|These pigs don't want to become your bacon! (Public Domain)|
When vegans talk about the vegan connection, to what are we referring? There are many connections to be made when going vegan. There are connections with other vegans, as we've already discussed. There is the positive connection vegans make with the environment and more. However, when most vegans speak of the vegan connection, what they're referring to is the connection between the food on your plate and where it comes from.
Let's face it, if you're a meat eater, it's much easier to simply keep the fact that you are eating someone who was once alive out of your mind. It takes all the blood, gore and violence out of the equation. That's why many people who eat meat, dairy and eggs have a huge problem with seeing the truth about where they come from.
Making the connection
For most of us who truly care about animals, realizing and admitting the connection and harm to all that eating meat causes is ground-breaking. It makes it difficult, if not impossible not to go vegan. Once we know, fully absorb, face and acknowledge the fact that the food on our plates came from an animal who suffered and died to feed us, going vegan becomes the only logical choice.
Vegans know something else that vegetarians do not. I say they do not, not to insult them, but because I assume that anyone who has witnessed the outright cruelty of the dairy industry could not possibly still consume dairy products. Most people, vegan or not, are inherently kind. So, if these kind vegetarians knew about the atrocities of dairy production, there is no way they would not be vegan.
The vegan connection dies hard.
Once the network in your brain makes the logical connection between those slaughterhouse and dairy farm cruelty videos and your diet, it's hard to break it. It's there for life. You know that you are either directly responsible for choosing a diet that does no harm, or does harm to every living thing on the planet. Each time you pass grazing cattle, a goat farm or any other animal agriculture operation you make that connection again. Every time you see someone eating meat or posting about their delicious macaroni and cheese, you reinforce that connection.
In truth, it's a lot harder for vegans to see your dinner than you think.
Sometimes vegans do post shocking photos. They want non-vegans to make the connection too, so we can all be happier and healthier. Sometimes shock and awe is required to grab the attention of folks who are mired in tradition. Omnivores get angry when they see these posts. They say it ruins their appetite. I'm sure that's true. However, it's much worse from the other side.
For those of us who've already made the connection, an omnivore dinner is far more nauseating than those videos because it's seeped in ignorant bliss. It ignores the fact that someone suffered and died for that dinner. It doesn't just gross us out. It's an insult to everything we stand for. It's feels inconsiderate and disrespectful of the animals who gave their lives for it. It has a hollow, heartless ring to it. It puts a lump in one's throat, so to speak.
But, let's not get preachy and judgmental.
I only stated the above to illustrate the depth of the vegan connection. We are all on our own personal journey. We all do have a right to choose our own paths on the map of life. Making the vegan connection isn't just about diet. It's about understanding that the paths we take impact everyone else on this planet, be they human or another animal. (And doing something about it.)
What's coming up?
In the posts following this one, we will be discussing all the things that connect the vegan choice with positive changes in the world around us. We'll also come back to our vegan friendships and how they can help us strengthen our convictions and cement our connections to the rest of the world. We'll talk about activism and yummy vegan food too! In short, we are now moving on to the “meat” of this vegan blog. Pun absolutely and unequivocally intended.