Disgust at Cruelty Made Me a Veggie; Vegetarianism Got a Boost after the Death of Linda McCartney and with an Awareness Week Approaching News Letter Writer DONNA CARTON Explains Why This Is Her Chosen Food
Carton, Donna, The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland)
A S A SCRUFFY stu- dent I was an ardent supporter of "causes" that demanded hand-made placards, candles and a good old march to the city centre.
Myself and a handful of mates went to Womens Group meetings to end inequality, demand our rights, fight for safe contraception and generally work up a good thirst before pub-going time.
We Reclaimed the Night, Banned the Bomb, Got Thatcher Out, Fought for Bigger Grants and had a great time.
Around then I discovered vegetarianism. My posters, badges, marching boots and megaphone have long been abandoned for some decent work clothes, a car and a vaguely capitalist greed for the good-life but my veggieness has stayed with me.
I don't eat meat or fish because I don't need the flesh of other creatures in my fight for survival and good health.
It is repugnant to me that something should be killed in order for me to eat it when there is no biological necessity for it.
And the cruelty of some methods of modern intensive farming are abhorrent to me. Animals should be given a decent quality of life.
Why do we believe we have the right to exploit them and systematically subject them to severe pain and suffering in order to make money?
The Treaty of Rome describes live animals as goods or products and so in the name of free trade they are bought and sold and transported like TV sets, not sentient creatures.
Not only do we kill animals for food but we do so, for the most part, in the most inhumane and terrible manner; enforcing a cruel and distressing existance on the creatures we raise for slaughter.
The veal crate, for example, is a solid sided wooden box in which the calves cannot even turn around and the all-liquid low, iron diet to keep the flesh pale, forces the animals to lick their crates and swallow their own hair in a desperate bid for solid food. …