[Photo: Vietnam/Hội An. Taken by author]
People tend to go vegan for different reasons – health, environmental and ethical. Some have a balance between all three of them, some have, more likely, just for one or maybe two. Those who tend to care more about their health are more categorized into eating a whole food, plant-based diet and in some cases, they haven’t put their thoughts too much into whats really happening “behind the scenes” in meat, dairy and egg industries. Some ethical vegans don’t care too much what they put into their belly as long as they know that they don’t do any harm to non-human animals as much as it is possible (hopefully also humankind haha). Those who care about our planet, know that veganism is the best way to don’t do as much damage and they tend to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle that includes different choices – eating a vegan diet, ethical clothing, local shopping, less plastic consumption, minimalist lifestyle etc.
This blog post is not about putting one reason and way of living higher than others. I believe that all of them are important in all their forms. As it is for me, I try to balance them all with a little pinch of a bigger drive toward ethical veganism, but it doesn’t mean that I’m being skeptical or judgmental if others do differently. A person has a choice and if some reason gives more drive than another, then, heck, just go for it, if it still does less harm, I’m OK with that!
If you’re not vegan but at least you have a bit of spark of curiosity, you can check out my post – introduction (Go Vegan?). You can apply also to 10-week email series, from “Vegan outreach” that can make the transformation a bit easier.
In this post, I will write more about ethical veganism, but later on, there will be more posts that include also other reasons. I will try not to sound too harsh because on a daily basis I am quite OK, with a positive attitude, I try to show example. I’m not for judgmental and disheartening attitude and “brainwashing”. But there are some moments when I’m flared up if it comes to beliefs, animal rights, and activism. OK, let’s get into it!
As the definition of veganism tells us, it’s about doing less harm – reduction of exploitation, and cruelty to animals as much as possible.
Even though I found out about veganism because I was diving deeper into a healthy lifestyle and my food choices, when I watched documentaries and read articles and some research papers, I couldn’t bear anymore the fact whats happening to animals in the livestock industry. I always felt love and compassion toward animals, I just didn’t acknowledge that there is no difference between that cute kitten on the street, neighbors dog, my own cats and the chicken on my plate or pork chops on my friend’s. They all feel pain and they all can suffer. More about that you can read here. And, oh please, don’t go with that lame line “But what about plants? Don’t they have feelings too?”, instead, read some information and you’ll figure out that plants don’t have a nervous system, animals do. Even if some recent studies suggest that the life of plants is more complex, still we clearly can see (and it’s proven) that animals show their pleasure or pain. And even if that’s not enough, you should know that by eating animal products, you consume more plants than if you eat them directly. Generally speaking on a vegan diet you consume less and do less harm. Before I didn’t make the connection. And mostly, in the beginning, it’s for all of us – other we don’t see it or we simply refuse to see it. It is because we don’t know a different way, we have been raised up like that due to norms of society and all the stereotypes and because of this, a lot of people don’t even take it under consideration to doubt it, to do research, to see and try. But it shouldn’t be this way. We’re not living in the undeveloped world anymore, we can choose and we should. There have been already enough of research to prove that humans can live healthy without consuming animal products. Then we are left with ethics. Why? Why should we put animals through suffering and kill them if it’s unnecessary for our survival and well being? To please our taste buds or entertain ourselves? Where are the morals? Why should we take advantage of them just because they may not be as intelligent, they’re a bit weaker and they can’t speak up for themselves? So what. Especially because of this we should know better and make sure that they are OK. It is in our hands – the lives of animals, our planet, and our health. Ethical veganism is reasonable, cruelty and suffering free choices about food, clothing, shoes, cleaning products, cosmetics, entertainment, etc.
Why should we look into our ethics? We are naturally born compassionate toward all living beings, and I mean all, also animals. When we’re little, from all our heart we want to do good to animals and we show our love to them and we don’t see the difference between a dog and a cow. We weren’t speciests when we were born, it comes with time and dogmas of society. All animals should have their rights as humans do. It doesn’t matter that they can’t speak up for themselves that doesn’t mean that we can use and abuse them. Here comes animal activism – a movement that speaks up for animals and their rights. Thanks to all of those who are into animal activism! Also thanks to those which are looking into it. It comes with knowledge and will.
Of course, it is not possible to have a perfect world and don’t do any harm to any live being but there is no perfection! Veganism is in favor of inflicting the slightest possible harm.
Here you can find more detailed information about ethics.