Being Vegan – What Do We Really Love?

By Paul Graham

Las Vegas Informer

We have four companion animals in our home.  Two dogs and two cats, all who have been adopted or rescued.   They are not just pets, they are members of our family.  I love each one individually, not just as a species.  They have their own unique personalities and the give and take of our relationship is special with each.  They are tremendous instruments of love that we have the honor to be able to share space with.  I also understand that in other parts of the world, these animals might be food for someone else.  I personally think that is abhorrent. I feel the same way, though, about all living creatures.  I don’t have to live with a cow, a horse, a pig or a chicken to know they they would be every bit as engaging, aware, and loving to share life with as the cats and dogs that are part of our home right now.  Perhaps it is easy for some to disengage with the fact that all animals have a right to be respected, loved and cared for…whether they live in your home or not.

I have heard many proclaim their love for animals, yet in reality they only love some animals and obviously not others because they choose to eat them.  So the dividing line of that love is animals that we would live with and would never think of eating, and then those who we are fond of only in regards to the food that they can become for us.  I mean how could we think of eating anything that we truly loved?  One must choose to either forget or ignore the fact that these same animals that they choose to eat are just as aware, with feelings, as smart or even more so than the other animals that they might enjoy as companions.  There really is no difference between any of these animals.  To love some species of animals and to have disregard enough for others to either eat them or the animals they produce is speciesism. From an ethical point of view, it is no better than favoring one race of people and showing hatred and disregard for another.  It has never been right to have this view towards people and fortunately the majority of people have evolved to accepting one another though, this too, is still a work in progress.

We must evolve in the same way in the regards that we see and treat all living creatures.  No matter what some people believe, animals have not been put upon this planet for the pleasure of our eating.  They have been put here for the pleasure of their company, and that is a huge difference.  There is all of the ethics and science that anyone would want or need right now showing us that we do not need animals or animals products to be healthy and live.  If anyone is a proponent of that these days it is probably for one of two reasons.  One, they are being compensated to do so.  There are scientific, medical, and nutritional shills out there who will find a way to support a point of view, no matter if it is valid or not.  The other is that it is just because people want to do what they want to do.  They want to eat what they want to eat and they want to love what they want to love.  It’s about them…it’s not about the animals.  It is too easy for some to turn off their conscience and just do what pleases them.

Who do we think we are in deciding which animals are worthy to live and those that should die for our pleasure?

It is not about our survival.  It is purely for our pleasure…and to take billions of lives of animals each year to satisfy that pleasure is fundamentally wrong on the most basic of human levels.  Great minds and hearts have been trying to tell us this throughout history.  If your religion, creed, or philosophy does not value and respect the life of all creatures, then where is the fruit of your love?  How can we let thousands of people die for lack of food each day because the resources that could have fed them are being diverted to livestock industries to feed our pleasure.  It is not enough to continue to love some and eat others just because people have been doing it for a long time.  We can be so much better than that.  It is not enough to just give up something we enjoy for a season of time.  If you really want to give a gift this season…give the gift of life to all living creatures.  Switching to a plant-based diet will make an immediate impact upon the lives of animals, your health, and our environment.  This year, and every year, my heart’s desire will be peace on earth for all animals and goodwill to all men and living creatures.  What is love if not this?

Paul Graham

Paul Graham was born and raised in Northern California and has lived in Las Vegas since 2004.  He is a top wedding officiate, a green Realtor and writer.  He has a daily vegan food blog www.eatingveganinvegas.tumblr.com which is 365 days and 365 vegan meals in Las Vegas.  He can also be reached at eatingveganlv@gmail.com or www.facebook.com/EatingVeganinVegas.

