James and Suzy Cameron’s Message: Go Vegan!

Although this article by Titanic director James Cameron and his wife Suzy Amis Cameron is five years old and was written before the pandemic, its message is more urgent today than ever. 

The vegan commitment the Hollywood power couple made nearly ten years ago for ethical and environmental reasons, has led them to projects focussing on ending animal agriculture.   Recently, they produced Amy Taylor’s prize-winning documentary MILKED.

Read the article here

(Feature photo credit by Roxanne Mccannon/Malibu Times)

Live Export – One Of The Cruellest Things We Can Do To Animals

Millions of animals are live exported on ships every year,  especially cattle and sheep.  They spend weeks travelling, often forced to remain standing the entire voyage; even if they could find the space, to attempt to lie down could mean being trampled or smothered. Most of the ships are open, which leaves animals exposed to intense cold, extreme heat, and being doused by sea water.  Like us, they suffer from seasickness. 

The animals defecate where they stand, leaving them covered in excrement.  The ammonia smell makes it hard to breathe.  Water can be scarce, and also be soiled by excrement.

Many suffer from injuries and disease.  If babies are born during the voyage, they are often tossed overboard.

In 2017 around  2,500 Australian sheep died in the Middle East from heatstroke.  In 2020, the Gulf Livestock I, carrying New Zealand cattle to China sank in a typhoon and approximately 5,800 cattle, and forty-one crew drowned.The countries the animals are exported to generally have little in the way of animal welfare laws, and their slaughterhouses are unregulated.  Some animals are killed immediately on arrival, others are first used for breeding, and then killed.

Live export is one of the cruellest things we can do to sentient beings, and needs to stop.



by Monika Arya

One of the purest beings’ sucked dry sold for a price

Loaded on ferries, lorries or any means they find

Handed over to anyone who would buy

Travel for interminable times sometimes on bawling land, many times tormented waters

Always in infernal misery

Days dark as the darkest night

Narrow space between slats will not let in a shred of light

Soaked in shit, fuming foul tentacles seep into every pore

Open air of boundless seas refuse to absorb the exuding smells

It lingers forever on the trails streaming behind

From their own pee they take a desperate sip

Birth on the way, look at their babies with exhausted love

Knowing they were going to die and tossed overboard

Who wants to carry extra cargo that’s not going to fetch a price?

The buyer will do whatever they like

Cut, strip, hang them until they die

For you for you to sip your chai in your fancy cup

They were sucked dry for your warm joy

Forced to go on a journey from a living death to death

Stacked on meat and dairy shelves poured into cans, cartons and bottles

Wrapped in cellophane, stickers

Indicating best-before-date of expired mankind


Young dairy cow arriving at New Plymouth, New Zealand, to be exported to China.  (Photo Credit, Elin Arbez, Taranaki Animal Save)

Trucks arriving at New Plymouth, New Zealand port to carry cattle to China, 2022 (Photo credit, Summer Aitken, Taranaki Animal Save)

An Australian sheep suffering from heatstroke aboard the Awassi Express, 2017

Veganism: The Elephant In The Room

Veganism can stem global warming and help bring an end to War.  But it’s still the elephant in the room, writes May Safely Graze editor, Sandra Kyle

In raising the alarm about climate change recently Secretary General of the United Nations António Guterres said we’re ‘going in the wrong direction’ in combatting global warming, but failed to mention animal agriculture as a significant cause.  In November 2021, the COP26 climate summit left animal agriculture out of its agenda completely.

In my country, New Zealand, a full half of our greenhouse gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture, yet our new Climate Change Adaptation Plan fails to address the problem.

The United Nations has formally stated that we are in a ‘Code Red,’ environmental emergency, and all around us we see the climate crisis playing out in realtime – for example, the European heatwaves and Pakistan floods just in the last few months.

When it comes to global warming, animal agriculture is the elephant in the room we refuse to see. The process of raising and killing animals for food is much more carbon-intensive than growing and harvesting plants, and comes with a high cost in emissions. In breeding, raising, and slaughtering billions of animals for food every year we use much more land and fresh water, and create massive amounts of waste and pollution.

When it comes to veganism, though, there is not one, but two gigantic elephants in the room.   The Russian/Ukraine conflict has now been recognised as a full-scale war, one of many conflicts and insurgencies going on around the globe. What is the other elephant in the room that is standing in the way of all our efforts to make peace in the world?


