I have always been a bitter child who does not get hyped over various holidays like normal people, I have never really understood why, but I guess it is just not a big thing in my family. Now that I am vegan and questioning my animal rights career I have had a lot of time to think about these holidays; Christmas in particular.
My view on Christmas; what I was taught, was that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, our human saviour ect ect. The festivity of his life – a gift from god to remove our sins, but now after asking around it seems people care about two things: Food – lots of it and presents – even more so. They cover this up with “quality time with the family” but frankly I think this is an utter joke! Since when did religious holidays become so pretentious?
I am discovering with my new diet that food in our age is mainly a luxury, I now eat what I need to feel healthy and yes I am lucky I can eat till I am satisfied and still treat myself but there are people out there starving, should we be stuffing our faces? Consuming mass-produced meat with so much left overs you can eat it for the rest of the week? Disgusting. Not only is it sickening it is degrading animals we mass produce for slaughter. In the wild Turkeys can fly up to 55 miles an hour, run 18 miles an hour, and live up to 10 years, on factory farms they are assassinated when they are only 5 or 6 months old and, throughout their brief lives, will be deprived of natural activities such as running, building nests, and raising young; that is not a life.
Roughly 20 million turkeys are killed in the UK each year and approximately a third of them are slaughtered for Christmas dinners. But turkeys do not gain much sympathy due to their negative image but it is us who have transformed them into the gawky creatures they are now. The demand for cheap meat has led farmers to use selective breeding techniques that enable them to fatten the birds faster, turning them into juvenile giants unsurprisingly putting severe stress on their developing bones. Swollen joints and ulcerated feet leave every movement agony; this is not turkeys alone but any mass farmed poultry. Hundreds of thousands collapse under the strain of their own body weight, unable to get to food and water from the dispensers scattered around the unit, eventually dying from thirst or starvation; if not from being crushed from other birds. But what is the reward of survival – a bloody end, and your family dinner.
The majority of my Facebook friends will note me as a killjoy and it only increases at this time of year but these historical holidays are a profitable cause of extensive cruelty. Not only are they plated at millions of tables many are given away as presents like disposable toys which predictably end up in a shelter if their lucky by new years day or when they deem them as too much work. How many of these animals corpses will be left in stores over Christmas, left to be thrown out – we over compensate by slaughtering more then what is needed.
As for ‘the season of giving’ how about we dump these £100+ shopping bills and give it to someone less fortunate? If it really is the season of giving why are there people sitting on the streets Christmas day? Cold and hungry? Or the elderly sat in a care home with no family to visit them? Correct me if I am wrong but if your family is that important should you not spend time with them as much of the year as possible not just one day? Fair enough not everyone lives near his or her family – myself included but I do go out my way when I can to go visit, to make a phone call.
Maybe I have this season all wrong, but it gets me so wound up and it ends in rants like these.
Enjoy your Christmas, you might as well, you have ended a life for it.