Equality

In Tenderly. More on Medium.

Why I stopped being vegetarian

A stunning photograph of a large male lion reclining in the shadows and looking off into the distance
A stunning photograph of a large male lion reclining in the shadows and looking off into the distance
Photo: Hugo Pivaral

I became vegetarian because I didn’t want to kill anymore. I hadn’t read any animal rights philosophy, and I didn’t see any factory farm footage. I was just sick of killing. It’s a long story — longer than it should have been — but here’s a summary: I slaughtered a pig with my friends late in high school, tried to justify it to myself for months, failed, and then swore off meat as soon as I moved out of my childhood home.

The pig we killed was more “free-range” and “organic” than any you can buy in America. He still…


I made hilarious mistakes, but my passion led me to a good place

A person with long hair screaming into a megaphone.
A person with long hair screaming into a megaphone.
Photo: Shutterstock

Throughout my childhood, many thoughts about animals constantly buzzed in my head. Three of the most common thoughts were:

  1. Animals are cute and fascinating. Seeing them makes us happy — so I want them to be happy.
  2. Animals are vulnerable. They are full of emotion, but they can’t advocate in our language.
  3. Standards for the treatment of animals are much lower than they are for humans, especially if they aren’t dogs or cats. The morals I’ve been taught do not apply to how we treat a turkey, fish, rat, or pig.

I wanted to reclaim those morals, and to raise…


A new ProPublica report shows the behind the scenes of how slaughterhouses were designated as ‘essential’ amidst a worsening pandemic

A white metal sign that reads “Killing Floor” in red lettering.
A white metal sign that reads “Killing Floor” in red lettering.
Photo: Mr Doomits/Shutterstock

In unsurprising but infuriating news: Corporate oligarchs appear to have essentially drafted the federal government’s order that overrode worker protections and state health departments, ensuring the literal death of their workers and those workers loved ones.

In the Texas Panhandle, refugees and other workers at plants have been struggling with outbreaks for months, with employees saying “everybody” is getting sick. In Kansas, meatpacking plants are the center of the epidemic. And meanwhile, as ProPublica reports:

In June, the Bear River Health Department in northern Utah, where nearly 400 JBS workers have tested positive for COVID-19, told the press it couldn’t…


Relentless photojournalist and animal advocate Jo-Anne McArthur shares what she’s learned about fostering positive change while maintaining emotional wellbeing

Photo of the interview subject, Jo-Anne McArthur, smiling widely on a beach, wearing a navy hoodie
Photo of the interview subject, Jo-Anne McArthur, smiling widely on a beach, wearing a navy hoodie
Jo-Anne McArthur. Photo: Lisa Macintosh

Jo-Anne McArthur has devoted much of her life photographing the exploitation of animals, bearing witness on the front lines of suffering. She has spent weeks and months on meat, fur and bear bile farms, at rodeos, animal markets and marine parks, documenting the lives of animals exploited for food, fashion, entertainment and experimentation.

This energy has manifested in a sprawling body of work, from the feature-length documentary The Ghosts in Our Machine to three books: We Animals, Captive, and the forthcoming HIDDEN: Animals in the Anthropocene. Her photography and writing has been featured in publications such as National Geographic, The…


On growing tomatoes and the insidiousness of work culture

A photo of a tomato plant growing next to a mesh fence, with mostly plump green tomatoes, a few reddening in the middle
A photo of a tomato plant growing next to a mesh fence, with mostly plump green tomatoes, a few reddening in the middle
Photo: Leah Pellegrini

If this were any other year, there’s so much I’d want to show you and tell you about. About the first roasted tomatoes of the season, bubbling under their blistered skins, devoured three days in a row for lunch or dinner because why would anyone ever eat anything else? About the pillow-soft figs, how the cracked and too-tender ones are the sweetest. About the sunset that drenched the sky in the same aching amber as the ripening peaches.

I’m two months in to my fourth annual stay at Myrtle Glen Farm in southern Oregon, and this time, my girlfriend Lauren…


The truth is, in the United States and even globally, the majority of people who eat plant-based are nonwhite. But the white people have become gatekeepers of the vegan community, especially online with blogs and accounts run by white people dominating Google results and social media feeds.

In the weeks and months following the killing of George Floyd and global protests, the vegan community has been forced into a racial reckoning of its own with white vegans starting to acknowledge Black vegans and other vegans of color. …


“Courage calls to courage everywhere” -Millicent Fawcett
“Courage calls to courage everywhere” -Millicent Fawcett
Illustration: Tenderly

I’m ending my 5 excuses for being quiet about my vegan ethics

When I was seven, I wanted to be a writer. By 13, I aspired to become a vegan activist. At 27, I’m finally writing, but I’m still figuring out the helping animals part. If you are a fellow animal-lover finding your voice, I hope sharing my story — and how I’m overcoming excuses I made for not doing activism — will help.

Only a small amount of what I’ve written so far has been earnest advocacy for animal rights or welfare. I’ve danced cautiously around animal topics, but I know writing about them is important to me:

Tenderly

good living for every being

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