The other elephant in the room is the violence and cruelty inherent in the animal agriculture industry, and the misery it inflicts on sentient beings. As many Jewish writers, including Isaac Beshavis Singer, have pointed out, it is a holocaust of vast proportions where we show the victims no mercy, and from where there is no escape.


“As long as there are slaughterhouses there will be battlefields” Tolstoy said in ‘What I Believe’.   If we want a world without wars, we have to stop waging war on helpless animals.

And if we want a chance to bring global warming back from the brink, our leaders need to begin to name animal agriculture as a large part of the problem, and start working towards a plant-based world

Looking for the Little – The Photography of Hendrika Pauley

With just her cell phone vegan photographer Hendrika Pauley shares her love of Nature and the insect world on her Facebook page.

Every morning she and her dog Rexi head out to capture the myriad of marvellous creatures Earth’s ecosystem depends on, and whose lives go unnoticed about us.  While temperatures are low they are still sleeping, or awakening from slumber, and easier to photograph.    Her photos inspire us to look more closely:-

“If you feel lonely, sad, and forlorn–please go to a field early in the morning when little friends are still dreaming away. Tread lightly. They are slowly waking up, unfolding and stretching their dew-covered wings. Slowly air-dry-flapping their delicate wings in soft poetry-like motion”.

 Hendrika’s message:  All life is unique, marvellous, and should be respected.

Enjoy a selection of her photos.


Grasshopper enjoying the protection of a water umbrella

Fall Webworm moth caterpillar eating

“Slowly awakening from slumber”…

“Busy bee butt doing busy butt work… Both Morning Glory and bee will soon disappear…”

“We can’t make strong silk from our bodies.  Respect for spiders…”

“She wanted to box with me…”

Two suphurs in an embrace

“Be careful… they sleep… on grasses close to the ground”

“Just hanging…”

A ladybug has found a niche in the market…

“In the NoContraceptivesNeeded Orphanage the overworked and underpaid child care workers are getting beyond annoyed with Mildred. She left her offspring once again without notification and took flight during the dark of night. No doubt looking for another hookup…”




Regenesis: A ‘world-changing book’

If you care about our planet and all the Earthlings we share it with, then you should read this wonderful book.

Monbiot, a vegan, believes that animal farming is unsustainable, and industrial meat and dairy could collapse remarkably rapidly.  (At May Safely Graze we believe that it could be as early as 2025).  There is a complexity of reasons for this, including the rise of alternative proteins and fats made from plants, fungi, and genetically modified bacteria.

Here are some reviews of Regenesis:-

“Brilliant, mesmerizing, vital . . . a whole new way of thinking about our agriculture and our diets, our climate and our future.”  – David Wallace-Wells, New York Times bestselling author of The Uninhabitable Earth

“A world-making, world-changing book . . . It rings and sings throughout with Monbiot’s extraordinary combination of passion, generosity, and justice.” – Robert Macfarlane, New York Times bestselling author of Underland

“Regenesis is a lively and deeply researched enquiry that confronts our dilemmas head on.Transformation is urgently needed, and this book shows how it is possible.”  – Merlin Sheldrake, international bestselling author of Entangled Life

“Monbiot writes with all the imaginative sympathy of a great storyteller as well as the overarching understanding of a moral visionary. This is a fine and necessary book.” – Philip Pullman, New York Times bestselling author of the His Dark Materials trilogy

“People from all walks of life should read this remarkable book. It is in my view one of the two or three most important books to appear this century.” – Professor Sir David King, former chief scientific advisor to the UK government

“Regenesis speaks to us like a poem. . . . It offers a magnificent political economy of global food production and concludes with a hopeful vision of a techno-ethical equilibrium between Humanity and Nature. It must be read.” – Yanis Varoufakis, author of Another Now

“Regenesis calls for nothing less than a revolution in the future of food—one that will literally transform the face of the Earth. . . . This is Monbiot’s masterpiece.” – Kate Raworth, author of Doughnut Economics

“A harmonic vision of how changing our relationship to land use, farming, and the food that we eat could transform our lives.” – Thom Yorke

“A visionary, fearless, essential book.” – Lucy Jones, author of The Big Ones and Losing Eden

