On the topic of vegan philosophy, I have a few books to suggest. I just finished a book called “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer. While it is focused more on factory farming than veganism itself, it does pose some interesting things to think about. I’m sure a lot of you have already read it, but if not, it really is a must read for all animal rights advocates, or even just protestors of factory farming. In the book he quotes The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollen “Pollen writes, “I have to say there is a part of me that envies the moral clarity of the vegetarian, yet part of me pities him too. Dreams of innocence are just that; they usually depend on a denial of reality that can be its own form of hubris.” He’s right on that emotional responses can lead to an arrogant disconnect. But is the person who makes an effort to act on the dream of innocence really the one to be pitied? And who, in this case, is denying reality?” And that’s a very interesting thing to think about. It is true, many omnivores view vegans in a very naive way, however, it is them who are sweeping the obvious evidence of animal abuse and torture under the rug. Instead, us vegans have educated ourselves and made the moral decision. There is no denying the fact that animals are treated terribly in any industry that uses them. But there are those who decide to face these facts, and those who don’t. This applies for many other “hippie” characteristics, such as environmentalism. People would rather ignore these things, instead of taking the steps to change them. And unfortunately, it will lead to their demise.
Two other things I like sharing with people to promote veganism:
In regards to animal testing; George Bernard Shaw once said, “You do not settle whether an experiment is justified or not by merely showing that it is of some use. The distinction is not between useful and useless experiments, but between barbarous and civilized behavior.”
and I don’t know if any of you have ever gotten the “Peta kills more animals than it saves” (mostly said by uneducated tumblr girls who believe everything they read on tumblr), but one of my classmates said that to me, and so I did some research, and it turns out that a washington lobbyist for the meat market made this website about how peta kills animals. This stems from the fact that Peta believes in euthanizing as a last choice instead of turning the surplus of animals away to live on the streets. I’m a firm believer that this is the only way to avoid more suffering for homeless animals that cannot find a new adopted parent. Just wanted to let you guys be educated about this in case you ever encounter one of those tumblrist, ableist, feminist, anti-petaist, let’s get upset over everything I read on the internetist.
I live in the Bible Belt (Memphis, TN) and I find sharing these http://www.all-creatures.org/cva/essays.htm with people are more striking to them than just telling them its wrong. I always have some of that organization’s pamphlets or collected essays to give to people when the ask, “but you know god put animals on the earth for us to eat?” and yes I get asked that a lot, even by teachers(which is surprising to northerners)