April 8, 2014

Veganism: Inventing the NEW NORMAL

If any two words were synonymous with veganism – it would be ‘animal rights’. Since its inception in 1944, veganism has been a position of non-participation in animal exploitation. With the word ‘vegan’ becoming more popular, the meaning has become weakened, or the benefits to humans are touted more than the original intent of animal rights. ALL animals – whether human or other species – by virtue of being feeling and conscious – possess the birth right not to be bought and sold as a commodity, owned like a slave, oppressed, exploited, or attacked by humans. Animals have the inherent right not to be forcibly impregnated, have their newborn who they painfully just gave birth to - kidnapped and then killed – all socially accepted “normal” practices of the dairy industry. What society accepts as normal is in fact not normal – customary, but it’s not normal behavior to separate a newborn from his or her mother so people can drink the milk of another species; milk which is meant to grow an 80 pound calf into a 1,000 pound cow in less than a year. How normal would it appear to see a human suckling on a cow's udder? 

An animal farmer selling cows online described my vegan views (that we don’t have a right to buy and sell a cow) as strange. I have a very different way of defining strange. Eating corpses is strange. Being entertained by animals who were forced to endure painful misery, humiliation, and captivity - horse and dog racing, animal fights, circuses, rodeos, animal acts, seaquariums, zoos – now that’s strange. What is socially accepted and passes for normal is actually cruel and callous. We need to raise the ‘normal bar'. 

Because humans are in fact animals, we are able to have empathy for fellow animals; who have many similar features. And when we empathize, we can clearly see that animals feel. They leap in joy. They speak - but like someone from another country, they speak a different language. If we tune into them and want to hear what they are saying – we can communicate and see that they feel much like we do - they want to live their lives naturally and free from harm, and protect and nurture their offspring. When we empathize, we see that animals have two eyes, a face, and a brain. They have a nervous, reproductive, digestive, circulatory, and respiratory system. They have pain receptors; and therefore feel pain as we do. Animals feel; that’s essentially what it means to be an animal. 

We have known friendship with dogs and cats, but those of us who have rescued animals of various other species – are certain that these animals are more ‘family’ than ‘food’. They're more friends than enemies to dominate, wear their skins, hunt and hang their heads on walls as trophies. Farming, imprisoning, and anally electrocuting fur-wearing animals so we can adorn ourselves in their skins, as well as any number of business-as-usual practices presently considered 'normal' by society – are, in reality - savage. We can all do better. Each of us can do our part in uplifting the collective consciousness of humankind. What role could be more important for us to play in this feature film called Life? We can be forerunners, pioneers of a new world; a non-violent one…it’s what “everybody” has been wishing for ~ Peace on Earth…Goodwill to All… But to actually bring about Peace on Earth, we necessarily have to live the ideals of veganism. We can't just say “we love animals” while we eat, wear and use products containing remnants of their tortured and mutilated bodies. We have to expand our respect for others to include anyone; any being with feelings and consciousness. 

Long-term vegans have established a way to live without directly demanding animal exploitation. For 35 years, my cosmetics and toiletries, food, clothing, and products have been free of animal ingredients nor were they tested on animals. Despicably testing products in the eyes of bunnies, forcing beagles to inhale cigarette smoke, vivisection on cats and pigs, holding primates captive and forcing them to learn what humans want them to learn, medicines tested on rats and mice and whoever else, dissecting frogs in schools – ‘animal experimentation’ is just too similar to the Tuskegee syphilis experiment; where African-American men were unknowing and did not consent to being “guinea pigs” in a lethal-to-them experiment. When humanity adopts veganism, there won't be derogatory or speciesist words that are an abomination to the English language. For example: “guinea pigs”  or “livestock” – “the butcher” – “slaughterhouse” – “leg of lamb” – “kill two birds with one stone” –  “you rat, you dog, you animal”; as if being an animal is bad or lowly. It is a mistaken belief that animals are higher or lower – they are other species of animals, fellow Earthlings.

What is considered normal - is not normal. Humans have been bullies, captors, slave-masters. In Truth (with a capital T), what is really normal is the vegan concept; the perspective where every animal has the right not to be exploited or violently assaulted by humans. We can be protectors, defenders, friends to animals, rescuers - however, at the very least, people have a duty to not harm beings that are unquestionably sentient. Humans must return to the animals what is rightfully theirs. Animal rights advocates are not asking for “better treatment” or “better welfare conditions” within a system that is completely unethical. Would we ask for bigger beds in the Holocaust’s concentration camps - or - would we work to wipe out the concentration camps? We are advocating for fundamental rights of anyone sentient. We are shining a light of Truth on indefensible habits, social custom, traditions that have been accepted as the “norm”.

