Hi family and friends! Sorry for the hiatus yesterday, I’m adjusting to a new work schedule, so I’ll be posting Day 9 later, but I wanted to do a make-up for Day 8 because the topic is really important to me. Please bear with me-the lack of sleep has fueled and caused a convergence of many thoughts, feelings, and experiences as of late and I hope they come out lucidly.
The reasons I wanted to participate in Vegan Mofo are centered around being active. It is an opportunity to push myself to be more active and present:
- In my friendships (especially with the extra cool chica @elinorcita)
- In my kitchen and creatively
- Within the vegan community
I’ve been so lucky already to make a lot of new vegan friends just through these 8 days of blogging. I’ve been particularly following and loving Fake Meat & True Love‘s creations, Heirloom Commons‘ fruit and veggie musings, and Avocados and Ales‘ beautiful baked goods. But the most compelling reason of all to participate in Vegan Mofo is to be active in
sharing a lifestyle of compassion with others (vegans and not-yet-vegans alike).
The universe was smiling on me today when I logged on to wordpress and watched a Happy Healthy Vegan video Vegan Needs posted yesterday and it began the trip down a very deep internet rabbit hole of videos and articles (including this one by Unnatural Vegan, a bunch from Privileged Vegan, this by Emily von Euw of this rawsome vegan life, and a deeply powerful piece by Alice Walker).
Going vegan is a choice that I get to keep making every single day, and I am *privileged to be able to do so. It’s why I try to say “I don’t eat _____” instead of “I can’t eat _____.” The choice was simple* for me because it wasn’t a choice about giving up anything-it was a choice about trying to actively live a life of compassion. That doesn’t mean compassion is mutually exclusive from any other lifestyle. If you ask me why I am vegan today it is because I have been fortunate* enough to have grown up (and continue to grow) around people who inspire me to be kinder, more understanding, practice empathy, and to love every day. Many of the people I love and who have taught me so much still consume animal products, but the way they have treated me is also the foundation of my choice to go vegan.
Going vegan isn’t about knowing how you would handle obscure hypothetical situations dealing with trace amounts of animal products (i.e. So if you had life-threatening disease that was only curable with one drug and the pill is made with 0.0001% gelatin, would you take it?) or answering absurd questions from your brother-in-law (i.e. Well, what if it was a happy cow and it lived its whole life happy and then one day, while it was happy, it died naturally in its sleep…would you eat it?). Going vegan is about bringing your actions in line with your values. My brother-in-law (my only brother), who asks me a minimum of five outlandish, logic-cartwheel inducing questions about a vegan diet every time we eat together, is the same brother-in-law who brought me dinner, VEGAN dinner, every night for a week straight so I could stay with my husband when he was hospitalized.
And sometimes, my brother happens to ask some pretty poignant (and sometimes uncomfortable to face) questions like “What about the migrant workers with poor working conditions that are picking the fruit and vegetables you’re eating?” Well he’s right. I can do a better job finding out what went into the goods I buy and consume and try to avoid those which cause suffering. But, for me, going vegan isn’t solely a
bout striving for a life devoid of suffering, it is about taking positive action to end suffering and try and create a world where all things (human animals, non-human animals, the earth) are treated with dignity and respect. The arguments against social injustices like racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination and oppression based on religion, age, gender, sexuality, and many more factors are intertwined (more about intersectionality) with the argument to go vegan.
As so eloquently stated by the founders of VINE Sanctuary, “Veganism is a process, not an accomplishment. In this world of globalized capitalistic competition, it’s virtually impossible to pass a single day without causing injury to some ecosystem or (human or nonhuman) animal. Hence, we refrain from proudly proclaiming ourselves to be vegan and instead encourage everyone to go vegan and go further.”
I’m working on it every day, little by little. And if you believe in kindness, compassion, and taking action to support them, would you consider joining me and being my newest vegan friend? I promise, we’ve got cookies…