I saw this quote on Twitter and  set it aside for creative post writing someday. Today seems to be the day! I saw it as message filled with hope. I had intended to use it to support my feelings about veganism, my hopes for the future and my hopes for all the nonhumans who suffer so greatly and needlessly at our hands. We need to mindful, I thought, that we do not destroy the tree and its blossoms with continued acts of cruelty, senseless violence, crimes against nature. We can save the tree by changing our behaviour. If we nurture it, it will not be barren.

Our Tree of Hope
Our Tree of Hope

In  light of recently reported happenings on the nonhuman abuse scene, this quote makes me feel a little melancholy and a lot sad and a lot hurt and a lot in despair.

“Lord save us all from a hope tree that has lost the faculty of putting out blossoms.” 

Mark Twain

Has our hope tree lost its ability to bloom? Have we poisoned it by taking all hope away from nonhumans trapped in our cruel industries? I have long said that we will pay for our cruelty and willful ignorance. We are already paying with the ongoing destruction of our planet, and increased ill health among fellow humans. We, along with Mother Earth and our fellow species, are dying  in rapid numbers from disease.

“According to the UN Environment Programme, the Earth is in the midst of a mass extinction of life. Scientists estimate that 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become extinct every 24 hours. This is nearly 1,000 times the “natural” or “background” rate and, say many biologists, is greater than anything the world has experienced since the vanishing of the dinosaurs nearly 65m years ago. Around 15% of mammal species and 11% of bird species are classified as threatened with extinction.

The above quote was taken from an article written nearly four years ago, so one can only imagine how much the numbers have increased since then.

And why is this happening? Why are we at risk of losing everything? I think it is because the nonhumans we enslave, torture, and murder for our own pleasure have already lost everything at our hands. The internet is rife with pictures of nonhumans treated with such indignity, with such cruelty, with such lack of regard for their right to life-to a good life, to a free life.

Wishing Well Sanctuary
Wishing Well Sanctuary

This morning I saw a picture  of a little piglet who was left to die on a cement floor after having been callously and willfully slammed onto it. I don’t seek out these pictures, because they upset me so much. I feel paralyzed  from grief and sadness. But there it was, on my Facebook News Feed. No innocent being should be treated like that and then be left to  die alone, unwanted and unloved.

And now we have the business of the abuse at Chilliwack Cattle and Sales.  You have probably have heard of or seen the shocking videos of the  abuse of the dairy cows who “make their home” at this farm. Chilliwack Cattle Sales is the largest dairy operation of its kind in BC and is a major supplier to Dairlyland (owned by Saputo of Montreal). You can read all about it and watch Mercy for Animals undercover  video of abuse here.

It has been covered by CBC and other major media. This is what is being reported.

The eight employees who were involved in this abuse, have been fired.

The BC SPCA is investigating the farm and is considering laying charges of    cruelty against the 8 employees.

The owners say they knew nothing about it.

The employees say the owners knew.

The company’s vet says the cows are to blame. Yes, you read that right.

Cans of Cow's  Milk
Cans of Cow’s Milk

The farm’s lead veterinarian , David Dykshorn of Abbotsford Veterinary Clinic, said, the kind of injuries the animals are suffering in the video are common in a modern dairy with a concrete environment. ‘Cows are big animals, they play hard and they get roughed up every once in a while,” said Dykshorn. ‘And cows also behave in a pecking order way, so there’s always going to be your boss cows, that push other cows around.’

Kooyman, the owner of Chilliwack Cattle Sales had this to say about the practice of using chains to hang the cows by their neck. “If a cow is really, really stuck, sometimes that is the only way to get this animal out.… it doesn’t really hurt the cow, it’s happened to us before. But not with the yelling, swearing and screaming that we see on the video, that’s not acceptable practice.

So, only the yelling, swearing and screaming is abusive. I see!!!

I do have a point and I am getting to it. There are abusive people everywhere in society. They hurt members of their own families and members of other people’s families. It is no wonder that you find this kind of person working, running or owning farms where nonhumans are routinely deprived of any fair treatment, freedom and love.

Dr. Will Tuttle of the World Peace Diet believes that this kind of violence in humans stems from our herding and meat eating culture. We enslave nonhumans and therefore, are   enslaved ourselves by the resulting abuse and disregard for all life. We wage wars, we destroy the environment, we destroy our own health and our future.

Annie’s Vegan View

The problem is not the abuse, as heinous as it is. The problem is our callous use of nonhumans for our own use- for wants, not needs.

I believe that the solution is so simple. We can make different choices starting today.

We can choose to eat plant based foods. There would be no dairy farms, no feedlots, no chicken sheds,  no live nonhuman auctions, no slaughterhouses and, by extension, no terror.

Little piggies would not die alone on a cement floor without their mothers to comfort them.

We can do this. Please reflect for a moment.We will save the tree of hope and its blooms. Therein lies our own salvation.

May all beings be happy and free.




  • September 30, 2016 at 7:52 am

    Hi Anne!
    I love this article and the idea that we are poisoning the hope tree and depriving it of it’s blooms. I agree totally that that is what we as a human race are doing and I hate it. Humans are already paying for their ignorance and total disregard for animals. I believe they are so going to pay much more than this one day for what they have done. They should be very afraid!

    We as vegans have the power, I believe to turn the tide on this heinous practice of enslaving and terrorising animals. We need to have the confidence to stand together as one voice and let our message be heard loud and clear. Never underestimate the power we have Anne! I know us vegans and activists can do it!

    Take care Anne!

    Rachel Weightman


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