The Vegan Police are coming for you (Source: clip from Scott Pilgrim movie - www.youtube.com)
I remember having lunch with an old friend, in a generic gastro-bistro; catching up, sharing stories and new revelations. I shared with her my passion for animal justice, and the sad truth behind where animal-based foods come from. She suddenly confided in me that vegans have every right to do what they want, but they shouldn’t make non-vegans feel bad. I felt terrible, so bad in fact that I sprang to the nearest waiter and ordered her a ‘I’m so very sorry’ bacon sandwich. It was then I realised that I, and all vegans, are responsible for how every non-vegan feels.
After we went our separate ways I stood there shaking, looking at my hands, expecting jets of green lightning to zap innocent passers-by, making them burst into tears for thinking about the origins of the milkshake they were slurping. I had a superpower. But it was more like a curse; I was upsetting people for the choices they made. I vowed to never speak of my veganism again. I tied up my tofu tongue and shut my B12 sufficient mouth. But even in my silence my powers would zap non-vegans into a flapping frenzy.
By ordering vegan options at restaurants, by refusing to attend a barbecue where animal flesh will be on full sensory display, friends, family, colleagues and strangers would begin an offensive with a barrage of ‘buts’.
But I only buy local, organic, free-range
But veganism is just an opinion
But it’s my choice in what I eat
In my vow of silence, I would smile, nod and shrug my way around these accusations - which would inadvertently stoke the non-vegan fire further.
Stop making me feel bad
As time went on I began to treat my non-vegan acquaintances like I would an infant; easy to upset, even with an assumption of criticism. I would apologise for aligning myself with my morals. I would apologise for making them feel bad about the origins of their food choices. I bought so many ‘I’m so very sorry’ bacon sandwiches that year.
I don’t want to think about lambs being slaughtered
Just thinking about it puts me off my food
If I saw what happened I’d become vegetarian
My choice in not eating animals and what they produce, because I thought about it, was offensive to my friends and family. They prided themselves on their ability to critically think and have free will, so much so they freely willed themselves to critically think about not thinking - very clever. I wish I was that smart, but I’m just a person who thinks about the effects of what I consume - such a big mistake. Especially if I was talking about it, like killing and eating animals was such a big deal.
No one will listen if you’re shouting about it.
What a waste of stationary. (Source: Jerry Kiesewetter - https://stocksnap.io/author/41169)
That was my last revelation: my silence on an issue I’m passionate about and how it’s linked to a host of the big issues humanity faces today, will make sure change happens. I thought about all the progress that has been made in the last few centuries. By no one talking about it, progress happened seamlessly. The famous silent Suffragettes who sat in their houses until they could vote. Gay men and women waiting in the closet until they could legally come out without being beaten and arrested. And of course those polite black folks who continued to be killed by systemic racism until the racism naturally oozed out of the system and down the drain of the past. By me being passive and staying silent on animal suffering, more and more people will stop eating and using them - it’s been proven time and time again.
To be fair, I only went vegan because I thought it would be cool to not eat animals and their secretions. It definitely wasn’t because I felt bad about contributing to the suffering of animals, contradicting my identity as an ‘animal lover’. It definitely wasn’t because I found how destructive eating animal products is to the environment and my health. Yeah it made me feel bad, but how dare my feelings dictate how I behave!
A cow crying for your feelings, not theirs. (Source: www.quora.com)
So to all my non-vegan friends, family, colleagues, etc. on behalf of all vegans:
We are sorry that the horrific reality of your choices make you feel bad.
We will stop speaking up for the injustice suffered by animals in exploitation.
We will feel guilty for our choice of not contributing to animal suffering.
I’d also like to speak for the animals you eat:
They are sorry that their suffering isn’t a good thought.
They wish the idea of exploiting them was warm and fuzzy.
They are glad you turn away from their abuse and slaughter, because the thought of
you being upset by it is too much to bear - like being stabbed in the throat.
Thoughts and prayers.
This post is, of course, satirical. I will continue to speak up for the plight of animals and our planet, even if it causes discomfort in people - that’s how change happens; with some friction.