Today, I fast in solidarity and empathy with every animal who has lost their life as part of the massive worldwide slaughter of farmed animals.
I fast because this pig, the word “KILL” haphazardly spray painted across her back, is dragged across the floor by her snout to be killed. She screams and cries in agonized terror, clinging to her short and miserable life, begging to be shown a drop of human mercy that she has never even known. But her desperate pleading is met by deaf ears. Hooves dragging through the dirt, she loses the battle, and her screams are silenced by a merciless bolt to the head. In her numbered days on this earth, torture, darkness, and imprisonment were all she had ever known.
Today, I remember this pig.
I fast because this dairy cow, posthumously named grace, was denied veterinary care and ultimately died in the most excruciating way imaginable. When her calf died in her womb, workers forcefully removed it, piece by piece. Grace screamed in dire pain and agony, miserably straining against the workers pulling the dead calf from her body with a chain. After what felt like eternity, the dead calf was removed and thrown into a truck. Grace, left without any care, died the following day. All her life, Grace was viewed as a mere machine, never worthy of love, kindness, or compassion. She was abused, neglected, and then discarded like trash. But she had a mind. A heart. A unique personality. Sadly, she was never given the opportunity to show them.
Today, I remember Grace.
I fast because these day old chicks, perfect, new, and beautiful, are about to be suffocated to death. Male chicks of the egg laying type are useless to the egg industry and cannot be raised profitably for meat. So each year, millions of day old male chicks are suffocated or poured into grinders while fully conscious in a common practice called culling. Each chick feels fear and pain. They feel the tight, fiery burning in their lungs as they strain for air. They feel the blades sharply macerating their soft, clean feathers. But what hurts the most is their hopelessness. That from their first moments of life, they were tossed aside and marked as useless garbage to be rid of. These chicks will not be the only ones suffocated and ground alive. Their entire futures, their potentials to live and experience this world, will be killed along with them.
Today, I remember these chicks.
I hear the desperate cries of these animals, as well as the billions of others across the world who are alike in their suffering. I see their pain, turmoil, and hopelessness.
Today, I fast to remember every animal whose cries of terror and pain were only heard by cold, steel bars and the blood stained walls of the slaughterhouse.
This is why I fast for farm animals.