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Why I'll never be a Vegan Why I'll never be a Vegan
by Katerina Charisi
2018-03-20 09:36:22
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A few years ago, I accidentally found and watched online the documentary Earthlings; I think there’s still on YouTube. Back then, I had the slightest idea about food industry and the procedures followed until an animal turned to the food on my plate. That documentary was a shocking revelation. I remember that I had to stop watching at least three or four times because I couldn’t take any more of what I saw - and I’m not of the light-hearted. It took me days to watch it till the end, and weeks afterwards to get myself together. I wasn’t quite sure what shocked the most: how animals suffered or how human beings, like me, could behave that way in no reason?

Yveg01_400ears later and as I went from this and that philosophy about food in general and animal food in particular, I think what had shocked the most eventually was the human behavior. Although what animals had (and constantly being) suffered as part of our food chain is horrible, humans always have the choice of their actions and the employees in food industry DO have a choice to treat animals better. But they don’t.

I follow with much interest a couple of vegan pages on Social Media and I honestly do hear them. I understand that vegans say no to animal food clearly for moral reasons and I respect and admire that.

I'm not going to be a vegan myself, though.

I once thought that consumers had all the power. As I grew older (and hopefully a bit wiser), I had to reconsider. Consumers can turn the market in some direction, but if I could compare this action with something, I would say it looks more like a windmill on the roof that turns when the wind blows lightly and nothing more. On a very small scale and at a very small level, consumers could directly influence the market, for example in a small town with few shops. But, when we talk about global industries, things are more complicated than that.

Morality might prevent many from doing (or encourage to do) something, but morality never stopped any industry. Morality is not enough. Perhaps in a conversation with a vegan I have no answer to all the questions on a moral level, but as immoral as it may be to abuse animals, this along cannot stop me from eating food that comes from animals.

The only thing Earthlings documentary affected on my later posture on food - after being for a while confused and full of guilt, without knowing what to do and how to do the right thing, is my choice ...and that’s when I have one.

When I have the (economic) option, I buy meat from where I know for sure that animals have lived a “normal” life, have been fed well (something that obviously affects the quality of what I eat) and have been slaughtered ...with respect - as weird as all those words might sound.

But I do not have this choice often, and although I reduce consumption when I can’t have the desired quality, I do not refuse animal food and no "morals" can convince me of the opposite.

Now I know very well how food industry works and I am clearly against animal abuse, still, I will very cynically say that my life and the life of my children, for me, are more important than animals’ lives. Think about it: Since I, as a parent, am willing to sacrifice the most valuable thing that I have, my life, for my children, do you think I care more about any other’s life? (including human lives!)

If consumers can dramatically influence the industry, it will certainly not happen with morality as a weapon. You can’t fight an empty stomach with morality and no other protein can replace meat protein.

The only thing that affects my choices is the quality of the food that will get on our table, but that too, in the times we live in, is often a luxury. No one can deny that when you are hungry, when you are really hungry, you will eat anything that is in front of you and you will not be picky. When it comes to survival instinct and self-preservation morality does not fit.

Many times, not even logic.

So I respect vegans and their choices and I rather admire them for their persistence and self-restraint. But they will never convince me to follow their example.

I would certainly support though, any serious effort to make employees in food industry to be …humans again. Those monsters are the biggest problem in my opinion, and not what we eat (or why).


    
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