"I'm a vegan and I kill animals."



The author of this post is known to Mamamia but has chosen to remain anonymous. 

I kill animals. I kill animals that are sick or elderly, poorly socialised, aggressive or scared. I kill fluffy puppies and cute kittens. I have lured thousands of animals into a false sense of security, assuring them they will be okay, before killing them quickly.

My role as an Animal Euthanasia Technician is by far the most emotionally challenging part of my job. Like most people in animal welfare, I started in the industry because I had a desire to help animals, to save them. I had an affinity with animals from a young age; vegan from 14, animal welfare was an obvious choice for me. It’s funny how quickly a bright-eyed animal lover becomes accustom to seeing animals die.

I’ve held over 4000 animals as they have died and killed close to half that number. The procedure itself is quick and generally painless; a handler secures the animal’s head with one hand while holding the cephalic vein with the other. When the Animal Euthanasia Technician finds the vein, the handler releases it and as the Sodium Pentobarbitone rushes through them, the animal dies.

As a euthanasia technician, I get through each day by thinking of euthanasia as just another job; a clinical procedure. I try to think of all the animals I have been able to rehabilitate and save during my ten years working in animal welfare. But sometimes I am unable to suppress the sinking feeling in my stomach and the voice in my head calling me an animal traitor. After all, isn’t that all I am?

I think about Sash, the ten month old Kelpie who jumped a fence. Despite being a young, healthy and a remarkably friendly and adaptable girl, her escaping behaviour saw that she was not suitable for rehoming. She wagged her tail and looked up at me with her brown trusting eyes as I injected her with the ‘green dream’. I think about Lulu, who I had become extremely fond of. I told her it was going to be okay as she trembled in fear.


She trusted me; I killed her. I think of all the dogs that walk to the office where we conduct euthanasia with wagging tails and relaxed bodies, ignorant to their fate. I think of the hundreds of mother cats who watch in fear as her kittens are taken off her to be euthanised, before she is herself simply because there are already too many cats. I think of the countless animals that are relinquished to us for no fault of their own and end up in a body bag because they weren’t coping in the gaol-like atmosphere of the shelter. And I think of the animals that are healthy and happy, but simply not wanted by anyone.


I wish I could say these were all exceptional cases, but that would be a lie. The truth is that more than 250,000 animals are euthanised each year in Australian shelters. Open door facilities, like the one I work for, are forced to accept animals who will never be candidates for rehoming.

We accept animals that No Kill shelters refuse to take; animals with medical and behavioural problems so far advanced that treating them is not a viable option. Animals are relinquished to us when their owners are moving, when their owners are expecting a baby, when their owners are going on a holiday or simply when their owners no longer want them. Some animals were never socialised, never left the backyard or laundry or bathroom. Some animals were hit and some sexually assaulted. Some were starved.

When critics say that animal welfare organisations kill out of convenience, kill because they like killing, no one feels the pain more than those doing the killing themselves. Me. I can’t help thinking to myself that we’re blaming the wrong people.People call me a murderer. They ask me why I do it, how I do it. I am an Animal Euthanasia Technician because I absolutely love animals. Because I know that in the current landscape of overbreeding and irresponsible pet ownership, that euthanasia is a tragic necessity.

I kill animals because I’ve seen firsthand that some animals are so fearful that the kindest thing we can do is relieve them of such fear; because some animals are so sick that the most humane option is to end their suffering. I kill animals because I know that with me, the animal I am euthanising will have a quick, painless release from a world that is too callous to care for them; too naïve or arrogant to take responsibility for them. And when people call me a murderer or an animal killer, it STINGS, because that person doesn’t understand that every time I see the glimmer in an animal’s eye glaze over, a part of me dies with them.

I would like to think that the animals I have euthanised better understand my role as an Animal Euthanasia Technician than society does. I would like to think that the animals will forgive me as I am only a person making sure that this necessary evil is done in the kindest possible way. And I would like to think that one day the focus will shift from how bad euthanasia technicians are to how we as a society, as pet owners and animal lovers, can reduce euthanasia rates.

Support Oscar’s Law.

So how do we fix this crisis?

  • Adopt a homeless animal from a shelter, pound or rescue group over buying from a pet shop or backyard breeders. By purchasing from a backyard breeder or pet shop, you are contributing to the homeless animal tragedy by encouraging more irresponsible breeding of companion animals into an already over-populated world. Not only this, but despite what they may tell you, many pet shops source their puppies from ‘puppy farms’, where bitches and studs are treated like commodities and have their most basic needs neglected. While good animal shelters temperament test their animals and ensure they are sent to compatible homes, animals bought from pet shops or backyard breeders have not had temperament tests and limited knowledge of their true background makes it unclear if they are predisposed to aggressive, anxious or fearful behaviours.
    Pet shops and backyard breeders will often send their animals home unfixed.
    Sadly, every animal bought through a pet shop or backyard breeder represents one less home for those in shelters.
  • Support pet stores who choose not to sell animals, or who have developed partnerships with rescue groups and shelters. Pet shops who have decided not to sell animals made this decision knowing too well that there is already an overpopulation of companion animals.
  • Get active! Support campaigns like ‘Say No to Animals in Pet Shops’ and ‘Oscar’s Law’. Sign petitions that ask for mandatory desexing. Adopt from a shelter.
  • Spey and neuter your pets!The number one way to reduce euthanasia numbers and lighten the tremendous burden on animal shelters is to stop unwanted litters of kittens, puppies and other companion animals by desexing your pet. Not only does it help manage the overpopulation crisis, but it makes your animal happier and healthier and may eliminate undesirable behaviours like scent marking.

Could you be an Animal Euthanasia Technician? How can we lower the number of animals being put down?