Dear Vegan, There’s Something I Have To Say…

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Dear Vegan,

Firstly, I understand that when you hijacked my conversation about local chicken production you meant well. I know that when you expounded your facts and figures on how raising animals for food is the leading cause of environmental devastation, that this is what you believe to be true. I commend you on your research into a subject that you are clearly passionate about, and I agree there are practices that farmers can undertake that would see significant improvement to sustainability of our earth, reduce carbon emissions, and leave a brighter future for the generations to follow. I understand that, like you said, you want to make this world a better place, and believe me, you have my solidarity on that one.

But then, dear vegan, you began to throw words out there to those of us that choose to produce and eat meat ourselves. Words like cruel, savage, uneducated, unintelligent, closed-minded. You said that we needed to wake up to your perspective, which you believe to be the one absolute truth, and anybody who is not following this truth is unenlightened.

As this, dear vegan, is where you lost me. Because you preach compassion for all living creatures, yet refused to treat a fellow human with respect and kindness simply because they exercise their freedom in a way that differs from your beliefs. And I’m sorry dear vegan, but you cannot make this world a better place when you spout condemnation, judgment and hate toward people just because they do not share your point of view.

Dear vegan, you do not know me. You do not know my morals and ethics. You do not know of my tender heart and my love for animals. You do not know of my compassion. You do not know of the farming practices my husband and I undertake to give our animals the healthiest and happiest life. You do not know of my health journey, and the reasons why I choose to eat animal products.

And the thing is, by showing such blatant disrespect, you are actually doing your cause a major disservice. Because I was interested in your beliefs. I did want to know more about ways that you feel we can work together to build a better future. I would have loved to have shared thoughts and ideas with you. But then you insulted me because you think I am ignorant, uneducated and lack intelligence. When you do not even care to know me. And because of this, I am no longer interested in hearing what you have to say. As it stands, you cannot force someone to adopt your beliefs. And even less so when your beliefs are laced with insult.

What it comes down to, dear vegan, is that we have all been given a life to live as we see right. We are faced with a tirade of moral, spiritual and ethical choices… breastfeed or bottle-feed… school or homeschool… faith or atheism… career mum or stay at home… vegan or non-vegan.

We make these choices based on our circumstances, our knowledge, our research, our education, our life experience. These choices are not an exposition of wrong or right. They just are. They represent our freedom, our ability to think for ourselves and choose our own path in life. And the moment we start judging people on these choices, is the moment we trade our gift of humanity for something less. We taint the world with shades of our bigotry, intolerance, narrow-mindedness. We lose the privilege and joy of seeing a community come together for a cause that will only bring benefit to all; and instead witness a community that becomes divided by anger and hostility.

We will never live in a world where every person believes one and the same. Yes, the idea of making the world a better place is something we should all strive toward. But even if the world were to consist of only vegans, this would still not necessarily make the world a better place.

Because the goodness of our hearts is not defined by the choices we make, but in the person we choose to be. What will make this world a better place is the way we reflect love, kindness, respect and compassion to others. The way we accept the choices that others make as their choices and live alongside them in peace, even if their choices don’t align with our beliefs. The way we can put our differences aside and learn from one another and work together for a common cause. We need to understand that how we choose to live our lives is our own perspective of the world; it’s our own unique privilege. And to deny another person that same privilege only takes away from the paradigm of freedom that we so readily embrace for ourselves.

Dear vegan, we have made different choices in life based on our individual beliefs. I love the fervor with which you stand up for what you believe in. I love your heart, and that you only desire to make the world see things the way you do. Whilst I don’t always agree with your beliefs, I choose to respect them and to live alongside you in peace. And all I ask, dear vegan, is that you choose the same for me.

36 thoughts on “Dear Vegan, There’s Something I Have To Say…

  1. Not all vegans are like that, in fact as a vegan I know many and have yet to meet one who is as you describe. I think the same conclusion could be made about any group of people, Christians, Muslims, Liberals, Feminist etc. but it’s not fair to make sweeping judgement on any group of people as there will always be extremes. Everyone is on there own journey, and I avoid telling people I’m a vegan because of the looks of disgust or telling me I’m abusing my children, or I’m too skinny, is that all meat eaters? No way but it’s definitely some.

