BEING VEGAN – Let’s Bring This to Critical Mass
By Paul Graham
Las Vegas Informer
“The vegan ideal represents no less than the next evolutionary step for humankind. The quantum leap may seem far-fetched from the position we are in today, but it is within this very change we ultimately find our hope for world of tomorrow.” – Angel Flinn
All the rocket scientists and the like out there know that “critical mass” is the amount of fissile material needed to sustain nuclear fission. I am sure that is certainly important to some, but realistically, it has not proven to change the world. It seems like we are actually having some problems with all of that nuclear stuff from what I seem to recall. But critical mass is also used in terms of thinking of something similar to a “tipping point.” It is not necessarily when the position of something becomes greater in mass, numbers or something similar, but at the point anywhere along the line where that idea or action takes hold and begins to influence the setting or society in a particular way and perhaps signal a shift or development of a new paradigm.
It seems like almost every day, if not week, we are seeing victories take place in regards to animal rights and welfare, not only in this country, but around the world. They may not seem large to some, but they are all significant because they all are contributing toward what I believe is going to be critical mass in regards to conscious eating and living and animal rights and freedom. One such victory this past week was in New York City, where mayor-elect Bill De Blasio vowed to abolish the horse-drawn carriages in the city. “We are going to get rid of the horse carriages. Period. It’s over.” This is significant for the over 200 horses working 9 hour days pulling hundreds of pounds on hard pavement and breathing exhaust from cars, buses and taxis all day. There have been many accidents over the past few years and has created animal safety, human safety and sanitation issues. The horses also live in cramped quarters where they can barely move and when they are done with them they are sold off to Mexico or Canada for slaughter. This is very important for these animals to be freed from these archaic practices.
So what does this have to do with the big picture? Well it is significant for New York City and the animals there. It also sets precedent for other activists to use towards reform in other cities where these practices are still used. We have seen things like this spread from city to city, as has been the case of the ban on local pet stores from using animals from puppy mills but instead finding homes for animals from shelters and rescue organizations. It makes it somewhat easier for these changes to take place when it is part of a movement taking place and there has been precedent set. This can hold true for so many different areas in regards to animals. All of it is making the news and raising awareness. The movie “Blackfish” has been making a significant difference in raising the awareness to the plight of marine animals in captivity everywhere, not just at SeaWorld. I believe the scope goes even beyond that. It is making a difference and contributing to where I believe we, standing and speaking as the voice for the animals, want things to go. I am truly for the rights of animals and want to see the abolishment of anything that keeps them confined or used as a product for consumption. Period. Yet I also realize these things are not going to happen overnight and we are battling against systems, cultures and thought processes that have been in place for centuries. Anything that we see happen that moves us away from the cruelty and towards compassion should be embraced. We can, and I believe we will, change everything in this generation we are in.
We are also seeing a move towards critical mass in regards to diet and health. Plant-based eating is fast approaching the mainstream in regards to the culinary and health fields. It is not just a trend but is becoming entrenched in mind and practice. The growth in numbers of the vegan lifestyle is contributing like few other things to helping our environment. The use of animals for consumption is one of the leading contributors to the pollution of our planet and robbing it of its natural resources. We are moving away in growing numbers from consumption and it is having an impact on production and the pollution and devastation it creates. We are also beginning to experience a spiritual awakening of sorts as pockets of spiritual communities from various faiths are beginning to wake up and take up the cause of animals for the spiritual as well as health, ethical and environmental reasons.
All of these things are moving us towards a time of critical mass where the plight and rights of animals will be at the forefront of things. That is where sweeping change and reform can take place. All of this is contributing and leading to that. We somehow need to build a bridge together and work towards animal liberation, which is not only the hope for the animals, but also one for mankind and the planet as well.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or www.facebook.com/EatingVeganinVegas.
Paul’s e-book, “Eating Vegan in Vegas: If It Can Happen Here, It Can Happen Anywhere” is now available at www.sullivanstpress.com.