6 Responses to Being Vegan – What Do We Really Love?

  1. Paul,
    While I can tell you truly have strong emotions about what you believe here, I wonder why you think a good presentation of your position dictates a very subjective stance. You bring up some good points and even could sway some to your argument, which is fine; however, you lost me personally when you took the “my way is the only way” approach. I doubt you’re that smart enough to solve the world’s problems and I seriously doubt (even more so now after reading this) that a vegan lifestyle is something I’d be interested in. This article steams of desperation, opinion and people who read this should be offended that one man feels that he can impose upon people’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If humans were not intended to be carnivores we would be no better than the very animals you speak of. You may argue that we are no better and are animals in our own way. To this I would say; then give up all your human progress and go live in the dirt with the rest of the cows.
    Thomas

  2. Excuse me! All these statements are your opinion! You have a right to that of course, but not to try and push it down the throats of the world.
    I have 27 rescue dogs and have gone hungry myself in order to feed them. I also feed many feral cats even though I have no money. I love animals and their suffering hurts me greatly.
    I used to believe articles like yours and was vegetarian all my adult life and from 2007 a raw vegan for 4 years. All these years I was ill, until an Ayurveda practitioner told me that my body needed meat and some cooked foods. From the day I changed, my health has never been better and also mentally I feel happier. It has been nearly 2 years now!
    We are metabolically all different and veganism is not for everyone. My statement is not only my opinion but from experience.
    Pray tell me, killing any form of life is killing, so why is it OK to kill plants? Those who study widely will have read that plants and trees also have feelings. I have never been a plant so I cannot verify this, but it makes sense. We are all ONE and part of the same
    If one feels genuine gratitude for the animal and/or plant dying to enable us to survive, I think we have done more that vegans do who just eat plants without another thought

  3. Right on Paul! What you said is not just an “opinion”, but is truth. Thanks for spreading it.

    Thomas: Your statement–“If humans were not intended to be carnivores we would be no better than the very animals you speak of”, is nonsensical. One has nothing to do with the other. What does being a vegan have to do with whether a being is equal to another? Because I am vegan then I have to be equal to all animals? What?!

    Amelia: You probably were not getting in all needed nutrients as a veg as to why you were ill. *IF* you went to a vegan nutritionist about it, then I would have suggested you go to another nutritionist for a second opinion as one would sometimes do with going to any doctor for advice. To just become vegan without knowing what you’re doing nutritionally is foolish. Get professional assistance if needed. Your statement–“Pray tell me, killing any form of life is killing, so why is it OK to kill plants? Those who study widely will have read that plants and trees also have feelings. I have never been a plant so I cannot verify this, but it makes sense. We are all ONE and part of the same” If you truly believe this than you should be asking yourself the same question and questioning your own ethics if you still eat plants. If you don’t believe this than neither do vegans so it’s pointless to discuss something that we both don’t believe in.

    I would encourage both of you to watch this video to answer practically all questions non-vegans ask about veganism:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es6U00LMmC4

    or (same video)

  4. I became a vegetarian a couple years ago. I saw a video on the cruelty involved in the meat and poultry industry and simply could not participate any longer. I do eat eggs but only organic from free chickens.

    I also believe that the elite 1% are trying to kill off 90% of the population and they hope to accomplish that by feeding GMO crops to livestock.

    I once met a fellow who worked for a slaughter house and he told me some incredible horror stories. He made me promise that I would never eat a hot dog because those have the worse crap in them.

    There are all kinds of hormones and crap injected into these animals to make them swell up. These chemicals are designed to slowly kill off the human race.

  5. I agree with you 101% Paul. As a vegan and animal lover- we exist side by side with our pets in our household- I am often baffled by people who profess to love animals and then eat chickens or cows. They are somehow missing the point that we are all animals and all in this weird life together……
    Keep up the good work, Jonathan

  6. I have also raised a vegan dogs and she had puppies. It is very hard to feed a dog properly on only vegan items. I did it for a few years, the pups were extremely vivacious, but as soon as they found a source of meat from the neighbors, they wandered off more and more. All the dogs found themselves new homes where there was meat in the dog food. It was okay for a couple dogs to eat vegetarian but they are dogs after all. For me vegan is a way of life.

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