The sadness of being vegan

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You vegans

I’ve seen vegans called  many derogatory words. Nothing, it seems, provokes unbridled defensiveness and rudeness in quite the same way as coming out and stating that it is wrong to cause suffering and death to the helpless and vulnerable.

Excuses and insults

It doesn’t seem that radical to me, but as soon as it’s mentioned that humans have no nutritional or other need to use other beings in any way for any purpose, out will come a barrage of well used excuses: plants have feelings, canine teeth, what cavemen did, brain size and intelligence, we need meat to survive, my ‘personal choice’, ‘forcing your opinions on me’, the bible, eskimos, desert islands, etc.

Once these are out of the way, then come the personal insults: ‘It’s impossible to be 100% vegan’, ‘You probably step on insects every day’, ‘I bet your cleaning materials / car / PC harmed animals’, ‘What about your makeup / shoes / clothes?’ and of course, ‘You’re a hypocrite’.

Then comes the ‘we’re really on the same side but you’re being extreme’ gambit: ‘I hardly eat any meat’, ‘Every little bit helps’, ‘I follow this or that diet – I’m doing my bit’, ‘How dare you criticise me – sure I eat animals but I rescue <insert name of species here>’, ‘The world won’t go vegan overnight so we should encourage people who try to cut down slightly on eating animals’.

Invariably there are some that choose to incite a bit of xenophobia: ‘At least here in <insert country> we treat animals humanely, unlike what they do in <insert other country> – they’re all savages there’, ‘Boycott <country> till they stop killing <species that we give preferential treatment to in this country>’.

In the face of all this, a vegan who maintains their stance that causing harm when we can choose not to do so is morally wrong, is branded as humourless and – another favourite word – ‘judgemental’.

Yet day after day, we take the flak. Why is this, you ask?  I’ve heard it said, ‘Why don’t you give it a rest?’, ‘Let people take their own time’, ‘If you just raise awareness, then people will make kinder choices’, ‘You’re always going ON about animals.’

So why don’t we? Give it a rest, that is. Why are we so driven? And why are some – like myself – so implacable, so uncompromising, so ‘die hard’, ‘extremist’ and several other words that reflect the discomfort of the audience.

Numbers

Touching briefly on numbers, upwards of 56 billion land animals and uncountable sea creatures are killed every year for what nonvegans regard as food. There are billions imprisoned, and enslaved so that their reproductive systems can be manipulated to provide milk and eggs. In addition to this are uncounted millions of deaths in the silk / wool / leather / fur / feather industries and in testing and vivisection.  Then there are circuses, zoos and wildlife ‘parks’. The list goes on and on. Most of those who die are extremely young. If they were humans, we would look on them as infants or babies, children, adolescents. These are, of course, statistics and it’s all too easy to look on them as a mere mathematical exercise.

Individuals

However, the issue becomes less easy to sweep under the carpet when we stop thinking of numbers in general, but as a group of individuals – an unthinkably massive group. It is almost certain that with very few exceptions, each individual knew fear, pain, deprivation and suffering throughout his or her pitiful existence. If we could have looked into his or her bewildered eyes, we would have seen that he or she had their own hopes, needs and preferences although these were never recognised. He or she might have favourite foods, friends or pastimes but may never have had the chance to experience these.

Their individuality was disregarded because in order to legitimise our theft of their lives, their joy and their purpose in this world, in order to attempt to justify our brutal manipulation of their reproductive systems and our forcible destruction of their relationships as we mutilate and murder their babies, we refuse to recognise them as moral persons, as the sentient beings that science has declared them to be. We give them numbered or coded tags, punching holes in their fragile ears to attach these, or we notch their tender ears with nicks, cuts and shapes to signify our cataloguing of the walking dead as our resources. And ever the jokers, some find amusement at those who chortle that they ‘never give a name to anything  I’m going to eat’.

Personhood and individuality

Part of becoming vegan is the recognition of others as sentient individuals with the right not to be commodified and regarded as resources by other sentient individuals in the absence of any morally justifiable necessity.

This quote by Joanna Lucas of the Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary eloquently encapsulates my horror and the reason for the ever-present sadness of being vegan,

‘We know things about her that no one should ever know, or want to know, about a fellow being – the sight of her flayed body, the weight of her severed thigh, the taste of her burned, bone-punctured flesh, the charred crunch of her fractured ribs, the flavor of her spilled marrow, the taste, texture and flavor of every aspect of her despair, degradation and defeat.

