War is horrific. Conflicts currently raging around the globe are responsible for destruction, death and untold suffering. Historical battles account for the loss of life of millions and millions of humans. In addition, many non-human animals perish during wartime but this loss is not often remembered.
There is a site in London that serves to counteract the invisibility of these creatures. The Animals in War memorial reflects on the countless non-human animals that have been used by humans during wars. Horses, donkeys, dogs, elephants, birds and more are solemnly celebrated. These creatures were not given a choice and were often subjected to excruciating pain and grisly deaths.
As a vegan and animal welfare proponent, I strive to improve outcomes for all creatures. My recent visit to the Animals in War memorial reminded me of the importance of reflecting on the memory of those no longer with us. It is crucial to recall their suffering, abuse and mistreatment in order to stay focused in the fight.
I have never been one to appreciate war memorials as I feel they often glorify violence, but this structure touched me. The inscription reading They had no choice is a fitting sentiment for a lot of the interactions humans have with non-humans. Consent is mostly absent and that notion is the driving force behind my veganism.
The memorial sits in the centre divide of Park Lane on the approach to Marble Arch. The nearest London Underground station is Marble Arch on the Central Line.