Some of you may already know that I recently became a vegan.
I was very careful when I thought about whether or not I want to adopt the title “vegan”. I’m generally very thoughtful about the words I use and the labels I adopt. Because – to me, and to a very large degree – words matter.
And, like it or not, the label “vegan” comes along with some … let’s say … rather “unlikable” connotations.
Vegans, if nothing else, are extreme.
I think, in the back of our collective minds, we all know there’s nothing “wrong” with consuming meat products. Other animals do it. It’s natural; part of the cycle of life.
Every virtue is conditional, and ‘non-violence’ will, I’m sure, quickly lose its appeal if someone is ever charging at you with a big ol’ machete. War and violence are part of the human reality, and – in some cases – can be just as useful as their polar opposites.
But, in my humble opinion, there’s nothing ‘natural’ about the way we currently consume animal products.
We’re destroying our bodies, destroying the Earth as we know it (Mama Earth will always be here), and – most significantly, for me – destroying the lives of millions of sentient beings in grossly cruel and inhumane ways.
Extreme positions will always generate extreme opposition.
And I believe that veganism is simply the natural outcome of the extreme violence that we are fueling through our extreme greed and extreme gluttony.
See, I personally don’t believe there’s anything necessarily wrong with eating animals. I don’t believe “veganism is right” and I don’t believe that the world would be a much better place if everyone stopped eating animals and their products.
I still eat food that contains animal products occasionally because, for me, veganism is about what I want to eat, NOT about what I can’t or shouldn’t eat.
I just don’t want to eat animal products. Not like this.
We’re eating like this every day, but we rarely think of the animals behind these products.
The cows in our Big Macs, the chickens and fishes on our plates, the mother’s milk laced over our pizza. We rarely give them the respect they deserve for contributing in such a big way to our lives.
Because we don’t have to see them. And we don’t have to kill them.
The way we eat now is not just inhumane, it’s completely unsustainable. More than 85% of the world’s fisheries are being overfished.
It’s only natural then, that some of us will have to give these things up, to maintain balance.
People shouldn’t bet mad at vegans.
They should be thanking us.
I do believe that a lot of vegans also eat unsustainably though. I do wonder if the entire world could eat 10 bananas a day, or fuel themselves entirely on raw diets.
I don’t know.
But I don’t think so.
I am not averse to ever consuming and using animal products again.
But, for me, this must be done in a thoughtful and measured way. A way in which I understand the sacrifices being made for my comfort, and honor it accordingly.
Until then, I will remain extremely vegan.
Are you vegan? Ever thought of going vegan? Partly vegan? (It helps; ignore the haters.)
Just tired of hearing the word vegan????? (Me too, honestly.)
Please, leave a comment below and let me know what you THUNK.