Instead of my usually WIAW post today, I’ve decided to not only share my delicious eats, but additionally give some of my thoughts regarding animal rights.
Specifically, I want to explain my rationale for being vegan in the context of animal suffering an cruelty, how I believe it should be avoided and why I make the lifestyle decisions I do.
I think for the next series of WIAW, in addition to my eats, I will share a bit more about my vegan journey. I don’t have anything planned other than exploration, musings and thought provoking rhetoric about said topics. I think that being the day bloggers celebrate a day of eats, it is a great way to explain more about myself through the food context.
Veganism: The Animal Rights Perspective
Growing up, I wouldn’t consider myself an animal lover. I was never overly ambitious in giving my love to the creatures in my life, outside out my cat, whom I found when I was 4 (RIP Mr. Kitty, I miss you). I did love to pick up and cuddle the barn cats and this was a huge cause of concern for my dad, who was scared to death I would get rabies. I did not know he used to shoot the cats either, because I always found the kitties and would bring them home. I apologize to the cat God for any anguish I caused you over my affection, causing my dad to go to extremes.
Other than that though, I liked animals a lot but I was not the person to run across a busy intersection to pet a cute dog. A puppy maybe, but the cuteness factor had a lot to do with it. I’d do the same for a baby.
I didn’t really make the connection between the pain I felt when I hurt myself to the same pain an animal might feel. They can’t speak or tell me things so why would I think they can feel? I was quite disconnected. It’s almost like how the settlers felt about native Americans or slaves. They did not understand the culture and perceived them as different, as not having the same feelings or worth.
Well folks, animals can feel things.
Here are some more in depth explanatory details.
In my personal story, I have always been someone who can feel things I see or read. It’s one of the many reasons I cannot watch horror movies. That person gettin their arm sawed off? Yea I can feel that. It makes me uncomfortable and upset, so I don’t watch that stuff.
I never thought of animals in that way unless I was running and saw roadkill or the one time I hit a squirrel with my car. I buried it appropriately, rabies or not it deserved it. Still, amazingly I did not make the connection.
You see, for me, an animal has just as much right to live as a human. If biology is right, we are all unique species and possess a lot of the same DNA, same feelings and same signals. Until I listened to the RRP and read Eating Animals by Jonathon Saffron Foer, I did not see a dead carcass on my plate or a menstrual cycle in my breakfast. I was shielded from reality and called it food. Well, that changed.
As mentioned in my Vegan Lifestyle Page (which is hard to find and I’m working on it) after reading Eating Animals and then trying hard to disprove it and finding out about more the injustice and disgusting industry practices that gave me “food” I could not do it anymore. I could not separate the beef from the cow, the egg from the chicken or the milk from where it was stolen and how it was done. I saw death and it made me sick.
Animals can feel what we do to them. “Humane slaughter” is the biggest oxymoron. I could not be a cog in that wheel of cruelty anymore.
The thing is, people will say that animals hunt each other in the wild. It’s natural. It’s right. Give me my meat damn it!
I argue however that just because it’s always been done does not make it right (um…slavery, women’s rights) and that as a society develops and progresses, it does not have to do things wrongly anymore. It may have proved necessary for a portion of time(eating other species, not slavery) but we are smarter now, we don’t have to rely on killing and the suffering of other beings to sustain ourselves. We are able to get enough calories and all the correct nutrients through a vegan diet and arguably that is better for us than eating animal products (that is a post for another time).
For myself, I cannot justify killing something or taking its secretions or eggs just because it tastes good. There are too many other good things to eat without that and I don’t need it.
You know what, I don’t want it either.
Not the lightest topic for WIAW but Jen would understand my choices 🙂 No judgments.
Chocolate banana microwave muffin & apple // hummus over sweet potatoes and tomato sauce & pickles // peanut butter and jelly and banana wrap & bowl of greens // banana&PB protein bowl
What is one thing that changed the way you see the world?
How do you live differently now than 5 years ago? 10 years ago?