carrie underwood
by Ali Berman
Categories: Animals, Causes, Vegetarian
Tags: .
Photo: Underwood saw castration, gave up meat

During VH1’s “Behind the Music” Carrie Underwood describes the exact reason she gave up meat back when she was a little girl living on a farm. As a child, she saw for the first time the dark side of farming when her parents were out in the field banding young calves.

If you are unfamiliar with banding, it’s a common method of castration. Farmers put a tight elastic band around the neck of the scrotum to cut off blood flow and kill the testicles. The testicles then fall off. Perhaps even more sadly, even at “humane” small farms, this is done to the animals with no anesthetic.

Underwood explains how she never really made the connection that the animals she loved became the meat on her plate.  She says, “I knew it but I just never made a connection until one day my parents were working out in the pasture and I was being a good little daughter and bringing them like ice-tea…So I walked down there and um, they were banding calves. I don’t know if you know what that is or not. No. You can look it up later. I wouldn’t be a lady if I sat here and told you. So they get these calves and I’m like ‘mom, what are you doing? Like, what’s going on?’ And she was like, ‘oh, we’re banding them.’ And I was like, ‘what is that’ and she explained it to me. I was mortified. And I said, ‘well, why do you do that?’ And she said, ‘it will make them grow bigger.’ And lightbulb. I was horrified and sad and I just couldn’t believe this was happening, you know, in our pasture.”

Underwood continued, “Mom after that was so mad at me cause I quit eating what the family ate. I couldn’t eat those precious cows. They were my babies. I bottle fed some of them. And now I knew where they went.”

See the full segment on Carrie Underwood’s “lightbulb” moment on why she went vegetarian below. Castration without pain killers would be enough to send most people to the tofu aisle. And now, the singer is actually vegan.

Get More:
Carrie Underwood, Behind The Music, Check Out Carrie Underwood’s Behind The Song

Via Taste of Country

About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is the author of Choosing a Good Life: Lessons from People Who Have Found Their Place in the World (Hazelden) and Misdirected (Seven Stories Press). She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Her published work can be found on her website at In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

View all posts by Ali Berman →
  • HereHere

    Wow. When I learned as a pre-teen that chicken came from chickens, I told me mom that I wanted to become vegetarian on the spot. My mother said no damn way would she cook two meals. I didn’t know that I could learn to cook my own at that time. It was an awful time, and I’ve lived with that guilt for 30 years, until recently becoming vegan (just over a year ago). Nothing spoils a mother-daughter relationship like suppressing a child’s moral intentions.