By Siobhan Rubsam
Editorís note: Siobhanís journey began when she was 11 years
old. She is currently 13. She is an eighth grade student in Red Hook
Middle School and lives with her parents and an older sister and
brother. Her mother is working very hard to learn vegetarian cuisine.
The Vegetarian dinner Siobhan refers to was MHVSís MeatOut event in
March, with Dr. Michael Greger as our guest speaker.
always thought the cows on the road we liked to bicycle on were cute and
gentle. When the calves were very young, all of my family would fawn
over them. I thought it was special that they always stayed together and
never went too far from each other. The day I learned these beautiful
animals were killed to make meat, my life changed forever.
had been thinking about this a while before that day, but I didnít
really connect the animals with the meat. But on that day, I said I
would never eat beef, or any other meat from cows, again. As the summer
went by, and seventh grade started, my love of animals grew. I spent
more time with my dog and cat than ever, and realized I wanted to help
animals somehow. And then, eating pork just didnít feel right. I
remember looking at it and thinking, ďI canít eat this, it came from an
also realized that if I donít want to eat a cow, why would I eat a pig?
It was around mid-fall when I finally stopped eating pork. I also
realized, as my love for animals was growing more and more, that I had
to do something for them.
It was at this time that my mom and I found out about the Catskill
Animal Sanctuary from Mrs. Gelardi. Little did I know then that this
place would change my whole way of thinking. The very first time we went
there, I seemed to be in a trance. Here, all around me, was a beautiful
place where potbellied pigs walked around happily, and beautiful pigs,
goats, and horses made the barn a lively, wonderful place. There were
also the gentle looking cows, the sweet ducks and the brilliantly
colored roosters. It was a special place.
would dread the nights we would eat chicken. I wanted terribly to become
a full vegetarian. A couple of months passed by and the smell of spring
was in the air. Going to the Animal Sanctuary had changed me. When we
went to a vegetarian dinner (see editorís note), more was about to
change. There was a guest speaker and he talked about eating meat and
the bird flu. He showed horrifying pictures of factory farms. On the
ride home I said ďI donít think I can eat chicken anymoreĒ, and my
wonderful Mom said ďYesĒ. I was finally a full vegetarian!!
It was like a journey on my own secret road, a journey to a place where
animals are not killed, but treated with equal love. They are no longer
there for people, but we are there for them, to be their voice. Whenever
I look into my dogís puppy eyes, begging for love and kisses, which I
shower on her, or my cat letting me soak her coat with my tears when I
am sad, I realize there is something about Godís creatures that is so
beautiful it is hard to explain on paper. But we have to look, to find
them, to love them with our whole heart. They will never reject us, they
always listen, and whatever happens, there is always love inside their
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