“Vegans, those holier than thou do-gooders! How dare they push their way of life on us!” This phrase can be heard daily. I’ve found, throughout my life, that living a vegan lifestyle isn’t a choice; this is a moral imperative in the same vein as the golden rule. Despite arguments in favor of animal exploitation, sooner or later we all must concede to the fact that we don’t want to experience harm personally. Therefore, we must assume all sentient beings who cannot otherwise state as such, want to avoid harm.
This is a basic tenet in civilized society. Children are taught that the golden rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, is vital to ensure high moral character. Parents, teachers, and clergy peddle this belief daily across the globe in schools, homes, and churches. However, the concept isn’t fully realized until we apply it to real-world scenarios. This is where most parents, teachers and most-importantly, clergy, fail miserably.
You Can Talk The Talk, Can You Walk The Walk?
Ultimately, following the Golden Rule can be extremely difficult at times when personal desires come into conflict with what is best for the whole. Subsequently, parents, teachers, and clergy dilute the Golden Rule for personal gain, often, making excuses and justifications for exploiting others. Furthermore, to truly know peace Man must embody the Golden Rule as an imperative.
Animals want to live, this is evident and undeniable. They run from danger and cry out with emotion when they experience pain or loss. Animals may enjoy life more than most humans. Animals are capable of experiencing pure joy unencumbered from the anxiety of bills and responsibilities. Anyone who has played fetch with a puppy has seen this joy; they play and socialize in the same way a toddler does.
The Vegan Perspective
To see animals for the sentient, emotional, vulnerable beings they are requires two changes in thinking for most people. Firstly, one must accept that humans are animals. We’ve been conditioned to forget this fact. We’re taught in basic biology that we are animals, but every other aspect of society indicates that humans are separate from other animals. As if we are alien to the other beings on this planet. Above all else, we are earthlings, as are pigs, chickens, fish, and cows.
Secondly, one must respect others right to liberty and a life free from harm. This does not imply that a person must be a freedom-fighting animal activist to be a vegan. That is to say, this simply means that one must commit to doing no harm to others. If you live in a civilized society you’ve already agreed to this, it’s called the social contract theory. We’ve all agreed to give up some individual freedoms so that we can live peacefully together in society. Mankind simply needs to amend the philosophical language of the social contract to add a provision that includes animals.
We’re All In This Together
Another key point to remember, the practice of exploiting animals for food and other resources has a negative efffect for everyone. This industry is significantly and explicitly destroying the environment shared by all animals, human and non-human. People are also exploited in poor and unhealthy working conditions such as animal processing plants and within the leather industry, especially in underdeveloped countries.
Most importantly, Animal agriculture is polluting water sources and increacing carbon emissions to uncontrollable levels. The animals who are suffering in slaughterhouses at this moment and the humans exploited in slaughterhouses or tanneries only comprise a small portion of the victims. As I write these words, the future is being destroyed before it happens. Mankind must make changes to secure a habitable tomorrow.
Would You Like An Apocalpyse With Your Meal?
The environment is rapidly becoming hostile, and this is going to worsen dramatically in the coming years due to the climate crisis in which we live. Flooding, drought, erratic weather, and rising sea levels will spread the pollution across the globe. Drinking water will become more scarce, growing seasons will suffer causing food shortages, and rising sea levels will displace millions.
With this in mind, please, if you aren’t living a vegan, or at least, plant-based lifestyle I challenge you to do a Google search for “Animal Agriculture’s impact on climate change” and read the facts for yourself. We are living in a critical time of environmental and ethical crises and must act now. Please contact me for support or debate, I welcome either.