This I Believe

Liz - Des Plaines, Illinois
Entered on January 14, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I was five years old the first time I ever saw a pig being murdered. I was at my grandparent’s farm and it was their traditional pig slaughtering that they would have every year. At the time I was so confused at to why someone would want to hurt an innocent animal. Then I started to think that the pig wasn’t innocent. I started to think that maybe it had tried to hurt someone and now it was just being punished. I asked my mom and she told me that the pig hadn’t done anything wrong. So then I asked her why there were people partying and laughing while my uncle was killing an animal right next to them. She saw how upset I was so she told me not to feel bad because animals don’t have feelings so they can’t feel pain. It wasn’t her fault she believed that. My mom was raised on a farm where at any second one of my grandparents would tell her to go outside to get a chicken for dinner that night. So she did what she knew, she went outside and snapped a chicken’s neck because she was told to do so. Just like my mom had no real choice about what she was doing, she made me feel that way when I was little too. Even as a child I hated the idea of killing another living thing to eat it when there were plenty of other non-living things to eat. So even though I never knew there was a name for it I became a moral vegetarian. My mom didn’t know what it was; she thought vegetarianism was just another type of eating disorder. So again she did what she knew and made me eat even more meat than before. Over the years I have gradually stopped eating certain meat types. Even though I have only been a complete vegetarian for almost two years now, when I did eat meat I felt like I was being forced to. Over the years I learned that my mom was wrong about animals not having feelings. I now know that they do have feelings and they really do feel pain. Cambridge Daily News had an article that stated that pigs are actually smarter than a three year old human. I’m pretty sure that three year olds feel pain since they cry all the time so my conclusion is that pigs must have feelings and feel pain because they have the same mental capacity as a three year old. I know that all people will not stop eating meat completely anytime soon so I think that after all the torture and abuse animals like cows and chickens go through in slaughterhouses they deserve the acknowledgement of their feelings and the fact that they do feel pain.