I sat glued to the computer with tears streaming down my face. I couldn’t look away even though I wanted to. I wanted nothing more than to erase what I had seen and go back to the world I lived in with the fairytale idea of farm animals frolicking in the fields enjoying the sun on their skin, the soft grass below their feet and their babies by their side. Instead, I was struck by the horror of farm animals never seeing light, being packed so tightly they can’t move and the stress of knowing they are going to die and not being able to escape the assembly line they have been squeezed into.
The PETA video changed my life. I don’t know why I even clicked on the video. I knew it was going to be horrifying. I think a part of me already knew it was the truth but for a long time I had enjoyed the utopian idea of happy farm animals. I had loved animals since I was a small child, even stopping my brother from frying ants with a magnifying glass, but I had always eaten meat and never really thought much of it. My Dad was a chef and every night animal protein was on our menu at home.
The video opened up my eyes to the world of agribusiness and how little factory farmers care about the welfare of their livestock. It has always intrigued me how we categorize some animals as friends and others as food. The video was a catalyst for my movement towards a plant-based diet. I had never taken on anything so life changing and was terrified. I worried about getting enough nutrition, worried about what others might think, worried that it was just too crazy of an idea and that I would inevitably fail. Regardless, I started to read different blogs and websites and realized there was a large movement of people who felt the same way.
This time I sat glued to my computer not out of disgust but of intrigue, feverishly reading everything I could about making the change to a plant-based diet. I started to discover astonishing facts about the harmful effects factory farming has on the environment not just locally but globally. The more I read and watched, the more I realized that what we put in our bodies is adversely affecting our health. Seriously, is there anything good about an animal protein diet? Why are we doing it? What factors are driving this consumption of inadequate food? Are we as a society even able to make a change and what would that look like?
Comfortably Unaware by Dr. Richard Oppenlander
A couple food-based documentaries that aren't as hard to watch as some other films: