By Jennifer Lucy Hill
Growing up in the late 1990’s/ early 2000’s I had never heard of veganism or even knew it was a “thing”…to be honest I had never particularly heard much about vegetarianism either! There was nowhere near as much mainstream talk, publicity, activism, adverts or information then as there has been over the past few years.
Animal Lover – Animal Eater!?
As a kid I would visit country parks and zoo’s while eating chicken nuggets and cheese sandwiches while never making any sort of connection between the animals I was visiting and the dead ones I was eating. However, I always claimed to be an animal lover, not just cats and dogs, I really thought I could still love all animals while eating their murdered corpses at the same time.
My family were all meat-eaters and so that made eating animal flesh a completely normal thing that was never given a second thought by anyone; so normal that it would have been viewed as strange not to consume or use animal products.
Starting to make that connection –
The night I went vegetarian I was 10 years old and sat at the dinner table with a plate of chicken in front of me when my eyes opened for the first time and I suddenly realised not what I was eating, but who I was eating.
I remembered the living chickens I had seen just days earlier, and I realised for the very first time I was basically eating the brothers and sisters of who I had visited days earlier.
I began to question, why the chickens I had seen were allowed to live and the ones I was eating didn’t? I wondered what the difference between them could really be… and as I thought about it more I realised, there was NO difference.
I realised there was no difference between my own life and a cows life, between my cats life and a fishes life. We all felt the same sadness, happiness, fear and pain.
We’re all connected through our feelings and our ability to all feel the same emotions as one another.
I don’t know why that night I suddenly made the connection, maybe for the first time I thought about it with my heart instead of my stomach.
That same night I told my mum it didn’t feel right and I didn’t want to eat meat anymore. She was incredibly supportive and replaced all of my food with meat-free alternatives.
Ever since I always thought I was saving animals and that none of them would be killed for me because I wasn’t consuming their flesh anymore… I had no clue about where my milk came from, or who had to die for me to eat cheese, so I was happy and content with myself for many years with the thought of animals not having to be killed or hurt for me.
Education through social media…dairy is scary
One day at age 20 while I was scrolling through Facebook I noticed a post about a cow (well bullock actually) named Prince and I felt a real connection through his eyes.
As I read his story I learned he was the son of a dairy cow which confused me as to why he was no longer with his mother, and I wondered what exactly he needed rescued from.
Ever since I had been a little girl I was always told and firmly believed that dairy was humane. I also believed that cows milk was good for humans. A huge misconception!
What most of us do not ever seem to realise, is that a cow has to be continually pregnant in order to produce milk, and because its sold to humans, their babies are denied their mother’s milk, and they are taken away from their mother within days of birth.
As I read more I came to understand the reason he was no longer with his mother and immediately looked into the truth behind the dairy industry.
Very shortly I came to realise just how cruel and inhumane the dairy industry really is! It made me so angry as to how blind they make us, and all for the sake of profit. We are literally led to believe that animals are nothing more than a number.
They take away their personality, identity and individuality and put a price on a living, loving beings life, and they blind us all into doing the same.
All my life I had been blinded by adverts on TV, billboards, magazines, everywhere I looked there were ads for some sort of animal product or by-product.
I read more about Lynn and the work she does for animals; seeing Prince safe and happy brought me so much happiness. It gave me hope and put tears in my eyes, the thought that one person went through so much just for one cows life.
I felt their pain –
As I read his story I felt his and his mothers pain! I felt their heartbreak and despair from being torn apart from each other and treated so unjustly and cruelly.
It truly broke my heart and it’s something I struggled in coming to terms with. I still struggle daily with what we are doing to these innocent, loving, feeling and helpless beings.
Going vegan is the easy part –
Going vegan was easy for me, coping with the truth and facing the reality that we cover our eyes from was the hard part. I didn’t understand how we could deny someone their feelings or emotions. Veganism isn’t always the easiest choice, especially with a family of meat-eaters but I can say by far it has been the best decision I have ever made.
Ever since reading about Lynn and her animals she has been my biggest idol. Since being inspired by her and beautiful Prince I’ve been not just went vegan myself, but I have also been a vegan advocate and an animal rights activist for over a year now.
I’ve gone to countless vigils where we bear witness to the suffering of the animals, I have done outreach work, gone on marches and protests, and I have never felt more peace within my heart and within myself.
I have also started my own animal save page through Facebook (Jennifer Lucy Animal Save) and currently saved two pigs, a duck and a baby lamb from slaughter. However, there are so many more animals desperate for someone, anyone to show them mercy and save them; we need more people to go vegan, and more vegans to become active!
Our vegan family & vegan love
I’ve met so many amazing life-long friends through the bearing witness vigils; there is a bond between us we all share through being with each other in our saddest and lowest moments.
We watch the ones we love being beaten, driven to their death and we helplessly listen to their screams for help, all the time knowing it just doesn’t have to be this way.
I met my boyfriend (who is also my best friend) through activism; we understand each other and really connect through our love for animals and our commitment to helping them through activism.
On top of all of that, not only has my mum went vegan, but she occasionally attends vigils with me, and she encourages me to keep doing what I’m doing.
Vegans and animal rights activists are my family; they support me through my most painful times and get me through the toughest of days. But with all of that being said I have just started my animal rights/ vegan journey and there is so much more for me to learn and so many more animals counting on me, not only to give them a voice but to actively liberate them and save them from the animal agriculture industry.
How Prince changed my lifestyle and me as a person
It’s crazy for me to think all of this started because of one young boy named Prince – the son of a dairy cow who himself was taken from his mother so humans could drink the milk made by her body and intended for him, and that he was being fattened up so humans could eat his flesh and wear his skin – my whole journey started because that one boy was saved from slaughter and his story was shared! He meant so much to one person that she decided not only to save him from slaughter, but to give him a platform on social media to help other people just like me to make the connection. Prince helps people to see that farm animals have personalities just like our dogs. Please follow his story on social media –
My life has completely changed for the better and it’s all thanks to a beautiful boy named Prince having been saved from slaughter.
Thank you Prince, you opened my eyes and my heart, you are my inspiration and the reason I will never stop fighting for your brothers and sisters.
Help & support
If you want to go vegan be assured it’s easy & literally gets easier every day – there’s now a vegan option for everything!
If you want to transition to a cruelty free, compassionate vegan lifestyle – do it easily with help & support
For further info watch these life changing documentaries