No matter how much we claim to ‘love animals’ and ‘hate cruelty’, no matter how many people we tell, how many inspirational quotes we share, there is no getting round the fact that being vegan is the only way to make our actions align with our words.
When we are not vegan, we live in the midst of a web of violence, supporting violence, spending our cash as consumers creating demand for violence and ensuring that the bloodbath that is nonvegan consumer demand will continue to be profitable for those who supply it. We take part in an elaborate charade, pointing our fingers at others whose behaviour towards animals we feel entitled to criticise, disowning our own participation in the horror through this charade.
We smile and we chat as we walk round supermarkets wearing wool and silk and leather, deliberating over nonvegan toiletries and cleaning substances; with recipes in mind, scooping up dismembered body parts, stolen eggs, and the milk and cheese that rightfully belonged to murdered infants. Doing this, we strive to remain wilfully blind to the destroyed lives, to the anguished hearts and to the fear and torment of gentle creatures that were powerless against the human brutality that needlessly and forcibly used them in order to manufacture these substances.
These products are not ‘our meat’, our cheese’, ‘our milk’, in fact they are not ‘ours’ in any way, full stop. Calling them ‘ours’ is simply part of the charade of entitlement that we play out in our heads every day. We look around and see our peers doing exactly the same as we are doing and we reassure ourselves that it must be okay – everyone does it. Yet despite allowing the mob to dictate our behaviour, every single one of us would resist the idea that we are anything other than free thinking, independent individuals.
Other beings are not human resources, not commodities for our use and convenience. They belong to themselves, these mothers, fathers, children and friends, as sentient individuals, whose lives we stole long before their gashed throats bled out onto our killing floors. They are our unnecessary victims and there are uncounted billions of them every year, not living in hope and joy, but existing in misery, desperation and defeat.
The violence that surrounds us is of our own making, as is the responsibility for ending it. By acknowledging and acting upon that responsibility we take the first step to changing the world. Today is a great day to decide to stop participating in the charade and become vegan.