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    1. I absolutely agree with everything you have said Sarah. Not all vegans are like that, and I’m glad you haven’t met any like that, but sadly I have. My blog was not addressed to all the vegans of the world, but written in response to a personal attack. Most people who know me know that I am one of the LEAST judgemental people out there, but when I am being attacked, I will retaliate in truth. And hopefully with kindness, love and respect.
      I understand fully your hesitation to label yourself a vegan because of the ignorance and judgement of some people out there. I have had similar issues in labelling myself a Christian, or a homeschooling family, or an advocate of the Paleo diet, or even just telling people I have four children! But more and more, I am learning to embrace all that I am and not allow others to deter me from my path.
      If the vegan lifestyle is the one that fits you best, then live it fully and let the haters hate!
      All the best in your journey Sarah x

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      1. I can understand why you’ve written this post, Kathy. Sadly, I’ve had the same response from a number of very angry vegans who cast farmers as savages, believing they hold the only true moral compass.

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      2. There are some beautiful vegans, just as there are some cruel farmers. It’s not about what we choose to do, it’s about who we choose to be. I certainly hold no disregard for vegans and their beliefs, live and let live, I would just hope for the same attitude in return.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. I don’t think this article is directed at all vegans & clearly outlines that at a couple of places, just the extreme ones that hurl abuse at ppl that they condemn as barbaric. I have also been at the receiving end of this abuse & it does their cause no good.
      You are correct that there are extremists in other groups, whether religious or those that want to change society. I can understand that this would be born of frustration that others do not see their point but it can also taint peoples’ towards the entire group, whether vegan, Muslim or political aspect.

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  2. Hi Kathy,

    From the sentiment in your writing I can see you are a compassionate and good hearted person. I understand when someone questions, with hostility, the values and beliefs you have lived your entire life it is natural to respond defensively. I too have been in your position before.

    In your post you consider that ‘the moment we start judging people on these choices, is the moment we trade our gift of humanity’. Yes in some senses I agree with you, tolerance of others is perhaps one of our greatest virtues. However when individual choices impact on the freedom and health of others, altruism is our greatest virtue. Our history and our humanity is defined by those who questioned the standards of society, became a voice for the voiceless, and fought for the rights of those who could not. And by those who listened and acted.

    Borrowing your words. When we disregard the message of veganism ‘we lose the privilege and joy of seeing a community come together for a cause that will only bring benefit to all; and instead witness a community that becomes divided by anger and hostility’.

    Matt

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    1. Hi Matt, thank you for your feedback.
      I agree, altruism is a great virtue to have, and a virtue that I live by and teach my children to live by also. It is definitely a virtue to encourage in the desire for a better world. But how we choose to exhibit that in our daily lives is where individual freedom must be respected.

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      1. Thanks for your reply Kathy. Sorry I’m not sure I quite understand what you mean by your comment ‘how we choose to exhibit that in our daily lives is where individual freedom must be respected’. Did you mean to imply, how we choose to exhibit altruism in our daily lives is where individual freedom must be respected. My interpretation of altruism is putting others above one’s self. However the comment above seems to imply its ok to be noble according to our interests. This position would imply the interests of the individual achieves precedence over the group. Which would contradict the philosophy of an altruist. Sorry if I misinterpreted your comment.