We know every detail of what we have forced her to be – an object to consume and excrete. What we don’t know, what we don’t want to know, is what we must know if we are to restore our own humanity: who she is.’

Which means, in essence, that every hour that ticks by, millions of helpless innocents are dying in gore and agony, whimpering and screaming in fear and horror. At this moment. Now. And now. Begging for mercy now. Billions more are facing the interminable hell that is the existence forced upon them for our selfish indulgence.

So what’s the rush?

For millions there is no time left, their only lives that they value as I do mine and you do yours, are being wrenched from them as I write, their blood spilling through gashed throats onto killing floors everywhere. No respected resting places await their last remains, only a supermarket shelf, the casual, thoughtless convenience of a soon forgotten meal, digestion and excrement. That will be the epitaph of these mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters.

So when you wonder why I keep going ON, it’s because no matter how much flak vegans have to take, it’s nothing compared to what the sweet and vulnerable victims of nonvegan choices are suffering, and will continue to suffer until all ears hear the vegan message.

We say we want a peaceful world, we say we hate violence, we say we hate cruelty. Great. Let’s walk the walk and live those values by taking violence off our plates, by refusing to support the culturally accepted view that might makes right.

Be vegan. Now.

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77 Responses to The sadness of being vegan

  1. steve says:

    In this ideal vegan world. When the 56 billion beings do not get slaughtered where do they all go. And if left to procreate at what what point in this ideal world do you need to start culling because they to are eating the precious vegan resources. What effect would it have on the economy if every business related to animal food production from breeding to transport had to cease to operate. If every person in the employment of those companys were suddenly unemployed. The vegan model is a pie in the sky ideology that in reality would actually destroy the world. So you all need to wake up and be realistic.

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    • If that were true, then I could understand that it would indeed require consideration. The fact is, however, that the beings that humans consume are the subject of forced breeding programmes in order to provide the vast numbers that are required to meet consumer demand. See this link for just one example of the vast amount of information available online. http://www.peacefulprairie.org/humane-myth04.html All humans need to do is stop interfering and numbers will decline rapidly and dramatically.Furthermore, the industries that exploit nonhumans would diversify to meet the changed market demands for plant based foodstuffs. This is the way all industry works – supplying the shifting demands of consumers. A recent example of this may be seen in the demise of the tobacco industry. No one would ever suggest that people should keep smoking cigarettes to keep the tobacco industry in work and yet the workforce has found alternatives. I always promote veganism as a moral imperative, however even if you care nothing for other creatures, medical and environmental evidence is steadily mounting that illustrates the harm that the human obsession with animal ‘products’ is causing. Thank you for your observations.

      Liked by 1 person

      • steve says:

        Your reply lacks any evidence that substantiate your claims. Also using the tobacco industry as an example is ridiculous. Firstly a fraction of the population ever smoked compared to the percentage of the population that consume animal products and the ammount of people employed in the production of tobacco products is even more fractional. The fact is no matter how you dress it up if your dream was realised over night which is what most vegan fantics desire then as i said chaos would ensue.

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      • When records began in the 1940s, approximately 50% of the UK population smoked. This is not as great a percentage as the number who continue to consume animal ‘products’ but it is still a substantial proportion so the comparison is not at all ridiculous. I have researched the subject of our exploitation of nonhumans at great length and have provided links here and in other posts to assist any who wish to acquire knowledge. It is clear from your tone and language that you came here seeking an argument, however this is not a discussion forum.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The hardest part is when people say these same things over and over, and they laugh like they’re so hilarious. And you love these people, even though they mock your lifestyle in such a casual way – and you want to blow up on them and tell them how entirely disrespectful they are, but you can’t because you don’t want to hurt people. I think veganism will always be a sensitive subject because no one wants to do it, but everyone knows in their hearts it’s the right way to go.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Carl says:

    Brilliant post and amazing, insightful comments. Veg – 34 years; vegan = 7!

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  4. Reblogged this on Frihet i blodet and commented:
    Så fantastiskt insiktsfullt skrivet. Vi vill ha en värld av fred, vi hatar våld och vi hatar grymhet. Be vegan.

    Like

  5. I think if people would say, “In my opinion” or “Here’s what I believe”, instead of “I’m right and you’re wrong”, there could then be more civil discussions instead of angry diatribes! Let’s stop forcing people to listen to and accept our ideas and start intelligent discussions based on facts (not just what you read on the “news” pages). Please, live and let live!

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  6. veganethos says:

    Great blog.

