The first thing that hit me was the smell. The
overwhelming stench of rotting flesh became stronger as the lamb's
lifeless body was brought into the science laboratory. The huge,
innocent eyes stared at me, still reflecting the horror of its death.
We were the first class of the day to witness the
dissection, so the lamb's body had not been maimed and retained some
dignity. But as the teacher ripped open the lamb's chest like a piece of
cloth, the once beautiful, soft wool became splattered with blood, and
the last of its dignity was lost forever.
With disgust I watched the teacher's childish enthusiasm
as he pointed out the lamb's organs. My "peers" crowded around the dead
body with interest, but without really absorbing what the man was
saying. I hung back, one side of me wanting to join in with the
fascination of these students; the caring, ethical side of me furious at
this barbaric act. This moral dilemma was a feeling that I was alone
among these people, who felt nothing except a little squeamish at the
sight of a lamb's broken body being hacked at by a teacher.
Many of my "peers" laughed at the sickening noise the
lamb's jaw made as it was broken open to expose the teeth. I fought back
tears. This unnecessary waste of life appalled me. Tears welled in my
eyes as the rage inside me grew. The lamb had been killed for no reason.
"This is murder!" a voice in my head screamed. I wanted to shout it out
to the class. I didn't care what they thought of me any more. I felt so
hypocritical standing in that room among those people. I was the only
moral person there, I did not belong with them.
These people, as I had been, were raised to believe that
an animal's life was replaceable and nothing compared to that of a human
life. It occurred to me then that I was the only person in the room who
knew that was not true. I felt alone and desolate with the knowledge
that I was a minority. I couldn't condone the way these people treated
animals, yet I didn't know what I could do about it.
I looked down at the piece of paper in my hand and saw
with shock the diagrams of the sheep's digestive system that I had
drawn. A feeling of self-contempt swept over me as I realized that I too
for a moment had been drawn into the cruel and barbaric frenzy that had
infected my "friends".
That one Biology lesson taught me more about human
nature than my
Psychology classes ever had. I turned away from the dead animal; but I
didn't turn away from the issue, or the anger it provoked in me. I was
not prepared to allow an innocent life to be wasted.
That was the day I truly began to fight for Animal
Go on to Vegan
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