People, especially in my family, often ask why I gave up academia, or some other more lucrative and prestigious career path, to do this "animal thing." No one in my family respects it. Neither do my former economics graduate school classmates (many of whom are now professors at distinguished universities) or law school colleagues (almost all of whom told me, "You should stay away from this animal thing. It's not a good path").
The answer to their questions, though, is simple: I've been in that place. Cowering in fear as a mob of more powerful men beats your face into the ground. Scared out of your mind that death is nearly upon you, but almost hoping that it will come, so it will finally be over. Even a moment in that place is too much... enough to almost drive one insane with despair. A lifetime of it, even just one lifetime, justifies every sacrifice in the world.
And while it's sad and terrifying, at times, and endlessly frustrating, at others, a life for animal liberation is a beautiful and meaningful life. The despair that I feel over animal holocaust, is matched only by the hope and joy I feel when I see a world where my animal friends are safe and free. Even just thinking about it brings a trembling of hope up my back, and tears of joy to my eyes.
And if we accept the lessons of history, it's closer than any one of us thinks.
I love you all (even my fiercest critics) for being part of that struggle. For taking even a brief glimpse into the mind of an animal suffering under human tyranny. For allowing yourself to feel her pain, and cry her tears.
Keep fighting the good fight. Find people you believe in, and who believe in you. And, above all, stay inspired. The dream of animal liberation is worth it, and it's within our grasp.