Article by Lorelei Plotczyk
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This post has gone kinda viral. Holy sh*t. This article was long enough as is (as many have pointed out!), but there’s obviously a lot to say about this issue, as many have done far more eloquently than me, and I’ve barely scratched the surface. Yes, my article was a satirical response to the press surrounding the “Breaking Vegan” gal, which propelled my newfound sense of urgency to come up with a creative attempt to get people to read urgent information the media is overlooking. Although I would address every comment if I wasn’t lucky enough to have a full-time job, here’s probably the most important thing to add:
Veganism isn’t about making a random personal choice, and it’s not about elitism, judgments, superiority, etc. It’s about being a conscientious objector to mind-boggling social injustice that is the product of the exploitative mindset we are born into and accept as normal (as I did for most of my life and as many of those dear to me still do), and there are many, many hurdles to overcome. Yet compassion always makes sense. As Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” This is why his oldest son Dexter Scott King has been vegan for more than 20 years, as was his wife Coretta Scott King for the last 10 years of her life, making it quite conceivable that Dr. King himself would have explored veganism had he lived longer. Vegan 80-year-old Holocaust survivor Dr. Alex Hershaft, who survived the Warsaw Ghetto, started the Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM) and the annual Fast Against Slaughter, because he had first-hand farming experience and “noted the many similarities between how the Nazis treated us and how we treat animals, especially those raised for food.” Addressing fellow vegans at the World Vegan Summit 2015 and referencing Rosa Parks, Milton Mills, M.D. said: “Take your metaphorical seat on the bus.”
Check out “Circles of Compassion: Connecting Issues of Justice” or “The World Peace Diet” by Dr. Will Tuttle.
There are many angry comments below, and some very kind ones as well. But I’ve gotta speak the truth without being attached to how that truth will affect another person or how we will be perceived. All we can do is speak the truth. This is needless violence and ecocide on the most epic scale imaginable. These practices and their consequences, when made visible, are so horrifying most have to look away. But as long as farm animals are considered generic farm production units, people will continue to deny those traits suppressed by farming practices that we share and relate to, that endear them to us, that make us want to help and not hurt them, and that clearly make animals our friends, not our food. When you treat an animal as an individual and show him or her your instinctive compassion and love rather than anonymous exploitation and death, nothing about the animal has actually changed. It’s you that has changed.
The more “livestock” products we eat, the more crops must be be grown and sold – which is why livestock products are pushed on us and subsidized so heavily – yet the fewer people can actually be fed. That’s so wrong. Why use meat eating for survival – and cherry-pick behaviors from our ancestors and native cultures – to justify modern-day meat-eating for gluttony and preference? As noted in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the majority of the planet actually lives on a plant-based diet out of necessity due to resource scarcity, with only 2 billion eating a meat-based diet. 91% of the world’s resource consumption is done by the top 1/3 of humanity (per the UN Human Development Report), the majority of whom eat a resource-intensive meat-based diet.
I’m not perfect by any means. But I can embrace compassion, health, and resource abundance. I can reject bloodshed, lifestyle diseases, and resource scarcity. That’s my “positive no.” A million thanks for taking the time to read this long-ass article… and postscript. 😉