Fred
I always thought that eating meat, going to the zoo or the circus, and keeping pets was normal. Everyone around me did it, and I never thought about the situations these animals were in. Even during my training as a cook/institution cook I prepared and ate this tasty and healthy meat.
Animal products contain important nutrients for people, it said in the books, so I didn't have to think about that. It didn't really matter that these nutrients can also be found in vegetable products, because meat just tasted good.
When I was 24, some friends handed me information about how animals in factory farming are kept. After reading this and seeing some pictures I started thinking about consuming meat, and killing animals.
Millions of animals in factory farming spend their lives locked up in tiny cages... how would I feel if they did that to me? They burn off beaks, cut teeth and tails and saw off horns... wouldn't that be very painful? Fish in fisheries, geese and ducks in battery cages... so that's normal?
When I realized that animals can experience pain and stress as well, the choice was easy... I DON'T want to be a part of that. So I decided to stop eating meat and fish, and in the three years that followed I decided to stop consuming dairy products, eggs and cheese as well.
After living as a vegetarian for three years I started wondering about all these other foodstuffs. After all, they also contained animal ingredients... so they were just as bad.
And how about fur, wool, leather, down, silk, honey etc.? And detergents, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, washing-up liquid, E-numbers?
I decided to collect more information on these products, and quickly came to a decision. I didn't want to use animal products or products tested on animals.
Also, I could no longer accept (guilt) the many other forms of animal suffering, such as hunting for sport, sport fishing, genetic manipulation, animals in amusement parks and the circus, pets, etc., so I wanted to do more to change or stop this.
I became a vegan, and started spreading information material from various organizations and participating in signature actions and on-line/e-mail actions. One year later a friend (who owned computers and an Internet connection I could use) offered to help me put up my own web site.
In April of 1999 I put up my site STOP-DIERENLEED (Stop animal suffering), with the purpose of informing visitors about the gruesome way in which we as people treat non-human beings in Holland. I gave information about alternatives, actions and the many organizations for animal interests that fight against the exploitation, captivity, abuse and killing of animals. This change in my lifestyle also prompted me to find a more suitable line of work. I worked as a volunteer for an animal shelter for a year, and recently I started working for an animal emergency organization.
Of the millions of different species on earth, there is one that oppresses and destroys all others, including its own kind. This one life form has proclaimed itself to be the most intelligent/highest life form on earth, and degraded all those others.
Man... Extremely intelligent or very stupid?
ALL LIFE IS EQUAL

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