Isn't it ironic, strange weird that when you mention that you are a vegan to friends and loved ones, it is often recieved as if you've just told them that you've become a born-again Christian? I will admit, that my veganism, like many others, does stem from a sense of wanting to be more ethical, more compassionate, more genuine to my beliefs about the world and how I might affect change, albeit small. I must also say that it does, at times, feel like a new religion, as if I've finally accepted the truth of factory farming and simply can't live the lie anymore. Like most vegans, I don't get all preachy about it to the unconverted, but there is a part of me that urges people I care about to read up, take a look at some videos, or even try being vegan for a week just to see how they might feel. But more often than not, I get a myriad of excuses: "I'm just not ready to give up meat," "I can't live without protein," "I'm already gassy. Imagine what I'd be like if I had to eat lots of beans and nuts?" I've heard so many and varied responses that it does make me feel like I'm living in a world where people, really intelligent and otherwise liberal leaning folks, simply refuse to take a good, honest look at the horror show that is factory farming.
My unconverted husband is getting there slowly by giving up one meat...pork. It's not much, but it's a start, and I'm willing to be patient. He loves animals of all kinds, he does almost everything he can to be a non-consumer, driving less, buying less, re-using plastic containers until they are virtually unrecognizable, and yet, he won't look at the videos, won't read an article. I'm sure that if he would, he would quit meat and dairy on the spot.
Why are people so afraid to look? They will look at almost every other type of degredation in our world, but refuse to look at this last frontier...a frontier that they can certainly do something about. We're not talking about the afterlife (maybe some of us are). We're talking about the here and now.
And I don't want to become a smug little know it all, either, but I DO know it all and want good, honest people in my life to understand. So maybe I am like a born again...zealous in my commitment to convert the unconverted. But unlike a born again Christian, I'm not in it to save their souls from the hell of the afterlife, I'm in it to save the animals from a hellish earthly life and death. I know that it took me 48 years to come to this. I remember how hard I fought to preserve my lifestyle choices...eating grass-fed, organic, free-range, blah, blah, blah. Then I became vegetarian. Then took the leap and became vegan and I feel so good. I want others to feel it too, to protect the animals and the devestation that factory practices are unleashing on our earth. I just find it strange that when people who have chosen to stop senselessly treating animals to a life of pain, only to murder them in one of the most heinous ways possible, that we are considered the freak shows, the extremists.