The dictionary definition of sentient:
- Having the power of perception by the senses; conscious
- Characterized by sensation and consiousness
Humans have the power to reason and are sentient beings. Farm animals are sentient beings, they may not have the ability to think and reason at the levels of humans, but, they have families, they feel pain. Elephants live in family groups. Chickens have groups of friends – girlfriends that they hang around with, if, they are in a natural setting. Cow mothers cry (bawl) when their calfs are taken from them so they can produce more milk. And yet…
We treat these animals as if it is our right to farm and harvest in a cruel manner. To our credit we hear the plea of our pets, our beloved dogs and cats, the many that are treated cruelly, and we save them, as much as we can. As a community we are appalled when we see or hear of cruel acts to those animals. But, so many ears are deaf to the mourning moans of a mother cow when her calf is taken from her so she will produce more milk, the many chickens who never see the sun because they are living in cages, the many animals that are kept in stock yards waiting to be put to death in an inhumane manner that causes them to suffer terrible pain before they die.
How is it that we do not hear them? You can make a difference, … just one day a week be a vegan. How about celery stalks with peanut butter and raisins, or, vegetable sushi. Or, my favorite, because I have a GREAT recipe, marinara sauce with spaghetti, salad and some fresh Italian bread – YUMMM! Learning to take animals out of your diet when you have eaten them your whole life is difficult, but, your dietary habits were not created by you, they were given to you by your parents, who had a diet given to them, and thus, it was passed from generation to generation. By no choice of yours, you were taught that your pets had feelings, but, the ones you ate did not.
It takes many of us a long time to begin to understand how our eating choices cause so much pain and suffering to ourselves, our families and our planet, when we choose to eat animals. Sentient means that animals have families that they care about and feelings, sentient means that they can feel pain – just like us. From my own experience as I go through the transformation, which has taken years, I find that my sensitivity toward all beings increases, it teaches me compassion for animals and other people. You can begin your journey with one day a week of veganism – planet-based eating.
To your compassionate eating,