Massive campaigns for spreading awareness through talks,and audio/video presentations is the need of the hour. Also vegans must get united burying their ideological differences and keep only the liberation of animals in mind. Availability of affordable vegan products as alternatives to animal products is also going to be very helpful.
Veganism has to be delinked from religion. Jains and brahmins don’t have some hotline to virtue. Muslims are not evil monsters. Veganism is the philosophy of a British man who joined the dots and made an ethical connection our ancient philosophers and demagogues did not. Instead, we need to show how veganism intersects with other movements for social justice and is not just an elite fad. Especially in India, anyone can go vegan and live a healthy life without any extra expense. The ethical dimension is primary, but the linkage to religion and class has to be shattered.
I help animals by leaving them alone and not involving them or their byproducts in my lifestyle whatsoever. I now enjoy more vitality, less stress, healthy weight loss, and much greater peace of mind overall.
It’s my observation that humans are the most isolated creatures on this planet. We share our planet with at least 10 million different species of which we are one. How many of these do we interact with? NONE. The apathy that we observe by our fellow humans towards animals is based on this disconnect. There has to be animal-human interaction.
I’d always felt guilty whenever I’d consumed eggs and dairy having seen Earthlings a few years ago. And yet I’d be the first one to call people out on any form of animal cruelty. One day, last May, I decided I’d have to stop being a hypocrite and went vegan overnight.
HASSAN AMIN (BONUS ENTRY FROM PAKISTAN)
I started out by trying out being vegan for a week in the beginning of the year, quitting dairy food as well, as well as slowly removing myself from clothes etc made from animals. Halfway through that week I took the plunge. There was no second thoughts about it once I figured out that it was not hard at all to sustain a cruelty-free existence if one tried.
I am a dietary vegan and I became one for health reasons. However with that being said, I do not use dead animal skin, so my shoes, wallet, belt are all ‘pu’. I like it, I feel great and why not. I lost 30 kgs by eating more than I ever have. I have clarity in my life and work that I have never had before. I am patient and my temperament and stamina is better.
The only thing I regret about turning vegan is that, I should’ve turned vegan much earlier in life. I read and watched videos about the extreme cruelty meted out to animals by the dairy, poultry and meat industry- besides incessant killings, baby calves are separated from their mothers, animals are subjected to severe health hazards and endless exploitation and torture. I need to have a clean conscience and not have an exploited, brutalized and killed sentient being on my plate.
I watched 15 mins of Earthlings, I turned it off and that’s when I gave up all sorts of meat and vowed that I will go vegan no matter what as realized the kind of torture I was giving to animals.
Most Indians are arrogant, stupid, and very annoying. We take pride in really stupid and silly things. The religion we belong to, the caste we belong to, the language we speak, the money we have in our accounts etc. Most of the people who know about veganism in India take it as a threat to their community, religion, to their business and so most of the time we don’t get the response we want. People have been brain washed really bad on the name of religion, for profit, for exploiting our fellow beings.
The real clincher was when I watched the documentary Earthlings, which introduced me to the concept of species-ism for the very first time. Within the first ten minutes of that documentary, I was done. I didn’t want to contribute to that mass suffering just for my own enjoyment. I made a Facebook post announcing my mental shift, and also talking about the guilt I felt for mindlessly engaging in such destructive behavior for 21 years of my life. I then went on to binge read Vegan Sidekick comics, and could not believe how illogically I had been living my entire life beforehand.
Like most people, I was raised to ignore the “animalness” of the animals I was eating. To victimize another being for pleasure is not something I’ve ever been able to live with. When I realized that by eating meat I was causing pain and suffering to other beings who were, in their capacity for suffering, more like me than unlike me, I could no longer justify that decision to myself anymore. And I found out that I didn’t even need animal flesh to be healthy. It is important to me to feel that I’m being true to my own sense of ethics, and veganism does that for me.
I am now aware all the time that nonhuman earthlings are SHARING the Earth WITH US, they aren’t here FOR us. So, other than helping out obviously “cute” and “sad” looking animals, my treatment of random insects (dangerous or not) ants, a sudden lizard on the road etc..has totally changed. I make sure I get them away from me without harming them.
Being born in a Brahmin family I was vegetarian already. I was raised in the best way by my parents – they made me value every life present on earth. But I was not vegan till the time I watched this video by PETA on cows, pigs and poultry birds… that’s when I decided to go vegan!
I AM VEGAN because I am awake to the suffering of nonhuman animals caused by humans and wish to be no part of it. There’s no way I’d harm an animal for my food or clothing or for anything at all, so there’s no way in hell I’m going to pay other humans to do it.
EVERY MEMBER OF THE ANIMAL KINGDOM wants and deserves our friendship, love and respect as much as the animals a lot of us live with, and I feel a very deep connection with all of them and the earth.
I WILL NEVER stop talking about veganism because what others think of as their personal choice is affecting not only animals who suffer only because they were not born human but also the condition of our planet and the present and future of humans as well.