Today in “non-vegans feeling unethical, but doing nothing about it” news…
Every day, op-ed pieces are being shared to further the idea that if veganism is challenging to do, it’s not worth doing. Even at the cost of lives, our environment, and our health, people are clinging to inconveniences and personal preferences as the ways we simply can’t argue against them. Oh, but we can.
On Stuff, Lee Suckling writes “When you want to be a vegetarian but just can’t do it.” In it, the author is torn between an ethical desire to stop contributing to death and their individual needs. Yes, they outright claim that unlike all the living, breathing, vegans currently in the world, Lee Suckling needs meat. Chalky protein shakes and Paleo cafes apparently don’t cut it (despite not being a vegan prerequisite), so cutting back to killing animals four or five times a week (and that’s just for dinner) seems a reasonable compromise. The author notes how inundated they are with leather products, and that the lack of vegan options being up in their face at all times is the reason they yet have to stop animal consumption. Oh, and it wraps up by saying the sight of a bloodied animal might just help them commit…someday. The entire piece screams “I have conflicts but it’s easier to hide from them and stay the course than it is to address them and take on necessary change.”
This Guardian piece by Toby Moses decides to work out similar conflicts by asking vegans to “stop telling me not to eat meat.” Moses loves the smell of bacon, is well versed in the doomsday prophecies of continuing humanities course of actions with animal agriculture, and thinks Meatless Monday is brilliant. I honestly have never found a better argument against the “reducetarian” model than this plea for people to take it on, as he proves it helps give people permission to feel good about using animals less often. Promoting “gentle encouragement” for people to cut back might delay the implosion of our planet by another millisecond, but it doesn’t help animals. Once again, it’s the unapologetically selfish desires of the individual that are being given the most weight.
In both articles, we get accurate snapshots of the duality that exists in the minds of the non-vegans we encounter in our advocacy. I truly believe that all people, deep down, wish to live ethically and non-violently. So when we see that their desire for peace is being overshadowed by their inability to see the accessibility or enjoyment of veganism, we see the need for vegan education. Both of these authors, and the demographic they represent, would benefit from a great vegan lasagna, a couple “there theres,” and some conversation about fundamental justice.