, I wanted to see exactly what the world looks like, beyond the concealed little pictures and seductive advertising messages. I saw it, not only saw it, but perceived it, and it hasn’t let me go ever since. The sows that eke out a living in their shack and the babies that persevere next to it, the pigs that vegetate on fully slatted floors, over their own excrement, the cows that starve in tethered housing, the chickens that grow up in the smallest of spaces, even in the own feces standing. And because I saw it, I couldn’t continue to pretend it didn’t exist. With every bite into an animal product, I had to admit to myself that I was supporting exactly this torment, with every sip of milk I was suddenly aware that this is exactly why the cows are being exploited and the calves are being sold off. Of course, I could still have made it easy for myself and looked for the notorious farmer I trusted, where the animals actually live as the advertising suggests. And yes, there are, very few of them, but still. But then I looked at the animals there. Yes, they were allowed to stay in fenced areas, not only had to endure in the dark barn, but life, was that life? Just like all of their even more suffering conspecifics, they were torn from their social structures or chose their own, were not allowed to seek their place in the world, and care was taken to ensure that they reached or were ready for slaughter as quickly as possible under these circumstances. as much as possible from their bodies and in the end, they died just as cruelly as everyone else, at an age when one could only call them teenagers compared to their natural life expectancy. And I have come to realize that there can be no real life as long as a creature is possessed by someone who can do with it what it will. Therefore, it makes no difference. Animal products always come from tortured, exploited and abused creatures. It’s heartbreaking to know that 80 billion individuals are affected, but it’s also heartbreaking to see that so many now know and yet carry on as before, looking at the images of this exploitation while biting into a meat loaf without themselves to make them aware that it is precisely these individuals who just felt sorry for them, who had to give their lives for this snack, a life that was never really one, but a single series of days full of suffering, pain and agony. More than that, there are people who make fun of this suffering. It’s so incredibly sad to see how heartless people can be. And I understand less and less how one can see and yet not perceive, perceive and yet nothing changes. Of course, it hits me when someone says that they still continue to consume these animal products, but not for my sake, but because that is the only reason why this machinery of exploitation will continue to exist, and millions of living beings fall victim to it every day. I wish that they would see and perceive and recognize so that they would finally stop participating in these senseless mass killings. I’ve seen it – and when will you finally open your eyes?