It’s always been a bit hard for me to explain exactly how it is going Vegan. It’s almost unexplainable because to me it’s more feelings than it is describable. I tried to write something short as a way of communicating my thoughts that go through my head in a certain scenario. I want you to picture yourself in the passenger seat of a car, you’re travelling from city to city and you’re in the middle of nowhere on some back roads. You know, when there’s nothing but farms and hills. You’re looking out your window…

As I travel the roads of New Zealand, I see cows, heaps and heaps of cows. They’re not doing much. They almost look a little bored, that one has been staring at the paddock across the road for ages. I see pigs, faces dug into a pile of last nights left overs as if it’s a five star meal. Well, it probably was before the rest of it got scraped into the pig bucket. I see sheep and lambs as if they were white polka dots on the green grass, there’s so many of them. I’ve always wondered how they balance on those tiny little paths on the hills. I see signs reading 'Clean Green New Zealand’. Tall trees along the fence line of the paddocks. It’s all life and it’s all beautiful. But as they say, there’s always some ugly truth behind beauty. So I close my eyes, breathe deeply for a few seconds, and open them again. I take a closer look at these cows and pigs and sheep and everything seems clearer. This is what I really see...

As I travel the roads of New Zealand I see cows, heaps and heaps of cows. Female cows though. They’re in a paddock to the left, grazing and staring blankly because what is there to feel with a life like this. She’s been staring across the road for ages. What’s over there? Their babies, their newborn babies not even 2 weeks old, in the paddock alone grazing. They look like they want their mother and their mother’s look like they want their babies. They want so badly to feed and grow off of their mothers milk. They still hurt from when they were stripped away in a trailer from their mother right after being born. Here comes the farmer rounding up the mother cows to the milking shed. But, but why? But that milk isn't for their babies, right? Because humans need cow's milk to survive, and dairy farmers need to be paid, so they sell it to Fonterra and then humans buy it because ‘milk gives us strong bones’, right? Wait, where are the male cows? Oh yeah, already slaughtered at a week old for veal because they're useless to the industry. Male’s can't create milk, and they can't get pregnant, so how do the farmers make money, right? I'm pretty sure I just saw a truck full of them pass us 20 minutes back headed towards the slaughterhouse.

But that's ok because that’s the circle of life, right?

I see pigs, not many, but enough to feed the scraps to. They're loving life, who wouldn't want to do nothing all day and get fed constantly, breathing in the air and soaking up some sun, napping all the time. But they're only getting fed so they can grow big and chunky to then sell to be put into a gas chamber, or hung upside down by a hoof still alive, then slaughtered for profit. I see pigs everyday. At the supermarket of course. Except they’re sliced up into pieces, or 'cuts' I should say because we need a Ham at Christmas time, right? Or bacon for breakfast for it's ‘nutritional benefits’, right? Because bacon tastes nice even though we all know it does the same damage as cigarettes does to the body, right?

But that's ok because that's the circle of life, right?

I see sheep, hundreds of sheep! Plus, it's spring so they have their babies with them too. So cute. All together as a family for now. Another farmer coming, he’s releasing some of the other baby lambs except they don’t have tails anymore. For health reasons, right? Oh, also because their flesh could get infected, and if we consume that it’s not good for our health either. You’d think it’d be easier to wash their tails they were born with every now and then instead of chopping it off. But there’s too many sheep, right? Because we rape the sheep artificially to make them pregnant and breed millions into existence for Sunday night’s roast, right?

But that’s ok because that’s the circle of life, right?

Where are all the animals in this paddock? It is 28 degrees outside, they’re probably under some shade. But where? Where is all the shade? Oh, along the fence line underneath those 3 trees there. All the animals are congregated under this tiny patch of dark, trying to keep cool because they feel the heat just as much as I do. Those poor things. If that were me I’d be wanting some water. But there’s no trough. It’s on the other side of the fence. The farmer is closing the gate, water bottle in hand and hat on his head. As long as he’s cool enough though, right? Because humans are superior to animals, right? Animals don’t need enough shade or water to get through these hot summer days like us, right? Those 3 beautiful trees will suffice I guess.

But that’s ok because that’s the circle of life, right?

There’s that sign again, ‘Clean Green New Zealand’. I almost couldn’t read that underneath the tagging someone done over it. There’s plastic rubbish everywhere! Plus that car in front of us just threw their cigarette butt and McDonalds cup out their window. It reminds me of that time I went to the beach and saw the whole shore line was covered in washed up rubbish. And those rocks were lined with oil from that ship that sank years back. It’s still affecting us to this day? Wow. Or, what about that video of the poor fish that got washed up from poisoning of our Oceans, or the beer bottles being left behind in the gardens of residents that live down the road from all the bars. Clean green alright. But, we need plastic, right? For our shopping even though there’s reusable bags on the market for less than $5, we still need plastic. Because it’s easy, right? Poisoning is inevitable, and recycling are for hipsters. The rubbish ends up somewhere anyway, and it’s not like my input in trying to make this place a better place is going to matter, right?

But that’s ok because that’s the circle of life, right?

But that’s ok because that’s the circle of life, right?


The circle of life is a lion hunting and feasting on meat. They’re hungry, so they hunt down prey themselves with no weapons, no camouflage clothing, no guns or knives, and kill and eat the meat raw, right then and there. Fresh. Still warm blooded. There’s no master foods seasoning, no sprinkle of salt and pepper. There’s no chopping up into ‘cuts’ and putting it into a freezer for later. There’s no supermarket for a lion to go push his trolley through the aisles to go and buy sauces to go with it like “hmm teriyaki, or garlic and herb for my antelope I just killed?” There’s no chopping their preys tails off first because of risk of infection or disease. There’s no farmer going out and feeding them buckets of last night’s leftovers. They’re naturally born hunters who kill to survive. Why do we do it? We don’t need to eat dead, old, defrosted parts of a baby cow, or genetically modified force fed chickens, to survive. We have crops of vegetables, fruits, grains, soy, tofu, tempeh, meats made from vegetables even. We have access to a supermarket. We don’t have to have anywhere as much of a risk of disease and sickness if we just ate whole plant based foods. We don’t have to kill billions of animals for the 2 main purposes. TASTE AND PROFIT. That’s all it is. Our taste buds shouldn’t be a reason to kill.

But we still do it….

“We’re just stopping in at the supermarket before we head into the city, do you want to come in?” I un-buckle my seat belt and open up the passenger door. I step out and stretch. The supermarket. I have 2 choices. To purchase foods for my health, for my morals and for the animals. Or I go with foods detrimental to my health, to my morals and, well who cares about animals if they taste good and look pretty in the packet.

So I walk in and head straight to the produce aisle.

“Why are you buying a fruit salad and dairy free chocolate?” Because I don’t want to eat dairy and your grinded up male chickens. “Grinded up male chicken’s? Don’t you mean nuggets?


No. I don’t. But that’s ok because that’s the circle of life, right?



© Empowered by Erica , Written by Erica Ransfield, 2018.


  • Wai

    I love reading your blog posts Erica! So inspired and exactly ^ thought provoking! I would never have considered looking into Veganism because as you said “that’s just the circle of life” but after reading this I’m inspired to do more reasearch! Looking forward to reading more of your posts and following your journey! You are amazing!

  • Dene Elliott

    What an awesome read. Humorous but very thought provoking at the same time. Kia kaha Erica #veganstylz?

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