I remember very clearly my thoughts two years ago, before I've decided not to participate anymore in the dirty business of the animal food industry. At that time I didn't know anything about the nutritional value of a plant based diet, about the harm animal proteins do to human health, nor about the adverse effect of the meat industry on the enviroment. I hadn't read any books about animal rights and nor about the cruelty of food industry.
But, even at that time, deep inside me, I was feeling something was wrong with the world, and that feeling was intensifying tremendously everytime I would walk into the supermarket. Everytime I would go shopping for groceries for lunch, I was feeling increasing horror inside me, until I would start feeling something similar to suffocation inside my chest.
Namely, I started noticing things more and more – causal. It was becoming self-evidently obvious that those bloody meat pieces people were grabbing in store had to come from somewhere. In fact, not from somewhere - but from someone! Each of those pieces of muscles, insides, stomach, heart, chest, legs and wings until recently belonged to some creature which had been walking around, enjoying life when (and if) it was possible, screaming when it was hurt, flapping its wings or wagging its tail, making love, making sounds, showing affection or fear… In one word – that creature was living.
Suddenly, I started feeling awfully crushed and discouraged, because it seemed like I was the only one, in the whole damn supermarket, who was having those thoughts. Other people's faces were expressing completely undisturbed serenity, which resembled to spiritual death. Their faces seemed like smooth marble plates while they were stuffing their baskets with pieces of recently living creatures.
I remember those scenes of big fish pushed into dirty and small aquariums in the fish department of the supermarket which made an impression on me every time. I would walk by watching them. They were yawning while pushing themselves around over each other. Their mouths were desperately opening and closing, trying to survive in that terrible turmoil. Many of them were already lifelessly floating in brown water. I had the impression I was seeing despair in their eyes, and I began to wonder if I was going mad.
Nevertheless, they were so obviously unhappy creatures, for which every moment of existence was the same empty and painful atrocity, until the final drawing out of the circular aquarium and gutting.
Soon it became really hard to buy meat, but nevertheless I continued buying it. I continued enjoying its taste when it was cooked at home. After preparation it didn't look like a piece of someone's body, but like a delicacy. Therefore, I was supressing revolt of my mind. But, the defence line of my conscience was becoming weaker from day to day.
The turnabout didn't happen overnight, but all I needed were a couple of books about the truth about what's happening on industrial farms and a few videos from slaughterhouses, so I would permanently quit my meat eating. Finally faced with the complete truth, actually with the complete procedure of ''breeding“, murder and meat processing, I realized that a return to old habits was not an option anymore because I couldn't live with myself. I would have an urge to spit every morning on my reflection in the mirror if I continued to pretend that the world is just the way it should be.
Since I've switched to a plant based diet, I'm probably healthier. Maybe it will, in the long term, prolong my life. But, I haven't done this because of health, at least not entirely. Since I've stopped buying meat, I can sleep more peacefully at night, and that terrible feeling of suffocation has gone.
Because that feeling of suffocation was my guilt that I didn't have the courage to admit, and which was striving to gush out from me like a water fountain.