This is the third post highlighting the 54 reasons I’m Vegan. Number 19 may come as a surprise.
Reason #12 Horses
Sure, we don’t really eat horse meat here in the US, but did you know that wild horses are slaughtered because they interfere with ranchers who are raising cattle to be killed for food? This is another reason to stop eating cow’s meat. Cattle ranchers are killing wild horses, because those horses cause damage to public grazing land. The ranchers think they should use the public grazing land for their cattle. This land does not belong to the ranchers, it’s BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land. The mission of the BLM is “to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.” Clearly, they mean generations of humans, not animals. And specifically human ranchers, because of the 247 million acres managed by BLM, 155 million is leased for livestock grazing.
This land is your land, this land is my land is how the song goes, but this land is my land, this land is my land is what they really mean.
The wild horses should be federally protected. They are not. But because Americans like to eat cows, lots and lots of cows, cattle ranchers have a lot of power, too much power, enough to slaughter thousands of wild horses so that their cattle can graze.
Reason #13 Donkeys
Because, donkeys! Possibly the cutest 4-legged QTpies ever.
In Mexico, the donkeys exist purely for working purposes. One only has to look into those worn eyes and know that the hard labor they endure takes a toll on their health, life, and happiness. Mexican donkeys have a shorter lifespan than donkeys elsewhere. I fantasize about donknapping them or winning the lottery and buying poor Mexican farmers solar-powered pickup trucks then taking all those donkeys to sanctuaries where they can live out their days in peaceful bliss.
The two photos with my adorable nieces show John the miniature donkey. He lives on a farm in Pennsylvania, and his job is to roam freely on the vast property, eat good snacks, and receive hugs and kisses from guests.
Reason #14 Deers
Reason #15 Elks and other big deer’ish animals like antelopes and caribous.
I was raised in a culture that hunted. Hunting was such a big deal in South Central PA, that schools and some businesses were closed the first day of deer season. Once my dad told me that he knew from when I was very young (maybe four or five) that I would never go hunting with him. He said we were walking up the driveway when I cautiously stepped around a line of ants taking great care as not to hurt them.
I haven’t strayed too far from my hunting roots, but in a different way. I enjoy a good hunt, patiently waiting in the woods, stalking and shooting photographs of my prey, and then devouring those images with my eyes. With this kind of hunting, nobody suffers.
Reason #16 Impalas, Kudus, Bonteboks, Steenboks, Waterbucks & every other South African deer’ish animals we encountered while living there.
Returning from safari and walking into a camp store, I was surprised to see for sale biltong, which is basically dried meat not too dissimilar to our jerky. To be out on safari appreciating the beauty of wildlife and then to walk into a store and see that same wildlife on a shelf in a small plastic wrapper is alarming. How does that work exactly? I mean, watching these gorgeous animals roam in nature, chasing one another, and then plucking them off a shelf, tearing off the wrapper, and taking a bite represents, to me, an irreconcilable disharmony.
Reason #17 Bears
This includes all bears: black, brown, grizzly, polar, panda, sun bears, sloth bears, and smokey the bear. I love bears not only for their impressive size, beauty, and power, but also because of their perseverance in the face of the most heinous habitat destruction. Grizzly bears are considered ecosystem engineers helping biodiversity simply by being bears. But in addition to habitat destruction, bears face insurmountable threats from humans including hunting, poaching, collisions with vehicles, and general human carelessness.
Since the 1500’s bears have been kept in captivity in Bern, Switzerland. They are a captive symbol of the city, and while they now have a much larger habitat than the bear pits; they exist solely for human spectacle.
Reason #18 Koalas and Kangaroos
Maybe because they’re both herbivores, but definitely because they’re super cool. I have no photo of kangaroos, so you’ll have to use your imagination. 🙂
Reason #19 Unicorns
According to the super groovy site A Seeker’s Thoughts, unicorns may be the “most wondrous of all mystical creatures” and symbolize “magic, miracles, purity, innocence and enchantment.” AND ” To kill a Unicorn is to destroy a Divine Incarnation of purity, perfection, and wonder. It is a deed which burdens the individual who commits the act with an enormous karmic debt.”
“I became a vegetarian after realizing that animals feel afraid, cold, hungry and unhappy like we do. I feel very deeply about vegetarianism and the animal kingdom. It was my dog Boycott who led me to question the right of humans to eat other sentient beings.”
~ Cesar Chavez
“The question is not, ‘Can they reason?’ nor, ‘Can they talk?’ but rather, ‘Can they suffer?”
~ Jeremy Bentham
“Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them.”
~ Samuel Butler
To see the other posts in this series click click click!
Post 1: International Homeless Animal Day & 54 Reasons I’m Vegan: #’s 1-3
Post 2: Sanctuary One & 54 Reasons I’m Vegan: #’s 4-11
Post 3: 54 Reasons I’m Vegan: Numbers 12-19
Post 4: 54 Reasons I’m Vegan: Coyotes and Wolves
Post 5: 54 Reasons I’m Vegan: Chickens and Turkeys
Post 6: 54 Reasons I’m Vegan: Smallish Animals and Reptiles 24-30
Post 7: 54 Reasons I’m Vegan: Marine Life & Birds
Post 8: 54 Reasons I’m Vegan: African Animals
Post 9: 54 Reasons I’m Vegan: Rainforests, Air, Water, Soil, Climate Change, Peace & Hunger (50-54)