I once overheard someone saying that she likes to keep things simple and not make her meals the prime focus of her life. Hence, she is not vegan. It made me sad to hear this, because she seemed like a compassionate person in other ways, and yet the connection between what (or who) we eat and what we put in the world was not yet clear to her.
The thing about being vegan- or being on the right side of any social justice issue- is that it will be inconvenient. To stand up against something that is wrong that is considered normal necessarily means that we create the change rather than stay put in apathy. It's interesting because when we really think about it, veganism is not a stance of being "kind". It's just neutral. We choose not to hurt others. That is all there is to it. If someone chooses not to rape a child, this person would not be "kind". This person is just neutral. Veganism is like that. And yet because the norm is to hurt others, boycotting not to hurt others is made out to be a big deal.
It used to make me angry and frustrated and impatient that others "don't get it". But I am starting to realize that this frustration is futile, and for the sake of the animals whom I claim to work for, I need to keep my serenity. Activism is not for everyone. If someone chooses to live his or her life a certain way, who am I to judge? Even when this person is hurting others, who am I to judge? If I judged this person, then that makes my behavior the same as the person who eats animals because he or she thinks the animals do not matter.
When I turned vegan, I was certain I would not turn into a crazy activist who spends all of her time advocating for one cause. How wrong I turned out to be. I think I got pulled into animal rights advocacy when I realized I have no choice. The truth about animal cruelty is too large for me to ignore.
I can honestly say that everything I do is for the animals. I try my best to be better at teaching yoga so that I could be more effective at giving information about veganism. I learn about assists so students will begin to trust me and trust what I say about veganism. I talk about empowerment and compassion and freedom because they are ultimately and undeniably related to how we see our fellow animals.
I wanted to be apathetic, but it was too inconvenient for me to keep at it. I would rather read labels when I shop at the grocery than participate in the animal holocaust. I would rather explain in detail what it means to be vegan to the restaurant staff than to be served the suffering of others. I am fine with keeping my meals complicated but my morals simple. The inconvenient truth about apathy is that it costs animals their lives. It cannot be more literal than that.
Is being vegan for you? Be a witness to the suffering we inflict on animals, and then you decide.