Novelist and slaughterhouse journalist Upton Sinclair once wrote, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” The same could be said of meat, dairy and egg consumers whose happy consumption of animal products depends on their not understanding the anachronistic and unnecessary system of exploitation, abuse and slaughter that is modern-day animal agriculture.
This proves especially true when well-meaning consumers are constantly bombarded with a ballooning litany of so-called “humane farming” labels and rhetoric— from “humane slaughter” to “mindful killing” to “ethical butchery” to “regenerative grazing” to “compassionate carnivory,” etc., ad nauseum.
And yet, as our ever-growing collection of former animal farmers turned vegan clearly attests, even those who stand to lose most by acknowledging their connection with other animals — and the injustice of needlessly exploiting them — are increasingly doing so. From pig farmers turned veganic vegetable growers, to dairy farmers turned vegan cheese-makers, to cattle farmers turned sanctuary stewards — these stories are all testament to the power of animals to deeply move and transform us.
But these stories not only align with compassion for animals, but with a clarion call for urgent action from climate and environmental experts: from the United Nations Environment Program urging a global shift away from meat and dairy products; to Greenpeace International calling for a minimum 50% reduction in global meat and dairy consumption and production; to the World Wildlife Fund’s recent report concluding that animal farming is responsible for 60 per cent of all wildlife and biodiversity loss.
So what is humane farming? As former dairy farmer Cheri Ezell notes: “There is now for me a very clear distinction between humane and inhumane farming. Humane farming is cultivating a plant-based diet. Inhumane farming is breeding any sentient being for production and consumption.”
These profiles are hope-filled proof that even those who stand to lose most by renouncing animal exploitation are capable of a massive change of heart. And stay tuned as we’ll be adding at least ten new profiles here in the coming months! To be notified by email every time we publish a former animal farmer story, sign up here.
Now on to the profiles!