People don’t like to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed. It’s easier to envision animals roaming free on green pastures, happily giving up their lives so we can consume their flesh. We sleep better at night imagining that female cows are gladly raped, enjoy carrying and nurturing a baby for 9 long months and are not heartbroken when he is ripped away at birth.

This is not reality. All animals writhe in pain, scream out for their lives not to be stolen. But their cries will not be heard. Silenced by the blood splattered walls and elaborate lies perpetuated by our society. They will fight for their life with every fiber of their being until the life drains from their battered and bloodied bodies. The beautiful baby calf, kidnapped from his devastated mother, will tremble from fear and hunger, shackled and alone in a dark box where he will starve until he is mercilessly killed and eaten-likely smothered in melted cheese made from the milk that should have been his.

If these words are hard to read, bring up emotions for you that means you have a conscience. It’s trying to tell you something. Listen. Opening your eyes to this reality is not easy. Its uncomfortable and messy. But you have a choice. Either walk blindly through this life, head in the sand, contributing to the very things that make your heart hurt. Or you can accept reality for what it is, feel and experience the raw, messy truth and choose to live non-violently.

From a pig to a dog, cat to a cow, dolphin to a fish. There is no difference in our ability to love others, experience joy and happiness, feel pain and fear death. No matter the race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, species-true love respects all lives. So now ask yourself, do you?