“Inspiring and compelling. A transformative vision of a new food future with the potential to both restore nature and feed the world.” – Caroline Lucas, MP and former leader of the Green Party of England and Wales

“A genuinely brilliant, inspirational book.” – Sir Tim Smit, founder of the Eden Project

“Monbiot reaches for new ideas that might ignite the collective consciousness in a push to protect, rather than tragically destroy, the biosphere.” – ANOHNI

“Essential reading . . . This deeply researched book provides a blueprint for the future.” – Rosie Boycott, journalist and activist

“The writing, observation, and devotion is infectiously compelling. The learning is deep and immense.” – Mark Rylance, actor

“Regenesis gives us an inspiring vision of the future. . . Monbiot has combined his gifts as an investigator, interviewer, and witty storyteller to create an exhilarating epic!” – Robert Newman

The book is available in hardback, and as an e-book and audio-book.

‘It’s As Hot As Hell And We Shouldn’t Take It Any More’ – Thoughts on the European Heatwave

On a working holiday in London in 1970 I looked out my window and saw snow for the first time.  The light dusting that fell overnight had settled on trees and rooves, and I thought it looked beautiful.  Even the summer was chilly as I recall compared to Auckland, and the sky was mainly overcast.

More than fifty years later these memories come to mind as UK temperatures surpass 40 degrees C for the first time in history.  Cases of heat exhaustion and heat stroke are increasing, and more people are drowning as they try to cool off at beaches, rivers, lakes and reservoirs.   

In Spain and Portugal, nearly two thousand people have died since the heatwave started at the beginning of July.   In parts of southwestern France, ferocious wildfires are spreading through tinder-dry pine forests,  and tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from homes and summer vacation spots.   It’s as ‘hot and hell’, and it’s not only humans who  are affected, but the whole biosphere. 

The warming of the planet, including the intensity and frequency of wildfires, storms and drought, is negatively affecting not only us but all other beings – their lives, habitats and food sources.     In Australia in 2019/2020, 97,000km2 of forest and surrounding habitats were destroyed by intense fires caused by climate change. Millions of animals, including kangaroos, koalas, possums and other endemic species burned in agony, died through smoke inhalation, or had their habitats destroyed.  In the oceans, warming and acidification is causing cascading effects on marine life through changing developmental and growth patterns, mass migration, and coral bleaching to name just a few.   

When it comes to containing global warming, the greenhouse gases that are of greatest concern are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases. About a quarter – in New Zealand it’s a half –  of greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture and land use activities, mostly in the form of methane and nitrous oxide.  Deforestation to clear land that formerly hosted ecosystems in order to raise cattle or grow crops to feed animals is one of the direct causes, as when trees are felled they release carbon, increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.




Agricultural practices on animal farms also directly worsen climate change.  Intensification of animal agriculture has led to billions of farm animals, mainly cows, emitting a large quantity of heat-trapping methane through their burps.    Manure application, use of nitrogen in fertilizer, and nitrogen deposition are also major sources of nitrous oxide emissions in the agricultural sector. 

Leading New Zealand climate scientist James Renwick warns if countries don’t get on top of their emissions the results will be “catastrophic”.  I think the situation has become so critical now that it is individuals, not governments,  who must lead the way.   One of the easiest and most effective things we can do is to convert to a plant based diet.  



Sandra Kyle is an animal activist, teacher and writer.  She is the Editor of End Animal Slaughter

‘A Lamb To Slaughter.’ A Short Story by Lily Carrington

‘Molly’ the lamb journeys to the slaughterhouse, where she watches her friend be killed.  Next, it’s her turn.


This is a story about a lamb. She doesn’t have a name, but for the sake of this narrative lets call her Molly.

Molly sits at the back of a cattle truck. She is tucked into the corner with her legs folded under her, trying not to slide around in faeces as the truck lurches and judders. The foul stench of the manure fills her nostrils and clings to her woolly coat. Feverish warmth rolls through her in waves, making her dizzy. Her thirst is accompanied by a constant ache in her empty belly. “What’s going on?” she thinks, trembling despite the suffocating heat. “Where are we going? Where is my herd?”