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      2. The definition of altruism is, in its most basic form, the opposite of selfishness. Altruism is a philosophy of putting one’s needs before our own. Whilst this can embrace all living creatures, nowhere is it defined as a virtue that you can only hold if you are a vegan.
        No, I am not a vegan. However, I AM farmer. That means my animals are my first priority (after my own children). That means much of my time is spent making sure my chickens have clean water and access to grass, fresh air and open spaces, while also ensuring they have a clean and sanitary house to sleep in at night and lay their eggs and hatch their babies, away from foxes and crows. It means that no matter what else may have been happening at the time, as soon as I discovered one of my baby goslings had been taken by a crow, I had my husband out there constructing a better pen for them to be safer in. It means that when I find a lamb in the paddock that is without a mother, instead of choosing to leave it there to be pecked at to death by crows or ripped apart by foxes, I will take that lamb home and I will feed it on a 24 hour schedule and be its mother for as long as it needs. It means my husband works tirelessly all seasons, ensuring that the cows and sheep have THE best quality pasture to graze, after he has biologically prepared the soil at twice the cost of the fertilisers that traditional farmers use.
        It means when we hatched baby turkeys and a couple of them had legs that were crippled, we made splints for them and helped them to learn how to walk on their own. It means working long and hard days on the farm so that our animals have the best, healthiest, happiest life they can possibly have, even though at times we barely make ends meet. It means my four children are growing up and adopting the same philosophies that we have in the way we treat our animals.
        Yes, our animals are bred for a purpose. But in no way do we not display altruism in the way we care for them.
        Why do I choose to eat animal products? Because two years ago I was so sick that I was facing the prospect of not being here much longer to raise my children. I found healing in the autoimmune paleo diet, and that has saved my life. And contrary to what you might think, I don’t believe my children would be okay with saving a lamb at the sacrifice of their mother.
        As for how we put other HUMAN beings above our selfish needs, please feel free to message me if you’d like to know more about who I am and the way I live my life to bring healing to a broken world.

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  3. Kathy, I absolutely agree with the premise that we each have the right to live our own way, to live and let live. But that has a caveat.. that our preferences, our choices, do not impinge on the wellbeing or freedom of others. I include nonhumans in that category of ‘others’ because they are sentient, they have preferences, needs, can feel pain and stress as well as pleasure. Using and killing nonhumans clearly impinges on their desires and needs. I regard those beings’ wants and needs as important. Put that together with the fact that no food produced from animals is necessary for us to thrive and the only logical decision is veganism. Cheers.

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment Mike. I understand your sentiment, however, I feel that in regard to this particular issue, there is no caveat, there is only respect for the choices that other people make that we cannot control.
      Also, if you would ever like to hear about my health journey and how the Paleo diet is the only reason I am here today to raise my four children, then please feel free to message me.

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      1. So if somebody chooses to be violent to his or her partner, or molest children then I need to respect that choice? – or should we point out that such a choice impinges on the wellbeing and freedom of others?

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      2. Please take note of exactly what I said Mike, that I feel that “In regard to THIS PARTICULAR ISSUE”
        Should you care to understand more of who I am and what I stand for, please feel free to read more of my blogs.

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      3. Kathy, “in regard to THIS PARTICULAR ISSUE” sounds to me like a cop out. You seem to be saying that you agree that an individual’s rights do not extend to harming or taking away the freedom of another individual – EXCEPT when it comes to confining and slaughtering them for food that you like to eat. Do you have a good reason to excuse humans from this basic tenet “in regard to THIS PARTICULAR ISSUE”?

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      1. Mike, given that we’ve discovered Kathy isn’t a factory farmer, she’s not into what you’d call animal cruelty – we can agree that her only crime here is to kill an animal at the end of a happy life and eat it?

        If so… I have to ask… what compels someone like yourself to decide that your way is the only moral and ethical path in the world?? What exactly is it that stops you from considering that there are people with a differing moral compass than yours and that is OK?

        Do you REALLY think that eating meat is the same as sexually molesting a child? Do you?? Would you have the balls to say that to a child who was molested, or a parent thereof? Is your moral compass such that you see all ‘bad things’ the same? Eating meat is the same as hitting your spouse or molesting a child?

        If so – then isn’t judging someone also on the ‘bad’ list? Doesn’t EVERY major religion display a derivative of… “Be careful who you go pointing fingers at, because you’re not the one put in charge of everyone else’s lives”? (It does, I can quote if you like, but you seem educated, you know the concept).

        Is mentally harming someone the same as physically harming them? Is cyberstalking, circulating their posts, coming onto their page and calling them names, on the bad list? That is commonly called verbal or psychological harassment. Is that on the bad list?

        You can’t play it both ways, Buddy. Either EVERYTHING that could be construed as bad has to be stomped out, OR people can live as they choose and you go and live your life. But not both.

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      2. Hi, Lia. You’ve asked a few questions so I’ll try to answer them. First, I see the ‘crime’ as more than the killing of an animal – which, by the way, is always way before the natural end of his/her natural lifespan. I believe it is wrong to use an animal as a resource, to breed them, keep them and then kill them – all for human benefit. So whether they have a relatively ‘happy’ life or not is not the issue.

