‘What’s the point of going vegan? One person can’t make any difference.’
Familiar words that attempt to justify continuing to cause devastating harm to those around us who are defenceless against our brute force and technology. It’s also an attempt to ignore the fact that each of us, personally, is unavoidably responsible for the inevitable consequences of our demands as consumers.
Every one of us likes to think of ourselves as an individual, as our own person; as someone who determines their own values and behaviour. We all strive to be someone who can hold up their head and feel good – not necessarily by comparing ourselves to others – but by meeting our own expectations and standards. For most of us, it is unlikely that we will change the world. I definitely won’t and probably neither will you. However that does not define who we are.
Once we become aware of the deep injustice that is the basis of all our use of members of other animal species, when we acknowledge the sickening violence, the unspeakable horror and the heartbreaking misery that are the inevitable consequences of our unhealthy and unnecessary obsession with harming and slaughtering defenceless and innocent creatures, there is one thing each of us can definitely do. We can draw a line in the sand. Each one of us can say, ‘That’s enough. I will not be part of that nightmare for even one more day’.
We may not be able to change the world but we can change ourselves. Each one of us can stride beyond that line in the sand, meet our own eyes in the mirror and know that we’re doing our best to live up to the standards we set for ourselves. One person CAN make a difference. One person can make a difference in the way they live their own life by becoming vegan.
And from there, the future is up to each of us; we can spread the vegan message in every way we can devise, or at the very least we can stop condoning and approving the destructive behaviour of others.
Each new vegan is a victory for our persecuted victims, the only kind of victory that carries hope of a future where they will be valued for the unique individuals they are, rather than for the pitiless use we can make of their lives and their bodies. That is definitely worth something.