The scenery outside the truck changes from farmland to bush, to hills, to farmland again, but Molly doesn’t see it as it passes by. After an eternity of staring at the same poop-splattered walls and the same scared faces of fellow lambs, Molly feels the truck start to slow. She leans to the side as they turn a narrow corner, and flinches when a loud beeping sound pierces the air. The truck moves backwards then stops. The roar of the engine fades and gives way to a different, fainter noise. It’s a strange sound which Molly doesn’t recognise at first. It echoes eerily through the air. Screams, she realises. It’s the muffled sound of screaming. The realisation sends fear rolling through her and the tension in the air rises, all the lambs becoming more distressed.

The ramp of the truck is lowered and lambs scramble back towards Molly and cower around her at the rear of the truck. Someone’s hooves jab her sharply in her side. A man walks onto the truck, all business, and shoves a couple of lambs towards the ramp. They scramble down into the bright afternoon sun and into a pen. The man stomps his way towards the back of the truck, towards where Molly still sits in the corner. He shakes a rattle and Molly lurches to her hooves in fright at the loud clanging. She races after the other lambs, down the ramp and into the crowded pen, breathing hard. The lambs are packed in tightly, wool pressed against wool, hooves stumbling over hooves. Molly’s soft ears swivel constantly. Her wide eyes search those of the other lambs, seeking comfort but finding only her own fear reflected back at her.

Suddenly a cold stream of water splatters down on the lambs. Molly startles and tries to run but there’s no space to move and nowhere to go. She blinks repeatedly as the water continues to fall until it soaks through her dense coat. Her hooves splash anxiously in the shallow pool of water that now covers the concrete.

Then the lambs start to move. The one behind Molly pushes her forward as the man with the rattle starts shaking it behind them. Molly stumbles forward then manages to push her way out of the group and darts backwards into an empty space in the pen, her heartbeat thudding in her ears. She bleats and runs back and forth, confused and scared. A man walks towards her so she runs the other way, only to find another man waiting for her. She changes direction and bolts back to the other lambs. She’s quickly swallowed by the group again and there’s nothing to do but follow along with everyone else.

The metal fences that make up the sides of the pen narrow at one corner to become a kind of corridor which disappears into a building. The lambs are being herded from the pen down this corridor and inside. The terrible smell that’s hung in the air since the moment Molly got off the truck starts to intensify the closer she gets to the entrance of the building. She soon reaches the part where the pen gives way to the corridor but she resists moving out of the pen. She pushes back against the sheep behind her, trying to turn back, terrified. A large hand comes down on her rump, sudden and hard. She flies forward, bleating in panic. She follows after the lamb in front of her, recognising him as the one who stood next to her on the truck. He’s a small boy lamb from her herd, the one whose tail stump never recovered properly after they cut it off.

Soon the corridor takes them inside the ominous building. As soon as Molly enters, the smell that’s been hanging in the air gets a hundred times stronger, hitting her like a solid wall.  It’s the worst kind of smell, thick and acrid. Molly and all the other lambs know what it is and what it means, leaving them waiting in horror for what’s to come. It’s the smell of blood, the smell of death. It consumes the place like a physical thing, inescapable, and not without a fitting soundtrack to accompany it. The soundtrack of endless screams that tell of unbearable agony and terror. Now the screams of Molly’s travel companions join them in a haunting, hellish harmony.

Regular loud bangs get louder and louder as Molly’s forced further inside the building. The little boy lamb in front of her soon reaches the front of the line. Another man gently pats his behind and he trots forward. The man shuts a gate behind him.

Molly sees what happens next through the gap in the gate’s hinge. The boy lamb scrambles forward into a room and sniffs the glistening, scarlet ground. The man picks up something solid and metal and approaches the boy lamb, but he doesn’t run.

The man strokes his head and the boy lamb just stands there, shaking. Then the man gets the lamb between his legs, and holds the metal object to his small, soft head. The lamb looks up at the man innocently, and makes a quiet, pitiful little baaing sound. The man shakes his head. “Sorry sweetheart” he whispers. Then he pulls the trigger.

