When Farm Animals Become Companions

by Laura Scholtz, Exeter, ME (2nd Prize in Editorial Contest)

During the Chinese Year of the Rooster our whole family became vegetarian. I remember this distinctly, since that was the last year we slaughtered our own rooster to eat for the holiday. We had a very small farm, and used to raise chickens; my older daughter sold our many colored eggs to the local health food store, and occasionally we would slaughter and eat a chicken for our own pleasure. But that year, somehow we became attached to our chickens, naming them, petting them, talking to them. We made terrible farmers. Once they became companions, it was impossible to eat them! And, of course, it very easily carried over to other animals as well, and we gave up eating flesh.

Over the years I gradually stopped eating any animal products for ethical reasons, although the rest of my (immediate) family still likes to eat cheese, and the occasional egg that our ten year old chickens lay in the warmer months. Yes, we still have some of our original chickens, and yes, they still lay eggs when they feel so inclined. We probably have the oldest laying hens on record! Primarily because of our diet, we are healthy, happy, full of energy, and love to eat our vegan gourmet meals. I am so thankful that one of our roosters pointed the way to a better life for us all, people and animals alike.

Copyright © 2002 Laura Scholtz