The Flaming Vegan

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Feathered Friends

I read this cute story recently about a love affair between a turkey and a peacock! Apparently a turkey on a farm in Scotland caught the eye of a pet peacock, and when the farmer saw the attachment between them, he decided not to slaughter her, but to let her stay and live happily ever after with her peacock boyfriend. You can read the full story here. That is very touching, but I can't help feeling sorry for all the other turkeys on the farm, who were not so lucky, who are all going to end up on dinner plates at some point.

This story reminded me of my childhood and the values I was brought up with. I have been reflecting recently that the reason I am vegan is that I realised some time ago that a lot of what I was brought up to believe was wrong. I imagine that many people come to this realisation at some point in their lives, if they are intelligent and open-minded and question everything. I was raised in a traditional meat-eating family,  just as I guess that most of you were, and naturally I did not see anything wrong with eating and using animals, I thought it was the natural way of things. It took me until I was well into adult life to make the connection with the food on my plate and the suffering caused to countless other creatures in the world by humans.

When I was a child for about the first 9 years of my life we lived in a big house in the country  in the South of England with a very large garden, which my parents put to good use, by growing a lot of their own fruit and veg and also keeping a lot of chickens, geese and, at one point, a couple of lambs. We had the traditional domestic pets of a cat and dog as well, so I was always surrounded by animals right from the start, which was where my deep love of them began. Some of the geese and chickens we kept we became very attached to, if we had reared them ourselves, and they became pets, they were always protected.

Naturally we got a lot of eggs from the chickens and geese which we both ate and sold, and we often ate the birds too. I remember that when my mother was going to kill a chicken for dinner, she couldn't stomach doing it herself, so she used to take one round to the neighbour, who would wring its neck. That does seem rather hypocritical to me now actually (sorry Mum!) I didn't understand why we had to kill them.

“Why Mum? Why are we killing the hens? Why can't we let them live?”

“We are killing them to eat them, so it's perfectly all right. It's not cruel.”

Oh, OK. I was only about 6 or 7 years old at the time, so I just accepted it, it had to be. The animals were “giving” their lives to feed us, that is what I was brainwashed to believe, and obviously my Mum genuinely thought the same thing. When we got the lambs, I loved playing with them, they were so cute, but they were soon sent off for slaughter, they came back as lamb chops and we ate them, and it did bother me a bit, but my parents once again assured me that it was all perfectly OK and normal.

Going back to the turkey and peacock story, the farmer was moved by the obvious love between them, and so wanted to spare the turkey's life. If only everyone could see this, that all other creatures have feelings and can experience love like humans, then I am sure they couldn't bear to kill and eat them, and  maybe then we would have a worldwide vegan revolution!

Hope you liked this blog. Your votes and comments are always appreciated.

PS The picture is of me with my new baby nephew George, taken earlier this year.

Image credit: Tobias Akerboom (at hutmeelz)

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Leave a Comment

  1. SnakeWitch
    Yes, this is an adorable post. I wish, like you, that they wouldn't kill the other turkeys. I even heard that they make very affectionate pets, actually. Voted!
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    1. SnakeWitch
      Don't forget to stop by my new article - Boreal Forest! Cheers!
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  2. Mark T
    Voted. I have a similar story. We lived on a small farm for a few years. I was about 12 year old. We raised a pig or two at a time and several dozen chickens. We cared for them daily. And then they were slaughtered. I can still hear the screams and squeals when they tried to get our pig up on the truck to be taken who knows where. He did not want to go. Did not want to leave his home. We had two dogs and some cats on our farm. We loved them differently. I'm not sure how I was able to compartmentalize. I sure wish I had been able to make the connection earlier. Good post.
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  3. Shabs Online
    Shabs Online
    Omg! what a touching blog....yes, I totally agree with you that animals do have emotions..may be better than we humans....and killing them for food is just not acceptable. Your childhood questions to ur mother reminded me of my story as have already mentioned in one of my earlier blog posts....that whenevr I used to ask my Daddy about the animals being slaughtered, he used to tell me that these are farmed animals...animals grown in farms and are meant for food only...n I used to imagine animals springing up from the soil like wz 3 then! :P Well...I rele enjoyed this blog........and so voted #4 :)
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    1. Shabs Online
      Shabs Online
      Btw...I like your pic with that tiny angel....God bless u both! :)
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  4. Anita Vegana
    I agree with everyone who posted here. Animals have feelings and eating a pig is like eating a dog. Good post. I voted. When you have the chance, please come by my post, Legumes and Their Benefits, and vote if you like it.
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  5. kristo
    I really like how you related your own story into the turkey peacock story :) You are so lucky that you grew up eating meat and eggs that your family raised! It must have been emotionally hard, but if you are going to eat meat, that is the best kind, no? voted!
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    1. Veganara
      Thanks Kristo. Actually that is a good point: although I hated the fact that we had to kill them, our animals did at least have a very good life before meeting their maker, unlike intensively-farmed ones, which is most of the meat in the shops! (although we did have shop-bought meat as well when I was a child!) It is certainly a lot less cruel and less hypocritical to raise your own animals for meat, if you are going to eat it. But since humans don't need to eat meat, why not let the animals live?
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