My name is Jim Roussos and I don’t pretend to know what I believe in. I don’t follow any particular organized belief system and therefore do not participate in any of their strict and sometimes arbitrary code of morals and practices. I now then have the freedom to shape my own personal beliefs, which I would like to think maintain a certain sense of individuality that could have been lost. For instance, I pride myself on maintaining a strict cruelty free diet and lifestyle, that is to say that I am an active vegan. The decision seemed necessary in order to remain guiltless in the dark realities of factory farming and the vile treatment that is administered to intelligent animals. Many remain oblivious to this hidden evil and many more simply choose to ignore it. Both my brother and my two sisters share this vegan bond and it was actually their influence that enlightened me to the animal rights revolution. I have always considered myself an animal lover and was horrified when I learned of the actual means of production. The fact is that factory farming is a system prevalent in our country that is based primarily on efficiency and cost. There are currently only protection rights for household animals and the process for food animals is almost unbearable to watch. For example, many of these animals do not even see the day of light until they are shipped off for slaughter. Common practice of actually killing a cow consists of hanging them by their hind legs and slitting their throats until death occurs due to blood loss. Studies suggest pigs are more intelligent than dogs and yet they are packed in pens so tight they are unable to move for the entirety of their lives. The dairy industry is no better and actually directly connected. The baby calves are taken away from their mothers at birth and shipped to veal farms. The mother is then stripped of her milk until the process ultimately repeats again. I am often mystified at how so called just and moral people ignore these tragic happenings. I continually look forward to a time when we look back at these times and scoff at our immaturity. As for now, I will just maintain to my own lifestyle and hold on to what I believe.
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