I think that most of you will identify with me when I say that one of the things I find the hardest about being vegan is the sense of isolation, of being the odd one out, of being “weird”, and up against a hostile world! That is why the sense of community on this website really appeals to me, one of the things I love about it. It's so nice to be able to share ideas and experiences with so many like-minded and supportive people. I have a lot of vegan friends, but they tend to be scattered about, so meeting up with them is sporadic. Sad to say, I don't have a single vegetarian/ vegan member in my family, or any who are even V-curious, so I don't think I will ever manage to convert any of them.
Not only are all my family (husband, parents, siblings and nieces and nephews) meat-eaters, but several of them are even pro-hunting, which definitely makes for an uneasy relationship. The only member of my family who is at all near my wavelength when it comes to animal rights is my mother (in the photo) who is a very kind, compassionate person and loves animals, but still eats meat (I think she might give it up actually, if it wasn't for my stepfather). I can't imagine the rest of them ever going vegan and adopting AR! This was painfully brought home to me recently, when I wrote a blog about Lennox the dog for this site, which some of you have read. My mum voted for this and shared it on Facebook. One of my brothers read it, and commented on it in a rather scathing way. Here is what he said: “ "For all of that time Lennox was kept in unsanitary and inhumane conditions" err he wasn't human he was a dog so why would it matter if the conditions were humane, and who for that matter determines if they were humane or not? In the part of the world where I am people live in conditions that would explode the minds of the animal liberation front. I don't condone cruelty to any living creature but get a grip there are greater attrocaties [sic] going on in the world to weep over." Well, yes, that's true enough, but I don't see why a dog's life should not matter as well, and why people should not try to save him. It is not just the innocent life lost, but the devastating effect it had on his owners. Such a cruel thing to do to them too.
I find it very sad that my brother doesn't care in the least whether a dog is cruelly treated or killed or not, and it is one of the things that creates a gulf between us. He is currently serving with the Territorial Army (army reserves) in Afghanistan, so, as you can see, he is misguided in other ways too! That is what he means by the conditions of the people where he is. As a friend of mine rightly pointed out, there is not much point in arguing with him, as I am not going to persuade him of my viewpoint, when he clearly has no regard for animals. I couldn't just drop it though, without some comment, so I pointed out in my reply that I doubt very much whether the conditions for humans out there would “explode the minds” of us animal liberators, as we are generally only too aware of what goes on in the world, of all the atrocities that are committed. That is why we are campaigning to try to make this a better world for both people and animals!
It's hard feelIing I am under attack from those who should be on my side (in an ideal world!) but that is just the way it is: one of the crosses we bear, being vegans! It can be lonely and alienating, but at least I have the satisfaction of knowing that my conscience is as clear as it can reasonably be.