    People feel the need to justify because somewhere inside is memory of the child that marvelled at a lizard, or an ant, and stared into the eye of a cow and smiled in joy that we share our world with other such marvellous beings. We all defend our choices until the day metanoia hits, and we do the mind-shift to an understanding that harming other animals is simply wrong.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Petra says:

    Thank you for a wonderful article with a great perspective. I needed that today. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Katerina Raja-Peppas says:

    Wonderful article, so beautiful, articulate and true !!! Sharing on my timeline ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. bobby clampitt says:

    not a vegan although i do raise show poultry and show rabbits for exhibition and the joy of caring for animals that has been a part of my life for 58 years.i have a very dear friend who is vegan and even before i met her i have often thought about the suffering of animals at the hands of mans hunger for meat of any flavor.i love my animals and dogs and they are treated as my friends and are better friends then most humans i know,lol.i have never ever been judgemental towards veganism but have caught flack for eating meat.i think if we are to win this race called humanity the ability to accept one another peacefully becomes the bigger issue.thanks for listening my friends.

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    • You say that you are not judgemental about veganism but I do wonder whether you have considered what these words actually mean. I wonder if you are equally non-judgemental about people who don’t molest children or rape or murder people? Vegans have chosen not to cause unnecessary suffering and not to cause death and destruction to helpless and vulnerable beings whom we have no right or need to torment. As a vegan, I try very hard not to be judgemental of those whose every nonvegan choice causes death and destruction to the beings around them, themselves and to the planet. I try to believe in the innate goodness of others, hoping that once their eyes are opened to the vile practices they support, they will stop participating. I wonder how anyone can seriously hope for peaceful acceptance of such wanton horror? We will have peaceful acceptance when the violence of nonveganism ends. Until then I shall speak on behalf of my kin as they await their turn in the slaughterhouse.

      Liked by 6 people

  10. Tweeted this earlier today:
    @anti_cancer1
    Are we rooted in a desert culture? Is this why we refuse a truly sustainable diet? Vegetarian India shows a better way discovermagazine.com/2005/aug/desert-people

    Like

  11. musepatti says:

    Guilt and shame are often covered by hard shell.

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  12. Cherise says:

    What a great article!! Everything you said was like it was written about me! I still have times where I struggle to go on, but I think of the images I have seen and will never go back! No matter how sad I may become, nothing compares to the suffering of the animals whose lives are nothing but pain and death all for human consumption. I just pray that one day we will never have to be sad because we all will be vegan! Thank you for the article!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Lyn Healey says:

    Kathy, “Evil triumphs when good men do nothing”. You are one of “the good guys”. It is easy to feel like a little lone voice that’s not heard but, believe me, you are making an impression on those you least expect. When I get down and feel things are no better but worse, I make the effort to go on a demo. There, you see and meet other vegans. You feel happy you’re not alone and you hear speakers like Elephant in the Room, who give you inspiration and answers. I think you’re right that the tide is turning and you know, rather than a slow decline, the meat and dairy industry may very well crash and burn and disappear like smoking cigarettes virtually has. We can hope and keep talking and informing as many as we can. Have you thought of volunteering to do school talks for Animal Aid, Viva or CIWF? They will train you and give you materials to support your talks. You may not have the time if you’re in full-time employment or study but you can give your Member of Parliament some welly on email and write to your local newspaper. You’d be surprised how many people do care.

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  14. Thank you so much for your blog. I am finding it increasingly difficult to live in a world where we treat living creatures as we do. What keeps me going is that I simply refuse to shut up. I see my self as a voice for those that do not have one. I do believe the tide is slowly turning but unfortunately, I doubt I will see an end to animal consumption in my lifetime – still, that’s no reason to give up right? Keep up the great work. 🙂

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  15. elephantectivism says:

    The separation one feels having stepped over the cognisant dissonance gulf – you look back over your shoulder and see all those who are yet to (or will never) ‘get it”. It takes courage to admit you have been a party to (complicit in) the worst excesses and abuse humanity perpetrates upon all these billions (trillions if you include oceanic animals) and then you are left standing – with your guilt and wondering what you CAN eat. I understand that those people who have not, or cannot take that step past their own discomofrt (and it is a real and terrible crash thrpough when you get it, it burns, it hurts – but coming out the other side, WOW! It is like a weight has fallen off your shoulders. I don;t care that others suddenley start rabbitting on about their fav. butcher or how they couldn;t goive up ‘bacon’ or ‘cheese’ as if they were oxygen – I don;t do anything at dinner tables other than say “i dont eat animals or any products made by or from animals” and watch people feel uncomfortable. They GRASP at trying to contain their superiority and laugh at me, or look down at the dead Chicken on their plate and CLOSE the door tight shut again. But every moment – that we are who we are that our ethical decision and life is out there on display – makes a difference -if not to the closed minds of people – then to the lives of the animals we did not consume. No point in arguing with a mental imperative to protect one against the terrible realisation of one’s own complicity. My life long partner has not become vegan. You live with it everyday. But love is not a feeling it is an act of the will. If we understand the psychology of the taunts, of the family members and doctors who are active in trying to make fun of us or scare us with ill-health stories etc – it is easier to have equanimity in the face of their unexamined and overt terror – they are acting out.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. David says:

