The Night That Made Me A Vegan
The Night That Made Me A Vegan7 mins 160 7 mins 160
I was walking home late when she called me. Her voice was deep and anxious.
"Did you reach home, dear?"
"No, I'm on my way. About ten minutes to reach home."
"Are you walking?"
"Yes, no sane man will drive along this lane on this insane Friday night." I tried to laugh, trying desperately to hide my fear.
"Call me if something goes wrong."
"You are hours away dear. If something goes wrong I'll be calling my dad."
I laughed and cut the call before my fear showed up again. I wondered about her comment on that unfortunate situation. If something goes wrong...My dad was calling me again and again, assuring me that he's on his way to pick me but I was surprisingly scared not to walk faster. It was all dark. The ominous silence was overwhelming and for the first time in my life, I realized how frightening those unadulterated silences can be. I walked by the flashlight of my android phone trying so hard to produce happiness in my mind. I began to imagine beautiful rose gardens but involuntarily my mind filled them with bloodstained musk roses. What I never wanted to think of, crowded my brain for I thought of them... not to think of them. There were rumors about night beggars who begged for souls for they had lost theirs, and about night warriors- skeletons that come alive at night and fight for flesh. The most terrifying one was that of the dead cows. People say that during Friday nights, they come alive and eat up humans who eat animals. I never believed in ghosts but beliefs are insignificant when you are living such fears.
I wondered why I stayed at her house too long watching those videos of tortures and brutal killings. I still do not know why I did not ask her to stop showing me them until I was nauseated. They all showed the same thing. Cows being artificially inseminated, a gloved hand with a cold syringe being pushed into her anus and making her unnaturally pregnant where she has no choice other than to bear that pain of giving birth...for endless times; calves being separated forcefully from their mothers while drinking their milk and given some formula if they are female, or sent to be served at some table along with the weak or commercially useless females if they are males; male chicks being ground or suffocated to death in hatcheries. I still remember watching helplessly at that little chick with its organs protruding due to some genetic disorder, being torn apart by breaking its spine and separating its head from its tiny yellow body. Hundreds of newborn chicks born in those incubators with no means to see their mothers or hide in their wings' warmth, watched that assault with nothing but stark terror. They were sent to hatcheries where the useless and costly- to-feed males were separated and ground brutally to dust, along with their shells, or drowned, and suffocated to death. For those chicks, Edison's light is sunlight and incubators, their mothers' warmth.
But the male ones are far too luckier than the female chicks. Those little baby girls will have their beaks' ends cut off with a red hot burning blade without any pain killers so that they won't cause much damage to one another while standing for years in some overcrowded cages placed one on top of the other. It seemed like removing people's teeth and nails before throwing them into another wagon tragedy. The urine and feces falling from the cages on top will eventually burn the skin of those poor hens. There were hens climbing onto the other for some air, holding onto that bare flesh with melted and wounded skin revealed by torn feathers. There were hens lying dead with bloodshot eyes and almost no feather on their backs, flies covering their nudity. Some were eating their food by struggling their slender necks through the crooked bars of their cages. They are exploited to lay about three hundred eggs a year.
All those images of endless forced sufferings flashed through my mind that night walking by the white flashlight, listening to every strange and unstrange sound. It wasn't too late before I noticed something, moving towards me. At first, I doubted my mind for recreating what it caressed then with fear. But soon I realized shockingly that it was nothing but real. A dark silhouette of some weird creature was moving towards me. I could not see what it was, for when bad things happen, they happen altogether in a rush. My phone went off and with that my flashlight. Battery low! HOLY SHIT! If it kills me, I would die without knowing who killed me. I spent time assuring and reassuring that it was a horror drama my thoughts played on me to impress itself. I was still walking, losing control over my legs and trying to figure out what that was. I prayed so desperately for that to be my father though I knew it was stupid, for the creature was wider and shorter than a human. With each lonely second that passed by, the creature grew bigger proportional to my fear. As it came closer, I saw that it had four legs and something kept dancing above it like a thick creeper with a Japanese plum yew on top of it. My heart started to race like Bolt and my veins throbbed around my stiffened neck muscles. My legs went to a sudden stop-strike and my heart burst in my throat. The only way to overcome that moment, I realized, was by fainting or...by dying. The big creature rolled towards me very slowly and my fear began to slowly relish my senses. Soon, I sensed its breath and unfortunately only its breath. It smelled horrible, like a carcass. I wanted to run but my legs refused to move. It was taking its revenge and for the first time I regretted for not training my legs. The night had grown completely dark and my pupils were taking time to adjust. Suddenly, I saw some light rushing towards me from my right, it then rushed towards the creature that stood before me. With the light I saw the beast on all its fours, standing a hand away from me, staring precisely into my dry eyes. Its coffee brown eyes were moist and shiny. It had two little horns that stood like incisors and its big brown face looked pale above the skin folds hanging around its neck.
I thought I was laughing but soon I realized how badly I was crying. The cow was staring at me confused and frightened. It was either abandoned or escaped.
I was on my knees, my forehead and nose powdered with red soil when the thought suddenly struck me. For a moment fear gripped my stomach hard and squeezed my intestines. The bloody acid ate my tissues and hormones rushed through my blood.
Where did that light come from? Is this cow living at all?
This time my legs did me a little favor and I stood up. I looked at the cow. It didn't move but kept staring at me. The light source was rushing towards me and it blinded me ironically in that darkness. I felt that its heat would melt my skin and expose my raw flesh when it reaches near. Thoughts grew wild for I was living in uncertainties. I stood there doubting the rumors of dead cows. I closed my eyelids hard till it punched my eyes and opened them only to have another surprise of the day. My dad. He stood there giving me some time to gather myself, the torch held away from my face. My eyes searched for the cow. It was nowhere to be seen.
My father led me home, walking behind me, swaying his torchlight to and fro. I never asked him about the cow nor did he say anything about cows. I still do not know how real that cow was and will never ever wish to know about its truth. Reaching home, I took a bath and soon went to bed. The next day morning, my mother as usual brought me a glass of milk. I stared at the glass, my hand unable to hold it and suddenly something spilled out of my mouth involuntarily.
"I'm a vegan... from this day."