An ex-pig farmer from Sweden has spoken out about his decision to go vegan, and how he closed down his meat shop to become a vegetable farmer instead.
In a piece written for a major Swedish daily newspaper titled How I Went From Pig Farmer To Vegetable Farmer, Gustaf Söderfeldt bills veganism as the future of farming.
"It is kinder, healthier, more efficient, less wasteful, and more climate-friendly," he writes.
"[Farmers] are developing knowledge and methods to enable a revolutionary shift – to vegan farming!"
Söderfeldt has urged other farmers and the general public to switch to vegan living through his article, which was published today, in celebration of World Vegan Day.
The farmer, who used to manage a small-scale 'humane' meat business, has dispelled the myth that animals can be killed humanely.
"Our customers loved to hear that the pigs had had 'a good life'.
"But of course, they didn’t want to hear about the ugly side of raising the animals.
"If I’d told them that a mother sow didn’t want to be separated from her babies or that the pigs screamed with anguish as they were loaded onto the lorry bound for the abattoir, I wouldn’t have kept a single customer.
"No one wants to know about the nasty parts of the meat industry. Everyone just wanted to hear about how 'good' and 'humane' our meat was."
Hiding the truth
The farmer soon realized that the only way he could continue his profession was if he hid the truth.
Söderfeldt then goes on to say: "There’s nothing fun about raising animals to kill them – even the most ardent meat farmer would agree. You do it because you think you have to, but inside, you feel awful. You learn to switch off your emotions.
"Most of our customers bought meat from us to silence their own consciences.
"People don’t want to admit to themselves that they’re supporting an industry that treats animals horribly.
"If you care about animals, the answer isn’t 'humane meat'.
"The right thing to do is to stop breeding animals for food."
Söderfeldt became vegan after himself and his wife had started watching videos about it on YouTube - which, he said, changed his life.
"It turned out that vegans wanted the same thing that I did: for animals to have a good life," he wrote.
"This was what mattered to me as a pig farmer. But vegans had gone one step further than I had in their thinking: if you really care about animals, you shouldn’t breed them at all!"
Söderfeldt recalled that his body started functioning better - 'but above all, [he] felt good emotionally'.
The now-vegetable farmer discussed how 'satisfying' and 'gratifying' growing veg is.
"There’s every reason to believe that veganism is the future of farming. It is kinder, healthier, more efficient, less wasteful, and more climate-friendly.
"There’s now a growing community of vegan farmers around the world who are spreading the message that there’s a better and smarter way to farm, and they’re developing knowledge and methods to enable a revolutionary shift – to vegan farming," he added.
"It’s a journey that has just begun, and we need many more passionate people to join us.
"November is World Vegan Month – a great opportunity to switch to vegan living or to let others know why and how to make the change."