    OP, you said that 56,000,000,000 land animals are killed per day. I did the maths, and that’s approx. 153,319,644 per day. Yes that’s right, we out do the Holocaust’s death-tole more than 25 and a half times in a single day!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Laurice Bray says:

    I can’t thank you enough for this insightful article. You reached right into my heart and pulled out every feeling and thought I have. You truly know what this is like — the joys and the sorrows.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Karen Kaempf says:

    Thank you, this is beautifully written and resonates deeply. I hope you don’t mind me sharing your article on my timeline in the hope that it will plant a seed…

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Because few of us were born vegan and remained that way, I try to remember that people learn at different times.

    I’ve worked with animals all my life, raising all types of orphans from fawns and seal pups to starlings and chickens. I’ve always had animals as part of my family.

    But it wasn’t until 19 years ago that I read information about factory farming (that I thought I knew, but didn’t), that I and my hunter husband, became vegan overnight.

    I do, however, have a problem with the concept of “speciesism”. I maintain that we all, each individual of every species on Earth, are speciesists. It is ingrained into us as a survival method. Nature takes care of her species.

    I do everything I can to avoid harming another life. But when I became on the verge of allergic to wasps, I did become proactive and try to eradicate them from our attic (they came down through our fireplace by the hundreds). I do believe that my life and health is worth more than those of wasps, if it comes to a choice. And just recently, while raising a 9 day-old sparrow with a clubbed foot (I just let him go this morning), I fed him cat food and mealworms. They do not have a choice as babies, they have to have animal protein.

    And, although I feed my omnivorous dog a vegan diet, I do feed my obligate carnivorous cats, meat.

    If we vegans do not insist that it all is black and white, but make it clear that we do everything we can to avoid unnecessary suffering and loss of life (knowing that humans do better on a plant-based diet), we would have fewer nasty words thrown at us.

    It’s very similar to the pro-life/pro-choice argument. I understand that the pro-lifers feel for the fetuses. I get that they feel the same type of pain that we as vegans feel. The difference is, with abortion, one is talking about two beings sharing one body. With using animals as commodities, one is simply talking about money– making a living from a cruel practice. And it is a practice that not only is not necessary, but is causing human bodies great harm and is destroying our planet.

    It’s difficult. We have little time left to save our planet. Animals suffer every minute of every day. Yet, how do we allow others the time it took us to “see the light”?

    Thanks for the great piece.

    Liked by 2 people

    • LinBro says:

      Diane, I like how you put it. I agree with you more than the original article author of the blog. I feel we have to have some understanding of people who are starting the journey and to encourage them.

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      • Thank you, Lin Bro, although I really do understand the frustration and anger. I feel it too, many times.

        But I think there is a difference between understanding and condoning. That’s where I think many get confused.

        Nonetheless, the author brought up many excellent points and did so with eloquence.

        Like

  20. Tracylou says:

    Thankyou for this..I think I will print it off, and next time someone asks why I’m vegan, I’ll pass them this to read..Along with CrimsonCorundum, I often hate being part of this world, because of the evil that goes on..Even if you know that you are doing some good for animals by being vegan, it doesn’t stop the anxiety, worrying about them, and what they are going through.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Sam Jones says:

    Fab read! Thank you so much for this! Details all my frustrations at being almost ridiculed for wanting to do good, and stop pain and cruelty! Not sure why people feel the need to criticise what’s actually a 100% selfless decision, with only good intentions. It’s not exactly fun having to check every food packet and ask awkward questions in restaurants, and certainly isn’t an act of “attention seeking”, but it helps me sleep a little better knowing that I’m not part of the disgusting society that treats other species in such a way. There’s worldwide uproar over political wars which affect the lives of innocent humans, but I just don’t get how we’ve been brainwashed to believe the same treatment and fate of innocent animals is in any way acceptable!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Great feedback, Sam. Thank you for this! I completely agree about the brainwashing and because I remember all too well what it was like to be blind to the plight of nonhumans, I often wonder how on earth so many of us remained blinkered for so long. Best wishes!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. This is a brilliantly written article. It perfectly expressed my profound sadness for what every beautiful, innocent, vulnerable individual is experiencing at the hands of their monster captors. The atrocities towards animals that are committed every second… and the casual callousness of all the nonvegans… is so disturbing that it is indeed hard to live in this world… and it makes me very ashamed to be a member of the human species.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Krystal says:

