Who We Love And Who We Eat

On loving and not eating animals, for BuzzFeed:

I sat on our living room couch, sandwiched between my two smart and thoughtful parents, who let me watch just about any movie I was interested in. The film as I remember it slowly and deliberately introduces the gorillas to Fossey and to the viewers. She gives them names. She loves them. They show her their personalities, their emotions, and their commitment to their family. Then, local hunters come and kill the gorillas, intending to sell their hands and heads to tourists. I think it’s about halfway through the film, but it’s the last scene of the movie I’ve seen to this day. I remember the scene as violent, painfully realistic, almost macabre. I started screaming at the top of my lungs. Tears streaming down my face, hyperventilating, terrified of my own emotions, unable to comprehend how this could happen, how anyone could do something like this. I was inconsolable. My mom recalls the incident vividly 23 years later, saying it’s the most upset she’s ever seen me. I look back on the moment as a turning point in my life when I realized that I see animals differently than most people do.