I wrote two weeks ago about my curiosity with the Vegan
diet lifestyle and set out to have some of my questions answered. I have been working pretty hard over the past six months or so to increase my vegetable intake and decrease meat and over the past three months I considered my diet 85% vegetables.
My questions were often met with trepidation. Many considered my questions suspect, others considered me to be a “Troll” and others welcomed me into their community and offered me their Vegan point of view. On the most point, there is an argument for everything. Even amongst vegans, they don’t always agree.
Since the topic of sentient beings came up, I inquired of vegans, their views on abortion. It was a mix of answers, I would say it was about 75 pro-choice, 25 pro-life. I wanted to understand what I thought was a double standard which was why a fetus was not considered a sentient being. A few days later, someone posted a video of people eating a fertilized duck embryo (Balut) and it caused an uproar. Why the uproar about one “sentient” being and not the other?
Another topic of consternation is cats. Some vegan’s have cats and feed them “meat” because they are “obligate carnivores”. I can understand that but it seems to be another double standard. A vegan thinks they are being ethical by not eating meat, they want other humans to be just as ethical but then, why own a cat that is causing them to be unethical. I know there are arguments about being a rescue animal but I doubt that is the case with all vegans who have cats as pets. And how about ownership of pet birds and other animals kept in cages.
On the topic of eggs, eggs are unfertilized and not a sentient being. Many vegans have told me it causes the chicken suffering to lay an egg but also causes some psychological issues when someone takes the eggs. Strangely, I was told to feed the egg to the chicken but wouldn’t that involve taking the egg? I have had a few vegans tell me it is okay to eat eggs. If this topic sounds conflicting, I agree.
One item that really bothered me was when the people who knew I was interested in learning more about veganism approached my son trying to convince him to become vegan. I liken this to a religious person approaching my son and it has happened about a dozen or so times. I don’t want to filter what my child is exposed to, I want him to learn all about these topics so he can make his own decisions. HOWEVER, I want to be the person who gives him the exposure and an unbiased look at it. Trust me, there are some vegans who treat veganism as a dogma. They feel everyone must have the same ethical standard as them. and like religions that think they are better than other religions, they feel they are better than vegetarians.
I know I posted some items that I found conflicting in the vegan world but I really appreciate that my friends hold these high ethical standards. I can appreciate their thoughtfulness of the environment including water usage. I share many of the same concerns as well. Thank you to my veg-friendly friends who have offered me so much information. Additionally, my last blog I mentioned through Buddhism classes, I have learned about sentient beings. That being said…
I could be vegan, I could be vegetarian, I could be pescitarian, I could be an ethical vegan, I could be a dietary vegan, I could be a ovo-lacto vegetarian, I could be carnivorous, omnivorous or herbivorous, but at the end of the day, I think I will just be myself. While factory farms have some deplorable conditions, there are other sources of meat in my area. Throughout time, animals have been sacrificed for our survival and I’m not overly sensitive about that. I have incorporated more vegetables in my diet and will likely continue to do so. I will hold myself to my own standards and not someone else’s.