I just watched the documentary Peaceable Kingdom and it just touched my heart. It chronicles Farm Sanctuary, who rescues animals from slaughterhouses, egg factories, dairies and other places and lets them live a proper life and it just touched my hart to see these heroes doing what they can, to see these animals being allowed to share their rich personalities and emotions with others and to hear the stories of everyone who was touched by these animals and recognized what loving animals truly meals. It brings a lump in my throat when I consider how so many animals suffer daily and how so many people still hurt them, either directly or through their food and lifestyle choices. At the same time it gives me hope that we are capable of turning this around. The movement is stronger every year, more and more people are getting an understanding. It will be difficult, but it can be done.
We WILL make this paradigm shift happen.
For 23 years I ate meat before I became vegan over the course of about a month. What has struck me as fantastic is that I never really thought of meat as its true origin. Of course I knew the animals it came from, I come from the countryside, where a lot of people kill animals, but it never even struck me that it could be unethical until I became one. It’s really obvious the degree of paradigm-shift that one needs to go through to go from dogma to science. This is one of the best lectures I’ve ever seen explaining just how the meat-eating systems work.
I read a very disturbing article in the paper today. It is part of a series of articles looking into extreme movements, like neo-nazi’s and muslim fundamentals. So far so good, but todays “target” was animal rights movements. This is really messed up, because there is no comparison between these movements. Some people call them terrorists because they cause some damage, but this is wrong on so many levels. You cannot, I repeat, cannot name someone who promotes that we should have a culture of non-violence a terrorist. You might think that corporate destruction is bad, and well yes it is, ideally it wouldn’t be necessary, but it’s not enough to label them as terrorists. Corporate destruction has been part of any revolution. Just look at the boston tea party – corporate destruction. Look at protesters who break into weapon manufacturing plants to protest us exporting arms to nations engaged in civil war – corporate destruction (these people strangely enough are not labeled terrorists). Either words have meaning or they don’t. Terrorism first of all strikes arbitrarily – which animal rights activism doesn’t. It strikes against uninvolved people and civilians – again animal rights activism doesn’t. Calling animal rights activists terrorism (or indirectly making people make this connection) is horrible. Even the people who hurt or threaten people as part of their militant activism (these people are sooo not the majority) are in no way comparable to real terrorists like neo-nazis and muslim fundamentals. These activists have served a great purpose – they have over the course of the years shown us what is systematically done to animals and forced us to THINK about it. They have made countless people (like me) face this and made decision to become a vegan not only for health reasons, but for ethical as well. Do not discount what these people have done and are doing by smearing their name.
Just came back from my gym at the first session for about six months. I have been working out since then, pretty regularly i’ve been doing calisthenics at home, which has worked out good, because I’ve been able to (somewhat) keep up my discipline, but now that that is fixed, it’s time to step up the game. Anyways, I was there and saw the most disgusting thing ever. No, it was not snuff in the sink at the toilet 😛 What it was was people wearing these leather gloves while working out. I was like – what?!? Are they seriously telling me that they need to protect their pretty hands so that, god forbid, no one would be able to tell that they had been doing any actual work? I know people are stupid and unwilling to drop meat or even leather for ethical causes, but come on, at least drop some of it for your own dignity!
While I was at the sports store I saw a guy who was there to get some new shoes and for once I actually thought to myself – ah, what the hell. I’ll just ask them. I have to start somewhere to look around for some good vegan shoes, might as well be here. And they did have a pair of really cool, comfortable, not to thick, all-around shoes (as an extra bonus made entirely from re-used materials). And they even ended up being at almost a 50% sale. Well, something was telling me I had to get these shoes. So I did.
It’s still not shoes I can were to a formal dinner or something (will have to find something for that), but I can at least stop wearing animal skins on my feet. Only the belt to go, which should happen soon.
I got a question a few days back, when I bought my vegan jacket and told of my plans to get the wallet – why do I buy these, because the leather of the wallet is already there, I’m not preventing the slaughter by continuing to use it? To that I say – bullshit. First of all, I want to call myself Vegan without hypocrisy or hoping there is no “real” vegan there who won’t call attention to my stuff that is not imitation leather. We are all using labels to identify ourselves as belonging to certain groups that are important to me. So, as Vegan is such a label for me I want to be able to describe myself as that label. Second of all – that argument that me continuing to use the gear I bought in my pre-vegan days not having a continued effect depends on one very fundamental statement – that I am not affecting the people around me. But, since I have affected at least 2 people to try the raw diet (1 person one day a week one person now trying out a week) by showing the results of this diet I am clearly affecting people. And if the health part of this affects people, there is no reason to believe that the vegan does not also speak somewhat to them. But if I then wear a leather coat, a leather wallet, a letter bel and leather shoes they are going to think – “yeah, vegan is important maybe we shouldn’t kill the animals for our diet, but there is no reason to go so far as to eliminate it from our lifestyle outside of diet, after all this really extreme guy Johan Agstam, who is sooo extreme he’s nuts (actually I’m bananas, you are nuts) still wears these stuff.
We are all affecting people whether we know it or not. A person who eats junk (even raw junk) while being a health food guru is affecting people to believe that junk food is okay as long as it’s raw. In the same fashion proclaiming a vegan lifestyle while wearing pre-vegan products affects people in a similar manner. If I am going to affect people anyways, then I rather it be in the direction that I would like them to go.
Bought my Vegan Wallet today made of fake leather. If the belt I had found (also fake leather) had only been a few inches longer I could have gotten that too, but I will have to wait until they get more in stock. Only a two more items to go: that belt and a good pair of more or less year-round shoes.