VeggieBoards banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
889 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,<br><br>
I'm a new vegetarian! I've been vegetarian for the last three weeks and I've found it to be rather easy, largely because the only meat I have been eating for the last few years has been turkey and, even more rarely, chicken.<br><br>
But this is the part where I enter my disclaimer. My rationale for becoming a vegetarian may be different from yours and I mean no disrespect with any of my questions, hand-shaking at the sky, opinions, or vents of frustration.<br><br>
My spirituality informs me that all life is, indeed, sacred. This much, I believe, to be an indisputable component of my spirituality. I believe that this sanctity of life requires the utmost respect and honor. While I do not necessarily believe that eating animal meat is a violation of this sanctity, I do believe our current farming practices do. I believe the methods by which we raise and treat farm animals--without compassion, without respect, without honor, and without appreciation of the gravity and solemnity of the action of one creature's death in order to sustain the life of another--to be abhorrent and immoral. Thus, I have decided to become a vegetarian and, as I have said, this part has been easy.<br><br>
I have just started today to eliminate dairy and eggs from my diet as well, so today marks the first day of my vegan journey. But, this is the part where it gets messy and frustrating!<br><br>
I just recently discovered that food items that I <b>never ever would have thought</b> would have animal parts in them do! For example, I learned that gelatin is animal-derived and in gum, mints, and other products! It seems like a life's endeavor to try and learn which products have 'hidden' animal parts in them!<br><br>
But what bothers me the most is that I feel even going this extra step into veganism is not enough! Why ought I bother if it's not enough? If I benefit from the enslavement and torture of animals through secondary and tertiary products, what do I help? How do I really live up to this ideal if I still benefit from these products that are made or transported by other products of animal abuse and torture?<br><br>
If I do not ensure that everything I purchase--not just food, but clothes, kitchenware, household products, personal care products, shoes, books, and even inane things I never would think would have any relationship to a farm or animals--what good is any of it? I'm still contributing to the cycle of torture, abuse, and suffering even if it's through secondary or indirect means!<br><br>
And, what if I extrapolate even further? Doesn't the land required for plants contribute to deforestation and/or loss of habitat for animals? Doesn't the transport of those plants--be it to vegan producers or regular supermarkets--contribute to the suffering of animals in both direct and indirect ways? Doesn't the plastic that much of my vegan products come packaged in contribute to the suffering of both domesticated and wild animals at some point, be it pre-consumption or post-?<br><br>
It almost seems as if I am given no ethical choices in a world built upon unethical practices! I'm not sure I can be satisfied 'doing enough' or 'the best I can'. Were they humans beings abused and suffering, would 'the best I can' be a valid excuse?<br><br>
How can I honestly say that becoming a vegan prevents the torture and suffering of animals when I am still contributing to this immoral cycle?<br><br>
So, while I will not go back to eating meat or dairy, I'm not sure whether trying to turn my entire life completely cruelty-free is possible. In fact, given my above self-criticisms, I don't think it is. I can make conscious decisions to choose products I know to be cruelty-free when given this alternative but I question whether there's any value in putting my entire life under a microscope except perhaps to give myself a false sense of absolution.<br><br>
I don't think I have any answers to these self-criticisms but I come here wondering if anyone else has struggled with these issues. And, if you did, how did you resolve them?
 

·
Riot Nrrrd
Joined
·
3,180 Posts
The world's an imperfect place. You do what you can. Light a candle. The darkness may still be there but it keeps the grues away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
888 Posts
Hi and welcome <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br>
Sadly there is no such thing as completely cruelty- free. But for much of it, it's just a matter of changing world attitudes. In terms of habitat destruction and loss of life through farming practices, and the fact that animal-based fertiliser is often used, these things could be changed in the future with more, smaller and more localised veganic farms. However even at the moment by cutting out meat, and dairy you are vastly reducing the amount of total plants that are required for your diet- think how much plant food a cow needs to eat! And contrary to popular belief they don't just eat grass, foodstuffs like corn, soya and kale are commonly mass grown to feed livestock.<br><br>
Something to remember is that while what one individual can do is limited compared to what groups of people can establish collectively. So, if you are just after 100% individual purity from cruelty I can't help you, but if you want to try and decrease the general level of cruelty in the world, the best way to do it is by gently and informatively persuading others to go veg*n too.<br><br>
IMO the fact that you can't do everything is an awful excuse to not do anything. You don't need to put your life under the microscope- you're transitioning and you will gradually learn about cruelty- free products and soon buying them will be second nature. This site is also a great resource for questions about veg nutrition or what products are vegan in your area.<br><br>
Also it may help to think of 'vegan' not as a destination, but a journey. Welcome aboard!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
908 Posts
If everyone did nothing because they can't do everything, the world would be a much darker place.
 

