How often do you hear that just because you are vegan, you still support the death of other animals just by buying food for your cats? Or how you could not possibly live a completely cruelty-free life because somewhere along the line, a couple of animals died?
Oh dear, I hear this quite often, and by people who are intelligent.
It seems like any excuse is a good excuse for not looking at your plate. Even preaching about how vegans still kill other animals without looking at facts and statistics.
Let’s get three things out of our way:
- Not one vegan claims that it is possible to live a completely cruelty-free lifestyle.
- We must take care of an obligatory carnivore as parents. Most of us had cats before we went vegan and are very conscious of the fact that we support slaughterhouses just by buying food for other animals that we share our home with.
- There is a difference between doing something and doing nothing. Veganism means doing something, while not being vegan means doing absolutely nothing to lessen the cruelty to other animals.
I have three cats and a dog. Most of you are familiar with Chuck, and most of you know that I feed him a mostly plant-based diet. He is not fully plant-based yet, but we are slowly going there.
Our cats, on the other hand, are carnivores. Every cat is. I buy meat for them. I am aware of what I am paying for every time I give money for their damn food. But I do it because that’s what responsible cat parents do.
Cats have been domesticated by humans. They have been made pets by humans. Letting them live outside is not only impossible in this day and age, but also dangerous for other animals that live in nature.
They are not wild animals anymore; they could not possibly survive outside of our home. So I rescued them and gave them home, which meant buying meat for them.
Does that make me a bad vegan? No, it just makes me human. I never claim that no one dies for me. Heck, when I buy at New Yorker there are probably a few people who died making the cheap shirt or committed suicide because sweatshops suck. When I buy rice and potatoes and apples, a few animals definitely died in the process.
But as a vegan, I have lessened the amount of human and non-human animals to be killed and exploited.
Non-vegans not only support the murder of animals they eat and wear but also support the exploitation of slaughterhouse workers who have PTSD and take drugs to diminish the effect taking lives away has on them.
We, vegans, choose not to pay for someone to kill other animals. We choose not to have someone skin a chinchilla or a mink. We choose not to pay for gorillas and lions to be caged. We choose not to pay for elephants to be ridden and for whales to be kept in pools.
So when you tell me that I can’t possibly not be responsible for killing a few animals in the process and that why do I even try to do something when I will never live a cruelty-free life, I ask you:
- If you could choose to save 10 people by killing one person, would you do it?
Because that’s what I’m doing. I’m responsible for that one person. I take the blame and I wish this wouldn’t be the case, but I am also saving 10 other people.
By sacrificing a few hundred animals that die in the process of getting my potatoes on the table, I am saving the lives of a few thousand animals that would be brutally slaughtered.
You are not saving the lives of anyone by judging me. The world is not changed by those who don’t do anything but by those who do something. So while some are pretending that one person cannot possibly make a difference, I am being the difference.
While you are proudly writing posts about vegans being hypocrites, I am making conscious decisions every minute, asking myself: How can I be better right now? How can I harm the least animals?
It doesn’t matter how hard you try to convince yourself that you are above everyone else and that you don’t think you are doing anything wrong by eating a steak, you cannot deny your humanity and your morals the second someone slaps your partner in the face. At that moment, everyone has basic morals and everyone knows right from wrong.
To quote my favourite animal rights advocate, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau:
Don’t do nothing because you can‘t do everything. Do something. Anything.
But I understand. I really do, believe it or not. I have been there. I refused to do anything because I couldn’t do everything. I thought everything in balance was good, until, of course, I wanted to kill myself and realized that there is no balance when it comes to death and suffering.
So I acknowledge you. I see you. I was you.
And I know you can change if you want to. Because I know it’s not really that you don’t believe there is nothing wrong with killing other animals, it’s just that you are afraid of change. You don’t want vegans to be right, or to be the ones who could change you. Let’s face it; no one wants to be told to change.
But the silly thing is that I don’t want to change you. I don’t.
I know you can change you. And when the time is right, you will.