Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Question for the Vegans

A Flurry of Fennel

I was out with friends last night, and we wandered into the topic of vegetarianism.  Someone asked me, “So what do vegans think about vegetarians?  Do the vegans think vegetarians aren’t doing enough?”

I said, “I don’t know.  Honestly, I’ve never had that conversation with a vegan.”

Luckily for me, I know a number of you, dear readers, are vegans or are pretty darn close to it.  So I ask you: do you think that vegetarians, by continuing to eat eggs and dairy, aren’t doing enough to adhere to the principles that usually guide one’s decision to give up meat?  I invite you to be judgmental here—I’m asking your opinion, and an important part of opinion is judgment.

Personally, I really admire vegans for their bravery.  Because to choose, voluntarily, to give up all meat, dairy, and eggs is a daily protest against animal cruelty and waste.  It is walking the walk.  It is compassion.  And for many vegans, it’s a challenge that they relish with joy, a chance to prove that one can live a morally consistent life in a world that is dominated by greed and carelessness.

So vegans, what say you?  Do you feel like vegetarians are standing with you in protest, or do you secretly wish they would stop eating so much goddamn cheese?  (And non-vegans, feel free to chime in here.  I would love to see a great discussion happen in the comments.  I promise to hear all opinions with open ears and an open mind.)


Chrissy (The New Me) said...

I am probably the wrong vegan to ask this question, because I'm not actually a vegan at all (I love you, happy eggs) but I would say: no, I don't think less of vegetarians or people who eat things from which I have decided to abstain for moral reasons. I recognize that my morals shift and my ideas change over time. I like to think my outlook on life is in a state of constant evolution. If someone has made thoughtful decisions about life, food, etc, and reached different conclusions, then I can appreciate that and even admire it.

On the other hand, so many people don't think about the way their choices impact the world. Or they read the facts and then ignore them. Those are the people I get annoyed with, the people who make me angry and sad. But vegetarianism vs veganism? I see no reason to make it a competition. We all believe the same thing, in some way.

Rosiecat said...

Chrissy, I think your point about following a thoughtful diet is spot-on. And perhaps what I find most frustrating these days is that meat is the default option. In Texas, it's meat meat meat! And though I eat dairy, I am really feeling torn. I love dairy, but I don't love the dairy industry, even the local dairy from grass-fed cows. I'm torn between supporting Texas farms and not endorsing the cruelty of sending all the male babies off to become veal.