        I do accept that there are people with “a differing moral compass” from mine. What I try to do is convince people who do care that if they are using and consuming animals then their practices are conflicting with their morality. If someone simply says, “I know that what I’m doing is harming others and I don’t care”, then there’s not much more I can do.

        I did not say that “sexually molesting a child” is the same as eating meat, please go back and re-read. I simply used that as an example of how our rights are limited once they start to impact on others’ rights. But, once you accept that we choose to eat animal products for the pleasure of it – that we don’t need them in our diet – then it is not unreasonable to compare it to other things that humans do for pleasure which harms others.

        I believe in the maxim, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” – is that the same intent as your quote? And I’d point out that killing others for food you don’t need breaks that golden rule.

        I am not cyber-stalking or name-calling – just engaging in debate on a topic that was kicked off on a publicly available blog. I was made aware of it from Twitter where renowned anti-vegan tweeters were sharing it. There is certainly no law against sharing links or against quoting from blogs provided the quote is attributed. Similarly, Kathy’s Facebook page is open to the public.

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    2. If you choose to think of animals as a sentient being that is your choice. If you believe all other people should then you are mistaken.
      If you believe that molesting children or violence against women or any other person is on par then you are sadly mistaken, both legally & morally.
      If no food produced is necessary for other animals to survive, whether they be omnivore or predator, then why are some of your sentient beings following this course. Are herbivore more highly developed, I think not.
      If you believe that humans are the only animals to have developed this though, then that would rather point to all animals not being sentient.
      You are welcome to your beliefs however do not think that others are wrong just because they do not think the same. Thank you. Bye

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      1. David, “sentient – adjective sen·tient \ˈsen(t)-sh(ē-)ənt, ˈsen-tē-ənt\ : able to feel, see, hear, smell, or taste” http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sentient.
        Animals can feel.. and of particular relevance here, they can feel pain. Not a matter of my ‘thinking’.
        I didn’t claim that those treatments of humans were on a par with our treatments of animals, just used those as examples of our rights stopping when they infringe on those of others. They are not legally comparable because the law regards animals as things.. sadly.
        By ‘us’ I meant human beings.. obviously. But I think the herbivorous gorilla is pretty advanced.

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  4. I’m afraid I don’t agree that you can love animals – and then kill some … by all means, eat meat! But please don’t avoid the fact that you are killing them. I think that meat eaters who were required to kill their own meat would become vegetarian in droves! At least farmers are confronting the fact that eating meat requires a kill…

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    1. Surprisingly there ARE farmers who care for their animals with the utmost respect and adopt the highest ethics possible in their farming practices, who still kill and eat their own meat. I know, because I am one.
      Thank you for feedback.

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    2. I have raised & killed my own meat because I wanted to raise them rather than buying them through a food factory.
      Whilst I wouldn’t describe it as a fun experience I think that it makes people respect animals more. However many vegans not only object to farms producing animals for the table they also object to nature providing it as well.
      Hunting the seem to find even more deplorable, so whilst you think that many people would not find killing their own food possible those that do are attacked with even more vorosity & hatred. Now I do not know if you feel this way but I have conversed with many that do.
      i enjoy meat & I will continue to eat meat regardless of anyone’s else’s objections because that is my perogative, just as it is your not to.

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  5. Kathy, I was on the original post that prompted this blog. I asked if there was somebody local who could process the chickens I raised. Because I’m not skilled in it.

    From that post I received some very helpful information from one lovely vegan lady – plus comment after comment telling me how my way of life is so very, very wrong compared to theirs.

    After contemplating this for several days, I’ve come up with the following:

    I live what most people would consider a fairly traditional lifestyle. I grow almost enough veg to support my family and swap with others to get the rest. I eat meat. Meat that *I* grew. I make enough to feed myself, family and friends.

    My animals live the life of Riley. Really. My dairy cow gets massages. Without elaborating, my animals live the happiest lives possible. They are not factory farmed. I am against factory farming and do what I can to stop it.

    My only crime then, from what I can tell, is that at the end of their lives, they are killed. I’m not getting around that one, as a previous commenter said…My animals are bred and killed to eat. And I eat their meat.

