When I’m researching veganism and animal welfare, a big turn off is the hate and offensive words. Veganism is based on compassion for animals. Where is the compassion for humans? Not being vegan does not make someone a “bad” person. Yes, we all know that but we still see a lot of food shaming around.
Before becoming vegan, I was a vegetarian for a long time just because I haven’t had taken the time to get informed about the treatment of animals in dairy farms and all that. Doing some research without anyone judging me was what changed my food choices.
My dear friend Lisa told me a long time ago: We catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Well, that’s an old saying but she told me that in the moment I was ready to listen and her precious words reverberated in my mind.
People only listen to what they are ready to hear. We can’t brand ideas in their minds the same way cowboys brand cattle. Human brains need lots of pampering and sweet convincing.
The other day, I tried to watch a documentary about slaughterhouses and after paying for it, I couldn’t watch it for more than 60 seconds. The shocking images disturbed me in a visceral level. I’m the kind of person who will easily be convinced not to eat bacon by looking at pictures of baby pigs in a grass field but not by images of a pig factory.
It’s sad to see people making faces when they hear my answer “I’m vegan” to “why you don’t want a piece of this juicy steak.” They get more wrinkles with all the face contortioning and I keep eating my greens peacefully. My friends get very defensive and start talking about vitamin deficiency. I could go on and feed the debate with stories about bloody slaughterhouses and how baby cows are taken from their moms and so on. But I prefer to try to be compassionate and explain to them that in my mind there is no difference between a cow and my chihuahua. Then, I tell stories about how smart pigs and chickens are. I don’t talk about animal suffering and exploitation while my dear friends are enjoying their steaks, that would be rude and counterproductive.
I don’t believe in preaching, I believe in planting the seed of curiosity so my friends will ask questions about my lifestyle and start doing their own research, reaching their own conclusions and making their own choices.
Hopefully, my friends will discover the path to compassion for animals.