Catskill Animal Sanctuary
My life was turned upside down in 2013 when I visited the Catskill Animal Sanctuary in Saugerties, NY. Until that day, I thought I was an animal lover and a person who longed for everyone on earth to have enough food and water to survive. I thought I had been living in harmony with my morals, but I soon discovered I was doing the exact opposite. My omnivore diet and lifestyle were two of the leading actions contributing to the torture and murder of defenseless animals and the hunger of my fellow humans.
A year later, I find it hard to go about my day without thinking of the animals, human and non-human alike, that are suffering at any given moment. In the last fifteen years,very few things have brought me to tears, but the last eight months have been filled with them. After that day at the Catskill Animal Sanctuary, I have embarked on a journey to educate myself through YouTube videos, documentaries, articles, and personal investigation. I’ve seen the good and the bad, but it all has shaken my foundation to its core.
Time for Change
Since that fateful day in 2013, I have adopted a vegan lifestyle, educated those around me that wanted to learn more, and started Vegaprocity. Still, I don’t feel I’m doing enough yet. How could I? I live a relatively happy and prosperous life, while at this very moment, hundreds of millions of animals live in squalor. Nothing I do could ever be enough to atone for these tortured souls.
The hardest time of the day for me is usually at night. This is when the despair can be so powerful I can’t see a peaceful way to solve the problem. A good night’s sleep can give me better perspective in the morning, but the nights are difficult. One particular night, I couldn’t fall asleep and made this video instead. It took four hours to make, but by the time it was finished, the anger and sadness had been expressed. It was therapeutic for me.
In an attempt to meet other vegans and find a way to channel some of my emotions, I recently decided to search for meet-ups in my area. Fortunately, I was able to find a candlelight vigil at a local slaughterhouse, a film screening of The Ghosts In Our Machine, and a presentation by Will Tuttle, the author of The World Peace Diet: Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony, all in the same week! I am hopeful that meeting likeminded people and participating in these events will give me a better sense of how I can help end suffering in this world.
Despite the occasional sadness and despair, I am eternally grateful for that day at the Catskill Animal Sanctuary. I feel like I have gotten my soul back and that I finally have a purpose in this life. At times, acceptance can be hard, and anger can take hold of me. I’ve found the key is to remember this is such a small time period in the grand scheme of things, and that as fast as animal agriculture and exploitation started, it can also end.
Never stop fighting for what you believe in and treat others with vegaprocity.
What do you do to resolve this apparent injustice in the world we live in?