If you can spare two minutes and 17 seconds, watch this terrific Humane Society of the United States video about veal and baby calves.
This is actually a very mild video compared to another video about the slaughter of calves that I watched on YouTube. I am linking to the video, titled "Calves Slaughter," here because the imbedding has been disabled for it, so I can't post it on this Blog. Of the two videos, "Calves Slaughter" is much more difficult to watch. It's more graphic. It doesn't have narration. It relies on the power of the image to convince the viewer. If I could post it on this Blog, I would. But I can't. So you'll have to follow the link. Please. The video is three minutes and fifty seconds of brutality.
These videos are difficult to watch. No two ways about it. But I must confess: There are times I really miss dairy products, particularly cheese, ice cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese and whip cream. The other day, I yearned for something - anything - with melted cheddar cheese on top of it. That's pretty normal for a vegan who has spent most of his life as an omnivore. These are the foods we've loved our entire lives and giving them up isn't easy. It was easy to give up meat. It's flesh. I don't miss it one iota. But the cheese - oh the cheese! - was not easy to cut out of my diet.
Every time I get an itching to go back to eating cheese, I watch these videos. I can't say my craving completely goes away, but these videos remind me - in very emotional, primal, meaningful ways - what, exactly, is at stake here.
We shouldn't go vegan because it's the "politically correct" thing to do. We shouldn't go vegan because it will seem to cool to others. We shouldn't go vegan because loved ones are vegan and we want to be accepted by them. And while a healthier diet is a good reason to go vegan, it is by no means the only reason. For many of us, animals are the main reason we go vegan. There is not much in this world that I'm rigid about, but I am rigid in adhering to a vegan diet. I miss some of the foods I gave up. But these videos remind me that giving those foods up was the right thing to do.