Parts of this post are taken from this post at the Seitanic Vegan blog I am a co-admin at.
I'd like to devote this post to talking about veganism. I was inspired to write this post by my co-admin of the blog linked above complaining about nobody reading said blog. The thing here is that nobody who isn't into veganism doesn't like to read about it, and there's a reason for that. Let's face facts here, veganism isn't commonly associated with normal, good, decent people eating a different diet. It is associated with nutjobs like PETA, the Animal Liberation Front, people who throw buckets of red paint at others, people who demonstrate at McDonalds, people who call everyone else murderers and animal abusers, people who, if you mention eating a non-vegan diet to them, use every slur in the book to paint you as a horrible bigot and "speciesist" as they like to call it. People who use their lifestyle choice to feel morally superior to others. People who want everyone else to be just like them, and if they refuse, they're worse than Hitler. In short: Assholes.
This, in a nutshell, is why regular people avoid veganism, avoid reading about veganism, and avoid talking to vegans. Because they don't want to waste their time with assholes and don't want to become assholes themselves by association. The public image of vegans and veganism is somewhat akin to nutjob cults like Scientology, being this brainwashed mass of zombies with no free will or purpose beyond what they are fed by the cult and whose only goal in life is to indoctrinate others. No one wants to become such a person, no one wants to talk to such persons, no one wants to be associated with such persons. Why would they? The people and organisations mentioned in the first paragraph are worthless scumbags and I certainly wouldn't want to be associated with them in any way despite my dietary choices.
So what we need to do here is restore sanity to veganism. First, to shun such people described above in every possible way. And second, bring to the public's minds normal, decent people such as ourselves who made our choice for a variety of reasons, but not to see ourselves as morally superior or others as morally inferior, and not to indoctrinate your loved ones into a soulless cult of obedient drones. Regular people, no better or worse than anyone, who simply eat different food than most people but are otherwise just like everyone else. People of all colours, cultures, classes and creeds. People who won't hate or condemn you if you eat a steak or an omelette, but simply make a different choice of what to have for dinner. People such as myself, my Seitanic Vegan co-admin and girlfriend, and many others who have a sane approach to veganism. And believe me, sane vegans are by far the majority, they are simply drowned out by the more vocal, loudmouth nutjobs who hog all the attention. And this post is my first step towards diverting attention from PETA and its braindead cronies and shift the focus of the public towards those who don't misuse veganism to give their miserable lives a purpose and a feeling of moral superiority, but simply want to live their lives like everybody else.
As for myself, I am not actually fully
vegan yet. I did quit eating meat altogether, and I have quit eating
eggs, and I gave up most dairy (cheese, yogurt, etc.), but because in
Germany soy milk is twice as expensive as cow milk and I drink a lot of
tea I am currently still using cow milk while I am short on cash. I am
hoping that within the next three months I gain the financial security
to embrace veganism fully. Still, considering that a bit of cow milk
every day is the only non-vegan vice I have left in my life I am hoping
to be able to contribute to this blog properly.
I am the type of person
who, not only because my venture into vegetarianism and soon veganism is
fairly recent, but also because I currently see insurmountable odds, am
not particularly preachy about this choice. The reason I see the odds
as so overwhelmingly against veganism is because, quite frankly, most of
us haven't even learned yet to treat other human beings with respect.
We can't even manage to do that. We still hurt people because of the
colour of their skin, insult them for what type of relationships they
desire, enslave them because of what continent they were born on,
exploit them because of what social class they were born into, and so
on. All the while toasting our planet, poisoning our oceans and
decimating our forests. It's obvious the vast majority of us are nowhere
near mature enough to embrace a sustainable lifestyle.
Gloomy outlooks aside,
while we can't make choices on how others run their lives, we can still
make choices on how to run our own lives. We might not save the world or
even make a dent in the system of decadence our vast majority embraces,
but we can live our lives in a way that feels good for us. We
can make sure not to gorge ourselves on poison that causes all sorts of
diseases, decreases our quality of life and contributes to making us
less happy altogether. And why shouldn't we? You have to weigh what you
are losing - chunks of chewy stuff that without spices doesn't taste
much like anything - and what you are gaining - a rich diet full of
flavours and textures. And an overwhelming abundance of nutrients, most
of which you didn't even know existed.
I have made this choice
to live a healthier life by adding all these nutrients and removing all
the poisons that come with animal products, and to live a more
satisfying, rewarding life by treating myself to all these different
flavours and textures. It's not a choice I made to save the world in
between tree-hugging sessions, it's a choice I made for myself, to help
me feel better, or more succinctly put, to make my life better. I think this is something everybody could get into, but they don't have to. Besides one brother, all of my family and friends eat meat and animal products, it's no big deal to me. They simply made a different choice than me, and that makes them no better or worse than me, and I am not going to judge or condemn them, because they aren't actually doing anything wrong. They are just living their lives the way they enjoy it, as we all should. Of course I would like veganism to be on the increase, and I'm pretty sure it is, but why harass people and make them feel uncomfortable at best and aggravated at worst just because they live their lives differently? Isn't that how most vegans complain we are treated? Shouldn't we treat others the way we would like to be treated?
So here's my offer: Show up at The Seitanic Vegan some time, read our posts, find out more if you're curious. If you don't want to, that's fine, too. We're not here to push our lifestyles on you. And seriously, fuck PETA.