If Not You, Then Who? If Not Now, Then When?

If, as a vegan, you aren’t going to take a stand and promote veganism, then who do you think will?
If you aren’t going to promote it now, when will you?

I was sitting down last night, pen in hand, going over the various discussions I have had with people over the past few days to get ideas for coming blog posts, when the sound of a freight train in the distance broke my concentration.

For some reason I decided to pay a little more attention to it, and see if by just listening to it I would be able to tell if it was a standard freight train or a cattle train heading out to the Dinmore slaughterhouse.

At the time and possibly out of denial, I made the assessment that it was just a regular freight train because there wasn’t the distinctive ‘rattle’ of the gate on each wagon, and there was a noted absence of the lingering smell that usually accompanies these trains.

Using that as the rationale for my assessment and not wanting to acknowledge that the breeze could have been blowing away from the station, which would explain why I didn’t experience the depressing aroma, I began thinking about a post that I wrote in 2010 titled A Random Day In Brisbane. The relevant section is copied below.

Looking at all the sad and confused faces on the cattle that went by, and whilst we humans may think that they have no idea where they are going, you can see it in their eyes. They know that where they are going, can’t be a good place. They were wet and probably cold because today was a wet and cold day in Brisbane, and there is no shelter from anything once they are loaded on to the cattle wagon.

It was a depressing and emotional thing to see the first wagon full of sentient beings looking out at you as they went past. They are looking for someone that can explain to them what they did that was so wrong to deserve being treated like this.

Then the second wagon rolls by and all the eyes looking out at you between the horizontal bars have that look, that for those of us that have an affinity for animals is just too painful to bear, and it just reaches down into your soul. The eyes were the same on the third, then the forth and every other wagon after that.

It was after the fifth or sixth wagon had gone past that the smell hit the station. It was a putrid combination of urine and manure. Usually, it is a stale smell, though because of today’s rain, it has a gruesome freshness about it, and you can even smell the fear that they are all feeling. A smell of fear from all the souls that will soon be lost because society is too hung up on the supposed taste of t-bones, hamburgers and milk products to even care about the fact that a life had to be extinguished for their taste buds.

By the time that the eighth wagon was in front of me, I could not stop the tears that were starting to roll down my cheek, nor did I actually want to.

Mustering the courage to hold my head up and not be ashamed of the tears that I am shedding for the innocent lives that are passing by me, I have a look up and down the platform. Of the approx 10-15 humans that were there, the only ones that were actually watching the train go by were two little children. They were pointing at the wagons on the train and talking to their mother, who like the rest of the adults there, had all turned their heads away as if wracked by guilt on a subconscious level.

Now with the train long gone, and the lingering smell of what had just gone by fading, I started to think back to a few weekends ago. To the joy that I felt whilst feeding a young bull calf nicknamed Freedom and how humbling it was to have my face licked by him.

We owe it to all the “Freedoms” in the world that will never be shown compassion or caring, and who’s life will be cut drastically short by being hoisted up by a chain tied around one of their hind legs, slowly suffocating in their own blood as it is drained from their body, to only promote veganism and to end the atrocities that will happen to them on a daily basis.

This is something that I feel seems to be lost in those moments of emotional self gratification when incremental reform is promoted.

If, as a vegan, you aren’t going to take a stand and promote veganism, then who do you think will?
If you aren’t going to promote it now, when will you?


What are your thoughts?