Animals are sentient beings. They feel emotions, can suffer, and their lives matter to them.
People are animals, too, so it should come as no surprise that, like us, other animals can experience pleasure and joy, despair and fear, and a host of other emotions, too. And like us, animals want to eat, live and raise their young without being harmed. But the mass production of animals harms them in more ways than we often acknowledge.
There is, of course, the physical pain, of teeth and tails being clipped, horns burned off and ear tags puncturing flesh, but there is also the overwhelming suffering of life spent in a cage, or standing on broken bones, or having milk taken through infected teats. And all this is routine on British farms.
What of the emotional toll? The dairy cow who grieves for her young, as calf by calf they are taken from her so that their milk can be sold for human consumption. The hen who is not permitted to keep her eggs, let alone hatch out her chicks, and can only watch as they roll away. The ewe and her lamb bleating for one another, long after the young sheep has been sent away for fattening.
Being vegan is being kind. And isn’t that the kind of world we want?