    And I am very comfortable with that. What I *don’t* do, is go onto vegan blogs and post names and judgement calls on their pages. I don’t go on their Facebook and tell them they’re living their life wrong. I DON’T GO ON AND TELL THEM THEIR ACTIONS ARE AKIN TO CHILD MOLESTATION, RAPE AND MURDER.

    And yet… that’s what I’ve copped for the last three days. By people who don’t know me, don’t know my life, my values or anything else. What you know about me, is that I eat meat.

    Well here’s a salient point – who exactly, in any universe, gave you the right to decide that the vegan lifestyle is a) right and b) the ONLY right and moral way to move forward? All of the people who commented claimed to be spiritual, caring people – WHO GO ONTO OTHER PEOPLE’S THREADS AND CALL THEM NAMES. I read a comment today whereby the reason that it’s OK to treat other humans like assholes, is because they harm animals.

    Oh. Rightio. So it’s the ‘they started it rule’? Seriously, I don’t cop that shit from my kids. The next argument is ‘why should I show compassion for somebody who doesn’t show compassion’? Ummmm, that doesn’t even make SENSE. They’re a bad person, so I’ll treat them unkindly myself and then try and tell them that they are in the wrong. Fuck me swinging. The irony is delicious, but you end up feeling sorry for people whose arguments didn’t move past primary school!

    For those who can recognise that my animals are treated well, but are killed at the end of their lives – it then moves to how PAINFUL their death is. Do you know this? Do you? The closest I’ve heard from a reasonable vegan is that many, many years ago they witnessed an animal being slaughtered poorly and it was in pain. Yes, there ARE bad people who kill animals without any care for their welfare. There are also people like me who ensure theirs are not in pain at the end of their life. I’ve gone along and witnessed it. Have you?? Have you been there and seen that what you are sprouting may not always be true?? Do you KNOW they aren’t sedated? Did the person who called me barbaric, cruel, sadistic, uneducated, unenlightened and stupid know how my animals were raised and killed? Nope. They sat behind her keyboard making assumptions and throwing stones.

    As Kathy said, there ARE farmers who are c*nts. There are also vegans who are c*nts. There are people who work with animals who do harm, and those that don’t.

    If all of the arguments on animal welfare are taken away excepting the last part – that they ARE killed… then it has to be asked… on what in the hell planet did you think it was OK to judge someone else? Seriously, this seems to elude you all… but for spiritual people, WHICH religion or belief system do you follow that tells you that you can go around and DECIDE how other people should live. Whether it’s Christianity, Buddhism, karma… YOU DON’T GET TO BE THE ONE POINTING THE FINGERS. It’s not UP TO YOU to judge. Every belief system says we will be judged on our own actions at the end of our lives.

    Maybe if you have enough time to go around, posting threads in your Facebook pages – yes, I have proof that the comments on my page were made after it was discussed in a Facebook group – yes, I have proof where this blog was shared around in your little groups… maybe if you have that much time on your hands and you want to make a difference… try practicing kindness to people. Try LIVING compassionately towards ALL HUMANS as well as animals – even the ones you don’t agree with. Try ACTING the way you are preaching. Go and GROW some food yourselves!! There’s a thought, stop being bloody consumers and keyboard warriors and go and grow some food instead of sitting behind keyboards telling others what they should be doing. That comment is directed at the people who said those things directly to me. I know there are vegans who are getting out there and peacefully pushing their agenda. And not only do I applaud you, I’ve been known to help! I’m not against veganism if that’s what you want to do. I’m against people who choose to push their ideals – ANY IDEALS onto other people.

    If you want to be a REAL leader in change, you don’t need to go and force your opinions onto others. You LIVE it. You live your convictions, you don’t go talking about them. Here’s a tip… Ghandi, Jesus, Buddha, Mother Theresa… all the people who y’all sprout about – they didn’t go and push their opinions onto others. They didn’t need to. They did their own thing, with love, and people followed. If you are living your morals, you don’t need to go telling everyone about it. It’s evident.

    I look after my family. I look after my karma… how about you stop sitting around talking about other people’s bloody Facebook pages and look after yours.

