Veganism: It’s not about us, it’s about other animals

Please try not to miss an opportunity to talk about veganism today. Don’t be drawn into debates about religion, plant sentience, health, environment, and human-centric issues. Let’s do our best to bring the issue back to the moral position instead of allowing others to distract us from their own non-veganism.

Veganism is not about us, it’s about other animals. When we focus on the human-centric benefits of being vegan (there are many), what we do is make veganism ALL about us. The problem is we have a speciesist view of the world. We generally believe that the planet is ours to exploit and use up. Our speciesist indoctrination from birth leads us to believe that we are the “crown of creation”. We now firmly and mistakenly believe that other animals are here for our use, that they are resources, “things” and property.
Nonhuman animals are none of these things.

Nonhuman animals experience, they love; they remember; they form relationships; feel pain; and they deserve at least one right — the right not to be used as property.

Let us not do them a great disservice by focusing on the ancillary benefits of being vegan when we talk to non-vegans. Remember that veganism is about nonviolence and justice.

If we are focusing on human-centric benefits (health and environment), as I mentioned before, we are leading people down a speciesist path. If we were talking about domestic violence, would we focus on how much money the government would save by educating the public about domestic violence? It’s besides the point that governments would save billions of dollars. If we were talking about rape, hopefully we would not say that because rape is everywhere, therefore we should talk about how we can make rape more “humane”.

Let’s ask ourselves would we talk about human rights issues, the same way we talk about nonhuman rights issues? If the answer is no, then we need to address our own speciesism. If we present a speciesist position to the interlocutor, this just reinforces their own speciesism and if by accident they become vegan, it will be for all the wrong reasons. If they become vegan for health reasons or environmental reasons, it will not hold the minute it becomes inconvenient. This is demonstrated time and time again. And if they do not become vegan right away, this is THEIR decision. It does not mean therefore that we should present anything less than veganism. We should not water down the message. And we should never present being vegan as a diet only or say that it is “hard” or “extreme”. It’s neither. Being vegan is easy.

Let’s us educate ourselves on how to present a non-speciesist clear, moral position about veganism.

Please view some essays on this site
and please read some essays on LiveVegan and view these resource pamphlets

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