How I Became a Vegetarian

The summer when I was 14 years old, I worked as a milkmaid on a mountain pasture with my best friend Marianne.

At the pasture, there was a calf that I immediately became fond of. He was so cute, with a light coat and beautiful big round eyes. He followed his mother everywhere as she grazed in the fields. This little calf quickly became very dear to me. During the following weeks, I spend much time with him, talking and cozying up to him. One day, as the summer holiday was coming to an end, while Marianne and I were getting ready to go home, the farmer´s wife told me that the calf was going to be slaughtered in the autumn. I could not believe what she was saying. It was so heartbreaking and incomprehensible to me. The calf was just born and they were going to slaughter him? A healthy and happy calf who just wanted to be alive and enjoy his life? I had become so fond of this little calf that it was incredibly painful to hear and truly despairing to know that there was nothing I could do to help him.

When autumn came, the calf was on my mind every morning as soon as I woke. Will they slaughter him today? I wondered, Or tomorrow? My grief for him was endless, as I thought of what awaited him at the slaughterhouse. Then, one day in late autumn, I was filled with peace, intuitively knowing that it was over, and that he was free.

My experience with this dear little calf put me on the path to becoming a vegetarian.

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