Why I Am Still Vegan After a Decade of Service

On December 6, 1998, my wife Janna and I began to serve the Vegan lifestyle.  I say “serve” because being Vegan can be a lonesome service to a greater cause as everyone around you devours animals and wears their skins.

Janna and I have been faithful as possible to the way of being and eating requirements of Veganism for over a decade, and we look forward to continued service for decades to come.

Some will argue it is impossible to be entirely Vegan.  People slip and slurp or cheat eat.  People unwittingly eat foods that include animal remains or extractions.  People use computers and drive cars — and bits of animals are used to make a lot of electronic equipment.

I agree rigid Veganism is impossible right now — but that doesn’t make me duplicitous or a convenient moralist.

Veganism isn’t about 100% perfection — Veganism is doing the right thing more often than not and always making the correct choice when more than one option is offered.  Every day of your life you must actively choose between a Vegan option and something else.

I am not a radical Vegan in that few people know the choice I’ve made.  Many Vegans think you need to be “out there” and “in the face” of society and yelling and protesting instead of living right and demonstrating the path of purposefulness by example.

Being Vegan demands a certain quiet comfort in knowing you are doing the right thing without publicity and in private — and that you don’t have to shout from blogs or write in the sky with contrails to make a difference.

Each year it gets easier and easier to be Vegan in the marketplace.  Supermarkets are becoming more sensitive to Vegan dietary needs and they are filling their shelves with our food.

Clothing and shoe companies are economically coming around — perhaps they are not ethically bending to the moral will of human compassion — but at least they feel in their bottom line why it is, by far, cheaper to use manufactured materials to make their products than it is to process the remains of a carcass.

Veganism is a friendly, pro-animal, pro-health choice movement that not only makes you feel better physically, it fulfills you emotionally with the notion that each moment of every day you are making a measurable — if infinitesimal — righteous difference in the world that can be felt in situ and known in quantifications that reverberate morally beyond you and that exponentially matter economically.

15 comments

  • David,

    That’s why I love being a Vegan! It’s great.

    • Are there a lot of observant, Jewish, Vegans, Gordon?

      • Took a new article linking back to this one to get me to realize that there’s an unanswered question for me! :)

        The answer is a definitive no, alas. People will say “G-d gave us permission to eat animals” and yes this is true but it certainly doesn’t do your body any good! Thankfully people are very accommodating when we go out to homes for meals and have food we can eat.

  • If it makes you happy and you’re reasonably quiet about, more power to you. I’m the last one who’s going tell someone what to eat or wear.

    It’s not for me though; I’m a predating omnivore and likely to stay that – in no small part because due to quirks of my metabolism I actually feel healthier and more energetic on a high animal protein diet.

    That being said, I find it sad that most people won’t make an honest, informed decision as to their diets, preferring to shelter themselves from the realities of predation. I wouldn’t want everyone to hunt and fish as I have done my whole life, but they should at least go to a slaughterhouse once to see where the animals die to feed them.

    • I appreciate your comment, jonolan.

      In the original article I linked, I explain in that piece that I moved to a “meatless” lifestyle because of high cholesterol and elevated blood pressure. I had a doctor who was willing to work with me to lower them both naturally with exercise, meditation and diet change if I had interest in going the “non-pill” route.

      He asked if I wanted to try to change my behavior — or start a lifetime regimen of pills taking? He was a Harvard educated MD — and he had the medical research to back up his behavioral claims — and his want to get his patients to “self-heal” problems like mine was, and is, his guiding mandate as a doctor. His name is Ben Kligler — and he not only healed me, but he taught me how to save my own life:

      http://www.healthandhealingny.org/center/staff_kligler.asp

      I bit — on the idea, not him! — and removing all animal fat from my diet dramatically brought my cholesterol back into the safe range and lowered my blood pressure by about ten points on both ends. No pills necessary.

      The “not eating my friends” part later became a side benefit to the requirements of the diet. My wife joined me in my diet change because of her love of animals and not for any health reasons. We came together from opposite sides of the rationale for the Vegan lifestyle. We prefer the cleaner, less “process heavy,” delivery of proteins in our diet.

      I was disappointed that so many of my friends were threatened by my diet change — and more of them than I like to admit did the hackneyed “mooing hamburger” routine at me when we went out to eat.

      • David,

        Your personal biology is closer to the norm than mine, which is admittedly odd as my doctors have repeatedly told me. ;-) I was apparently born to be a hunter-gatherer and do NOT do well on the modern processed diet at all.

        Strangely though, your wife and I are not that far apart; I love and respect all animals, kill them for my food with as much speed, dispatch, and mercy as I can, give a prayer of thanks to them, as use as much of them as I can – yeah, I learned to tan leather.

        As to the “mooing hamburger” – I wouldn’t be surprised that, if many of your friends got a first hand look into what is needed for their burgers, they’d join you as vegans – but, as I commented before, most people won’t consciously and deliberately “accept” what is needed for their chosen method of survival.

        • You’re right that most people have no idea how their perfectly packaged animals made their way into the supermarket freezer.

          One of my favorite quotes from Leo Tolstoy — a vegetarian at the time — “As long as their are slaughterhouses, there will always be war.” He believed the mechanized killing of animals for anonymous people who “might be hungry in the future” was destructive to us all as people.

          He believed that if you wanted to eat animals, you should kill them only when you are hungry, and only what you will immediately consume.

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