All posts by Macy Jenks

A Sudden Realization

Youth For the Voiceless Member Macy patting a pink pig in a grassy feild

I was raised vegetarian. My mom went vegetarian 15 years prior to me being born because she felt she could not eat a dead animal after learning about the torture they endure on factory farms. My father ate meat, but he wanted me to be raised vegetarian because it was healthier. They agreed that I would be vegetarian; however, they decided to avoid telling me about the violence towards animals. That caused me to never know why I was not eating meat. Despite their neutral approach, I did eventually figure out why. When I was nine, I attended a week-long farm camp. We planted food, performed farm chores, and played games. It was mediocre at best; however, on the final day of camp, we all got loaded onto a school bus and taken to another farm. This farm was much more exciting. It had animals!

As we arrived, the smell of the animal farm hit me like a slap in the face. Chickens, cows, goats, pigs, turkeys, and horses were all separated by unstable wooden fences. As we got off the bus, the group of nine-year-olds became more and more noisy. The owner of the farm then walked towards us, and the group fell silent. He began to take us on a tour of the farm, starting at the pig pens. He handed us each an apple out of a dirty metal bucket and explained why there were three pens. “The one on the left is for the baby pigs. The middle one is for adult pigs. The final one is for the butcher pigs.” That last sentence came out of nowhere. I did not understand why a farm that takes care of animals would want to kill them. “Throw your apple into whatever pen you’d like!” he called, as he stepped behind us to talk to our teacher.

Every single other child threw their apple into the baby pig pen. While the baby pigs were by far the cutest, they had their whole lives ahead of them to eat delicious apples. I did not know how long the butcher pigs had left. My heart ached for them. Because I knew their lives would soon come to a tragic end, I wanted to bring the smallest bit of immediate happiness to at least one of those pigs. I threw my apple into the butcher pig pen. In that moment, I made a connection that my parents had failed to make for me: the animals who end up on our plates were killed.

This experience changed me. It shaped me into the passionate animal activist that I am today. Yet it was difficult to come to this realization. Even though I did not partake in eating meat, nearly everyone around me did. My father ate (and still eats) dead animals all the time. Educating myself about the food system and becoming vegan was one of the hardest things I have ever done, not because I find it inconvenient to give up animal products, but because it is so hard to accept that we live in a society that violently kills animals without remorse. That realization is tough, but it allows you to move forward in a way where you can act in alignment with your moral compass.

The opportunity to change your actions for the greater good is so valuable. It allows you to better yourself and the world around you. That change is so rewarding.

Justice For All

girl posing with turkey

For the 45 million turkeys that are killed for a celebratory thanksgiving feast
and the 250 million more who are killed all year round

For the 11 million calves ripped away from their mothers at birth in the dairy industry
and raised in the same industry
or killed for veal meat

For the 280 million hens confined to a life in a cage
and the 260 million male chicks who are ground up alive

For the piglets who get their tails chopped off
and are killed for people’s breakfast,

I am sorry.
I am sorry that it takes so long for change to happen
and that humans do not like to admit that they are wrong.

I am sorry that I cannot make the world go vegan
because if I could, I would in an instant.

Until you can be free, I will do everything that I can
for justice does not just apply to humans
you deserve it, too.

follow site Sources:
https://www.farmsanctuary.org/learn/factory-farming/chickens/
https://www.farmsanctuary.org/learn/factory-farming/turkeys-used-for-meat/
https://www.farmsanctuary.org/learn/factory-farming/dairy/

A Simple How to: Eating Vegan in Restaurants

knife and fork wrapped in a yellow bow

Quick Tips

  1. Check if any dishes have a vegetarian or vegan symbol.
  2. Look for dishes that have vegetables, tofu, and/or fake meat.
  3. Remove meat, eggs, or dairy from a dish, if necessary.
  4. Look at the sides.
  5. If all else fails, ask the server.

Types of Restaurants

buy propecia finasteride australia Thai

  • Noodle dishes without eggs and meat (usually you can get tofu instead)
  • Vegetable curry dishes

Watch out for fish paste and oyster sauce

get link Greek

  • Hummus, Baba Ghanoush
  • Falafel (most of the time it is vegan)
  • Sharing plates and salads without cheese

Chinese

  • Vegetable dumplings (make sure there are no eggs in the dumpling wrap)
  • Vegetable or tofu dishes
  • Vegetable or tofu soup noodle dishes (make sure there is not meat in the broth)

Japanese

  • Veggie sushi (ex. Avocado roll, cucumber roll, etc.)

Indian

  • Vegetable curries

Watch out for Cheese(paneer), Yogurt, Butter(ghee)

Italian

  • Noodles with tomato sauce (make sure they were not cooked in butter)

Mexican

  • Beans and rice (make sure they were not cooked in lard)
  • Chips and guacamole or salsa
  • Vegetable tacos and burritos (ask for no cheese)

Happy Vegan Dining!

An Activist’s Guide to The Psychology of Eating Meat

emotions and feelings

As an activist, I often consider the most effective way to get humans to acknowledge and accept all animals as sentient beings. In our society today, people have no problem identifying cats and dogs’ sentience, but when it comes to farm animals and especially fish, people have trouble recognizing their similarities to humans. Two psychological phenomena, cognitive dissonance and denial, are to blame. The theory of cognitive dissonance is often defined as an unpleasant feeling that arises when there is a conflict in someone’s established beliefs or ideas. When our established beliefs – like killing is wrong, and pets are family – conflict with our eating habits, cognitive dissonance comes into play.

Steve Loughnan, a psychologist at the University of Melbourne, is known for his research on meat-eating and cognitive dissonance, something he nicknamed “the meat paradox.” He looked at things that vegetarians and vegans value, as opposed to meat eaters’ values. Interestingly, he found some significant differences. Meat eaters have a more authoritarian tendency, and they were found to be more complacent with inequality. Loughnan also found that eating meat is more valued in men than in women, an unsurprising fact when observing society’s pressure on the masculine identity.

Another unsurprising truth came out of Loughnan’s research: when meat eaters think that an animal is less sentient, they are more willing to eat them. The job of activists is to then educate people that all animals feel pain and show significant levels of intelligence. This might help people avoid the stage of denial.

Denial, a form of repression, is an act of declaring something to be untrue, even though deep down, you know that it is true. After learning facts that conflict with your morals but are inconvenient to change, denial often occurs. Unfortunately, most people continue to deny facts about animal sentience. This common coping mechanism helps people feel better about something that conflicts with their beliefs.

To move out of the denial stage is challenging. Two primary factors are needed to accept what was previously denied: a receptive listener and a method of education that works for the listener. Willingness to act is essential for someone to actually go vegetarian or vegan.

While these psychological phenomena can make us activists upset and burnt out, it is important to remember that these common coping mechanisms also bring hope. The more we understand about the human mind, the easier it is to persuade people to consider vegetarianism or veganism, and as more and more research is done each day on coping mechanisms, we must keep in mind that we are another step closer to a vegan world.