    Go and look after your own karma –

    And I’d like you to think LONG and hard about this before replying to my comments… before you go posting comments condemning others for their life choices and actions in life which affect the environment – are your choices all they could be?? Have YOU been an asshole lately?? Maybe abused someone who you don’t even know?? Have you made assumptions about people? How’s your house? It better be producing enough power to cover what you use. And you better be growing shit and not shipping it in. How about your cleaning gear… is it all petrochemical free? Your hygiene stuff – all eco friendly? Driving a car are you? Buying new clothes?? Eating processed foods in boxes full of palm oil?? Have the comments you’ve made about people in your Facebook groups been helpful, or are they spreading the hate you say you want to stamp out? (NB: I’ve seen them folks. And I’m not above posting them publicly if you want to post hate in private and sprout love in public. Try me).

    Because if you’re getting your judgey pants on and deciding that your way of life is better than mine to the point where you can come onto my post and tell me so – you better be livin’ it baby. You better be livin’ it.

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  6. What a great discussion. I have a question. If humans shouldn’t eat meat then where do vegans stand on carnivorous and omnivorous animals? This is a genuine question as I don’t really understand that if we as an omnivorous species should no longer eat meat then how do we reconcile this social construct with the seemingly innate action of meat consumption in other omnivorous (and carnivorous) species? Killing other animals for consumption is seemingly part of the natural world.
    Yes I understand that we as humans have higher order thinking and have moved beyond innate action, but is that enough of a reason to move away from what we have evolved to do? After all we supposedly have developed the brain capacity we have through millennia of high calorie, high protein diets resulting from our omnivorous diets. It leaves me in a quandary, as it would appear as if our heretofore omnivorous diet has meant that we have evolved into a species capable of facing the dilemma of whether to reject our inherent attributes or accept them.

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    1. Hi Kate,
      A well-planned vegetarian diet, including a vegan diet, is nutritionally adequate.[1] Therefore humans do not need to consume animal products to survive, or thrive. On the other hand carnivorous and omnivorous animals do. These animals have evolved to a capacity where a plant based diet could not sustain them. Therefore it would be unreasonable to suggest they forgo their diets.

      ‘Yes I understand that we as humans have higher order thinking and have moved beyond innate action, but is that enough of a reason to move away from what we have evolved to do?’ I would suggest yes, considering animal agriculture’s impact on biodiversity, air pollution, water depletion and water pollution, significant role in climate change, [2] impact on world hunger, [3] and oppression, exploitation and slaughter of billions of animals annually.

      Perhaps meat consumption was the catalyst which fuelled our brain capacity, however why are crocodiles, sharks, or lions not also dominating the planet? Additionally if we evolved to consume animal products why must we cook these products to avoid illness?

      Perhaps consumption of animal product was a necessary part of our history, but now it is not.

      “A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral.”- Leo Tolstoy

      Sources
      1. Australian Dietary Guidelines 2013; NHMRC. https://goo.gl/NVtUQb
      2. Livestock’s Long Shadow; FAO. http://goo.gl/MQIXE
      3. Animal Ag on World Hunger; HIS. http://goo.gl/Up8zhY

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      1. Please note, Kate, that this is Matt’s opinion.
        I disagree.
        I would not be here today to raise my four children if I had not followed the autoimmune Paleo diet, specifically the bone broth made from the meat and bones of animals that are full of nutrients required to heal the lining of my gut, which at the time was permeable and leaking toxins into my bloodstream, causing my liver and kidneys to shut down.
        Each to their own opinion, based on their own walk in life.
        Unlike Matt, I don’t have time to attach a ton of sources, because I live on a farm and work from morning til night caring for our animals, which leaves me little time to be a keyboard warrior on such matters.
        Good thing it’s not my goal in life to convince everyone that their way of thinking is wrong.
        Feel free to research the Paleo diet and lifestyle as to why I believe humans do thrive on a good quality, ethical, grass fed meat based diet.

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  7. Hi Kathy thanks for your response.
    I am glad to hear you are in good health. Considering your circumstances, in isolation, if a Paleo diet is the only necessary means for your survival, of course you (or anyone else in a similar situation) are justified to consume animal products. However for someone not in your circumstances the only position that could not be logically disputed for needlessly contributing to the oppression, exploitation and slaughter of others is apathy.

