Soul Topics

Why I’m vegan

Most people do not care about environmentalism. Environmentalism seems interesting, but it does not spur action. It’s hard for one to be connected with it.

Something closer to heart is the social aspect. Pick a group: the elderly, the cognitively challenged, low-income families, poor women and children. These inspire emotions, and some form of human connection.

The term intersectionality recognises that we, humans, have multiple identities. Gay, black, female, vegan. These are marginalised identities, but truly, all of us have multiple marginalised identities, not defined here, and often not defined within ourselves because we aren’t aware enough.

The power lies where one (marginalised) aspect of one person connect with another. For example, many vegans have a strong connection and will to fight for justice of animals. Likewise, the LGBTQ+ societal movement is one towards love, and away from oppression. Both groups understand the travesty of misrepresentation and abuse.

This enables different societal groups to work together. This enables different people to connect with one another. It is something that has been missing in the environmentalism movement. The environment, often conceived as a world out there, is none of our responsibility, as we define it. But this is only natural, because as humans, we only fight for what we care for.

We join groups and circles where we feel we belong. We must understand the connection for ourselves.

I may not have as strong a connection with animals as other vegans, even though I might feel saddened by how animals are treated. What I am really against is the scandal perpetuating in the food industry. Call it other names: conspiracy, travesty, darkness, manipulation. On one hand, there is the manipulation of the masses for the purposes of destruction. One the other hand, there are privileged humans [us] who have the power to choose to allow this manipulation to continue, just because we can.

I am one of the privileged few. All of us are, if you happen to be reading this. While 50,000 men, women and children die of hunger daily, here we are contributing to their destruction, because we’re privileged. We exercise our power of consumption, to direct an enormous of grains, land and water to produce just a little bit of food [animals] for the few [us], leaving billions in those countries to starve (who could’ve fed on the plants and grains we used to feed the few animals for us).

Of course, global hunger is only one issue concerned with mass meat production, that we talk about but do nothing about. Climate change is another.

Why would I care? While I’m privileged, I understand – and identify – with a lack of privilege. Being born in a low-income family is one factor, and growing up without certain skills and competency is another. I connect with the plight of being subjected to harm, and injustice, and a world that carries on without seeing you, because they can, and because they’re blind.

However, my biography is personal.

The reality is, that we live in an interconnected global system; what we consume has implications elsewhere. Realising the scandal that keeps that meat industry thriving for profits and orchestrating the destruction of others, I realised I did not want to contribute – and stand – for that, because I can afford to live better. That was when my choice was made.