Well thanks to this blog my interest in animals and veganism has really grown. I have been reading up a storm about animal rights-ish things.
I just finished Jenny Brown’s book The Lucky Ones.
She is the creator of Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, this sanctuary I keep hearing about in the news.
The book tells her story beginning when she was a little girl and developed cancer and had to get her leg amputated at 10 years old. She recovered from cancer and blossomed, telling hilarious stories (truly hilarious. I was literally LOLLING) about growing up in her small town of Louisville with a fake leg but still being a cheerleading, big hair wearing, down and dirty catfighting “redneck” teen of the 80s.
She explains how she gained a passion for animal rights, doing extreme Peta demonstrations where she was almost arrested, and then using her film school background (she went to film school) to go undercover into the stockyards of Texas to film downers…animals that are too ill or weak to move but are just going to get killed for meat anyway so are still dragged by chains to slaughter.
The book made me even more clear about certain things, which the last book I read Free The Animals by Ingrid Newkirk (mostly about lab animals really) made me feel in heaping quantities.
I would really recommend the book. It is a page turner too. I flew through it in a few hours.
It also describes how she started an animal sanctuary…a dream of mine.
I posted on my facebook page this quote from her book about how sometimes she imagines as she is going to sleep this protective bubble over her, her husband (whom she describes meeting in the book–cool story and cool person. he left his life in nyc to live with her on the farm), and all the animals who have been rescued from horrific concentration camp like situations on her farm who are living happily. She said sometimes she imagines, like, a beautiful dome where all is right with the world. People and animals are loved and live together…The way things should be.
I wish I lived in such a dome.
Sometimes I really miss nature and animals living in NYC. I have to be among nature.
As I was walking home after finishing the book, I stepped in a used bookstore for further reading.
Y’all know me, I love to read.
I picked up a book with a great title…A Day No Pigs Would Die. The image of the dome from jenny’s book reminded me of this title, so I had to check out this book.
I knew it wouldn’t be pretty cause I had read some illuminating amazon reviews of it.
Basically it is a coming of age story about this young boy who raises a pig from a piglet. They sit together in the heather and clover in the fields and talk to each other and grow up together.
Oh wait. His father is a butcher. The boy thinks his pig is going to become a breeding pig and have a long life. Uh oh. His pig, Pinky, turns out to be barren.
In a climactic scene which I will ruin for you because I do not think animal lovers will enjoy this book, the father kills his son’s pig and forces his kid to watch. There is a very gruesome scene that could only have been written by someone who saw pigs get butchered.
The dad is like, That’s life son. I hated doing it, but life sucks. I’m glad you’re a man now at least.
I have to admit that there is a very powerful moment in the book. The dad’s fingers are covered with the blood of his friend, Pinky the pig. There is snow on the ground and it’s red with blood and pink sludge. It’s a bloodbath. The son is wailing and balling his eyes out.
Then suddenly he begins kissing the blood covered fingers of his father. It was to forgive him. It was to tell him that even if he killed him, his own son, the son would forgive him.
Wow. Doesn’t that just sum up love in a nutshell.
Anyway, the book is so typical of the heavy handed and traumatizing books they have you read in high school. But, you know what, it is powerful. It sums up people’s attitudes about animals in the past. They don’t think. They do what their fathers before them did. They have to be butchers. They have to kill for food.
They could have survived the winter on fermented foods like sauerkraut, pickles, and potatoes and rice.
But no, there had to be meat. And a son had to learn to be a hardened man. Even if that meant watching his bff be murdered by his own father.
In the last chapter of the book the father dies. And now the boy’s journey to being a man is complete. Life is hard and immoral and unjust and that’s the way it is.
He is all set to be a hardened farmer like his father.
A great lesson (sarcasm). But that’s the way some people do feel about life.
Anyway… just some thoughts.
Have any of you read either of these books or do you have any good book recs for me? I would really be interested to know.
Thanks for stopping by and I will have some cool new vegan shoes to show you in my next post.
oh and find the blog, which I call MyNonLeatherLife on Facebook if you so desire.