    Brilliantly written.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Kerri says:

    Great article. I did not connect the dots for a long time. My transition took years. I had the opportunity to take some Food for Life classes (PCRM), which have since become unavailable here. I ate foods that I had never tried let alone heard of. I cooked at home. I ate less junk. I did not consciously plan to follow a vegan diet, although I was vegetarian. I still bought in to the Happy Cow myth. Problems arose when I lost a few pounds and my doctor said this “diet” was harmful. You see, I have a chronic long-term disability. I did not know that it was common to lose some weight as your diet becomes healthier. He never said a word when I lost weight after my mothers long illness as subsequent death. Or even when I was 50 pounds overweight many years prior as I juggled wheelchair use, a twelve hour work day, and am unhealthy lifestyle. But as I whispered the word “vegan” red flags seemed to go up as he told me how I would fail. That the little bit of fat pad and muscle that I still had would be wasted away. That his own son was an animal right activist/ athlete who was forced to eat meat to save his health. I was frightened. I was referred to another doctor who said quote, maybe you have cancer, and prescribed numerous invasive procedures, one of which included too much anesthesia that I fell and spent another week in hospital. Between all of the preps, procedures, hospital stays, I lost even more weight. “See” they said, it veganism and its killing you. My “friend” said I looked worse that her family members who survived Auschwitz. My other friend whose own daughter was vegetarian said I was crazy.
    How did I not know or see them that it was all of the interventions and lack of awareness on my part and my doctors of a plant based diet?
    After a year of this nonsense, they moved on to my age. I had turned the magic number for a woman, 50. I had turned 50 when I took the PCRM classes. THAT was the source of all of my problems. Never mind that at 50, I had already spent my entire adult life in a wheelchair and was in the best shape/health that I had ever been in. I should have been more educated. Talked to others in the vegan community. Known not to be afraid if I lost a few pounds initially- actually it was from not eating out as much, and skipping the key lime pie 🙂
    Fast forward, my health and physical being is for crap. I had to leave my independent living and had to move in with a (non-vegan) friend.
    I feel guilty for all of the times I didn’t speak up about the REAL reason forum veganism. And all of the times when as vegetarian, my group of gal pals always made a big (negative) deal about where to go for dinner. For their birthdays we always went to the “all American” steak/burger places. I silently ate my bowl of lettuce without making a fuss and paid for their meals. Funny how people can berate you for what I won’t eat, but refuse to try a restaurant/meal/dish that may sound remotely “different” (ie tabbouleh). Or have their own likes/dislike ( no garlic/onions/peppers/olives/or nothing other than head lettuce!). Or ask about it but say “don’t tell me about how the animals are treated, I don’t want to know”
    But, it all goes back to the animals. And refusing to participate on the suffering. I just need to speak up now. I can’t go back, only forward.
    Thanks for listening.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for sharing your story, Kerri. It is breathtaking that despite all the evidence from respected authorities about the health benefits of a plant based diet, there is so much negativity and so little knowledge ‘on the ground’ amongst health professionals, a fact about which I, too, have direct experience. Don’t beat yourself up about what happened in the past although we are all tempted to do that sometimes. What counts is what we do today, tomorrow and all the tomorrows. Best wishes to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Reblogged this on Order No Rainbows and commented:
    Sums the issue up nicely.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Clea Grady says:

    Thank you for putting your heart and soul into words. Many of us stand with you. For the animals. Always.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Samar Rahman says:

    this is just amazing. i’m both happy and proud that i have converted to a vegan after 33 long years a while ago, but i am ashamed of the fact that even though i have been an animal lover for all my adult life, i never gave up an opportunity when it came to having meat and or animal based products.
    a very well written article.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Ryan says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful article!
    I can really relate to this on many levels. I was too often that joker who posed ridiculous questions in lieu of my own internal conflict. It beomes ever clearer with each passing day as my understanding continues to grow and develop. Its truly an organic process, and has changed my life in so many positive ways.
    I really like your point in regards to maintaining a constant vigilance on the matter. The fundamental cornerstone and baseline from which I operate is compassion. Animal and humans alike. So remaining countenant despite endless opposition becomes a lesson in zen. Thank you so very much.
    Ryan.

