Drawing A Line In The Sand

Tonight Vegan Soapbox poses the question many of us are challenged with as vegans... Where do you draw the line? What will you not eat?

Eccentric Vegan writes:

It’s simple to me. If you don’t need to kill or harm another sentient being, then you shouldn’t kill or harm another sentient being.

I’ve never considered myself to be an animal rights activist. But the more I learn the more appalled I am at the barbarism that we perpetrate as a species. (Read about the Baby Seal Hunt which has "opened" today in Canada.)

I find myself compelled to watch videos like Earthlings, even though I really don't want to see some of these images. As I wander through the grocery store, sometimes I'll look at the packages of boneless, skinless, chicken pieces and think how hard it is to reconcile those pieces with any chicken, never mind the abused animals these pieces actually represent. And I'm sure where I draw my line...

I used to draw the line at four-legged animals, fish and fowl seemed much less intelligent, and therefore it was okay to eat them. Then I went vegan (motivated by a desire for better health and a better earth), so I now draw my line at plants. Although in reality I can't imagine voluntarily eating insects, although I suspect they're in my salad on occasion!

After being vegan for nine months, I know I will NEVER eat animal flesh again. I will not consume dairy products, nor will I eat eggs. I have seen and read too much to allow myself to participate in the needless brutality that is perpetrated against these animals. I am not a barbarian. I will not eat as one. It's my choice to eat vegan.

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Comments

  1. Drawing the line is at each person’s free will. I imagine, some many years ago, one of our ancestors drew the line just below humans, thus stopping cannibalism. Fact is that even plants are alive, and if we don’t discover a method of cooking inorganic materials, we shall be eating some living entities all the time.

  2. Hi Simonne,

    Interestingly I read an article a long time ago, about how the earth is moving towards sentience. So eventually, in theory anyway, anything we consume will be sentient. A scary thought to me.

    For the time being though, I don’t have to consume any sentient beings, therefore I won’t.

    Where you place your line is up to you, and I respect your right to that choice, whatever it may be.

  3. Simmone,

    I am obligated to consider other sentient beings’ free will as well as my own.

    I am also compelled to weigh my inessential desires against others’ most profound interests, such as fear of suffering and the will to live. In nearly all commercial animal agriculture operations in the Western world, we violate those interests to satisfy human greed or habits. I cannot, in good conscience, trample others’ free will in the most violent ways because I like the taste of their flesh or secretions.

    Whereas plants are alive, a lamb’s or chicken’s suffering is beyond question. Furthermore, in the vast majority of cases, at least in the “developed” world, a vegan diet kills far fewer plants (and has a lower impact on the environment) than a meat- and dairy-centered diet.

  4. Hi Gary,

    Well said! Your statement

    “I am also compelled to weigh my inessential desires against others’ most profound interests, such as fear of suffering and the will to live”

    has become the reason Jane and I expect to remain vegan for the rest of our lives.

    Thanks for weighing in.

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