The question was "WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO DO WHAT YOU DO?"
Extract from an interview with Philip Wollen
Extract from an interview with Philip Wollen - The question was "WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO DO WHAT YOU DO?"
RESPONSE: There was no single seminal event, just a gradual realization that I had experienced a paradigm shift in my thinking. There was a time when I used to joke that the only thing that will change a man is if he:
a) finds religion
b) Has a full frontal lobotomy.
Nowadays I say it is when he discovers his character.
If there ever was a Damascene event in my case, then it would be the time I visited a large industrial conglomerate in the course of my professional work as a merchant banker. I inspected one of their subsidiaries – which turned out to be a slaughterhouse. It was the most terrifying experience of my life and it affected me profoundly. I made the most important decision of my life that morning. To become a vegetarian; to leave my career; and become an advocate for social justice.
But I was not yet a vegan. I didn’t know enough. I thought that dairy was the bucolic, peaceful image of green pastures and crystal streams, rolling hills and the poetry of Wordsworth and Shelley. Little did I know that behind the dairy walls was a cruel industrial juggernaut, a vile gulag of despair.
I discovered that milk was meat in liquid form. During a business trip to India I saw a milkman dragging and whipping a cow. She had been badly injured in an accident with a lorry. To get her to move, he was throwing chili powder in her eyes, and shoving sharp objects in her anus. He had a chain around her neck and forced her to walk with a broken leg and severe injuries to her spine. Beside her walked her scrawny, starving and terrified calf, ribs protruding and her skinny legs trembling. At the slaughterhouse gate, he unchained her. But before he did so, the bastard milked her.
If that sight does not change the heart of a man, nothing will.