I see this graphic posted a lot by people who dislike vegans (which to me is akin to disliking someone who believes in civil rights or is against domestic violence but that is a topic for another time). Lets address a couple of things shall we?
First off, there is a lot of stuff on this list that I never use. Photo film? Are you guys serious? How desperate is someone to justify their own inhumanity and lack of compassion to put photo film on this list?! By all means, wake me up when it’s 1970 again and I actually need to buy a roll of film.
Items I currently do not use:
- Anti-aging cream
- imatation eggs
- cake mixes
- emery boards
- refined sugar
- candies and confectionary
- chewing gum
- instrument strings
- tennis racquet strings
Ok, so that pretty much takes care of most of this list. As for shampoos, cosmetics, skin care products and vitamins, there are vegan options for all of these. Another fail.
When it comes to building materials, I currently have no control of what my apartment building is made out of. It would be interesting to research this further and find out if one was building their own home if one would be able to do it with materials that were 100% vegan. I’m betting it could be done.
So basically this is a list of what non-vegans use but is somehow supposed to reflect poorly on vegans. Why not just add ‘steak’ to the list if you guys are this desperate to find fault with people who are trying to get through life while contributing as little as possible to the suffering of other sentient beings?
And let’s be clear on one point, every vegan is aware that some things are beyond their control. What is clear from this list though is that very few products depend on animal exploitation. What is also clear is that most of these items can be made in a vegan manner and many of them have been due to a growing demand.
What is often discovered is that just because something is not currently vegan, does not mean it cannot be made that way in the future. Change comes from innovation and innovation in consumer product land comes from customer demand.
Demand for vegan products comes from people who recognize that animals are sentient beings capable of complex emotions ranging from terror to love and that these beings deserve better than the ‘life’ a largely unconscious and uncaring society has chosen for them.
This deeply flawed list is simply an attempt to marginalize the incredible contributions to the fight against animal cruelty that vegans make on a daily basis when they wake up to reality and opt out of mainstream consumerism. By ending our support to companies and industries that profit off of cruelty and slaughter on a scale that is simply not justifiable by any sane human being, we damn well make a difference.
If my trying to live a life that causes the least amount of harm to others as possible bothers anyone, I couldn’t care less. I’m on this planet to live a life I can be proud of not to worry about what others think about my choices.
Being vegan is not about being perfect. It means trying the best you can in any given circumstance to treat yourself, your fellow beings and your environment with as much respect as possible. We will all reap what we sow when it comes to our health and our environment. Every decision we make is an opportunity to either bury our heads in the sand or to support humanity and progress.
There are many complex issues that remain to be solved and living in the modern world, especially in an urban environment, means that I will not escape all culpability. Choosing to live my life as vegan as I possibly can simply means that I have taken an important step forward in doing what is right not only for the sake of animals but for the sake of my fellow man as well.
I don’t need anyone else to approve of my decision. It is the right choice for me, it is a choice that makes a real difference and it is a choice I am proud of. That is all that matters.