It seems I am becoming one of THOSE vegans.
My meaning? One time I saw a profile on OKcupid that said I’m vegan, but trust me I’m not one of THOSE vegans!! You know, the ones everyone hates because they go around preaching about veganism and how you’re evil if you’re not a vegan. The ones everyone is hating on in the comments section of PETA videos on youtube.
Well, here’s how it happens.
First you are raised into a culture where everyone eats meat, dairy, uses animal tested products and what not and it’s totally NORMAL. You hear things like animals aren’t conscious beings. People speculate over whether or not animals feel pain.
You have a dog or a cat. You know your pet feels pain, has a personality, loves you. But you never see any other animals. You hesitantly guess that all animals are probably like your pet.
You decide you want to be vegetarian. Amazingly you manage to break your habit, restrict your diet–now you’re a vegetarian!! You are on a roll. People always ask you about it. Why are you a vegetarian? You don’t really know how to explain it. They ask you “is it for health reasons or animal rights reasons”. You don’t want to seem weird and you don’t really know how to explain yourself, so you say “both”.
You’re a vegetarian for years and you start reading more about it. You hear rumblings about veganism but it seems way too extreme. Plus, what is wrong with milk? They don’t kill the cows.
You hear about egg farms and you make sure to always buy free range eggs and tell all your friends and family to buy the same.
You feel bad for cows and make the connection that you are wearing ANIMAL SKINS on your feet. you decide to stop buying leather and find your fashion choices are vastly reduced.
Then you finally get the courage to delve deeper into what people are saying about dairy farms and egg farms. So free range farmers lie about what free range means? You read all the grisly details. You’re ready.
You become vegan.
You lapse a couple of times. Finally it sticks.
Suddenly it starts making sense. Why would I want to participate in a system of slavery, violence, cruelty, and torture.
You feel really relieved to be out of it. Free of any guilt that you are complicit in it.
Suddenly all around you, things start seeming different.
You pass the meat aisle in the grocery store and see logos with happy cows and sunshine and old fashioned looking farms. It reminds you of something out of a superhero movie, something that the villains would come up with….creepy and sinister. Like The Joker.
You see pictures on tumblr of food which you formerly would have thought looked delicious even though you wouldn’t eat it, and now you just feel kind of sad.
The world looks different. You try to have patience for everyone and realize that it’s really hard to change your diet. If you hadn’t gotten on a path of vegetarianism you might still be eating meat today. You try not to judge anyone.
But once you cross over to the other side, suddenly the simple fact that was there all along, that animals have feelings, suffer, have lives, have families, want to live their lives and deserve to be free becomes like, coldly obvious.
Why was it so hard to see that simple truth for so long?
There was so much brainwashing going on. Through advertisments, through the guise of being scientific and not anthropomorphizing animals, through the fact that we never see or get to know any animals in our modern society (since they’re all hidden away in factory farms), through the fact that people are addicted to meat and cheese (I definitely was).
I am a huge fan of capitalism and the power of entrepreneurs and business to make people’s lives better, but you do understand why capitalism has gotten such a bad rap. People don’t always think about the lives behind their business. Even good people don’t, such as one of my favorite bloggers, the Pioneer Woman, who is a hilarious writer, loving mother, beautiful photographer and lives on a cattle farm. She loves those baby cows but she separates them from their mothers and sends them off to slaughter, thinking she’s given them a good life and that’s the way of things.
It shouldn’t be.
People are making huge progress in overturning this huge wrong in society. I have an awesome interview upcoming with someone whose work and progress is going to amaze you.
But yeah, in conclusion, I guess I am one of THOSE vegans now. I understand them. As soon as you turn vegan, I think most people get free of all the brainwashing and the simple facts become obvious for the first time. The emperor has no clothes.
That’s why there are so many of THOSE vegans.