Molly flinches at the loud bang and watches in horror as the boy lamb falls to the ground letting out a short, choked cry. Molly looks only at his eyes. They’ve gone too wide and they stare, frozen, as his body convulses and his legs spasm on the blood- soaked floor. The man grabs him by the leg and hangs him upside down with a shackle around his ankle. Molly watches as another man brings his knife to the little boy lamb’s throat and cuts it open, the boy lamb jerking uncontrollably. She cannot tear her eyes away as blood starts to pour from her friend’s neck. The boy lamb meets Molly’s gaze, and for a split second she sees the friend she grew up with, who always liked clover flowers, who frolicked with her in the field, looking back at her with eyes wild with pain and terror before they go blank. Molly’s gaze stays fixed on his eyes as his head is chopped off and thrown in a bin where it lays amongst many other heads, and its eyes still stare, unseeing, straight back at her.

See also:









Lily Carrington is a dedicated animal rights activist who is driven by a strong sense of justice for all beings. She is fighting for a world where all non human animals are granted respect, compassion and freedom. Lily lives in Hamilton, New Zealand, with her Mum and 10 companion animals, and has recently graduated from school.



‘Veganism Will Fix Our Souls’ – New Zealand cows who tried to flee a slaughterhouse

Two steers made a brave effort to escape their fate in a slaughterhouse in Aotearoa New Zealand this week.    The speciesism that values some non-human lives over others sealed their fate.


On Monday 11th July a cow who had been running around the streets in a New Zealand town for nearly two hours was shot dead by police.  Another steer who escaped with him was contained and returned to the very place both animals were desperately trying to flee.

Self-isolating with Covid, I couldn’t drive to where the drama was unfolding to appeal for the lives of the animals. I am familiar with all three slaughterhouses in this town.   Since moving to Whanganui four years ago I have been doing peaceful weekly vigils at two of them, as part of the Animal Save movement.  I have countless photos and videos of frightened, depressed cows, and friends and I  have recorded them lowing, mooing, and bellowing their distress as they wait to be killed.   From the very moment they arrive they are on high alert.   Their instincts tell them something is very wrong, and they can probably ‘smell the blood in the air’.  It is rare animals ever get a chance to escape, but one came up at Waimarie Meats on Monday, and two steers went for it.

Forced to stay home and follow online, I telephoned the police to ask them not to kill the animals, saying I could provide a temporary home for them until a sanctuary could be found.   I had just been told the steer had been killed when I received a call from a police officer, who politely explained why such drastic action was taken.

According to the officer the decision was made because the steer in question was agitated, and had already charged an officer and knocked him to the ground.     The steer was stuck in mud near a cycleway that runs along the riverside near the meatworks, and risked breaking a leg as he tried to extricate himself.  The officers were also concerned if he did get himself out he could run onto the main road and cause a crash, or attack members of the public (despite the fact that he had already been running through the suburb for more than an hour prior to this).

I asked why several officers couldn’t have approached the distressed animal while he was partially immobilised.  They could have tried to calm him down by talking softly, then use ropes to secure him, and help him out of the mud.   The animal was frightened, and vulnerable.  Why was the most violent and lethal option chosen before anything else was tried?  The officer replied that they had carried out the course of action they thought best in the circumstances.

I was angry and upset.   Why don’t people care about the lives of farmed animals?  There is no intrinsic difference between the life of this steer and the life of my own beloved dog.    Our society has a ‘speciesist’ mentality that creates arbitrary distinctions between different animals, such as dogs and cats, and the animals we farm for food. Speciesism also carries the idea of human entitlement to the point that our steak sandwich is more important than the only life an animal will ever have.   We think nothing of ripping off their skin for a fur or leather jacket, forcing them into slaughterhouses for a sausage, separating newborn calves from their mothers because we want to drink their milk.  We do this hundreds of billions of times in the world every year, hundreds of millions of times in Aotearoa New Zealand, and it is all normal.    But ‘normal’ is not ‘right’.   Our treatment of other animals is purely and simply a question of morality.

While other animals may be vastly different from us in terms of form, and level of intelligence among other things, it is not our differences that are relevant when deciding whether non-humans matter morally, but our similarities.   The most important of these is sentience, the capacity to feel pain and experience emotional states subjectively, and we share this with all other animals on the planet.

The cows who made a valiant bid for freedom on Monday spent their last hours in pain and terror.   Within their massive bodies their hearts were hammering as they ran the streets of Whanganui looking for a safe haven, only to discover that none could be found. 

