This afternoon I got the call from my mother that I never expected to receive: in the twenty-five years that she’s been commuting to Albany for work, I think this morning was at the top for “the worst.”
She explained to me that there were many accidents and as she was parked in her lane, a tractor-trailer creeped up next to her. She doesn’t know what prompted her to look to her left but when she did, there they were: cows heading to slaughter. She said she rolled down her window and heard them banging around. She said they were packed in there and could tell that they wanted out. Something clicked inside of her that THAT whole situation wasn’t right.
As she was telling me this over the phone, I sat in my desk chair with tears welling up in my eyes. I could see those cows. I could imagine one of them looking out at me with fear of not knowing what was going on. And yet, all I could do was laugh in response.
I was laughing because I never would have expected my mother of all people to call and share these feelings with me. She has refused in the past to watch videos, documentaries or undercover footage- fully knowing what happens and still consumes meat. She has heard my concerns not only for the animal welfare, but for the environment and my personal health with no reaction to change. But today, something changed.
She kept asking me what to do- and I didn’t have an answer. I made a couple of suggestions and personal opinions but told her to think about it. She told me she could never go vegan- that it was far to difficult- but I could tell there was a struggle in her decision. She brought up a story she had heard a long time ago regarding chickens and was questioning why that behavior is tolerated. That something was still circling around in her head, making her feel guilty and nauseous. After our second phone conversation within the hour when I asked her “then what?” her response was, “maybe a good vegetarian cookbook?”
I’m sharing this little story not because I feel like I’ve “converted” someone into veganism, but because I am so happy that someone is waking up. Someone is questioning what is easy but may not be the correct thing to do. I’m even more happy to call that someone my mother. No promises here people, it has only been a couple of hours, but I will surely share the progress of this awakening (if any).
I didn’t include any sourced photographs, videos or statistics because it’s all out there, just a click away. Take the time to look it up if you’re interested, and if not, thank you for reading. More hiking posts to follow.