Lisa's Reaction to Seeing Earthlings
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Vegan lifestyle articles that discuss ways of living in peace with humans, animals, and the environment.


Free From Harm
October 2012

I was deeply moved by a letter I received yesterday from a subscriber of the site named Lisa, recounting her experiences with teetering on becoming vegan and often faltering, that is, until she saw the film Earthlings, which changed everything for her. Here is Lisa’s letter to me:

[Subject line]: Thank you so much

I’ve been a long time vegetarian who has tried many times to go vegan. I had excuse after excuse. “I love cheese.” “It’s too hard to be the only vegan in a family of meat eaters.” “It’s too complicated to order food when eating out” or “There isn’t anything for me to eat at the restaurant someone else picked and I will be so hungry.”

I’d try and shortly fall off the wagon. In fact we went on a road trip of the Pacific Northwest recently and I decided I would stay vegan for the entire trip. I didn’t of course because, you know, those mushroom ravioli just wouldn’t be as good without the cream sauce, right? I felt bad about not staying vegan but not that bad. My eating choices had never really been about the animals because “someone has to eat them.”

Let me back up a second. I read your article, The Excusitarian Syndrome: “That’s Why I Can’t Be A Vegan or Vegetarian, before we left on our trip and saw mention of some movie called Earthlings. Hmmm never heard of that one. So I started watching it and only got maybe two minutes into it before I was called away to pack for the trip. I never finished it before we left but I kept thinking about it and wondering what else it could possibly show me that I hadn’t already seen.

We arrived back home after two and a half wonderful, carefree weeks and life got back to normal. Then I remembered the movie again. My family wandered off to watch something but I excused myself, made a nice cup of tea (never touched it), went to my office, put on my headphones and queued up the movie again from the beginning.

I don’t think I even know how to explain the effect this movie has had on me. I sat, I watched, I sobbed, I covered my face, felt sick to my stomach, felt rage, guilt, despair, confusion and then it was all so clear. I have forever left a place I will never return to.

Thank you.

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