Vegan Rising | Why Vegan
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Why Vegan

Becoming vegan is the result of answering the questions we have consciously or unconsciously avoided, usually for a long time.

Do we really believe animals will ever be free from extreme brutality and suffering at the hands of humans so long as we have the right to exploit their bodies to provide us with products or experiences we don’t even need?

Do we really believe there is a kind and just way to take the life of another being who wants to live?

Do we really believe we can ever nurture true kindness and respect in ourselves, our communities and the children we raise, when our behaviour is in complete contradiction to this, as we encourage and normalise the oppression, exploitation, harm, and murder of the most vulnerable in our society?

Does it make any sense that the considerations we offer other species vary based on what we can take from them, when we know all animal species have the capacity to suffer and the inherent desire to live?

Do we really believe we as a species can survive much longer on this planet when we view all other animals and the environment we share and depend on as mere products at our disposal?

Do we really believe that even if we provide living conditions to an animal that allows them to express themselves as close to what comes naturally to them as possible, that this makes it acceptable to take life from them prematurely, so that we may eat their bodies or profit from them in some way?

To recognise the desire of one to live and live well, to gain their trust, then proceed to exploit or murder them anyway is the ultimate betrayal, is it not?

Boycotting the exertion of power over others is at the heart of veganism
Image Credit: Unparalleled Suffering Photography

What are we scared of losing if we allow other animals to be liberated from their status as the property of humans? Are we this insecure as a species that we must retain the power to dominate and harm others in this way?

There is absolutely no reason, no justification, no physical, social, mental or emotional requirement for us as humans to use other animals for food, clothing, cosmetics, cleaning products, medicine or entertainment. So why do we? Why would we inflict harm, suffering, mutilations, torture, and death when we do not need to? Why do we pay others to incarcerate, confine, oppress and exploit when we do not have to? Are we simply acting out of social conditioning and habit?

Many humans (even vegans) will often say, “I wasn’t born vegan”. But, what if we all were in fact born vegan? What if the society we have been raised in since birth has simply indoctrinated us to be otherwise, whether intentional or not? Our family, friends, teachers, advertising companies, government officials, and doctors have all been raised to believe the same and therefore reinforce the same ideology onto us. What hungry human child sees an adorable fluffy lamb in the paddock and instinctively chases them down and bites into their flesh? In fact, what human adult does this? We dare say they’d be quickly labelled a psychopath and taken away. Most children are fed dead animals and their by-products long before they have any comprehension that it is, in fact, a dead animal on their plate, nor any understanding of the suffering that animal has endured or injustice that occurred in taking the life from one who wanted to live. By the time they have this realisation, the behaviour has been completely ingrained, normalised and reinforced by everyone around them and a sad acceptance of the unacceptable takes over, as Dr. Ash Nayate brilliantly explores on our mental health page here.

Credit: Edgar’s Mission

The story of the child on the farm, having to “toughen up” and accept “it’s just a part of life” is a sad and common one. The film Peaceable Kingdom – the journey home (watch free here) is a fantastic exploration into the lives of several once upon a time (f)harmers taught to shut down their natural instincts who have since rediscovered their true being later in life and instead, become animal advocates. It is a film we highly recommend.

Do we really believe we are not already vegan at heart when images of violence and suffering inflicted upon animals are so distressing that we refuse to watch? Do we really believe we are not already vegan at heart when seeing someone beat an animal in front of us would spur us to take immediate action to end their suffering?

Our society likes to complicate veganism, to paint it as extreme, as difficult, and as giving up all the things we love, when it is the simple act of bringing one’s choices into line with their values. Values we have learned to compartmentalise or use selectively through being raised in a non-vegan society. Becoming vegan in your actions, of course, may be more difficult for some than others based on personal circumstances, but the rhetoric must be challenged……

Veganism is not about deprivation, it is about abundance in the many senses of the word.

Veganism is not even about loving other animals, (although many vegans do), it is about boycotting the injustice of cruelty, exploitation, suffering and the ultimate taking of life from the most vulnerable.

Veganism is not extreme, it is just. What IS extreme is causing unnecessary harm, suffering, and murder for entertainment, science, and clothing, and for food, when we could otherwise go directly to the plant source, whilst protecting the health of ourselves, our communities and the planet on which we depend in the process.

