I had a super nice vegan chocolate cake recipe planned for today but something happened. It made me upset and I thought that it was important enough to share.
If you have a look at my previous articles on my vegetarian lifestyle, you can see that I am a very positive person. I do not get into heated and pointless arguments with meat eaters, vegetarians & vegans and stay away from extremists.
For me, being a vegetarian is taking care of myself (my mind & my body), paying attention to what I eat but also making my world a better place, going to sleep knowing that I am not participating in the continuation of meat production.
Some people will argue that you are not doing enough or not doing the right things.
Let’s rewind back a little, to this afternoon in Paris. I went out shopping and got home early to discover that my dad had bought a good supply of veggie nuggets for me.
I did the usual young adult things and checked out several social media platforms for updates on vegetarian & vegan products, healthy recipes and ideas for my blog.
I came across this comment : “If you are vegetarian, I do not respect you. You should only be vegetarian as a step to veganism. If you think that you have done enough, you have not.”
My heart stopped. Not only because the comment was spreading hate towards people who share the same lifestyle and diet as me. I was also shocked at the sense of entitlement and the huge open gate to more negativity.
Who are we, no matter what we do, to judge people and decide what’s good for them ? I myself is far from perfect and I have acknowledged and accepted, a long time ago, that even if some of the people I know decided not to go vegetarian or vegan, they have their own way to help.
The key to treating people with respect is to treat them as you would like to be treated. I was shown more respect and was able to introduce my lifestyle to others when I stopped being judgmental. My friends and family know that I don’t appreciate when they eat meat around me and I am grateful when they come to my house and eat my food, go shopping and pick up something vegetarian and vegan for me, go out for dinner with me and don’t eat meat. There is endless possibilities of showing me respect and they do it so well.
Who are we to say to someone : “What you are doing is not enough” or “You should try harder” ?
I believe that every little thing you do to help when you are not vegan or vegetarian is great and I applaud you if you have managed to complete this amazing journey that is veganism.
Not being vegan or vegetarian does not mean people go around eating burgers every day. It does not mean people will not cry if they see a dog or a cow die in a movie. It does not mean they buy fur and leather boots all year round.
People tend to forget that veganism and vegetarianism require shift of mind set and not every body can do it.
Because animals are getting killed does not give anybody the right to look down on others and bully others into our lifestyle.
Most of us have been brought up to eat meat and every little change counts. I am grateful when people choose almond or soy milk over “regular” milk. I am grateful when people stop eating red meat. I am grateful when people don’t buy fur or leather bags because they understood how much suffering goes into making them.
Anyone going out and beyond to make a difference in the lives of animals is important.
Please don’t shame people into anything. Yes, I agree that some could “appreciate” it and decide to change their lifestyle overnight but most will be completely repulsed and turned their backs on you and what you believe in instead of listening.
I know my voice is super small but I just wanted to put that out there. If you are a meat eater and looking into the vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, even if it is just watching documentaries, educating yourself or switching from milk and yogurt to non diary products, I thank you.
“The best thing you can do is the right thing. the next best thing you can do is the wrong thing, the worst thing you can do is nothing”
What is the right thing? That’s up to YOU to decide. And if the right thing is acknowledging that the animals are suffering and making small changes to help, I am okay with that. Everything is not black and white and your lifestyle is a journey. Not a destination.