Tonight’s truth


This film will change your life forever


A good man (mostly) too



Animal Cruelty Protest - Ringling Bros Circus

Animal Cruelty Protest - Ringling Bros Circus (Photo credit: Phil Ostroff)

I sometimes really worry that I am not doing enough to promote animal rights and to protect the lives of animals. By being a vegan, they say I contribute to saving about 100 animal lives a year. When you consider the billions of animals lives wasted every year around the world, 100 lives isn’t much. So what keeps me motivated? Well, besides the obvious health benefits, I hope that I can influence even just one other person to give up the cruel lifestyle propagated by eating meat and using animals for our pleasure and profit.

Sometimes it is hard to stay motivated to remain a vegan. I mean, it is not an easy lifestyle. Animal-friendly consumer products like food, clothing, shoes, accessories, shampoo, soap, dish washing liquid, and about a billion other things we use each day are usually much costlier. And when I am not at home, it is sometimes a real challenge finding a place to eat where cruelty isn’t an everyday part of the menu. It can be done, but you have really got to remain dedicated and be able to bear the costs.

So when I begin to get depressed about it all, and when I start to doubt I am really doing any good, I need to encourage myself to keep going. This may seem odd, because one could possibly think that if I truly believed what I write about here, then there should never be any question as to whether I chose the cruelty free lifestyle or not. And there really isn’t a choice for me unless I am forced into a position where I have to make the bad choice because of no other options.

But here is my primary motivational tool when I start to get down about it. I look into the eyes of an animal. Not just a pet, but cows, or goats, or pigs, or sheep, or chickens, at a county “fair” or other place where I can find a living breathing being. Because I guarantee you, if you see beyond the physical form of the animal and see that there is more to them than a hunk of meat on a bun, or a new iPad cover, you’ll discover that there is actually something happening there. Look into the eyes of a captive cow and tell me that he/she is a soulless, non-feeling “thing.” It can’t be done. At least not honestly. And if you can’t find a farm animal to visit, find a stray cat, or a neighborhood dog. Just because they are not raised on factory farms, doesn’t mean they don’t know cruelty.

If you ever doubt that animals are treated cruelty, here is a free film that will convince you otherwise. I use this when I need reinforcing and comforting that what I believe is not only right, but also the right thing to do and fight for. I have only been able to watch this film twice even though I own it. Because I cannot watch this film without being deeply and profoundly saddened. And I cannot watch it without crying and being deeply depressed for a long, long time.

If you can view this film and not be convinced that the way we treat animals is not only inhumane but cruel, unnecessary, and likely our biggest shame, then you have no heart. You are a cold, ruthless, uncaring human being. Those are strong words, I admit. And as melodramatic as it all sounds, I truly feel that if you can support animal cruelty by continuing to eat meat and wear your leather Air Jordan’s, then you likely have no compassion for much else. Yeah, I take it that seriously.

Narrated by Joaquin Phoenix. You cannot honestly watch this movie and continue to support animal cruelty. Not if you are honest with yourself. It takes courage to make it through this whole film. If you can do it without crying, I doubt your humanity. This is the film that made me transition to veganism.