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human and animal liberation

Healthy but not ethical?

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Recently, I noticed the growing number of people switching to a vegan diet or interested in that diet. Though I’m unable to say whether it’s just my experience or if it’s a general trend. But surely we are dealing with the growing amounts of local green businesses, mainly focused on the sale of natural food. And these new stores enhance interest in organic food and healthy life style.

Apparently it would seem that everything is heading in the right direction. We see the growing awareness of people who are looking for new healthy options, we see some signs of a return to the support of local producers and local community values (localization instead of globalization)​​. Thanks to the work of many activists mass production and the supermarkets lose customers who learned more about them. So where’s the problem? The thing lies in the fact that we need something more, we need a change of attitude, which is still highly conformist or consumer. In large part this is seen in the example of animals, which continue to be defined objectively.

Business comes first

On one hand, health food stores appeal to the values ​​such as Fair Trade, while advocating for compassion, on the other hand it doesn’t bother them to sell products based on suffering. It is true that meat, dairy and eggs they sell are organic, but the researches revealed the word “organic” often means nothing. So it often happens that buying free range eggs or organic milk we buy organic feel, but for animals it doesn’t change the thing. It is difficult to expect that the people leading such shops don’t know about it, when at the same time they’re giving an animal-friendly impression through the range of vegan products which they offer.

Why is there such inconsistency? Well, in a capitalist system animals are defined as “property”. This leads to a situation in which many people conducting the so-called ethical and green businesses remain opposed to the interests of animals for their own interests. I suppose that, apart from economic factors, many of them simply don’t care about animal welfare and treat animals as inferior species, which we have the right to kill. Of course, only if we’re talking about killing a cow or a pig, not their beloved home pets.

So at the end of day there’s a moral problem. While we wishing to support local economy to make social change, at the same time we are forced to support the holocaust of animals.

Also aside from the issue of animal rights it is worth noting that frequently we can see Fair Trade products and those imported from China or other countries where workers rights are violated on the same shelves. Therefore, the question of ethics is extremely important here.

Wanna be healthy not ethical

On the other side we have the phenomenon which perfectly illustrates the conformist attitude among many people using vegan diet. It always surprises how many people are focused only on food, the nutrition, the flavors and their own well-being. Their experiments with plant-based diet are addressed primarily to let them feel happy and healthy. So they focus on nutrition benefits while animal rights are in addition. This way we can meet vegans (and loads of vegetarians) wearing leather shoes, or those who don’t know what vivisection is.

This attitude seems to be a derivative of the capitalist system (or, more broadly neo-liberal), which is based on selfish considerations. From an early age we are taught to care only about our own interests and conformity. The system creates an extreme individualism. So why vegan diet would not be a part of these processes? And why the hell should we care about animals?

Let’s be healthy and ethical!

Therefore, we need to build a cruelty-free projects and truly ethical businesses that care both about human animals and non-human animals. We need egalitarian solutions, cruelty-free jobs, we need to learn how to change our ego-based attitudes through experience of self-organization.

We can’t say that we promote the compassionate life style and at the same time selling e.g. dairy products, or that corporations’ corruption makes us sick, while we accepting unethical compromises. Obviously the world isn’t black and white, but let’s just follow the principle of “do not hurt, do not kill”and all decisions become much easier.

At the end of day there’s no such thing as unethical veganism. Veganism means caring for every human or non-human being.

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