    Liked by 3 people

  29. Alexander says:

    Perhaps all of the free-range chickens should get together, vote for an Abraham Linc-hen, and emancipate all of the battery slaves from the South.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Angela Birbeck says:

    Your article is so beautifully written and I resonate with what you have said. Being vegan for me has been very lonely. I am still overwhelmed with unexpected sadness, a shiver goes down my spine as I know that it never stops. Animals everywhere all the time are being brutalised, as I am enjoying a sun downer,sleeping, working, waking, somewhere all the time animals are dying in terror and agony. Innocence is lost but I am so grateful for my awakening and articles like this make me feel less hopeless and lost. Thank you x

    Liked by 4 people

  31. I can really relate to this. This knowledge is breaking my heart and making me lose my will to live. We have to find a way to save the animals, otherwise I don’t want to be a part of this world.

    Liked by 4 people

    • We all have moments when the horror threatens to overwhelm us. We have to stay strong though! We have to remember that we are all that stands between the gravest injustice of our times and the gentle victims of human indulgence. They need every single one of us. Vegan best wishes!

      Liked by 6 people

    • Crimson, I feel the same way. Life has been a living hell since the day I became “aware”. The worst is having people you thought were good people, friends, family members, just laugh at the whole thing and comparing you to a overzealous Jehovah’s witness. That’s when you feel there is no hope for the animals and humanity. That being said, the “movement” is growing and more and more people are becoming aware. Also, factory farming is causing so much damage to the environment that the governments are pushing for people to reduce their consumption of meat (not enough but still). So we have to stay positive and strong because the more of us there are, the harder the meat and dairy industry will hit back through campaign promoting meat and dairy but also using propaganda (they have the $$$) to discredit the vegan lifestyle. But truth is on our side.

      Liked by 6 people

  32. john says:

    I am native american and where i live you cannot get fresh veggies all year round My way of life have me in unison with nature. Even farming kills animals by destroying thousands of hectares of natural habitat to make way for farming.

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    • ggma dread says:

      farming animals kills way more…takes way more…u r blessed to be in harmony…most r not.

      Liked by 1 person

    • phaestar says:

      You reminded me of this video. http://youtu.be/TL5Od4ML4L4

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds like the eskimos argument. One of the problems with promoting the morality of veganism is that because someone will say: “well I am in a non caucasian tribe with limited resources so hunting is needed” it gives an excuse for everyone else to justify their exploitation and weakens the vegan argument. Morally speaking, no human society capable of making discriminatory moral policy can defend systemic exploitation of nonhumans when at the same time they say it would be wrong if done to them (humans). if we were talking to someone in New Guinea who said: “where I live we cant get access to meat so we have to be cannibals,” we would say something should be done to change that-at least eventually. Its especially disturbing when someone is communicating this via computer technology. There *might* be an excuse for the isolated tribes in the Indian ocean who have no contact with the outside world but most are not in such a position. There is a double standard at work here–humans deserve special treatment when the moral superiority of humans is not proven. I can believe a lion is in harmony with their environment, but humans require tools to hunt and kill-the same tools that are used for killing humans (which even tribal societies have done). http://supremacymyth.wordpress.com/

      Liked by 2 people

    • Scott Slocum says:

      Fresh vegetables and fruits are great, but canned, dried, and frozen whole vegetables, fruits, and grains are great, too.

      Liked by 2 people

  33. Chris says:

    Lol. I feel your pain, bro. The problem with your entire post is the part where you assert, through implication, that humans do NOT NEED to eat animal proteins and fats, specifically, to enjoy optimum health and performance. We do, and nothing you can say or moan about will ever change that fact. Lol. I love vegans, but bless their hearts…….lol.

    Like

    • Actually you are incorrect. Please see the following which asks ‘How healthy can you be on a plant-based diet?’

      I always advocate veganism as a moral issue. The unnecessary taking of sentient lives, the manipulation of their reproductive systems, the destruction of family and social bonds, slavery, captivity, mutilation and the rest of the horror show are the ultimate human arrogance. It is, however, useful to have the following links for information and evidence that there is no nutritional need for us not to be vegan.

      American Dietetic Association:

      “It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.”

