Lately I’ve been drawn into a deeper relationship with what it means to be vegan. Feeling uncomfortable with followig along with the current rah-rah about veganism-as-a-path-to-skinniness (I’m not into the whole “thin is healthy” new speak, thus you’ll see very little mention of weight loss & no thinness worshipping here). I had decided that since I don’t eat animals or their products, I certainly wasn’t going to wear them or use there parts (save feeding my dogs & cat, but that’s another story for another time & chock full of all manner of mental/moral ponderings.) I began to find wearing leather made from animal skin just as creepy as wearing leather made from human skin. I own a boar bristle brush & at one point tried to ignore my discomfort at using such an item. Ah, well! The crazy things we do in an effort to stave off the inevitable change coming into our lives.
I am now at the point where I must publicly confess I am no longer a dietary vegan, but have dipped over to “the other side”. I tried really hard to ignore the ethical side of my diet, but my involvement in animal rescue, behavior & training was bound to catch up to me & my eating habits. Reading books & articles & watching videos about the bennies of food made sans critter bits, plus videos & articles on animal welfare & rescue lead to articles & videos on the no kill sheltering movement which lead to videos & articles on animal rights. I tried to read them & continue in my normal way of thinking & being in the world.
Uh-huh. That lasted for about a second.
The stories had wormed their way into my heart & soul. Now I can’t brush my hair until I can find a new non-animal parts hair brush, an unexpectedly difficult proposition when you need an adult-sized brush of baby brush softness. I want to toss all the shoes I have (thankfully not many) made of leather. And I question the morality of keeping my dogs when keeping them means other beings have to suffer & die to feed them, essentially meaning that others have to suffer & die for my personal pleasure. UGH!!! All I wanted to do was get healthy & feel good! Next thing you know I’m 2 seconds away from donning saffron robes, shaving my head & contemplating the meaning of life on a mountain top! Where’d THAT come from? I mean, REALLY??? This was so NOT in the plan when I started. I wanted a bigger “Why” to solidify my dietary choices & now I have one. Here I sit firmly convinced that life is life is life no matter the form it cloaks itself in. I can hear “But life feeds on life!” shouting in the background. My question is if this is so then why do we daily fill our plates with death & misery expecting to live & prosper?
And what of the plants? Are they not also alive? (I can see where this can get really into the mullygrubs here.) Yes. Yes they are. They don’t particularly like being eaten, either. But they do produce renewable sources of foods appropriate to our species, as well as having the ability to renew themselves & recover from munchy damage. In most cases a plant doesn’t have to die in order to be eaten, cases where the entire plant becomes food (ie. celery) or root veggies notwithstanding. And we DO have to eat SOMETHING! It’s no more morally acceptable to starve yourself out of existence than to take the life of another. Perhaps the litmus test for this sort of thing is the effects your diet has on your health. Eating animals & their products clearly does damage to human health. ::sigh::
It figures! I have no answers, only questions. I think I may even be becoming a pacifist! I’m NOT going to go there right now. I can ponder the implications of that later. For now I’ll continue pondering the path I’m walking & see where it leads me. I suspect some pretty surprising places will start turning up. One shift in consciousness per week, please! I don’t know if my family can handle much more than that.