How to be a Vegan
Who am I?
- I.T. Entrepreneur for 10 years
- Software used by Microsoft, Google, Apple
- Vegan in March 2013
This is serious.
Didn't eat fish.
Knew milk came from cows and was for calves.
This is gross.
Drank plant-based milks. Ate dairy indulgences.
Knew what Kosher was.
Thought you needed animal products to live.
Didn't know animals were people.
Did my first diet
dieting disciplined-eating improved my health
(no asthma, no hayfever, better physique)
Watched the original Live Export campaign...
Discovered food animals were people too
Resolved to not eat meat in 3rd world countries
Went to India
Discovered you can be vegetarian and not drop dead
Became vegetarian permanently
Watched Factory Farming
Couldn't risk being part of that
This was a process that took several years.
6 years pre-vegan, discovered over-fishing, made the change.
2 years pre-vegan, discovered disciplined eating improved my health.
6 months pre-vegan, discovered animals were people and slaughtered horribly, didn't eat meat.
Vegan, discovered vegan factory farming and health arguments, became vegan.
The revelation was instant.
I was a horrible person.
I murdered/tortured/enslaved people.
For unhealthy indulgences.
People were still doing this.
I was right, everyone else was wrong.
I was smart, everyone else was dumb.
I was compassionate, everyone else were evil.
I forgot that veganism was a process.
I forgot it took years for the seeds to germinate.
I didn't know veganism wasn't the answer.
I didn't know veganism was only a step.
I became haunted by these questions.
"What about non-vegans? Should be murdered?"
"What about pets? Should they be murdered?"
"What about people who have nothing else to eat? E.g. Nomads, Shipwreck Survivors. Should they be murdered?"
"What about people using Gas causing Fracking. Should they be murdered?"
The answer became, I should be murdered, because I still wanted my gas-powered hot-water shower.
I tried cold-water showers for 2 months, during Sydney's winter. I even tried not-showering. It was torture.
This is a correct life. But it isn't an enjoyable life. A life that is not enjoyable, is not a scalable life.
A scalable life, must be an enjoyable life.
A scalable correct life, must be a vegan+more life.
There's something more here. Something I'm missing.
I researched Elon Musk (a non-vegan, making the world clean).
Should he die? He's pretty smart, what does he know?
I researched the Nomads in Mongolia (sustainable happy living, who consumed horses). Should they die or relocate to a supermarket?
I researched the Jains (ancient vegans still around today, who don't murder root vegetable plants).
I researched the ethical vegan arguments. I researched ethics. I researched philosophy. I researched psychology.
I researched history. I researched the history of energy.
I researched the future. I researched the singularity. I researched ecology.
I realised that ethics is a branch of philosophy. I realised that philosophy is objectively subjective, or rather, relative. I realised that a better name for ethically vegan is emotionally vegan.
I realised that a holistic life, is one of several infinite lines, all progressing to the same direction, of which, veganism is one point, on one line. It's about integrity, it's about awareness.
I realised that people thousands of years ago, wouldn't have killed themselves for only having access to animals for survival. Otherwise, we wouldn't be here.
I realised that we are at a transitional point in time, we're we know certain things are bad, but it takes time to fix them.
I realised answers to my questions. I realised an enjoyable & correct life.
(more than just vegan)
So what is a vegan, actually? "When one believes animals are not ours to own" - it's that simple. It's the belief that animals are people - it's a political/ethical stance.
Strict-vegetarian however is a lifestyle choice, it's definition: "When one does not consume animal products or by-products."
The "vegan lifestyle" is the name of the many things of integrity that stems from the stance of veganism, such as following strict-vegetarian choices when sensible.
You can't have vegan-options at a non-vegan establishment, you have strict-vegetarian options. Meals don't have political beliefs, people do.
- this is nuanced, remove it -
You can't have an ethical vegan, who doesn't muse.
You can't have an environmental vegan, who smokes.
You can't have a health vegan, who eats junk-food.
- this slide may be a bit to naunced, remove it -
So what post-vegan answers are there?
Pets? Don't have them if you aren't capable of treating them with the same rights and freedoms as a human. Don't prison them, don't own them, don't enslave them.
Carnivorous pets? Don't have them if you have to buy food for them.
Animal clothing? Dumpster dived is fine. The animal deserves the dignity that it's products have gone to good use.
Animal food? Only if there is nothing else.
Energy? Move off gas, get 100% clean electricity. Can't? Work towards it. Don't complain about fracking, instead complain about what can be done to make non-gas alternatives readily available to everyone.
Purchasing non-fair-trade coffee and chocolate? You have human slaves. Accept it, or stop it.
Purchasing coconut/palm/date products from Asia? You are killing orangutans. Accept it, or stop it.
Murdering products of plants? They're like sperm, eggs, embreyos, and hair, it's your choice if that counts as taking a life or not.
Murdering root-vegetables? Yes, you take their entire life, not a product of it. Accept it, or stop it.
Consuming animal products and by-products when you would otherwise die of starvation? Go for it - it's part of the circle of life, carnivores/herbivores are an essential part of ecology. Otherwise, don't.
I am a vegan.
I use petrol, gas, and non-clean electric when clean-electric is not available.
I buy non-organic when organic equivalents are not available.
I murder root-vegetables. It bothers me, but there are more important things to bother myself with.
I accept the consequences of the above, I won't punish or harm myself or my body over availability issues, I prioritise the things which bother me.
With this acceptance, I can admit, I am part of the problem, but I am a whole-lotta part of the solution. I'm ok with this, I accept this.
Are you okay with where you stand?
How to be a vegan
By Benjamin Lupton