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19562864

      British Dietetic Association:

      “Well planned vegetarian diets can be both nutritious and healthy. They have been associated with lower risks of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, certain types of cancer and lower blood cholesterol levels.”

      http://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/vegetarianfoodfacts.pdf

      Dietitians Association of Australia:

      “Vegan diets are a type of vegetarian diet, where only plant-based foods are eaten. They differ to other vegetarian diets in that no animal products are usually consumed or used. Despite these restrictions, with good planning it is still possible to obtain all the nutrients required for good health on a vegan diet.”

      http://daa.asn.au/…/smart…/nutrition-a-z/vegan-diets/

      Dietitians of Canada:

      “A vegan eating pattern has many potential health benefits. They include lower rates of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. Other benefits include lower blood cholesterol levels and a lower risk for gallstones and intestinal problems. Vegans must make sure that enough nutrients like protein, iron, zinc, calcium, vitamins D and B12 and omega-3 fats are included. A well planned vegan diet can meet all of these needs. It is safe and healthy for pregnant and breastfeeding women, babies, children, teens and seniors.”

      http://www.dietitians.ca/…/Eating-Guidelines-for-Vegans…

      The American Cancer Society

      “Some studies have linked vegetarian diets to lower risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and certain types of cancer, such as colon cancer. A strictly vegetarian diet must be properly planned to be sure it provides all the required nutrients.”

      http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/heart/prevention/nutrition/food-choices/understanding-vegetarianism

      Harvard School of Public Health:

      “With a little planning, a balanced and varied vegetarian diet can meet the nutrient needs of nearly everyone.”

      http://www.dining.harvard.edu/vegvgn

      Cleveland Clinic:

      “There really are no disadvantages to a herbivorous diet! A plant-based diet has many health benefits, including lowering the risk for heart disease, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, and cancer. It can also help lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels, plus maintain weight and bone health.”

      http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/heart/prevention/nutrition/food-choices/understanding-vegetarianism

      New York Presbyterian Hospital:

      “People who follow a vegetarian diet are relatively healthier than those who don’t. Vegetarians tend to have a lower incidence of obesity and fewer chronic health problems, including some cancers, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.”

      http://www.lakeareamc.com/lake-area-medical-center/health-library.aspx?iid=1_1876

      The Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center (UCLA):

      “Some of the health benefits of a vegetarian diet may include: [d]ecreased blood cholesterol levels;and blood pressure; [l]ower incidence of heart disease, some forms of cancer, and digestive disorders like constipation and diverticula disease; [l]ower incidence of obesity and some forms of diabetes.”

      http://www.dining.ucla.edu/housing_site/dining/SNAC_pdf/Vegetarianism.pdf

      The Perelman School of Medicine (Penn Med):

      “A well-planned vegetarian diet can give you good nutrition. A vegetarian diet often helps you have better health. Eating a vegetarian diet can help you: [r]educe your chance of obesity; [r]educe your risk of heart disease; [l]ower your blood pressure; [l]ower your risk of type 2 diabetes.”

      http://www.pennmedicine.org/encyclopedia/em_DisplayArticle.aspx?gcid=002465&ptid=1

      The Permanente Journal:

      “Healthy eating may be best achieved with a plant-based diet, which we define as a regimen that encourages whole, plant-based foods and discourages meats, dairy products, and eggs as well as all refined and processed foods. We present a case study as an example of the potential health benefits of such a diet. Research shows that plant-based diets are cost-effective, low-risk interventions that may lower body mass index, blood pressure, HbA1C, and cholesterol levels. They may also reduce the number of medications needed to treat chronic diseases and lower ischemic heart disease mortality rates. Physicians should consider recommending a plant-based diet to all their patients, especially those with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or obesity.”

      http://www.thepermanentejournal.org/issues/2013/spring/5117-nutrition.html

      The Mayo Clinic:

      “A well-planned vegetarian diet can meet the needs of people of all ages, including children, teenagers, and pregnant or breast-feeding women. The key is to be aware of your nutritional needs so that you plan a diet that meets them.”

      http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vegetarian-diet/HQ01596

      Dr Michael Greger, MD

      “These are the top 15 causes of death, and a plant based diet can prevent nearly all of them, can help treat more than half of them, and in some cases even reverse the progression of disease, including our top three killers.”

