November is World Vegan Month, and much can be said about this to raise awareness about human health, animal welfare, environmental sustainability, social justice, and spiritual evolution. I have said a lot in the past about each of these, and you can find my many article and video resources about any of these in my online collections if these are of interest to you. (Some are linked below for your convenience.)
In this blog post, however, I wish to bring awareness and clarity to the faulty picture that is sometimes painted of “veganism” as an “exclusive”, “divisive”, or “elitist” ideology or lifestyle.
Veganism as Exclusive
If we take only a moment of consciousness to think about it, veganism at its very core is all about inclusivity, rather than any kind of exclusivity, as it focuses on inclusivity of ALL species human and non-human alike. It is about treating ALL animals, not just humans, with respect and dignity, and most importantly honoring their right to life.
This inclusivity extends even further down to humans, as veganism is very much a social justice issue too. In our world, we allocate a huge amount of food that could be going to humans living in poverty to animals instead, which will in turn be consumed by those who are wealthy. (Wealthy here meaning those whose food security is covered above and beyond.)
Human inclusivity also means that we are creating a kinder world and ensuring a better life and future for all humans, so that no human will need to be subjected to some of the most oppressive and psychologically destructive work places and environments that are the slaughterhouses, butcher shops, and animal processing plants.
Veganism as Divisive
Veganism is aiming to include all, and spread love, kindness, compassion, respect, and peace to all, but unfortunately those who do not want to disturb the status quo that they have come to depend on will not be able to see this, and will instead see it as the dividing enemy.
Because the embedded status quo revolves around a self-serving mentality, those who attempt to go beyond it into an all-serving way of life are seen as the ones causing division. Yet unity comes from love, whereas divisiveness comes from fear. Sadly, today, a lot of people are acting out with fear whenever the topic of veganism arises.
Veganism as Elitist
Finally, when it comes to “veganism being elitist”, this is an irony in and of itself, as it has always been the “wealthy’ who had the most access to and ate the most meat, and do to this day. Whether for the peasants of the past or for the impoverished of the present, meals don’t revolve around steaks, cheese, and caviar, but around grains, starchy vegetables, and beans.
Contrary to elitism, veganism removes all the foods that were for generations associated with wealth, status, and power.
Today, veganism is our wake-up call to come together and bring out the best of our humanity, because frankly we can do so much better for the animals, other humans, and our Earth, and the time is now.
Blog post: Veganism Isn’t a Trend, It’s the Future
Blog post: Gratitude for Non-Speciesism