Users and losers

unnamed (1)The word ‘exploitation’ is frequently used in connection with our behaviour towards those of species other than our own. I sometimes feel it’s a word we save specially for this circumstance, perhaps without truly considering its meaning. However almost every one of us is familiar with the word ‘user’. There are several definitions, but focusing on the one defined below, the word is rarely uttered unless it is in a tone laden with contempt.

User: – exploiter, user, selfish person
usage: a person who uses something or someone selfishly or unethically

Many of us have personal and unforgettable experience of feeling ‘used’ in some way or another; even more of us have sympathised with, comforted or supported other people who have experienced this at the hands of others. Few of us are in any doubt that this behaviour is beneath contempt, particularly as the using frequently involves a betrayal of trust, with subsequent humiliation and degradation. Do we all choose not to be used by others or are there exceptions?


  • Is it acceptable to use someone who is too innocent or young or vulnerable to realise what is being done?
  • Is it acceptable to use someone because they do not understand our intention as they do not speak the same language as ourselves?
  • Is it acceptable to use someone whom we consider for some reason to be less intelligent than ourselves?
  • Is it acceptable to use someone about whom we do not know – or pretend not to know – their needs, their desires or their preferences?
  • Is it acceptable to use someone because we can physically overpower them and because we feel like it, even though we have absolutely no need to do so?

Our instinct is most likely to say ‘no’ to all of the above when we consider a human in the role of ‘someone’. What does it say about us if, when we substitute an individual of another species in the role of ‘someone’, our responses change?  This is, in fact, an illustration of our speciesism and it is not an admirable quality.

Humans have no need to consume or use in any way the bodies, the reproductive processes or the lives of individuals of different species. We have no need to cause harm. However, those of us who are not vegan are undoubtedly users in every one of the contexts described above. Being nonvegan and being a user are the same thing.

And defenceless, innocent individuals are the losers every time.

In fact there are millions of them, trembling with fear and horror at this very moment, overwhelmed with desperation as they wait their turn in slaughterhouses everywhere; millions out of the billions who will take their place this year alone.

We use their bodies, we use their skins and body coverings, we use their eggs, we use their lactation, we use their lives, their only, treasured, irreplaceable lives. We use and we take and we destroy without stopping to consider by what justification we claim the right to the careless bloodbath we perpetuate. We use them up. We take from them every single thing that we value in our own lives and we use it up. And what’s more, we do it needlessly without any moral justification whatsoever.

Most of us were raised to be practised in the art of self-deception, using others for the flimsiest of reasons that we somehow never challenged, clinging to our self-deceiving fantasies of being ‘animal lovers’ as a front for the nightmare of our true behaviour. We even try to claim that there are ‘humane’ ways that we can be users, trying to pretend that using and abusing are somehow not the same. The day we approach the mirror with honesty in our heart is not an easy day for any of us. None of us likes looking in a mirror and seeing a user. However once we do, we realise that the only acceptable thing we can do is make the decision to stop.

Being vegan means we start to live in line with the values we have always claimed to hold; we stop being users, harming and betraying the innocent and vulnerable. Find peace of mind, be vegan.

This entry was posted in Awakening to veganism and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Users and losers

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  6. cushpigsmum says:

    All of my family except two of my sons, who went vegan shortly after I did, are animal users. Being with them – brothers, mother, nieces – gets increasingly painful for me. Somehow they always manage to talk about food. Yesterday it was my Mum telling me the B&B my brothers stayed at in Southsea recently was run by a Muslim couple and so there was no bacon or pork sausages. Why would my mother feel that this was something her vegan daughter would like to hear about? She hurts me so much these days with these kinds of insensitive remarks. And yet she donates money to help abused donkeys and pet dogs and cats. She’s old and I don’t want to upset her, but it upsets me enormously to see cow’s milk in her fridge, cheese and eggs, and her freezer is a horrible sight – body parts everywhere. Makes me sick looking in there. Everyone on this planet except vegans are animal users of some kind, wilfully so, obstinately persistent in continuing to be.
    Even when we don’t mean to, vegans shame and guilt trip people because their consciences prick them about all of this and they dislike us for making them confront that.

    Thanks for writing this. I have shared it everywhere I can!


  7. Shannon says:

    I’m careful to select words in describing people’s action onto others, but ‘user’ is a good one. ‘One who exploits’ isn’t direct enough since it passes the buck to someone else (who does the exploiting or killing for us). If a person partakes in flesh/excretions unnecessarily, then he is, by definition, a user. Great post.


  8. It was not my intention to be confrontational, but rather to be simply honest. Being honest and truthful is the least any of us can do when speaking in defence of humanity’s victims. Thank you as always for the feedback and support.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Spunky Bunny says:

    Wonderful article! Most nonvegans will be offended though… as they can’t handle being told the truth about their behavior. They will point an angry finger and whine, “Stop judging me!”. To call them out on the fact that they are being “users” takes a lot of guts. Do it to their face and you may have made an enemy. They get upset with vegans for pointing out the suffering, rather than getting upset with themselves for causing it.

    Few people have the strength of character to admit when they are wrong. The people who do, become vegans. I am troubled by vegan activism that tiptoes around corpse-eaters in fear of offending them. This article tells the truth without mincing words. Keep up the good work! (I just hope articles like this are actually read by corpse-eaters and not just people who are already vegan…..)

    Liked by 1 person

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