The many benefits of plant-powered living are too vast to ignore. Veganism is a solution for what ails our planet; violence and war, dwindling resources and expanding human population, lack of health and vitality, and a ‘clouded way of thinking’. The United Nations and World Watch Institute have reported that animal agriculture is the worst threat to environmental devastation and global warming. The human population is unfortunately ever-growing, and the logical way to feed all these humans is to stop syphoning most of the grain and soy crops inefficiently through animals. Theoretically, we could feed all the starving children by simply making it illegal for humans to purposely breed animals into existence. It is morally wrong to breed other animals. Plus these billions of farmed animals together are contributing greenhouse gases to global warming; more than all the transportation in the world put together, while greatly depleting and polluting our water supply. Animal agriculture is the reason for the clear cutting of Amazonian rainforest, which is the lungs of our planet.

Most significantly, we are misguiding the next generation that violence is normal behavior. You and I were indoctrinated since day one by society - that humans are ‘top of the food chain’, the crown of all creation, that God gave us the right to kill and eat animals, or that some animals are “pets” while others are to be ill-treated, and other falsehoods that molded all of us. The time has come for us to break the cycle and stop filling the precious innocent minds of children with the lies we were taught; lies like humans can abuse animals. Teach the next generation to respect feeling, breathing, living, and perceptually-aware animals, regardless of species. We may like to be close to a dog, while not a fish, some animals might be adorable while some look alarming – but they all deserve, at least, not to be harmed (by humans). We are reaching a point in human evolution where we are undeniably able to thrive without consuming anything animal-derived. Many plant-powered athletes, for example, the world champion extreme marathoner and vegan: Fiona Oakes and other vegan athletes - are living proof that we can more than thrive on a vegan diet. 

The reason we can legally own, enslave, buy and sell, and murder animals – is because of the almighty ‘money god’ that humans truly worship over their other deities. The profit motive supersedes what is right. However, ethics and social justice must trump unethical ways of attaining money. Slave masters were driven by their personal monetary gain only, which is comparable to animal harmers (oops farmers). Abolitionists proclaimed that money and profit are irrelevant when it comes to the objectionable behavior of owning a human being. It still holds true. We need to build a new world that is not built upon enslaving anyone sentient. Animals are individuals that should have basic rights, equally under the law, not to be a slave to a human, not to be “a someone” who is perceived and treated as “a something”, not to be a he or a she who is seen and referred to as an “it”. This objectification of other animals is to make people feel okay about their abnormal violent exploitation of others; that is socially accepted but is nonetheless wrong – even if the majority doesn't yet see it.

Be vegan for ‘what is right’ - including every individual animal's right. The vegan ideal is open to all; rich or poor, atheist or theist, young or old, any shade of skin, any nationality or ethnicity; any gender identity - everybody. Help educate others that what is presently accepted as normal; is just unacceptable. Veganism has far reaching ramifications for a saner, cleaner, less violent world. Veganism is a protest to “the way it is”. Veganism is a Great Truth whose time has come. Veganism is the antidote to a world ravaged with violence. It’s a solution to our planetary problems.  Veganism is our next step. With humanity's acceptance of vegan living, we are making history; bringing about a world where veganism is the new normal. 


Unknown said...

A very refreshing “new normal” … I’ve only been vegan for a little less than a year but since I transitioned I have noticed more & more options when dining out & finding cruelty free products has gotten a little easier. I often think about the people who have been vegan for many years and I have such an overwhelming respect for them.

Rima said...

beautiful! thank you.


This is one of the bests, most beautifully articulated grounds for veganism and animal rights that I have ever read. I hope that you don't mind that I have copied your whole post onto my FB page with credit and link back to your blog.

I have long believe that animals should have a charter of rights and protections,legally enforceable too!

Sadly, the only way to preserve their rights is to cull the humans who reject the notion they have any, and abused them[canned hunters,farmers, slaughter -house-workers, etc].

Cristina said...

Wonderful! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Excellent article. If you can somehow turn it into a 3 minute video then it could change lives. As it is, I think only fellow vegans will take the time to read it and we're not the ones who need convincing.

mmissinglink said...

Thank you for a very thought-provoking essay.

stevolution said...

Nicely put. Although I would suggest you could be more forthright with your farmer quip. Brilliant article.

Anonymous said...

Really says so much, yet beautifully holds together.

Unknown said...

Thankyou. So well explained. Living the vegan way us the only way to stop needless suffering.

Unknown said...

Great piece. Many people are coming to this awareness. I am currently writing a piece from a similar perspective of what I call the predator mind-virus and death-dealing. We have accepted slavery as a foundational axiom into ourselves and the way we live. It creates non-integrated conflicted individuals who are not living their values completely, a sort of schizophrenia. Thank you for the article.

libertyandjusticeforanimals said...

