The general public feeling today is that it’s ok to consume animal products as long as it comes from “humane” farms where animals are “happy” and have a “good life.” That’s the message they get from welfarism and that’s simply disastrous for animals. They will never be free if people still think like that and it won’t stop until veganism is being promoted as a moral baseline by every non-human animal rights movement.
~ Christophe Hendrickx (November 10, 2011)
As a vegan, I am often told that I should “respect [someone’s] decision to eat animals”. This can get problematic, because that is the antithesis of veganism as an ideal. I will elaborate, but first, lets look at what the word “respect” really means, because I think that often it is misused in this context. If the person truly understood what veganism was, and had a full understanding of the meaning of respect, then they might get why the two can not be used together that way.
~ Chris Poupart (September 13, 2011)
Many people I talk to think there is no problem with consuming animals as long as they are from “humane” or “free range” farms. I think this myth is perpetuated by many of the large animal welfare groups. For example, Animals Australia wasted a huge opportunity recently with the whole “Live Export” issue. After airing the appalling footage of the treatment of cows in Indonesia, 200,000 Australians were upset enough to contact their MP’s. Imagine if Animals Australia had spent their time and money telling people “Stop All Animal Use—Go Vegan” instead of “Stop Animal Cruelty to Australian Cows in Indonesia—Ban Live Export”. We could have thousands and thousands more vegans in Australia right now!
~ Heidi Woodruff (November 4, 2011)
I grew up eating meat even though my folks were vegetarians. While growing up it somehow became the “cool” thing to do. In the schools and colleges I went to, meat-eating was a way of breaking the status quo, especially since 30-40% of Indians were vegetarian and probably more in the institutions I was a part of largely because of social/religious reasons. Having spent most of my life in Dubai and Chennai, both of which are vegetarian-friendly, I decided to turn vegan in Southern Virginia while studying at Virginia Tech. For me turning vegan was about the politics of it. I realized that I could face and address racism, sexism, and speciesism three times a day with every meal of mine. That was in 2007 and I have been vegan for four years since then.
~ Mathivanan Rajendran (November 30, 2011)
There are two paradigm shifts people experience, each one reducing speciesism: first, embracing personal veganism; second, embracing abolitionist principles. Embracing veganism means rejecting speciesism in attitude, thoughts, speech, and behavior. At a minimum, it is avoiding the exploitation of animals and use of animal products in one’s life. Embracing abolitionist principles means rejecting single issue campaigns and welfarism and engaging in vegan education instead. Veganism is the personal manifestation of a commitment to eliminate speciesist prejudice and take animals’ interests seriously. Abolitionism is the public and political manifestation of a commitment to eliminate speciesist prejudice and take animals’ interests seriously.
~ Dan Cudahy (February 5, 2010)
Even if we did find some way to eliminate every single practice involving physical mutilation, it’s impossible to make slavery and murder anything other than slavery and murder. We can slap fancy labels on the products of animal misery and market them as “humanely-raised”, “animal compassionate”, “ethically-produced” or “guilt-free”, but needless killing is needless killing, and no amount of regulation can change that.
~ Dan Cudahy, Angel Flinn (September 23, 2011)
My mother was a bit worried about me being vegan, and made me research first to show her that I could get all my nutrients on a vegan diet. After that I was allowed to go vegan. By that time, my family was mostly vegetarian after gradually cutting meat out of their diet (thanks to me). My sister, the second oldest (I’m the oldest), went vegan at the same time I did in March 2007. Then, my next sister followed a few months after. About two years later, my parents decided to go vegan. The last two to become vegan were my two youngest siblings. They were forced to drink milk because my parents believed they needed it for healthy growing bones. But that changed after my parents read The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-term Health, and they were taken off milk straight away. So I influenced my whole family to go vegan. I never tried to change them—each person made the decision to go vegan themself. I am truly grateful to have a family like them!
~ Emmy James (November 25, 2011)