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

Posted by on April 22, 2016 | Permalink

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.