When Gene Baur was 6 years old, he saw a deer with her head stuck in a chain link fence. He watched the animal struggle from the backyard of his house in the Hollywood Hills, until she was eventually shot by the homeowner.
Shortly after, Baur watched an enormous old oak tree crash to the ground, as another neighbor was enlarging his house.
It wasn't until he was in high school that Baur realized that these experiences, which had upset him thoroughly, would be a part of the rest of his life. Baur, then a meat-eater, asked his grandmother how veal was made. She didn't mince words. Since then, he hasn't looked back.
Now, nearly 5 decades after he witnessed the deer's suffering, Baur thinks back on those early days when he first considered the animals he ate.
"As time went on, I started learning more," Baur told The Dodo. "Until that time, my assessment was that you were supposed to eat these foods, this meat, for your health."