And no, that’s not because I want to eat an animal or wear it’s skin or drink it’s bodily fluids. Some days, it’s hard to be vegan because it feels like everything around you is one big hypocrisy, and it can even make you question your sanity.
This is a hard conversation to have. A lot of vegans feel they are “woke” and are aware of something so terribly deplorable, and that they have the upper hand and are better citizens for being aware and for doing something about it. I’ll admit, I’ve fallen in to that trap before. It’s easy to look around at advertisements, into restaurant windows, just walk the outer aisles of the grocery store and want to scream at everyone “YOU ARE EATING DEAD ANIMALS AND IT’S DESPICABLE THAT YOU DON’T CARE!!!!!” I’ve had my days like that for sure. And then I come back to reality and the awareness that is is not ANYONE’S fault. We have been conditioned for probably tens of thousands of years that eating animals, using their bodies for coats and shoes and bags and sweaters and using their fluids for cosmetics and anything else, is NORMAL, NATURAL, and NECESSARY.
It’s called Carnism, the invisible belief system that permeates our world, or most of the western world for sure. The belief that animals are here for us to use, to exploit, to kill, and that it doesn’t matter because we have dominion over them, we are the superiors, and they are subservient to us. It’s so ingrained into our lives that no one even stops to think about it. No one questions whether the ground beef they are buying is from a cow who could have had cancer, how many baby calves the mother cow birthed to give her milk away for, and where are those calves now (probably on a grocery shelf), no one questions why we make animals suffer for our enjoyment (rodeos, Seaworld, even some zoos), no one bothers to think about the dead animal that could have been skinned while it was still alive for their fur, their leather handbag, or their down jacket.
This is why it’s hard some days to be vegan. We live in a world that wants to save some animals (whales, dolphins, elephants, monk seals, sea turtles) and then raise other animals into captivity to kill them, dismember them, skin them, and package them up to sell at a store because we’re told we need protein. Once you learn of the hypocrisy that our world is made up of, and the double standard that permeates the thinking of so many, it can become very difficult to just even face the day at times.
Here are some examples of when it’s especially hard to be vegan. Because once you are aware, you can’t unsee what’s all around you, and it is mind boggling why we continue to destroy these animals, and in the process our health and our environment.
Celebrating a holiday with family and loved ones, while everyone sits around a table talking about how excited they are to eat the dead body of the dismembered animal that is in front of you
Walking the aisles of the grocery store and seeing ALL the animal parts and pieces, and especially all the dairy. All I think about are all those baby cows who are taken away from their mother, never to have their milk, so that humans can be the only species to take in the milk of another species.
Seeing the cafe menu at a zoo, animal wildlife sanctuary, aquarium, petting zoo, or any other place where animals are on “display”, and the menu is full of animal products. We come to look at some animals that we feel are worth our praise and admiration, while we eat others.
Knowing that banquet meals that are held to raise money for organizations like the ASPCA serve animal flesh and fluids. Again, because some animals are worth saving and others are not. It’s mind boggling.
World Animal Day, a day that tries to bring awareness to global welfare standards for animals, while farm animals are completely left out of this initiative.
Animals that are farmed and are in the animal agriculture industry are considered property. If the animal is sick and someone wants to rescue the animal, it is illegal because the animal is property. So it just gets killed. It’s life was created to be exploited and then it was killed.
We love dogs but wear cows and eat pigs
Cosmetics and other industries are allowed to test on animals, but if a person individually did what is done to these animals, they would be arrested for animal cruelty
Animal cruelty laws apply to domestic animals like dogs and cats but not farm animals because they are considered property and not individuals.
This list can go on and on. And this is not to say that there are MANY other things in this world that are full of hypocrisy and can make someone go crazy when they are faced with it everyday. Take the educational system, or the issues we have with food justice, distribution of wealth, etc. These issues permeate our world. We live in a world of duality, hypocrisy and double standards.
The animals are close to my heart, so this is where I concentrate my efforts. I cannot stand what is happening in our world. How can we ever hope to find peace if we continue to kill these sentient beings who deserve to live? They actually shouldn’t even be bred to exist in the first place. If we did not eat animals, they wouldn’t be bred into existence, to live their miserable lives just to be killed and eaten.
Ugh, it’s tough. I cry a lot. Some days are better than others. A lot of days I actually have hope, that the world is changing. We are more plant based than ever. There are more alternatives to animal skins and animal furs than ever. Things are getting better. So I will continue to speak up for the animals.
And I hope you know I don’t mean any of this with judgement. Our world is the way it is because we have ALL allowed it to be this way. I used to eat animals and wear them too. I still have some leather shoes I will continue to wear until they are worn out. It is no one’s fault, we have all contributed to this together. So I hold no one to blame and I judge no one for their choices and their beliefs. We are all victims of a system that is made of very outdated, and very unethical ideals. My hope is that we can all become more mindful. Not everyone is going to be vegan. But we can be aware, and make sure that our choices reflect our morals and the direction we want to see our society go in.
Our health depends on it.
Our planet depends on it.
Our future generations depend on it.
So yeah, some days it’s really hard to be vegan, or to just be human at all. Stay strong folks and keep fighting the good fight.