A few months after I became vegan, I wrote an article based on the stigma of vegans being “preachy”. Looking back over that article it made me really think about the real reasons why people have such an issue with being presented with the vegan cause compared to other issues such as racism, homophobia, women rights and so on. In the end they are all good causes and all asking really for the same things; equality, compassion and justice. There is each a victim and each cause stands up to defend that victim. They are actually all the same just each fights for a different victim; black, gay, women, animal etc.
So, I wanted to throw something out there as I think I have nailed down the issue of the vegan stigma, and it’s not the fact people don’t like animals or want them to suffer. I do truly believe that 99.9% people do NOT want animals to be suffering. It’s much deeper than that. What I think it boils down to is to support real animal liberation you have to actually DO SOMETHING! You have to actually make a change in your life beyond just a change of mind. Let me explain this a bit further…
If you want to be against racism you merely have to proclaim that you see everyone as equal. That’s it. You just decide you don’t agree and you are now not a racist. No signing up to give £2 a month and no having to make any big life changes. It’s literally as simple as saying “I don’t agree with this” and standing by it. BUT, to support the animals you have to give up something. You have to stop eating meat & dairy. You have to sacrifice something you may enjoy for the good of the animals and put yourself out to truly make a stand and this is where the problem lies.
Now here is where I really started thinking. Let’s change the scenario slightly. What if, for some reason, you could ONLY be against racism if it meant you had to give up meat and dairy to TRULY support it. Would you do it? Or would you remain a racist? Now a lot of you are probably saying “Well of course we would give it up” but if so, then why in the case of liberating animals is giving these things up suddenly beyond difficult? Even an impossibility to some people! I mean that’s the reply I hear more than any and this is from people who claim to really love animals. As sad as I am to say this but, I honestly think if this was the case, a lot of people would remain racists. I think being a human related cause, maybe a few more people would jump onboard and make the change, which is fair enough, but I think the vast majority of people would not sacrifice something to defend the cause. Pretty sad to think really, but ultimately true.
So the problem lies in that you have to actually make a change to your life. You can’t just say “I love animals” and be fully supporting the cause and I think that, as this is one of the only major world issues these days that requires this kind of self commitment to fully back, this is why there is so much of a defensive stance against it. It’s the not cause, it’s the sacrifice that’s the issue. People are not willing to give something up.
I also think, veganism aside, this is something we should look at in regards to all the world issues we “apparently” stand for. As humans we have a horrible tendency to all state we are against this, or oppose that but that is as far as we will go. If it takes anymore than a like on Facebook or signing an online petition people are not interested. Why do you think charities struggle even getting £2 a month out of people. Unfortunately most humans (obviously with a few exceptions) like to talk about how much they care about things but when it boils down to it do nothing about it.
So this article is not so much just about veganism, it’s also about giving people a kick to say stop talking about things and ACT if you believe in something that much! If you want to truly show you care then make a difference to the world, sacrifice a part of your life for the good of that cause in the same way I have chosen to sacrifice a part of my life for the good of the animals. Let’s see some more positive action to make this world a better place for all it’s inhabitants and not just sit around and talk about how much we “apparently” care. Make a change!