Breaking habits can be tough, but as many vegans say, the only truly difficult part about being vegan is dealing with the non-vegans in their world who are yet to understand what they have come to understand, who are yet to feel what they have now allowed themselves to feel. That part can no doubt be more difficult for some than others and its potential impacts should not be underestimated. Connecting with like-minded individuals is essential in receiving the support and strength some may need to help them through the judgment or isolation felt when their community does not see what they now see.

Boycotting the exertion of power over others is at the heart of veganism
Image Credit: Unparalleled Suffering Photography

But what is happening to animals now, at this very moment all around the world is an abomination of incomprehensible proportions and cannot be supported or tolerated. From the violent, fear-filled slaughterhouses with their high walls, to the windowless, faeces filled sheds housing billions of suffering souls that litter landscapes. From the vast paddocks that appear idyllic from a distance but on inspection become graveyards, to the buildings filled with industrial machinery designed to forcibly milk, mutilate, ejaculate or inseminate.  From the marine parks and zoos that incarcerate and mock, to the contaminated baited forests causing indiscriminate killing, to the destruction of this lands own native species for pet food profits, all acting under the guise of conservation. From the tents, streets, and arena’s that reduce magnificent, powerful beings to broken puppets for entertainment, to the petting zoos and children’s farms profiting from terrified, mauled babies. From the universities and private laboratories that sadistically perform Frankenstein experiments under the guise of science, to the breeders and buyers exploiting lives through our desire for selective companionship and connection. All are unnecessary. All are immoral.

But let’s not ignore the RSPCA approved sheds and gas chambers, and the country properties opening their farm gates to offer tours that romanticise and further normalise the exploitation and killing of innocents. All designed to keep those who are slowly opening their eyes to the suffering inherent to animal use feeling justified in continuing their part in the system of oppression over making the changes required to truly align their values with their choices. Tours that often feature live presentations of dismembering a recently tortured pig, in a completely disconnected display of violence and cruelty. The (f)harmers, or “meatsmiths” romanticise the act whilst the chin-stroking audience looks on. Some tours may even offer the wholesome experience of sliting a terrified animals throat and violently butchering their body to really “connect” to who we’ve been conditioned to see as food – thanking the animal while they are being consumed and telling themselves the animal “gave their life” for the almighty us. If the word animal in this context was replaced with human you would again be labelled a psychopath.

If you are against cruelty, exploitation and suffering and value kindness, justice and nonviolence, you already believe in veganism. Society is shifting and veganism is no doubt growing. Vegan Rising exists to help promote and encourage this change by striking at the roots of animal oppression. Exposing the most extreme forms of cruelty in our use of animals is essential in helping people to see the reality of their choices, however, it is in the most considered forms of exploitation where we find the root cause of which all oppression and suffering extends. Speciesism – the level of consideration allocated to individuals based on their species membership, must be challenged at its core, where human superiority acknowledges the desire of one to live and live well, yet finds justifications to take that from them anyway. Just as it is unacceptable to inflict harm, suffering, and murder on humans, based on race, gender, sexuality and ability, it is also completely unacceptable to do so to other animals. Vegan Rising will make all attempts to end their suffering and will work towards a world where all animals are able to enjoy a life as full as what is realistically possible. A world where they are viewed as different but equal, where they have a right to body liberty, and freedom from oppression, exploitation, and suffering. A world where the word vegan need not exist.

The various pages on this site provide facts, figures, and heartfelt experiences as the many ways various species are used by humans for food, clothing, entertainment, and testing, and the associated devastating health and environmental implications are covered. We hope that you may read them with an open mind and an open heart and that if not immediately, then in time, you will come to realise, as we have, that the question “Why Vegan” should really be “Why Not?”

For help transitioning to living vegan visit our Become An Ethical Vegan page or contact us anytime here.

For information on the environmental and health benefits of living vegan visit our pages…
The Environmental Destruction of Eating Animals
The Vegan Diet and Physical Health
Is Speciesism Blocking Our Mental Health?
Is “regenerative grazing” the new “clean coal?”
The Role of Population and Urbanisation on Humans and Other Species

Author: Kristin Leigh
Occupation: Communications Assistant & Volunteer Coordinator
Founder & President of Vegan Rising