the vegan philosophy
As most people are naturally opposed to unnecessary violence, becoming and staying vegan is not a matter of changing any of our basic moral beliefs. It simply requires us to be willing to change the habits we have developed that prevent us from living according to our principles.
Did you stand up for the rights of the enslaved, the oppressed, the massacred? Did you withdraw your support for every single shameful service the exploitation industry provides? Did you speak up on behalf of the billions of innocent victims and plead with the rest of humanity to do the same?
To actively participate in the death of an animal forces people to deaden a part of themselves, with consequences that we may not even be aware of. Is it fair to place that burden on those who carry out this despicable task in order to allow the rest of us to partake of the spoils while avoiding getting our hands dirty?
The production of milk and eggs involves both tremendous cruelty and also the deaths of billions of animals every year. Not only are these animals killed just like those raised specifically for meat, but they are kept alive longer, and subjected to a tragic lifetime of slavery, including the horrific violations that come from the brutal exploitation of their reproductive systems.
Although this may come as a surprise to some, there are ethical vegans across the political spectrum and in every major religion. Veganism transcends politics and religion because it is based on the simple matter of rejecting a particular form of prejudice: speciesism.
Veganism is as essential to peace as peace is to Paradise. It topples the foundation of violence and cruelty upon which our terribly imperfect governments, cultures, societies and religions are built. It frees us from the self-absorption that fuels our conflicts. It inspires an expansive and inclusive way of living heretofore unknown to our species.
If you are not yet vegan yourself, you might be moving in that direction or have a friend or two who is. You may even be convinced by now that veganism is a reasonable solution to many of the world’s problems. Perhaps, you have secretly envisioned doing it yourself, someday… when you are ready.
Even many of the most progressive among us, seemingly without thought, continue to exclude certain sentient beings from the shelter of their compassion by accepting, condoning, supporting and even applauding the most unspeakable injustices perpetrated against those they see as “others,” because they happened to have been born other than human.
Human slaves were once legally the property of other members of the human race and were not granted legal personhood. They were regarded as property just like nonhuman animals are regarded today. To treat animals as property is species discrimination, and it is reflected in every country’s legal system.