I wanted to be a vegan for several reasons, I wanted to be more health conscious, I wanted to reduce my carbon footprint, I wanted to remove myself from being directly a factor in animal abuse due to my eating habits and I wanted to learn that I am capable of extreme discipline. It was simple, no animals, no animal products. That was it, and it had been easy then, but now, I feel myself getting confused with what being a vegan is all about.
I started being a vegetarian 4 months ago, I’ve always wanted to do it so I finally did it for real. I did feel that it was going to be a bit of a challenge but nothing I couldn’t build the courage and the passion to commit. After some time I felt that it wasn’t too big of an effort since I make my own food every day and I rarely go out and eat. Also, it provided me with a small source of alternative income so great, I never looked back. Then about two weeks ago, I started to realize that hey, I can push it a little further, so I decided to become a vegan. And now, I feel like everything is complicated.
I think vegan is more than just getting rid of animal products in your diet, it’s more of becoming aware of what is happening with the environment and people (which is a lot by the way) and now I am confused. It’s not that I don’t believe that being vegan takes an effect, and that’s because in my teeny tiny small way, I do think it can still make a small difference. But right now, I feel myself getting caught in a hurricane that I cannot handle because of things that I read about how to be vegan. I know that I don’t have to follow certain guidelines and you don’t need a manual to being a vegan, but now, it’s dawning on me that calling myself vegan isn’t the best thing to associate myself with.
Everything is evil. That’s basically what I can understand about what I have read. (And of course, not all vegans are like that but it does feel like it). The things I have read make people seem so closed minded about how to live a fairly normal life in a world that’s not in the Middle Ages. They seem to radiate this aura of hate when they should be representing a culture of love for everything. I mean, in my opinion if people can choose to be kind to animals, they can choose to be nicer to other people, but doesn’t really seem to resonate. It seems more like, a small mob trying to take down everyone who doesn’t belong to their group. And I know they raise issues that are relevant and should be addressed but they do it in a way that will turn off people from listening. They create this bubble where you have to go inside and forget everything else and forget that there are also other problems that should be addressed. Yes, our society is fucked up and the way we do things are fucked up, but that is the real world and you need to address the issues with solutions that can be done in the real world. In a perfect world we can make all the problems disappear but the perfect world is different from everyone’s perspective. We each have our own way and opinion about things and although one opinion is more valid in the other, you can’t punch the person who’s wrong until they are bleeding until they agree with you. I know tolerance is not a key but arrogance isn’t either. It’s like the same thing with me being atheism, yes, evidence is key. But if someone can let you be and respects everyone else, why are they considered threats to what you believe.
Right now, I am confused, I don’t know about being a vegan. Because there are a lot of things on my mind that conflict what it means to be a vegan. Like for example animal testing, yes, it is exploitation of animals, but sometimes what about advancing science? What about learning from them too? What about studying their behaviors? But maybe the problem now is corruption rather progress, but again, in our world, it goes hand in hand. I honestly don’t know where to draw the line. And I feel awful that I cannot define it. Am I a vegan or not? Or I think the more valid question is do I want to be a vegan or not. Maybe I’ll just say, yeah, I don’t eat meat, I don’t eat dairy, and it’s because I want to reduce my carbon footprint and want to stop animal abuse. It’s not as short as just simply saying vegan but it’s definitely more clear.
Now I truly understand what one of my idols talked about, George Carlin declared on one of his specials that he refuses to be part of anything. And right now, that feels very true. I don’t want to be labeled anything, sure it would be nice to be associated with the nice things attached to whatever you are labeled but it seems so wrong when the bad things are also attached to you. Now I know that I am not the person who values the opinion of others very much, but I do care about what I stand for. I do care what I spend my time in, and I do care what I tell people. I do care that when people talk to me about being a vegan (or being an atheist) I give them the correct information that they could understand so that they will understand and not judge. They may or may not accept what I am saying but what matters to me is that what I talk about is true. I am not a preacher but a mere messenger who wants an informed environment so that people can make the choice for themselves. Opinions don’t have to be shoved down your throat, instead, information should be free for those who seek it and those who seek what is out there can know what is and can make their own minds about it.