THE one thing guaranteed to ruin my day is the sight of a transporter loaded up with animals on the way to the slaughter-house.

I see it as a betrayal of trust against these sentient beings that have responded accordingly to the perceived kindness of their guardians, only then to be driven off by a stranger to an uncaring, brutal environment and a violent death; just because some people like the taste of them. I am able to empathise with their plight, able to put myself in their place, whereas others cannot or choose not to.

Vegetarians have shown over hundreds of years that human beings do not need to consume animal-flesh to live a full and active life. These animals are simply bred to be killed, so let us not breed them at all. I, for one, would be happy to see no sheep or cows in a field (the more fortunate ones) if it meant they were not being deliberately bred to be eaten.

No one ever sees the abattoirs as they travel around because they are well hidden from members of the public, out of sight, out of mind. I wonder how many people would continue to eat meat if the slaughter-houses were in public places or if those that eat animals had to kill them themselves. I suspect the amount of vegetarians in the country would increase dramatically. We use terms like “meat” to disassociate our food from it once being a living thing, therefore a less likelihood of being empathetic towards the animal. So long as someone else is doing the dirty work … hey!

Alternatives to just about every type of meat, including chicken, pork, fish, and beef-style products are now widely available. Plant-based meat substitutes have come a long way in both taste and texture since the days of textured vegetable protein (TVP) and the first veggie-burger, thanks to the growing popularity of vegetarian diets. These make it easier to change.

I long for the day when all life is deemed sacred and therefore respected and treated with care and compassion.

The knock on effect might be human beings living in harmony and peace with each other, or am I entering too far in to the realms of fantasy here?”

David Hammond - resident