On October 2, 2015 I participated in the Fast Against Slaughter for the first time.
Oct 2 is World Day for Farmed Animals , and on this day tens of thousands of people take the pledge to fast in support of the billions of farm animals that are slaughtered each year.
Each day approximately 160 millions of animals are slaughtered for food. Before slaughter they are denied food and water for several hours or even several days. They are scared and starving. Through a voluntary sacrifice of food the hope is to bring an awareness to the plight of these animals and to experience a fraction of what they go through.
This was my first water only fast. I have done juice cleanses before, but this was a whole new ball game. The fast could be anywhere between 8-36 hours, but my goal was 24. I actually decided to do this at the very last minute. I was already in the middle of the Wild Rose D-tox and I really wanted to do a heavy leg workout the day of the fast so I was questioning whether it was a good idea. Basically I was making excuses. But at zero hour (literally midnight on Oct 1) I ate my last meal and committed to the fast.
I woke up hungry, like I do every morning, drank some black coffee ( I am actually not sure if this was allowed) and guzzled some water and got on with it. And for the most part I felt ok. Hungry but ok. Hunger pangs come in waves, and I found if I kept myself busy I could ignore them and they would pass. I felt pretty good up until the last 8 hours or so and then I got shakey, headachey and was grinding my teeth. But I sucked it up, went to a movie, drank a ton of water and made it the full 24 hours! What kept me going was knowing that I was only experiencing a small part of what millions of farm animals experience each day and that I had a TOMORROW. They do not.
This was a surprisingly emotional experience for me. I felt really connected to both the animals the I was fasting for and also to the amazing community of people who participated in this fast. Any time I felt like bailing I was encouraged and supported by fellow vegans ( and non vegans too). And to the naysayers out there who say that this fast is pointless because it doesn’t actually save any animals I would like to quote an 11 year old boy doing the fast who said “We have a 2 minute silence for the soldiers who have died for us every year but the 2 minute silent doesn’t bring them back. Fasting today is our way of paying respect to the animals.”
I will definitely be participating again next year and I hope many of you will join me. You can find more information about the fast at www.dayforanimals.org.