Monday, June 6, 2011

Why Be Vegan? - 3 Good Reasons That Aren't About You

I could come up with 100 reasons to answer the question "why be vegan", but instead, I'll just list off 3 that have nothing to do with you. You will find nary an answer on the health benefits, nor the environmental impact. The reason? The heart of veganism is about them - the animals, and not about what's in it for us humans.

So let's hop right into it, then.

1. Because You Like Animals

This is a fairly self-explanatory point that tends to get lost in translation. You like animals - you pet cats and are against whale hunting and marvel at unique species of birds. You're probably quite against kicking a dog or punching a cat. In fact, if you saw someone do that, you'd call the cops on them. But then someone lights up the barbeque and all reason goes out the window.

What's the major difference between a cow and a dog? Sure, they're a different species. They're different shapes and sizes with different genes and a different sort of behavior. But is it logical that a dog is worth loving and a cow is worth killing? We're all animals, after all.

Chances are you're also not cool with how things go down on factory farms - most people aren't. You know that behind those humongous walls there's some seriously deranged sh*t going on. So if you like animals, why not put your money where your mouth is and stop paying people to kill and torture them for you?

2. Okay, You Don't Like Animals, but You're a Reasonable Person

So not everyone is an animal lover, I get that. I'm pretty far from being one myself. Aside from enjoying the company of low-maintenance cats, I'm not one of those people who just "gets" animals and loves playing with them.

With some fairly basic reasoning skills, however, you can probably deduce that other animals don't want to suffer or die. People still like to argue about this with me and I'm like "for real?" I thought we were past all that Descartes nonsense. If you kick a dog and he squeals, it's not because he's a machine creaking, it's because he's a mammal with a central nervous system and it hurt.

The cow doesn't want to die any more than your dog does. So why do you eat the cow and pet the dog? Does it make any sense to be sympathetic to one animal and not the other?

3. Because It's Not All About You

Most of us were raised to share our toys, say please and thank you, and help others when they need it. Happily, most of us still practice these behaviors well into adulthood. So why is it, then, that when it comes to the suffering, torment and death of other animals, it's all about us? It's about our taste buds, our social conveniences, our personal interests, not theirs?

Let me give you an example. I punch you in the face. You're rather cranky about this and say, "why the hell did you just punch me in the face?" I respond, "because I felt like it." You then call up your friends and tell them that I'm wacko.

Here's another example. If you ate your neighbour's dog because you were "craving him", people would basically consider you a psycho and you'd be put behind bars. Yet you can pay someone to rape, torture and kill a different animal and it's not only acceptable, it's the norm. Where's the sense in this?

Okay, so you're addicted to cheese and you savor flesh, I get it. But I want you to realize that you're claiming that your taste buds override an animal's will to live. And whether or not you're someone who likes animals, or someone who claims to be reasonable, that just isn’t a very good reason.

5 comments:

  1. Makes perfect sense to me! But then I have been vegetarian since a child when my dad started to raise pigs and I realized that when they went off in a truck they never came back. That was over 50 years ago and I have been vegan for the last 10. Educate educate educate! It's the best we can do. Keep up the good work :).

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  2. Why eat the cow and pet the dog indeed. Well argued, Allysia.

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  3. Nice post. I always want to ask my "pet lover" friends how they can be out and about, petting cows and riding horses, then go home and eat a burger. Even my large-animal veterinarian friends who aren't vegetarian or vegan. You save the animals! Then you eat them? What a contradiction. Thought I was already a follower of this blog but apparently I wasn't, so I am now, and I would love it if you stopped by mine or became a follower too! :) Have a great day!

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  4. Thanks for the comments, guys! Maesti, I have a friend who has had a similar experience as you - she grew up on a farm that raised animals and she just ended up getting close to those awesome animals.

    Michele, there's a veterinarian in my family and I've wondered about that contradiction as well. Perhaps that's a conversation I should have with her in the future. And I have your blog on my Google Reader already! :)

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  5. Allysia, I left a response comment to your comment on my blog. Im not sure if you check back for responses but I wish I could set mine up that people get emails when I reply back. anyway, have a good day!

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