Veganism is a message of positivity and equality.
When it comes to equality, “isms” are usually our enemy -sexism, racism, fascism, but to counter the negatives, we have the shining light of veganism.
Dazzling all with its positivity and its message of love and compassion, veganism is the ultimate in equality.
Veganism can be viewed as the opposite of speciesism, in that vegans view all living beings as equal. Yes, every creature with a central nervous system has an equal role to play on this rock of ours and, therefore, we have no right to exploit any living thing.
Welcome to Utopia.
Except, it isn’t.
The above is all fine is theory. Indeed, it’s the philosophy by which I live my life. However, for this to be true, equality has to apply to the human animal and different groups within this species.
In short, that means no sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia or any other form of bullying. That includes bullying in vegan Facebook groups, on Twitter and in the office/playground/common room/pub. And so forth.
My argument is; how can we fight for animal rights when we don’t recognise human rights?
To some in the animal rights movement, only animal rights matter. They dismiss the battle for human rights, because, they say, animals have had it worse. Try telling that to somebody facing the firing squad in Saudi Arabia, a refugee family fleeing Syria or a starving child in way too many nations.
If you want to fight for animal rights, fight for the rights of all animals – including the human animal – it’s not rocket science. If we can’t care for our own species, what hope is there for other species? I don’t say this lightly. I simply can’t understand how people can be racist/sexist and vegan – it doesn’t make sense.
What about all those nasty protests, that’s hardly a message of love is it?
Well actually, it is. Love provokes passion and passion is what drives life – and vegans are passionate about the lives of others – that, to me, is the ultimate sign of love. We are the ultimate “do-gooders” – and don’t take that as an insult, a “do-gooder” is someone who does good – how can that be an insult?
Seriously, I have spent my adult life having to defend my beliefs – and every single time you tell somebody you’re a vegan, they ram their meat-eating agenda down your throat; “but bacon”, “if animals weren’t meant to be eaten, they wouldn’t be made of meat” and, the best of all, “don’t force your opinions down my throat” – well don’t force yours down a cow’s throat then – and slash said throat as an indirect consequence. You see, us vegan have an answer for everything – annoying aren’t we?
Passion is something I think should be encouraged in all. If it’s the driving force for veganism, then it leads to so many wonderful things; a love of cooking, a desire to spread the word, a greater bond with the world around us and a greater awareness of what we eat.
Since the advent of social media and the rise of the keyboard warrior, being an activist has never been so easy and this means the average vegan’s Facebook newsfeed is bombarded with animal rights petitions. Good. It means one can be a vegan activist while drinking tea and eating vegan cake. Just remember to be polite and respectful in your debates, after all, this is a message of love we are spreading.