Knowing how they suffered I didn’t find the puns from this George article remotely funny, and was saddened (but not surprised) at the tenor of online comments on local news pages.  Pathetic, predictable comments such as ‘steak-out’ abounded, and most of the reactions – hundreds of them – were laugh emojis.  In the Whanganui Chronicle article a witness was quoted referring to the cow as ‘this thing’, and their writer used the word ‘beast’ at least once to describe him.   Speciesism in action.

We don’t have to be killing and eating other animals in 2022, and bringing needless suffering upon their innocent heads.  It is high time to fix our prevailing thinking that judges some lives to be less important because of the pleasure we get from a 15 minute meal.  

We need to start phasing out animal agriculture from Aotearoa New Zealand, and begin to work towards a plant-based economy.  There will be many advantages if we do, not only for the animals, our health and the environment.    When we finally stop exploiting and killing animals we won’t only be fixing our outdated, inherited thinking.  We’ll be fixing our souls.  



Sandra Kyle is an animal activist, teacher and writer.  She is the Editor of End Animal Slaughter

Cows understand ‘Cow’, Pigs understand ‘Pig’

End Animal Slaughter editor Sandra Kyle states the obvious: Animals understand what others of their species are saying to them.  And just as with us, some are artists!


I do regular slaughterhouse vigils locally here in Whanganui, New Zealand.  Like most other people, I find them hard, and in the nearly eight years I’ve been doing them it hasn’t got one jot easier.

Yesterday at one of the slaughterhouses, that kills cows and pigs, I witnessed and recorded the sad bellowing, lowing, and mooing of 100 or so cows trapped in holding pens.  What I understood was that the animals were communicating their distress and frustration.  But to the other cows their communications had specific means.  The reason for this, to state, the obvious, is ‘Cows understand Cow.’

And of course Pigs also understand ‘Pig’. I witnessed as a truckload arrived under the cover of darkness, and their screams can clearly be heard on my video.  Researchers have found that these smart animals have plenty to say, and that in their squeals, grunts and oinks there are significant codes. In an outdoor setting these codes may mean asking and telling other pigs where they are, or where food sources can be located, or to signal where there’s danger, to name just a few. The screams I hear at the slaughterhouse as the pigs are forced off the truck into pens are no doubt alerts, warnings, angry or fearful responses – and possibly even reassurances. ‘It’ll be OK guys, let’s just stick together.’

Pigs are so similar to us physiologically that we can have their hearts, albeit modified, transplanted inside our body. It breaks my own heart that up to 60% of pigs in my country, New Zealand, are forced to live their lives in smelly indoor hovels, standing in their own sh^t, without any bedding or stimulation to be found in their tiny, barren, concrete pens for the duration of their short, abused lives. Mother pigs have the worst lives of all, confined here and all over the world in sow crates and farrowing crates where they cannot even turn around, and are helpless to go to the assistance of a sick baby, or to build a nest for them.

I have seen this nest-building instinct for myself.   A few months ago I rescued three pigs from slaughter, and kept them on my property until they could be rehomed.  Although it was summer, the weather can suddenly turn bad.   One day black clouds rolled over ahead and it began to bucket down.   I ran out to see what I could do, and observed Hope, the only female, going to where I had put hay bales, and starting to pull them apart.  When my three piggies started to burrow into the hay I realised Hope had built a shelter from the rain for her and her brothers. 

Male pigs also build nests.  A friend who lives in Victoria, Australia, tells me that his Sunny Boy spends hours crawling through junk to collect objects for his nest, and ‘goes nuts’ at his humans if they try to touch it.  I guess that’s the artistic temperament!  Gary told me that his nest is 100% Sunny’s artwork, with the treasures he has found deliberately placed in various juxtapositions around where he lies.  Gary has seen him carefully contemplating what’s worthy of his art installation, and the decision is never easy. Life choices and self expression are important to Sunny, according to Gary, and are his biggest traits.  Sometimes Sunny builds a ‘wall’ in front of him when he is sleeping, a way to keep him safe while he snoozes.  Obviously he has nothing to fear, but an animal’s instincts are strong. 

I will continue doing my vigils until every slaughterhouse in my country has closed down for good.  This will only happen when people stop paying farmers and slaughterhouse workers to do their work.  I will continue until these consumers make the decision to adopt a healthy, sustainable, compassionate vegan diet. 

Good luck to me.