    Considering your second response to my original post ‘Nowhere is it defined as a virtue (altruism) that you can only hold if you are a vegan’. Yes that is correct, and I never claimed it to be so. I was just trying to understand your response in relation to altruism as to me it seemed somewhat contradictory.
    I appreciate the effort you take to maintain the welfare of ‘your’ animals. In isolation these acts are admirable. However the breeding and nurturing of others for ‘a purpose’ should not be construed as altruism. Just like humans, other animals have an inherent right to live completely unfettered by human domination. I can understand it can be difficult to compare the life of a human to other animals, however there were times in history when social hierarchies were (and still are) constructed and used to justify the oppression and exploitation of race, class, gender and sexuality. Furthermore the impact on animal agriculture (e.g. climate change, food insecurity due to inefficient use of resources) on other humans should also be a concern.
    In response to your comments on Kate’s post ‘Please note, Kate, that this is Matt’s opinion’. That opinion was supported by reports founded on extensive analysis of peer-reviewed scientific literature (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, National Health and Medical Research Council, Humane Society International), and the view of a literary genius (Leo Tolstoy), all of which most reasonable people would consider reputable sources. Perhaps you prefer a religious opinion, ‘thou shall not kill’, or ‘Wherefore I say to all those who desire to be disciples, keep your hands from bloodshed and let no flesh meat enter your mouths, for the Lord is just and bountiful; who ordains that man shall live by the fruits and seeds of the earth alone.’ Jesus, Gospel of the Nazirenes, Chapter 38, Verse 4.
    ‘Unlike Matt, I don’t have time to attach a ton of sources, because I live on a farm and work from morning til night caring for our animals, which leaves me little time to be a keyboard warrior on such matters.’ Well feeling obligated to provide a personal context, I am an ex-serviceman (RAINF), I study a double degree of science/education full-time, I work part-time, volunteer my spare time at a catholic organization supporting homelessness, I’m agnostic, and yes I am vegan. And now I’m apparently a keyboard warrior, maybe I should start my own blog?

    No it’s not ‘my goal in life is to convince everyone they are wrong’. However discussing the reality of this situation is important. Furthermore my original reason for commenting on your blog was to protest the notion of subjectivism your original blog promotes as ‘the gift of our humanity’. Because such a precedent eliminates the possibility for ethical debate on moral dilemmas such as animal agriculture, and suggests we should ignore individual choices which cause unnecessary harm to others. Of course I am not an exemplar of right and wrong, however I do feel it is important for us to be authentic to one another and scrutinize each other’s beliefs as it forces us to logically consider, and take responsibility for our actions. As such I welcome you to scrutinize my beliefs, with reasoned argument and evidence based truths, where you see applicable. And if you do so I will not label you a ‘keyboard warrior’. Furthermore if you do not wish to be scrutinized do not publish polarizing comments that compare veganism and non-veganism to such trivial choices as ‘school or home-school… faith or atheism… career mum or stay at home…’. Lastly moral debate is not ‘forcing beliefs’ on someone, perhaps they can be uncomfortable conversations to be on the receiving end, however responding with stubbornness only reflects immaturity.
    I can understand my writing could be interpreted as insensitive, this is not my intention. Thank you for an interesting conversation.
    Matt

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  8. I have similar sentiment with SOME vegans, but most (thankfully) do not fit the stereotype. I certainly strive not to be! In fact, having vegan children as well is a constant chore, curbing their abrupt opinion of non-vegan others (which most of the rest of the world is) with their limited view of another’s individual circumstances. With four, the conversation of ethics and hypocrisy is a never ending, but like sex and drugs, good ones to have. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yeah, it’s the label that hurts people. Once you decide to identify as a feminist, atheist, vegan, liberal or whatever, you are now painted with the same brush as any other of “your kind” that acts like an asshole in the name of the “cause”.

    If you know within yourself that you can be “something” without having to take on any guilt for a type of behaviour or interaction you don’t even take part in, then there’s really no need to be offended. (Unless you know within yourself that you are guilty of said behaviour, then that’s for the individual to work out themselves).

    So if it’s not about you (but instead about someone else’s behaviour who label themselves the same way you do)… then it’s not about “you”.

    Liked by 1 person

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