...Who was I kidding?
I know veganism gets a bad rap. I get it. Vegans are passionate and sometimes that passion comes across as holier than thou. I promise you that we do not feel this way. You have to remember, the majority of us were meat eaters and not always vegan. We are only here to help the animals and to wake the world up. In my experience, when you go from being a non-vegan to a vegan you immediately connect that a beautiful sentient being had to die just because you like the taste of a burger. That's not a good enough reason for me. Cognitive dissonance is very strong and is built up over the years in order to avoid the reality of what happens when you buy that steak (cow) or sausage (pig), etc. Vegans are breaking that facade and showing us the reality. I believe that if you look at the issue at hand and why we are advocating so strong for the animals and if you can get past the human conflict then you may feel the same as vegans. When a child is in a room with a pig and an apple they will naturally eat the apple and pet the pig. We need to get back to this point.
"The question is not, can they reason nor, can they talk but can they suffer?
We may not speak their language but we hear their cries. We must not sit back and do nothing. We must act on their behalf.
I am now at a point in my vegan journey where I feel compelled to be peaceful activist. The jump from passive vegan to vocal advocate did make me feel a little nervous at first. I'm an introvert, people-pleaser, hate conflict and not always confident in conversation. How in the world would I be able to advocate on the animals behalf when I wasn't fit to be an activist? I learned that this was not the case. There are different types of activism for all types of people. I decided to start with participating in a "Cube of Truth." This was a perfect first step for me since I would simply need to hold a computer and stand in a cube with other people and I wouldn't have to speak.
The Cube of Truth was developed by Anonymous for the Voiceless. Anonymous for the Voiceless is an animal rights organization that specializes in nonviolent street activism. The Cube of Truth's goal is to show the public what happens in the meat, dairy and egg industry and provide thought provoking conversation. I believe that people cannot see what they do not know.
My first experience as a vegan activist was incredibly powerful. I left filled with so much energy that I felt like I was going to burst. I felt like I could do anything. It was amazing to be surrounded with people that had the same passion and determination to help the animals.
I implore you to learn more about the meat, dairy and egg industry. Watch Earthlings or one of these other documentaries to get an idea of what actually happens before the food reaches your plate. I know you may not want to watch because it is too hard but just imagine how difficult it must be for the animals. Try Challenge 22 and get access to free resources and recipes to help you on your vegan journey.
May you go out and fight for what you believe in!
Photos by Laura Ray, AV of Boston Organizer