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/uprooting-the-leading-causes-of-death/

      Walter Willet, the Chair of Harvard’s nutrition department:

      “Humans have no nutritional requirement for animal milk, an evolutionarily recent addition to the diet,” Willett and his co-author, David Ludwig, of Boston Children’s Hospital, wrote in an article published last September in the journal,
      JAMA Pediatrics.””… the recommendation for three servings of milk per day is not justified and is likely to cause harm to some people. The primary justification is bone health and reduction of fractures. However, prospective studies and randomized trials have consistently shown no relation between milk intake and risk of fractures. On the other hand, many studies have shown a relation between high milk intake and risk of fatal or metastatic prostate cancer, and this can be explained by the fact that milk intake increases blood levels of IGF-1, a growth-promoting hormone.”

      http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1704826&resultClick=3

      Liked by 16 people

      • Minkov says:

        I think you effectively steamrolled his argument. Much love from a vegan friend. ❤

        Liked by 8 people

      • Although Chris needed to be informed that his knowledge of nutrition and it’s effects on the human body are sorely lacking and he can only benefit from the great information provided by There’s an Elephant in the Room, I find it to be pathetic that all these experts in nutrition who admit that one does not have to eat animals to be healthy continue to feel the need to always add that the vegetarian or vegan diet must be “well planned”. I have never heard that same standard applied to the meat based diet. As an RN who sees mostly diabetics, cardiac, morbidly obese patients and sees daily the ravages of the meat based diet on the human body I am sick of these same old tired lies and false pretenses. On any given day go to any emergency room and just try to find one person who is there due to the effects of eating too many fruits and vegetables.

        Liked by 12 people

      • Thanks for all the references! I had to chuckle to myself that several of them say a “well-planned” vegetarian or vegan diet can provide all needed nutrients. Vegetarians & vegans are probably getting more necessary nutrients on a daily basis than meat-eaters, even without planning!

        Liked by 5 people

    • Wrikar says:

      “nothing you can say OR MOAN ABOUT will change that fact”
      I’m not sure why you speak in these derogatory terms since you “love vegans” so much, unless are you trying to help the author make their point? Perhaps all the LOLing might explain it?

      Liked by 3 people

    • Google Patrick Babouiman. He’s one of the world’s strongest men and has set several world records. He’s capable of deadlifting 360 kilograms, over twice his own body weight. He has been a vegan for the last 3 years, and been a vegetarian for nearly 10. Don’t tell me we need animal protein for optimum health and performance.

      Liked by 6 people

    • Chris, I strongly suggest that you do a little research (no excuses with the internet, just check your sources) before making false statements. Vegans are actually healthier than meat eater. Look it up 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • ggma dread says:

      u have listened to their lies while calling us lieres..u r so misinformed..thats sad..but u can do something about that ur self…I know u cant listen to us now so see for ur self without any influence from any group or corp..find the facts for ur self…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Jane Mowat says:

      Rubbish. I haven’t eaten meat for over 20 years and I am the healthiest 66 year old I know. Others are dropping dead around me.

      Liked by 5 people

  34. The Kind Cook says:

    I cried, I smiled, I cried again. But mostly…..I related to every word in this blog. Thank you for reminding me that others care “about her” too.

    Liked by 7 people

  35. Emily F says:

    Good read! Unfortunately, I was one of those weirdos with the stupid questions and reasoning for eating meat about two years back. Just didn’t connect cows/ pigs/ sheep as anything more than beef/ pork/ mutton… feel terrible now for being part of the reason so many suffered. Trying my best here for cruelty-free products… struggle sometimes when I go out here in South Africa – vegans/ vegetarians are not well catered for. A friend’s husband likes to constantly make comments about my reasons for not eating meat – the whole stepping on ants story… sometimes he likes to ask me if I still drink water – as a jab about what exactly I eat these days. He does this publicly… ending up with other people asking me why I don’t eat meat, and then, without fail, everyone starts with their stories… even if I don’t say a word. Oh well, at least my soul is at peace. 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

    • I understand, Emily. Once we decide to become vegan, we struggle to understand what on earth possessed us in our previous lives.

      Liked by 5 people

    • I find that if I do not defend my position than the carnists will end up thinking they are right. You friend’s husband, by making fun of veganism and pointing out to everyone the contradictions (which we know are failed attempts to show that veganism is futile) and not having anyone put him back in his place, is “winning’ over the crowd. I always try to point out how weak their arguments are. In the end, they are choosing to eat meat knowing the suffering the animals go through. But it’s not for everyone. It does make it uncomfortable and even unpleasant for others to be around you and you end up being isolated. I have made that choice but like I said, it is not for everyone.

      Liked by 4 people

  36. lovegan says:

    No matter where we live, how we live, our age, our education etc: Vegans have to listen to the same boring questions and statements. Great article, shared with pleasure. Thank you

    Liked by 4 people

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