Something I find fascinating is when people, who clearly are curious about the way I am eating, feel the need to explain to me why they are still eating meat. They try to justify this way of living by telling me they have at least one vegetarian meal per week. Wow… really? Why they tell me this is quite difficult to explain since I have not been given a thorough explanation. I guess it has to do with people thinking vegans are more ethical, and that they are privileged to say their opinions concerning non-vegans. The people eating meat then try to get rid of some of the blame by stating they sometimes have vegetarian meals.
First of all, I did not become a vegan so that I can judge others more easily. I am never interested in judging others, and I am not interested in listening to excuses. I do this for me, because I know what animal protein does to your body, not so that I can tell everyone else what bad people they are. If a vegetarian meal feels good to eat, then you should eat it, but there are a few things most people who are vegetarians do not realize.
Being a vegetarian means different things to different people. Most omit all kinds of meat, including fish, but still consume dairy. Some eat eggs, some do not. A vegan, however, eats nothing that comes from animals whatsoever. If we were to compare these two different lifestyles, we can easily tell they have one thing in common: none of them include meat. The rest of the aspects are different, and here is why:
While a vegetarian does the animals and the environment a huge favor by not eating any meat, he or she still consumes other animal products. Many animals sent to slaughter are the ones who stopped serving the farmers a purpose. What happens to a milk cow that has become too old or that can no longer produce the same amount of milk? That is right! It will become a nice, clean-looking steak wrapped up in sterile plastic packaging. The more people that want to consume milk, cream, cheese, etc., the more cows are required. By only abstaining the cow’s meat, you will not be preventing it from becoming inseminated by the hands of humans, getting its babies taken away so they will not drink up all the milk, and then later being sent to slaughter. In fact, you are actually encouraging the meat and dairy industry to enslave and kill more animals.
So, a consumption of diary and eggs help to uphold a meat consumption? Well yes, it is only logical. The more eggs we want, the more chickens we have to breed, and since there are only hens that can provide us with eggs, we discard the roosters. Too bad they cannot choose what to be born into… Once the hens are too stressed and exhausted to lay any eggs, they are sent off to become a greasy bucket of chicken wings. Again, it is only logical, and this is the multi-billion-dollar industry we are supporting as soon as we choose to consume anything that comes from animals. Some call this a holocaust, since the animals are hardly to be considered free living beings. They are enslaved and bred, based on their ability to give us what we want, into a system that forces them to provide us with as much as we want until they are no longer useful. The ones that do not call this a holocaust seem to think this is something completely natural. What you think of this is completely up to you. I am not interested in judging you, I simply want to present a different perspective to help you understand why veganism and vegetarianism differ from each other and on which levels. A store cannot continue to exist if there are no costumers – they go bankrupt. The exploitation of animals works the exact same way.
While you may feel it is more ethical to avoid meat than to avoid nothing at all, there are still many more facets to consider. I absolutely agree that one step of action is better than none, but one must always be aware of the consequences of one’s actions, regardless of how kind or unkind they are.
Be happy and clean, stay fruity and green!