By Laura Rantanen
Researchers and activists propose abandoning the term “animal” and enshrining the rights of non-human beings in Finland’s constitution.
“I have this core memory of asking a barn keeper, ‘What will Taisto do when he grows up, since he’s not a girl cow?’ I was 7 years old, and I got to bottle feed a motherless calf named Taisto. I loved Taisto with all my heart,” says author Laura Gustaffsson’s. “Taisto’s mother was, like other mothers without their babies, in a stall. Their milk was milked for human use.
“‘Taisto will be a bull when he grows up. Taisto is a different breed from these milking cows. Taisto is beef cattle,’ the barn keeper replied, smiling, and closed the pen door behind him. We were left alone with Taisto.
“Beef cattle. Beef. Taisto would be eaten. I would never eat meat again.Later, I presented a petition to the barn keeper. Taisto should not be eaten, not Taisto.”
This formative experience occurred at a riding stable. “When I had first understood that a horse should not be eaten, my next question was: what about pigs, chickens, cows?”
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