One of my goals as a vegan wishing to do the most good in the shortest amount of time, was, and still is, to meet other vegans, to listen to their views, to share mine and to come together with a new and improved and productive vision. I had no idea how to do this seeing as only 2 percent of the population worldwide is vegan. And since I am not all that fond of traveling…..gotta do it from home.
My answer came by way of a blogging friend, Celeste, who had recently joined a Vegan Meet Up Group. What the heck is a Meet Up Group? So, I Google-d it and found The Montreal Vegan Rejects. I joined up, attended a couple of events, commented on some posts on the Discussion Board and eventually met a fellow member.
We had lunch together the other day at a 100% Plant Based Restaurant, of course. We did as I had hoped. We exchanged vegan views, we laughed and we talked about matters non-vegan. But, for me, the most profound and thought provoking moment came when we had already left the restaurant and were strolling down the street toward my car. L. (FlowingU) asked me what I wanted to do outside of the vegan circle to promote veganism. In other words, what is my vision for convincing the unconvinced? I did not have an off the cuff answer, but I have been thinking about it since we met on Monday. Here is what I think.
The creation of this blog has as part of its mission, the dissemination of information to all of us out there who are searching for a better, kinder and more compassionate way to live. We may not know it when we start the search. But we do know that we are not satisfied in our lives. We don’t feel well, we are tired, overstressed, overburdened and feel rudderless in an ever increasingly busy, demanding world. These symptoms are a reflection of the extreme suffering of nonhumans trapped in all of our industries of wants.
Some people say that I write well and I don’t know if this is true, but I do know that I can write, so I do use this tool to reach as many people as possible, while respecting their own personal belief systems. It is a challenge to be patient and understanding because the stakes are so high and so many beings are suffering so dramatically, even as I write these words. But I also feel that anger as well as strident comments will accomplish nothing, neither in the short nor the long term.
I am highly invested, and have been for much of my life, in coming immediately to the aid of those who are suffering in the now, particularly those who are being abused emotionally, physically and psychologically. Since I have come to understand that nonhuman beings are being bullied and abused for our wants and our profit line, I have extended my arms to enfold them.
It follows then, that I would really like to be on the front lines rescuing puppies from puppy mills, farmed animals from slavery, beagles, mice and monkeys from labs, llamas, rabbits and goats from petting zoos and the list goes on. But, I have a couple of physical disabilities that would keep me from doing this day in and day out without compromising myself and my vision for a vegan world. So, I write, read, attend marches, visit sanctuaries, dialogue with like minded people and try to lead by example.
Annie’s Vegan View
We can all do our part as long as we are willing to continue learning and assessing what that role might be.
We can set our intention to do no harm, to live with integrity.
Janine Shepherd, who once had Olympic dreams, said to her mother, while sitting in a wheelchair, “If I can’t walk, I will fly”.
I read somewhere that once a social movement represents 10% of the population , it becomes the social norm.
I am reaching for the stars and going for that 10%-going for a vegan world where no being suffers for our pleasure.
Therein lies our own salvation.
May all beings be happy and free.
5 thoughts on “My Dream Advocacy as a Vegan”
Wonderful post, Annie!
Joining a meet up sounds like a great idea. I think the Internet is a great place to do advocacy and connect with fellow vegans. I’ve made a lot of new friends in the past couple of years from attending protests/rallies/marches here in NYC… and I even met my boyfriend online through a mutual friend. I have also found that using my Facebook to share articles or recipes have gotten a few people to message me about reducing their meat consumption or advice on going full on vegan. It’s so exciting!
And I totally agree, we must be patient and understanding. Vegans are already on the “fringe” and so many people consider us “extreme,” that when we respond with anger or hate, our opposition’s idea of us becomes confirmed.
I know your wonderful words will change many minds. I’m so happy that we have connected!
Thanks so much for your comments and your support. I agree with you about networking on Facebook and other social media. It is something that I am working on now. I am hoping to connect with more people.
I don’t think that anger or bullying solves anything. I think it is Albert Einstein who said something like this. “You can’t solve a problem using the same thinking that created it. ”
I too, am very happy that we have connected. Let’s keep the dialogue going.
As always, Anne, I like the way you weave your message through your story.
I agree; we do what we can. Simply by following a lifestyle that eliminates (or where we have no control – diminishes) the use of animals, we already make a difference. People do take notice and at some point it may all “click” with them as it did with us. Keep doing what you’re doing…. it’s inspiring and motivating!
I still wish that I could be out there at the saving end of things. That is why I so admire people like Pam Ahern from Edgar’s Mission. http://www.edgarsmission.org.au/. But, we can do our part in different ways as long as we come together in one goal-a vegan world where nonhumans have agency over their own lives.
You certainly do lead by example my friend. I see you as my teacher and role model and I owe everything I have learned to you. You are very talented at writing and all your articles are always so very beautifully written. I believe we all have a talent. I am still trying to discover mine and how best I can help my animal friends.
You inspire me Anne to be the very best person I can be, not only for the animals but for myself as well.
Thank you Anne for the compassion you show to every living thing!