Did You Catch Shakespeare’s Vegan Message in ‘Henry VI’?

Posted by 9 months ago | Permalink | Comments (4)

On the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, PETA is joining in the celebrations of his life and works by highlighting The Bard’s empathy for animals.

Recited by Downton Abbey star and vegan activist Peter Egan, the following passage from Henry VI describes a tragedy that’s still happening today:

Thou never didst them wrong, nor no man wrong;
And as the butcher takes away the calf
And binds the wretch, and beats it when it strays,
Bearing it to the bloody slaughter-house,
Even so remorseless have they borne him hence;
And as the dam runs lowing up and down,
Looking the way her harmless young one went,
And can do nought but wail her darling’s loss.

Shakespeare wrote these words more than 400 years ago, but to this day, mother and baby cows continue to be torn apart and killed. In the play, he vividly describes how distraught mother cows cry out for their stolen calves for days. Most female calves are destined for the same fate as their mothers: repeated artificial insemination until their bodies give out and they’re slaughtered for cheap meat.

Who knows – if almond milk had been available in Shakespeare’s day, maybe he would have been vegan! But today, it’s easy to help end the cycle of cruelty. Choose vegan cheeses, milks and other products to help spare animals a lifetime of suffering.


  • Elizabeth Murfitt commented on April 22, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    This is a fantastic initiative! Hope you enlighten thousands more meat-eaters to the better, happier and healthier ways of Veganism. Good luck!

  • Rim R. commented on April 23, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    Extremely heartbreaking. I can’t stop the tears… How dare we treat sentient beings like commodities?! Going vegan should become the law.

  • Ellie commented on May 5, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Thank you for this article. I have only recently become vegetarian and using animal free testing products (6 weeks). I attempted vegan however going from meat and dairy lover to vegan was a massive change and struggled. I’ve avoided eggs, changed to vegan butter and changed to almond and coconut milk but the cheese I struggled to give up. I’ve never actually watched any videos about the dairy farms but after seeing this I will 100 percent not be touching the stuff. I found a vegan cheese yesterday 🙂 but to be honest I kind have gone off the thought of it now! Poor poor animals it’s so heart breaking xxx I hope the change I’m making is helping some animals somewhere x

  • Jann commented on May 7, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    I too have become vegan over a number of years. Initially it began by simply reading about the barbarity & cruelty with the bile bears in China. From this I became enraged that such practices existed in the world. That these practices & these people were able to relentlessly inflicted such cruelty on these beautiful bears. Over the following two years my rage turned to supporting groups who worked tirelessly to bring about change. My rage at some point grew into a passionate commitment to become involved whenever I could. Zero tolerance to animal cruelty is now my first priority whenever in my life I am able. Naturally this means embracing a vegan life style. At the same time it is of the utmost importance to watch everything, be as informed as possible, never turn away & be articulate & sure of the philosophy & reasons underpinning your commitment. Never be afraid to speak up when the situation or conversation presents itself. Make others question themselves, know the facts. I truely believe that once you have committed yourself to being vegan because of all that you know one can never go back. Animals should never suffer to give humanity something it can easily secure from an other source.

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