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human and animal liberation

Posts Tagged ‘compassion

Vegan family – why are you doing it to your kids?

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FOREWORD

Well, I received several messages from the poor revolutionaries, who complained that in recent weeks I focused primarily on the animal rights. Obviously they don’t have anything against animals, but they claimed they would like to read comments also about other subjects, especially with a lot happening in the Middle East, Madison (U.S.) and in Ireland itself. I mean I’m an anarchist too, so I must also care for criticism of capitalism and the politicians, at least once a month! Now the thing is I have already put together the note below before, so there is no choice. Once again I will tell you how great it is to be vegan. However I promise that the next texts will deal with something else.


VEGAN PARENTING

When people find out that my entire family (wife + child and a half:) is vegan reactions fall into two categories. I must honestly say both usually contain the word “Wow!” So we have two reactions, one is like Wow, seriously? It’s so unusual! and other is like Wow, why the hell you do it to your kids!?

Well, the answer to the second reaction is very simple. Because I love them and want to teach them to love! However, I must frankly admit that running a vegan family in the world based on meat, dairy and animal exploitation is not easy. All the time you have a feeling that Social Welfare worker is going to pop out from behind a bush to see if your child doesn’t eat only tablets, visiting relatives requires bringing food with you and going out becomes much harder. But hey, watching your own kids playing with the animals and seeing their faces full of happiness, empathy and health is worth every discomfort.

Wait, wait! Say what? Yeah, I know it can be surprising. Happy vegan children? Healthy vegan children? What? Hell yes! Try to ask the three years old boy would he kill a cow to eat her? I asked a few times, each time my son stared at me like I was an idiot. I mean, look at it from child’s point of view: first you go (just like other parents) with him on the field to show him how cute are cows and calves, and then immediately after this you propose: Hey, let ‘s go to the store to buy a dead cow and let’s eat her for a dinner? I think that if someone first showed me some lovely animals, and then suggested we should eat them, I would also have thought he/she is an idiot!


HEALTH

First, however, is the issue of health. They always begin from that, right? There are dozens of typical behaviors of people, frightened grandparents, not to mention doctors, who in a vegan diet … see the devil in person. Much of it goes to a characteristic way. They think: Okay, you’re a vegan, you want to do it yourself, your business. But the children! These are just kids, how dare you not give them milk? They surely need calcium! Oh Jesus Doesn’t Loves you, how can you not give them meat? Surely they need protein!

It is not important, that vegetable protein is better absorbed by the body and Calcium can be obtained from many other plant products. In fact, the vegan diet for the whole family is super healthy option! Studies conducted by nutritionist Malgorzata Desmond on vegan children in Warsaw have proven that they are healthy and they are doing great! But the most important thing is that the diet must be well balanced. Just being vegan does not make you eat healthily.

If you want to feed your family healthy, you need to learn what to eat, what to avoid, b12 thing etc. As with every diet it requires to pay attention to what you eat. Anyway in a scientific sense a well-balanced plant-based diet is absolutely healthy and recommended for adults, children and even pregnant women. So the argument that we all need animal products – or we will soon get sick and tragically die – is a myth.


SOCIETY

Besides the issue of health there are still a lot of stereotypes, which influence the estimation of vegan families. First of all, veganism is perceived as a form of extremism. In the end, you need to be a fanatic if you don’t to want to be part of mass atrocities. It’s quite logical, isn’t it? Eating dead bodies = you’re a nice fella vs Not eating dead bodies = there’s something wrong with you, did you try to talk to doctor? And vegan children need to be in that case, the victims of fanatical tendencies of their mad parents!

Sometimes I have a feeling that in the social sense, there has been some sort of transformation of values. I mean eating hamburgers is ok, but eating lentils is disgusting. Wearing fur is a status symbol, but not using drugs tested on animals is stupidity. Getting drunk is fun, and being straight edge is boring. Many people have to make a lot of money on such beliefs!

That’s why vegan family provides facilities not only for healthy nutrition, but also to develop real values. Especially for children, which personalities are shaped during the first few years. Through love and empathy present in home they will be able to become better people. This in turn means more happiness and more opportunities for good life.

FAMILY

The family is the basic herd for the human animals. This is where we learn social behavior, perception of the world, sensitivity, etc. What we learn in a family we bring to other people and the rest of the world. So teaching respect for nature and non-human animals is not an extreme, it is an incredible lesson that can make that people will get better. Vegan family is a great experience for every child raised in a spirit of compassion and joy.

For me as a dad (the best dad in the world of course) it is a wonderful opportunity to build ties with my children and participate in the development of their sensitivity. It is simply a state of unity, in which the family shares the same values and fully accepts cruelty-free choices of its members.

Written by Kruk

May 5, 2011 at 9:03 pm

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.