The Vegan Bunny has written another guest post (I love when she writes for here) so enjoy!
One of the most ironic, pre-loaded statements I continuously hear from non-vegans is: “Life is short”, followed by some specific indulgence, justified BECAUSE life is short.
The irony here is this justification — as with nearly every other half- validation and faulty excuse — ultimately leads directly to even shorter lives from other creatures. And indirectly, shortened human lives.
“Life is short”, and thus I indulge in a hamburger, that subsequently has ended the life of a cow; slashed areas of beautiful forest; taken crops from starving underdeveloped countries and their people. Because “life is short”, I shall passively play some god and infinitely shorten and/or end others for a momentary pleasure. A pleasure I could find alternatives of through a bit more time taken in a sainsbury’s, reading labels.
I can empathize no one sits and contemplates the consequence that comes from purchasing a hamburger while in a Mickey D’s drive-thru. We are a westernized world that thrives beneath a veil of convenience and ease and ideas placed there from companies and corporations that what we’re doing is fine. That it’s normal and victimless. That doing the opposite — irregardless of the horrific chain of events just explained — and pressing against paying into such harm is abnormal and worthy of scorn and ridicule. I’m trying to maintain some composure here, but that is fucking insanity at it’s finest, guised as sanity, and dressed in digital illustrations of laughing cows and clucky chickens with all the room in the world to roam.
I can comprehend you don’t automatically process A leads to B, which directly leads to C. Sadly, that would require a regression, industriously and technologically, on our part, wherein you take part in the actual slaughter of the animals you eat. I could venture out on a limb here and say it is almost a certainty there would be vastly more vegetarians and vegans. And even those that continue to consume meat and other animal products wouldn’t consume even a fraction as much as today.
There is a page in a philosophy book (Great Philosophers: An Introduction To Western Philosophy) The Vegan Bear and I like, and have read snippets of together, that summarizes a man is so through his actions not intent. A man with good intentions but horrible actions is a horrible man, full stop. He is not a man in this limbo merely because he aspires to be that way while behaving wrongly.
It feels eerily suiting here: intention can only carry you so far, but it is in our actions that our character and true nature lies.
So, as convincing as the labels are and the billboards, it is your responsibility to research the outcome of your actions. This proves difficult is a society where everything is all so politically correct and buffered. We have happy meals for children made of chicken nuggets, but if you take that same child to see chickens being scalded alive in the defeathering process, suddenly such honesty is a form of abuse. Suddenly personal research and self-education and passing that onto your children, is to be shunned and possibly worse.
However, we have a duty to take responsibility of our actions. To research what the outcome of A and B are, as we’re direct contributors, as much as we’d like to deny that.
A man or a woman is so through their actions, not their intent.
And life is short, but it is only through your actions — not intent — that you either shorten the lives of others or you don’t. It can be refined a bit or broken down, but that is it in black and white: you do good and are good or you do bad and are bad.
Life is only complex when the simplicity of things is either too much to grasp or easier to deny with “yeah, but…”.
Digest that for a while and make a choice beyond what is easy and pleasurable for you; a choice that extends beyond today and is conscious of tomorrow, and your children’s or grandchild’s tomorrow. A choice that represents who you truly are through action, not the intention to act.