Ever wonder why vegans are so sensitive about things? Or why we seem to overreact so often? As a vegan, I’ve made this video in an attempt to show non-vegans what we see that makes as behave as we do. This is not a judgment and it’s not graphic. It’s simply me sharing what I see
Why are we vegans so sensitive? Why can’t we live and let live and allow others their dietary choice? Why do we get so upset so easily? Can’t we just relax and let go? What’s the big deal anyway? This video post is for my non-vegans out there who want to better understand us vegans and why we are the way we are. [tweet this]
First, I want to let you know that there is no graphic imagery in the video above, or really any imagery at all. And second, this video post is not about making you non-vegans feel like bad people. I am honestly trying to help you make the connection that we vegans make and show you the reasons behind our seeming sensitivity and, at times, incomprehensible and unbridled frustration and anger at the way things are. [tweet this]
Of course, it’s impossible to lump all vegans together. Each is their own individual who reacts in their own way. When I say we’re sensitive, I don’t mean weak or overly emotional. I’m speaking from the outside perspective looking in, which often portrays us as just that. So do know that I cannot speak for all vegans, nor would I ever attempt to. But I can at least tell you what I see and what a great many ethical vegans see. And hopefully this can shed some light onto why we may have difficulty eating with you or get passionately upset about something that to you may seem insignificant.
You see, when you go vegan, you take the blinders off and start to get what I think of as x-ray vision. You start to see what’s really going on underneath the idyllic lies we’ve unquestioningly bought into. [tweet this]
Personally, I find it difficult to be around the consumption of animals and their byproducts. It’s something I’ve lived with my whole life, as so many of us do, but it hasn’t gotten easier, really.
Now, here is where you may assume I’m judging you or that I’m upset by your eating habits. But the real source of my discomfort has nothing to do with you per-se, but the fact that what is on your plate was once a life.
If you’re non-vegan, please stay with me through this explanation. again, this not about me making you feel like a horrible person. I’m simply attempting to relay what it is we vegans see and why it is we have trouble around animal products.
When I see a piece of cheese, I can tear up, and that sounds crazy to people. But I don’t just see a piece of cheese. I see a mother whose child has been ripped from her moments after birth. I see a baby who’d been relegated to the veal industry and sent for slaughter before he’s 4 months old. I see a mother whose body is going to give out on her over 20 years before her natural lifespan because she’s been raped and impregnated so many times–and because she’s had so many children stolen from her that she’s probably just given up. That’s what I see when I look at a piece of cheese.
So from the outside it may appear inconsiderate or rude that we vegans feel discomfort around non-vegan food. But think about it, if you can, without the trappings of social indoctrination.
Meat is literally a corpse on a plate: a life, an individual, a sentient being who did not want to die for a meal.
Dairy is the product of immense suffering, maternal grief, infant slaughter, and premature death.
Eggs are products of overcrowded, horrific conditions, the live suffocation or grinding up of male chicks en masse, and the premature death of layer hens.
That’s the reality. And that is what we vegans see with every bite. And yes, we can become angry, frustrated, livid. Because it’s so horrifically heartbreaking.
And it doesn’t make sense to us that you don’t see it too. [tweet this]
There’s nothing comfortable about seeing people you love consuming the bodies of innocent beings. To my non-vegans out there, I’m sure that sounds borderline absurd and most definitely an over-reaction, but bear with me if you will.
Imagine seeing someone you love harming a child or abusing a beloved dog or cat. Or even, god forbid, eating that beloved family pet. And, if possible, imagine that this violence was socially acceptable. That you were the only one who seemed to think something was wrong. And furthermore, imagine that your loved one who is committing these horrible acts, became defensive and resentful towards you for having any issue with the matter.
You see vegans feel the same love and compassion and empathy for “food animals” that you do for your pets. And just how comfortable would you be if your pet took the place of the cow, pig or chicken on your plate? How is it we are horrified by cultured that consume dogs while we continue to consume beings just as valuable and even more intelligent? We vegans no longer see this arbitrary distinction. We value all of these lives equally.
So watching the continued enslavement, abuse, torture and murder of them is often too much to bear. While all of that is conveniently hidden from view and all you see is cheese, milk, hamburger, pork–what have you–we cannot un-know what we know or un-see what we’ve seen.
So your food item, while seemingly innocuous, is to us the end product of real-life horror. We see the bloodshed, the struggle, we hear their cries, we sense their fear and feel their terror. Just as you would for your beloved pet were they put through such horrific treatment. And even more so as you would for a human child subjected to such atrocities.
The difference is, we don’t close our eyes.
I hope that this explanation has been helpful. If it seemed heavy-handed it’s only because this is all too real and happening all to often. If you are able for a moment to put yourself in our place and imagine seeing what we see–even if you yourself don’t believe it–perhaps that will help you understand why we vegans are so sensitive and passionate. And why we can’t stand idly by.
I would love to hear your thoughts on what I’ve said. Share them with me in the comments!
— Emily Moran Barwick
The featured image and video thumbnail for this post is “Next” by artist Jackson Thilenius (used with the artist’s permission)