“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” Mark Twain
The notion of using other animals is ingrained in our collective consciousness and speciesist culture. It’s drilled into us from an early age, and it is present in all of societies institutions. Indeed, animal use runs so deep that many well-meaning people fail to question the injustices of animal use, even though it’s ubiquitous. I submit, I never knew what it felt like not to use other animals because using animals was a part of my identity; it was an integral part of who I believed I was. Before I started living vegan, I had lots of reasons to keep on doing what I was doing: “Where do I get my protein? We need to eat animals to survive; Living vegan is too hard, too expensive” and so on.
In hindsight, the best justification I had for using other animals was because I believed it was necessary for human health. However, after I considered the totality of the evidence, I realised that a plant-based diet was more than adequate for individuals in all stages of the life cycle.1 Despite this realisation, I continued to justify the unjustifiable. It wasn’t until one day, as I was about to jump down that rabbit hole of excuses again (no offense rabbits!) when I asked myself: Do you want to be that person anymore? Do you want to be someone that tries to justify the needless breeding, using, and killing of other sentient beings? A voice inside me answered: No, I don’t. I was left with a simple choice, do I continue brutalising others for my benefit, or do I pull the plug on these injustices? Naturally, I had no other option but to live vegan immediately.
Once I internalised the ethical position – once I knew that my non-vegan choices created victims, there was no turning back. When I reflect on that whole experience of going from non-vegan one second to vegan the next, I realised the only person stopping me from living vegan was me and my ballooning ego. From that same experience, I also learned that I was selfish, wilfully ignorant, and I just wanted to be right no matter how irrational my arguments against veganism were.
If you believe other animals are worthy of moral consideration, please take a minute to pause, reflect, and question your behaviour: “Do my actions (using animals) align with my values (moral concern for animals)?” If you find that you are living in misalignment with your core beliefs, come into congruence; come into alignment with who you are. And to do that means living vegan.
It might just be the best decision you will ever make.
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