·
Vegan Very Metal
Joined
·
774 Posts
Don't criticise yourself so much that you go back to eating an omni diet, and end up saying to yourself "WTF am I doing this for" even though you say you won't do that, but constant self-criticism could lead you down that path if you are not mentally strong enough.<br><br>
My own journey to veganism was one of compassion and concern for animals, I did not gain any spiritual fulfillment from my choice to become vegan. I agree with the previous posters, the world indeed is not a perfect place, and I despise most of the political, financial and industrial policies of most countries and institutions. You've got to do what you can. If only more people did.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
157 Posts
I agree with most of what's already been said.<br><br>
In a perfect world of course these issues wouldn't come up, but unfortunately, as we all know, this world is far from perfect!<br>
We do what we can.<br>
Don't beat yourself up so much. We are all doing our best, surely that's the most important factor?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
889 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi,<br><br>
Thanks for all the responses! They're very encouraging.<br><br>
To be clear, I am not considering giving up vegetarianism and I'm working towards veganism (I failed today). I belies it is very important and clearly beneficial for both human and animal to remain vegetarian. However, what I am critical of is the idea that I should investigate and eliminate all products and services that have an indirect relationship to animal cruelty. Yes, as many have said, in a perfect world this would not only be practical but easy!<br><br>
I just don't know if I believe that scrutinizing everything for indirect relationships makes much sense because, as I pointed out in my original post, EVERYTHING we do, eat, buy, or use has an indirect relationship to animal cruelty to one degree or another. Is this not true? Unless I buy a vegan product made by a vegan company that employs vegan workers and is delivered to a vegan store via bicycles--themselves made completely cruelty-free--that uses 100% renewable energy, I am still benefiting from cruelty indirectly, no?<br><br>
I know this might seem nit-picky to most but, for me, it's a matter of principle and principles should be true, no matter the extremity of the example.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
I understand where you are coming from. I do not know your religion, but I am a Christian and I believe that all of God's animals are beautiful creations. I do not think that eating animals is wrong, but consuming animals after they have been treated in such a disgusting way is wrong. Thus, I too strive to remove all animal products from my life that I can. At times it does seem pointless if I still benefit indirectly from the torture of God's creatures.<br><br>
I agree with much of what people have said. Although in regards to the animal industry one person may not make much of a difference, I also think that removing as much of the cruelty from your life is the best that you can do and should strive to do it.<br><br>
Again I understand and hope that you can find a place that you are comfortable in.
 

·
Riot Nrrrd
Joined
·
3,180 Posts
I'll be honest, I'm a little skeptical about this thread. I've seen very similar fatalistic sentiments expressed in very similar language a couple times.<br><br>
Willing to give folks the benefit of the doubt, at least until the paranoid dislike of hipsters and sophomoric Cliff's note reading of "Das Kapital" starts showing up. Or rather 'unless'.<br><br>
Benefit of the doubt ya know <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
889 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'll be honest, too.<br><br>
I'm brand new.<br><br>
I don't care one way or the other about hipsters, unless they happen to invade the bar where I bartend and that's less because they're hipsters and more about the lack of tips.<br><br>
Aaaand, I don't know what Das Kapital is.<br><br>
Also, I'm very serious about this issue and while it might seem, as I said, nit-picky and fatalistic, these are genuine concerns with which I have been preoccupied.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,664 Posts
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Kjesta</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2895668"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
If everyone did nothing because they can't do everything, the world would be a much darker place.</div>
</div>
<br>
This <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/yes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":yes:"><br><br>
Also, our actions have a greater ripple effect than we can even realize. Doing what is possible and practical might not seem like enough but just by being vegan and eliminating the suffering you cause as much as you can you are leading by example and getting everyone you know to reexamine their choices too, plus supporting cruelty free companies and not giving money to factory farms.<br><br>
In the end what you do to help change things may never feel like enough as long as there's still suffering in the world, so the only productive thing to do is redirect your energy and focus on the good things you <i>can</i> do rather than obsess over the little things you can't control. You can't change the world but you can make a dent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
889 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Werewolf Girl</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2896210"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br>
In the end what you do to help change things may never feel like enough as long as there's still suffering in the world, so the only productive thing to do is redirect your energy and focus on the good things you <i>can</i> do rather than obsess over the little things you can't control. You can't change the world but you can make a dent.</div>
</div>
<br>
This is very true.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,959 Posts
That was the thought processes that kept me from being fully veg for so long. It was like OCD, and the frustration of always obsessing about the connections of everything nearly drove me mad, until I just quit and joined the rest of the ignorant.<br>
I finally told myself I had to give up meat, and not focus on other things until I was really ready. By going vegan in steps, I learned to shop, cook, and change products gradually. Now I consider myself vegan.<br>
I've found the simpilest things do work the best. My cleaners are baking soda and vinegar. No shampoo. Dr. Bronners soap. Charlies laundry soap. Coconut oil moisturizer.<br><br>
The more you do, the more you do. Don't do more than what you're comfortable with at a time.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top