Eat Like You Care
“Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it.” ~ Unknown (often attributed to Maya Angelou)
I’ve always loved animals and always considered myself a compassionate person who cares when another being is hurting. I would be distressed to see a kangaroo dead on the side of the road, or a possum electrocuted on the powerlines. I would relocate snails from the footpath to stop them being squished; I would rush the bodies of broken birds to the vet after they’d been clipped by cars; and would sometimes take stray dogs to the RSPCA or local vet after watching them walk aimless and lost in the midst of traffic. But… I would still go home and eat chicken breast for dinner. I would enjoy a Big Mac from the golden arches. I would relish in my morning iced-coffee on the way to work. There was no connection between who I cared about and who I ate. Even sometimes when I’d see those poor retched someones in the back of a truck, on their way to the slaughterhouse, I’d swear off bacon or lamb or beef for a week or two. But then I’d always manage to disconnect the “someone” from the convenient and tasty “something” under cling wrap at the supermarket or packaged meal at the fast food outlet. It was easier not to see the lives my food choices were ending.
Four years ago, I started to move away from animal products towards a plant-based diet for health reasons. I’d cut red meat completely out of my diet and was only eating a “little bit of chicken”. But still I ate a lot of eggs and dairy. In fact, after cutting out meat, my dairy intake increased. That is, until I saw a YouTube video featuring Gary Francione. That led me to read ‘Eat Like You Care’ coauthored by Anna Charlton and Gary Francione. It was then that I became vegan.
There are times in life when change is slow. Like water eroding at mountains until valleys and canyons are created. But other times, change happens in a moment. Change can happen during a conversation, in watching a documentary, or reading a passage in a book, and literally — in an instant — change occurs. The way you viewed the world, or your life, before that moment is altered forever. You cannot un-see what you have now seen; you cannot un-know what you now know. You are changed, and in a positive way.
That is the experience of reading a book like ‘Eat Like You Care’. Through its straightforward, persuasive and thought-provoking arguments, we cannot help but question our long-held beliefs and behaviours. We are asked to examine the disconnect between “loving” some animals and eating others. And, ultimately, the book challenges a core human belief, that if animals matter morally we cannot justify eating, wearing or using them.
This Sunday the 27th of November, you have the opportunity to be part of a changing world. A world that is moving towards veganism. The Abolitionist Approach to Animal Rights is presenting the first of many free Webinars. I’ll be interviewing Gary Francione and Anna Charlton about their book ‘Eat Like You Care’ and asking them many of the questions you have about veganism.
The 60 minute webinar will be broadcast live on Sunday 27th November at 19:00 Eastern Standard Time (USA/Canada). It’s free and everyone is welcome! Register here to attend. Even if you can’t watch live, still register, as you’ll be linked to a replay of the webinar.
So come along. Be part of the conversation. Be a part of change. And invite your non-vegan friends and family.
The world is vegan, if you want it!