Welcome to post #2. The theme of this post is veganism and animal liberation, which I have been learning about extensively over the last year or so, and have been campaigning for through both online and street activism. I even started making an album of vegan related songs.
Many people overcomplicate this topic, not because it is difficult to understand logically, but because it can be difficult to process emotionally.
The definition of veganism can be found on the vegan society website: “Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”
As many people know, some humans in history were treated as slaves, and it was even legal to do so at the time. We look back now in shock and disgust at how such a thing could happen, and even be a legal practice. Yet, how many people evaluate our treatment of animals in the same way, and react with the same shock and disgust, or do we simply justify and normalise it, because it is ‘normal’, ‘natural’, and ‘legal’ etc.? What would humans in the future say about us? Are we the slave owners in their eyes, or are these examples not morally comparable?
Children tend to be naturally curious about animals, enjoy having pets, and visits to the zoo. I have seen numerous videos of children reacting negatively to an animal being potentially harmed or killed, despite the fact many non vegans claim we are ‘apex predators’ who ‘naturally’ use our ‘big canines’ to chew into flesh that was clearly designed for us to eat. It doesn’t make sense. Also, why do most people avoid both going to slaughterhouses, and even avoid watching footage of what happens to animals?
It is now a known fact that slaughterhouse workers often suffer with mental health problems, especially PTSD, from working in such horrific conditions.
Non human animals are different species, that is a given, but that doesn’t mean they are simply objects who cannot feel pain, suffer, or desire to be free either.
Humans have the capacity to look at other humans through their heart or their ego, as evidenced by the history of slavery and racism, and this dichotomy also applies to how we look at other animals. We can exercise compassion, empathy, and love, or we can objectify, discriminate, and hate the ‘other’ as though they are a distant alien from another world.
The philosophy of veganism and animal liberation is simple:
1) Animals exist
2) They can suffer and feel pain like us
3) They should be free of violence and cruelty as much as possible
Logically, it couldn’t be any more simple. However, as I mentioned previously, it is more the emotional implications that many find difficult to deal with, and understandably so.
This 2-picture instagram post sums up the philosophy of veganism quite well: https://www.instagram.com/p/B1IJcIunG64/
The good news is that veganism seems to be progressing all the time. New shops and restaurants are opening up, new products are being made, and laws are slowly but surely changing in countries all around the world.
Will we see complete animal liberation in our lifetime? Who knows, only time will tell.