Monday, August 13, 2012

How Emily the Cow Taught Me to Become a Vegetarian

I was the king of the drive-thru, it was my turf. My royal servants were McDonald's, Burger King, Arby's etc.. Each visit they would ask me, " Do you want fries with your order, Todd?" Yeah it was pathetic, they even knew my name. Then someone very close to me took me to Peace Abbey in Sherborne, MA. It can be best described as a museum/bed & breakfast/spiritual center where peace is the word. Many visitors who visited included Mother Teresa, Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama and Yoko Ono. That is one amazing list of people that would catch anyone's attention, but one particular bovine resident changed my life forever.

Her name was Emily the cow and her story will amaze you. Emily and her friends were lined up to be killed at a slaughterhouse in Hopkinton MA. She noticed her friends were not coming back and she decided to jump a nearby fence and go on the run. The slaughterhouse workers were baffled by this and left haystacks in the woods to try to lure her back to no avail. The local news got a hold of the story and Emily became a media sensation. No one wanted to see her get caught, farmers who lived in the area left hay where she was last seen and found it gone the next day.

Emily was seen foraging the woods with a pack of deer. Her story caught the attention of Meg and Lewis Randa, the care takers of the Peace Abbey. Meg called Frank Arena, the owner of the slaughterhouse and asked if they come to a resolution and give Emily a place to live. Frank was surprisingly kind and offered Emily to the Peace Abbey for $350.00, at the urging of his grand daughter who named Emily, changed his offer to $1.00. Sold! Emily lived the rest of her life as an ambassador of vegetarianism and cruelty-free living at the Peace Abbey. Many visitors from as far away from India would come to visit her. After she passed, she was buried behind a statue of Gandhi and a statue was erected in her honor.

Emily changed my life and she reminded me that each life is precious and that we have to honor and respect animals. As of today, I have evolved from being a vegetarian to a full fledged vegan. My health has improved immensely and veganism has become more mainstream in the media.

Thank you Emily for making me see the light.

Todd Stolulonis is the owner of and

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