One very hot day last summer, a man was mowing in his garden. Pausing to wipe the sweat dripping from his forehead, he could hear a puzzling thumping sound coming from the other side of his hedge. He walked over to see what was happening – a group of thirsty cows were jostling to get their heads into a water trough – which was empty.
The hero of this story went to get himself a glass of water and then made several trips up and down the garden with a bucket till the trough was filled. It was gratifying watching the cows lowering their heads to the water.
As he watched, one cow raised her head, droplets falling from her muzzle, and gazed straight into his eyes. The connection was electric. It would not be too fanciful to say that it pierced his soul.
In that Damascene moment, he understood the personhood of the cow, and knew he would never eat of her flesh, or steal her milk again. In that moment he made the leap from full on carnivore to vegan.
With grateful thanks to him for sharing his story with me.