The feature photo is of Hope.  The photo below is of the Gary’s artistic Sunny Boy.


‘1803’. A Short Story By Lily Carrington

A dairy mother watches helplessly as her calf is taken away from her and killed.


I do not have a name. I have a number. 1803.

My black and white hide quickly becomes sodden as the taunting rain explodes like a million tears falling to earth. I stand by the heavy gate, my hooves unsteady in the mud, long lashes blinking in the rain. My heart pounds in my chest and my breath comes in harsh gasps.

I hid him this time, his newborn body disappearing easily in the long grass by the shrubs. But they found him of course, and took him away like last time. They think I am stupid but I remember.

“Get in there, you little piece of sh*t!” A male voice rises above the repeated crying of my baby from across the yard. A black bird flees from near the lean to where my one was dragged. Two bodies still lay outside the wonky structure from the day before. The dark coloured puddle that appeared around them has long washed away. I remember the sudden air splitting noise, one piercing crack followed by another, and seeing the two little bodies fall, one struggling on the ground for a while till they both went still.

A rough thumping then a squeal of pain sound from across the yard and another wave of anguish washes through me. A large tear escapes from one of my big brown eyes and mingles with the rain on my face.

“Stop your whining,” the voice continues. “you’re useless, you know that? No good for nothing”. My large soft ears twitch towards the sound. I know the voice. My whole self recoils from it. He has my baby, that human. I can just glimpse into the corner of the lean to where my baby stands on wobbly legs, shaking and looking around, confused. The man stands looking down at him and takes something black and solid from his jacket. I pace back and forth by the gate.

The man has stopped talking. I see him holding the black object to my baby’s head. He takes it away a fraction, looking at the gun then the tiny, weak calf in front of him and back to the gun again. He seems to hesitate, his brow furrowed. Then he shakes his head and roughly pushes my baby out of view, muttering something under his breath. I hear my calf start crying out again, high pitched, scared, cries. Calling for his mother.

I push against the gate again, but it doesn’t give. I try the fence but the strange pain flashes through my body like I knew it would and I pull back abruptly. I pace again, the blood from labour now mixed with mud on my hind legs and my udder hanging heavy with milk ready for my calf.

A gunshot sounds. My babies crying stops. I let out a long, mournful cry, then let my head hang and do not move for a long time.

See also:








Lily Carrington is a dedicated animal rights activist who is driven by a strong sense of justice for all beings. She is fighting for a world where all non human animals are granted respect, compassion and freedom. Lily lives in Hamilton, New Zealand, with her Mum and 10 companion animals, and has recently graduated from school. 

“Let’s Create A New World Together” – VEGAN VOICES writer, heart activist and storyteller, Gwenna Hunter

Next in our series on the writers of “VEGAN VOICES –  Essays by Inspiring Changemakers”, is Gwenna Hunter.  

Gwenna is the creator of LA, Vegans for Black Lives Matter, and Health Campaign. She also manages several Vegan Food Aid programs for Vegan Outreach, working with organizations such as Black Women for Wellness, Black Lives Matter LA, Black Women Farmers of LA, and the LGBT Center South. In addition, Gwenna is involved with the Animal Save Movement; she manages the Mutual Food Aid program, working with the Downtown Crenshaw Coalition, and the Los Angeles Health Save Campaign. Gwenna has resided in Los Angeles since July 4, 2014, having previously lived in Cleverland, Miami, Charlotte, Texas, and Atlanta.


Extract from her essay in VEGAN VOICES:

“We are all born sovereign. Rights are not to be taken or given. You are here to stand in your power. You are the solution. You are the bringer of light. You are the good news…. One of the most powerful forms you can take on is that of an activist. You can help activate and awaken people’s hearts and transform their minds… You were born for this. We are activists and are here to help transform and heal the world… We may fuss and fight, but we cannot do this work without love. Remember who you are and why you are here. Let’s create a new world together.”


Review of Vegan Voices by Bruce Friedrich, Co-founder & Executive Director, The Good Food Institute:

“There are as many reasons to be vegan as there are vegans, as this lovely anthology makes clear. So many of my heroes in one place—what a treat. Read it and be inspired.”


Vegan Voices: Essays by Inspiring Changemakers
Available at Lantern Publishing & Media

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-59056-650-3
eBook ISBN: 978-1-59056-651-0