To my beautiful boys,
Your Grandma called me recently and told me about a programme she watched on TV. The narrator claimed that we are in serious danger of mass world starvation – not in a few generations but in twenty years. Twenty years! You will be 24 and 21. You will barely be men.
I can’t be sorry for having you though. I just can’t.
You are beautiful, kind, loving boys and you bring joy to my world and the world of all those who know you.
Yet your very existence is tinged with regret and sadness.
I am sorry that previous generations have raped the planet, have used up almost all of the resources we have.
I am sorry that I have brought you into a world so devoid of compassion, where peoples’ only thoughts are for their own wellbeing and comfort. A world where our tastebuds are of more importance than a life.
I am sorry that I have brought you into a world where rainforests are being cleared not to grow food for people but for cattle, for livestock, while children your age die needlessly of starvation.
I am sorry that by the time you are my age you may have to fight your neighbours for food and survival rather than wave to them as you pass by in the street.
I am sorry that you may never have the chance to experience the joy of having children of your own.
I am sorry that you may not have the chance to grow old.
Most of all I am sorry for the part I have played in this.
So here is my promise to you.
I am going to fight for your world.
I am going to fight to show people that it doesn’t have to come to this. That if we act now we can salvage our planet. That if we use our resources to feed people, not livestock, if we stop destroying the oceans just so we can have fish on the side of our chips, NONE of us need know hunger.
You’re going to resent me at times. When your friends are going to McDonalds. When our Christmas table is devoid of the dead bird. When they judge you for your differences, for your compassion. You’ll probably think I’m nuts, wearing my vegan t-shirt to the supermarket. You’ll consider me an embarrassment.
But please remember;
I am doing this, not just for the animals, not just for the world, but for you.
Always for you.
So that you don’t have to fight for food and shelter.
So that you don’t have to grow old in a world of darkness and despair.
Until the last breath has left my body I will fight for your future.
I love you.