While walking to the grocery store today, I saw five of you running across my path. My initial thought was, “How awesome is this?” My secondary thought was, “I sure don’t see you guys all that much around here.” After that, my thoughts turned dark.
I couldn’t shake the realization that if I were someone else, I might be thinking, “Deer, tasty”, “Damn, I wish I had my gun”, and other even more disturbing things. Or, thoughts such as, “I need to feed my family, so ….” The same kind of pathetic excuse making that results in people robbing liquor stores and banks all the while feeling guiltless.
Then it hit me, this is the kind of world we live in. A world were humans can pretty much do whatever they wish to other-than-humans and not only get away with it, but get praise from those around them as well. For example, I don’t even want to tell you what some humans do with your heads, but take note, if they did the same with human heads they’d be locked away in prison for a very long time or worse.
Acknowledgement is not praise and it is not criticism either. However, it does send out a clear signal that there’s further ethical considerations to seriously evaluate. After all, if being vegan—and sticking to it—is the best option, then that is the option animal advocates should consistently and persistently advocate.
~ Roger Yates (August 28, 2007)
When beginning on the adventure of animal rights and the quest for equality for all sentient beings, it is common for people to believe that people need to be encouraged to take baby steps. Often when they say this, they are referring to encouraging people to go vegetarian first and hoping they will go vegan later.
I understand this thought process for two reasons. Firstly, I understand that telling people they need to go vegan to stop animal suffering is no easy task. But when I consider the alternative for the animals, I force myself to think very careful about what information and options I present to others. This brings me to my second reason and that is, I was a vegetarian for 12 years before I finally went vegan. So, when I first think about the idea of vegetarian first, vegan second, the idea makes sense. But when I think about it again I realize that the one thing, the one thing, that made me go vegan was very simply just being given the information. Information: BOOM! I was vegan! That was it! End of story! End of me saying, “I’m just vegetarian, but I could never be vegan!” I use to say that! And so I say with love, respect, empathy, and knowledge that while I understand where all you, “Go Veg!” people are coming from, I think you couldn’t be more wrong. Yes, people should make baby steps but the first step should be veganism.
~ Amy U. Shafer (September 28, 2011)
The sooner we realise we are just another animal on this planet—a very violent and destructive animal and not “the crown of creation” we have deceived ourselves into believing—then the sooner we can start to address this violence and the way to do this is for our species to become vegan. Many other problems will be addressed when veganism takes hold.
~ Trisha Roberts (January 4, 2012)