Going vegan, for whatever reason, is a life-changing decision that you should be very proud of.
But for those of us (myself included) who went vegan for our health or because it’s trendy, we still have work to do in order to get the most out this lifestyle.
It is absolutely imperative to make the ethical connection as a vegan.
Making an ethical connection means you understand where meat, dairy and eggs come from and how those animals are treated before becoming your food.
It means you’ve seen the pain and fear in an animal’s eyes as they are about to be slaughtered.
It means you’ve made a conscious choice to protect all animals by never paying for that again.
It also means that, in protecting all animals, you choose to not wear their carcasses as jackets, shoes, purses, etc.
It means you are now vegan for more than yourself.
Whether you’ve made the ethical connection or not, the food you eat is still the same. You are still saving countless lives by not supporting the meat and dairy industry.
So why is it so important to make an ethical connection as a vegan?
First, it will ensure that you stay vegan.
Going vegan for the trend or your health is great, but it is so easy to revert back to your old way of eating. Maybe the fad is over or you just like cheeseburgers too much to care about your arteries.
As an ethical vegan though, you know that your choices affect more than just you.
You know that glass of milk is filled with pus from sick cows whose babies have been stolen from them. And steak is just a fancy word for the decaying flesh of a murdered cow.
You have too much knowledge to turn back.
Second, it will encourage you to live the vegan lifestyle instead of just eating a vegan diet.
Animal ingredients are added to so many of the items we use on a daily basis; it’s SHOCKING. From clothing to beauty products, from furniture to household cleaners.
And the scary thing is, with many of these items you would have no idea by just looking at the label. Industries come up with chemical names so consumers won’t know where the ingredient actually came from.
Here are a few examples:
- Carmine Color: (also called cochineal, cochineal extract, crimson lake or carmine lake, natural red 4) made from insect bodies boiled in an ammonia or sodium carbonate solution
- Keratin: made from the ground-up horns, hooves, feathers, quills and hair of animals
- Gelatin: made from collagen extracted from the skin, bones, and connective tissues of animals
Making the ethical vegan connection will help you ensure that no animals are harmed by the way you live your life.
By now you might be saying, “Yes! I want to live my life as ethically as possible. But how do I make that connection?”
Funny you should ask! Here are a few tips to help you make a strong ethical connection.
Understand where your food comes from
Make an effort to take out all the euphemisms and see animal products for what they really are. We have been so desensitized that it will take a conscious effort to fully comprehend that the “food” on our plate was once a living, breathing, intelligent, and sensitive animal who did not want to die.
Learn about animals
Many people see animals as objects. Things that are here solely for our benefit, and that do not have any feelings of their own. Educate yourself on how wrong this view is. Learn about the intelligence of pigs and the fact that mother dairy cows cry in distress when their babies are taken from them. Animals are more like us than you think.
Watch Documentaries and Slaughterhouse Footage
Countless documentaries have been made exposing the truth about animal welfare and how inhumanely animals are treated for our gain. Some of these documentaries include Earthlings, Vegucated, and Blackfish.
At the same time, you need to watch footage of what really goes on in slaughterhouses to understand what you are condoning by eating meat. Documentaries that are good for that include Farm to Fridge and Food Inc.
Without question, though, the most impactful video I have ever seen is Gary Yourofsky’s “Best Speech You Will Ever Hear”.
People come to an ethical connection in many different ways. It’s just a matter of finding the message that speaks loudest to you so that you are unable to deny the knowledge you’ve gained.
Once you’ve learned the truth, you can’t close your eyes or turn your back on it any longer.