Love this and shared

Anonymous said...

This is true, but your voice is heavy handed and judgmental. You sound like you are selling religion. It makes it very hard to read and impossible to share with a mainstream audience.

Diatribes like this is why vegans like me get attacked by meat-eaters for being radicals. Which is not true, in my case, but in yours, yes.

M. (known as) "Butterflies" Katz said...

To the last anonymous commenter - thanks for sharing your point of view. I don't see myself as radical, but truthful. Animal rights is not radical to me - it's very normal. They way people are violent towards other species of animals is what seems very radical, in my point of view. I'm just telling it like it is, as I see it. Honest, not embellishing - not radical. But hey, we all have our perspective. By the way, when I speak to people in real life, I never get nonveagns telling me I'm radical or anything negative.

M. (known as) "Butterflies" Katz said...

P.S. to the last anonymous comment - I am writing this for any person, including the mainstream. It is specifically for those who you say you can't show it to - show it to them, I'm not afraid to speak the truth to them, and it's not coming from you - so show it to them. I'm planting seeds and trying to change the perceptions of humanity. I'm not saying you "motherfucker" - but I am saying what society has accepted as normal is in fact not normal, and in need of change, and that change is very possible.

Ralph Graham said...

Nice work indeed. It certainly supports what vegans everywhere are feeling. A lot to take in all at once for someone 'on the other side' for sure.
Thank you!

(Butterflies is a nick name or....?)

M. (known as) "Butterflies" Katz said...

Lindsey - Butterflies is my chosen name and the name I go by in real life too, not an incognito name or online.

Hearing the Truth can be a lot to take in, especially when you are not on the side of Truth and then must change your ways, but I considered this post my up-to-date statement to humanity, and all this needed to be included. Bye for now, Butterflies

Unknown said...

Truth is in your words. I am very happy that I have learned the truth; from you and others. I will share it with others. Thank you for sharing and teaching.

debdrunner said...

I have been vegan for about a year and a half now and I have to say that this was the best thing I have read on veganism. Very well said. Thank you.

st john baptist said...

Anonymous said...
This is true, but

But what anonymous?
When someone comes across finds and know the truth this someone must speak, preach, live and stand by the truth regardless of what, when, how or who and therefore: This is truth but, is irrational, is irrelevant and is ignorant.

Or may be anonymous that you meant to say, This is truth, but

The truth is really painful, it hurts like hell to heard it, it offends me and makes feel insulted and judged? let's see:

your voice is heavy handed and judgmental.

Teaching and creating awareness is not judging,

You sound like you are selling religion.

Religion is confusion and there absolutely nothing confused about what is written in this post.

It makes it very hard to read and impossible to share with a mainstream audience.

Very easy to read very clear and easy to understand, But very hard to accept to embrace to commit to it and to practice it.

Diatribes like this is why vegans like me get attacked by meat-eaters for being radicals. Which is not true, in my case, but in yours, yes.

Radical? radical? you want to see radical? vegans cant not smoke, vegans can not drink alcohol, vegans can not work nor pay taxes because by doing so, they are supporting animal experimentation with tobacco, alcohol and each and every single thing related to government the establishment and technological, scientific and military weapons in animals.

1} Animals are not ours to displace them {by stealing their habitats}.
2} Animals are not ours to chase them {It’s unjust and harassment}.
3} Animals are not ours to hunt them {It’s the evil desire to kill}.
4} Animals are not ours to trap them {It’s pain and suffering}.
5} Animals are not ours to cage them {It’s the cruelty of the zoos}.
6} Animals are not ours to train them {In sports nor entertainment}.
7} Animals are not ours to exploit them {At work nor in slavery}.

1} Animals are not ours to laugh at them {In amusement parks}.
2} Animals are not ours to bet on them {It’s the human greed}.
3} Animals are not ours to experiment on them {It’s evil sorcery}.
4} Animals are not ours to skin them alive {It’s an abomination}.
5} Animals are not ours to wear them {It’s ego envy and vanity}.
6} Animals are not ours to kill them {Thou shalt not {is idolatry}.
7} Animals are not ours to eat them {Desire to taste death / flesh}.

1} Animals are not ours to castrate {It’s against God's will and purpose}.
2} Animals are not ours to breed {It’s against nature’s circle of life}.
3} Animals are not ours to name/buy/sell/borrow/give away nor steal it.
4} Animals are God’s Created Man, male and female {Mankind}.
5} Animals are God's Own Image and Likeness {Spirit and body}.
6} Animals are God’s Blessed Living Creatures {The real Saints}.
7} Animals are God’s Blessed Children {Sons of God and Sons of Man}.
{777} The Way The Truth The Life. The Seal of The Living God {777}.