Why We Do What We Do
I have many people in my life who think that the vegan choice is just sort of my little thing I do or the equivalent of my religion or is a popular trend and nothing more. They would not think this if it were me working each day to end violence toward humans. In most human circles, the non-violence education work I do would be considered "more important" if I were working for humans rather than non-humans.
I do this work and am writing this because it is important to not turn our backs on needless violence. It is not to point a finger at anyone or to say that I am a perfect example of non-violence/consistency.
I am not perfect. I have inconsistencies in my life. Like everyone, I do my best with what I know and with the often-difficult choices I have to make.
Most people want to help create a less violent and more caring society. Some situations seem overwhelming. How do I personally stop the war in the Middle East? I have no idea. Other situations are totally within our power. How do I personally stop contributing to the war on innocent non-humans? Here the choices are often within our hands and can be acted on immediately.
Some choices are easier than others.
Buying household products and self-care products that are not tested on other species is an easy choice that requires no self-sacrifice.
Whether it is ethical to eat dairy or not eat dairy is also not one of the more difficult choices in life. But this one is more challenging for most people. It is quite clear that we are causing lifetimes of violence and suffering for the pleasure of a bowl of yogurt or a cheese pizza or a dish of ice cream. Most people do not realize this or do not want to make this connection.
Most people do not want to watch difficult/violent footage. I understand....there are images that I have witnessed that have haunted me for years. And, it is important to not turn away, especially if the industries are ones we choose to support. If we were the victims of needless violence, we would not want the witnesses to turn away.
I am going over to the meditation center to volunteer today. The center serves dairy. It is accepted in even the most caring circles.
I know that many of my most politically and environmentally conscious friends are going to say that they only get "humane" or "organic" dairy products. Most of them have never visited these dairies/farms. Caring people would not support these farms if they were witness to every step of the process. Even the most "humane" dairy farm has to deal with the by-product of their industry: the male calves. These calves are slaughtered or sent to a veal facility within a few days because the milk meant for them is destined for ice cream, yogurt, cheese and milk for humans who are beyond the nursing age.
There is no humane way around that or the fact that the mothers are slaughtered while still in the prime of their life and become part of the meat industry.
Eating dairy is a slippery slope. You may start out saying you only support "humane" or "organic" animals products, but when you go out to eat you go ahead and order animal products in your meal without regard for the source.
Please, if you still consume dairy products and decide that you do not want to witness the extremely difficult/violent video attached to this email, there are other, gentler places to get informed. Go buy some Daiya vegan cheese (the best..) and some coconut milk ice cream and make yourself a comfort food snack while reading through the endless vegan educational material on-line. Simply Google: Dairy cruelty
If you do choose to view the video or do a bit more research on this issue, you should understand that the abuses you see are not isolated incidents. Violence is more common than not at these facilities.
Once you view the video or research these issues, you will be more informed.
What you do with that information is up to you.
I hope you will choose to act on what you see/know/feel.