Monday, October 10, 2011

Newer bloggers of the ethical vegan ilk are...

always a welcome addition to the arena. I noted this blog some time ago but wanted to let the infant grow a bit before being assured that ennui and circumstance wouldn't snuff it out early on. Well Kara Kapelnikova  (great name!) seems to be in for the long haul and has written some energetic and excellent posts. Her most recent prompts me to suggest that you read it and explore all the posts and information she has arrayed on her site.

She calls her blog VeganRabbit which is a name that automatically elicits my admiration and approval (Nessie Ray approves too) and she lives with several bunnies as well as some other animal beings.

She writes in this post about the obligation we each have to speak up and advocate for the other animals, that it isn't enough to live as an ethical vegan, we must do more. I think this is true.

While at some future point there may be enough of us that advocacy isn't necessary from everyone, right now I think there is an obligation to spread the word and stir the pot. To tell you the truth, I don't much like it. My own preference is to go my own way and do my own thing and let everyone else do theirs...but the horrors that most of my species are inflicting on the other animal beings and on our planet don't allow me, in good conscience, to stay on the sidelines.

I agree, absolutely, with the notion that each of us has a "social obligation" (her phrase, and a good one) to advocate. It's sort of like...I don't want to be a fire fighter but when the damn house is burning down...well...you get the idea. The suffering and doomed animals don't have the luxury of much of anything and me indulging my own preference to live my own life my own way is simply...in a very real way...abandoning them to a shitstorm of misery and destruction. That's just not ok, it isn't.

I'm not out in the street shouting, although that may be necessary at some time or another, but I do my bumper stickers, I actually gave a talk to a student group about animal rights (lots of blank looks, an orator I'm not), I keep vegan pamphlets stocked at our local library (there have been over a thousand of them picked up in the past 2 years) and I agitate and bother people that I know occasionally about their eating habits, etc. I've written a few letters to the editor, it isn't much, it isn't as much as I want to do and I will do more as time progresses...but it is something and I suspect, if each person that understands that other beings have the right to their lives, would do a few things...I suspect all those folks together doing some things...all that would begin to make a difference.

The full-timers are out there, Vegan Outreach, Mercy For Animals, Farm Sanctuary, United Poultry Concerns, Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary and on and on. They are there and working hard for the world we want, but it is going to be the individuals, you and me, that actually make it happen...and I don't see a way for that to occur unless we start doing some educating and advocating and agitating ourselves...each and every one of us...for as long as it takes...and as much as it takes.

I'll make it easy for you, click on this link and it will take you to a page where you can get a free TryVeg bumper sticker...no postage, no cost, no effort beyond providing an address to send it to. Get the sticker, put it on your car and...there ya go...you're a passive activist. Thank you.

Many of the folks that read this blog do much much more, Bea and DEM  and Patty  and HGV and Andrew and Harry to name just a few, they do much more than I do and I salute and admire them for it. I'm addressing any of you that are doing nothing beyond living as an ethical vegan. I think we have to go beyond that...how much beyond is an individual and situational thing that will wax and wane but beyond we must go...the crap has gone on too long and it is too widespread and too entrenched. Objections must be made, information must be spread and protests must be voiced by each and every one of us. Over and over and over...until the change occurs.

My thanks to Kara for calling me out, for calling all of us out...the other animals need us, the planet needs us...now and in the future. Like she said, this isn't about personal choice, ethical veganism is about justice...it's about being in a world that isn't a grotesque death camp, it's about being in a world not controlled by murderers and destroyers, it's about making life be about life...not about exploitation and misery and suffering and death.

18 comments:

VeganRabbit said...

I can't tell you how surprised and flattered I am to be mentioned on your amazing blog! I'm so glad my post inspired you so much. I'll admit I was a little hesitant to publish that post because a little part of me wondered if people were ready for such a no-nonsense wake-up call, but the fact is that animals need our action whether we are ready or not and so the post needed to be published. I absolutely love your blog. I'm sure the animals would be very proud to know that they have such a dedicated and thoughtful vegan activist on their side. After all, we are not activists if we are not active. Thank you for all the things you do for animal rights - I'm right there beside you!

Annie said...

Requesting my TryVeg sticker right now! Thanks for turning me on to VeganRabbit. I'm working on a pro-vegan piece right now for Technorati. Like you, sometimes you just gotta say something!

Empty On the Inside
Dough, Dirt & Dye

D.E.M. said...

Being in contact with you gives me strength and joy: that's part of the collective realm of activism. We're in it together, in different capacities. Some people play back-up. Sometimes the back-up comes forward; sometimes it doesn't. I play back-up to my friend Twyla, who goes into the barns and wears camouflage and sets up cameras. We can't all do what she does. She doesn't do what do you do. It's a tangled web of collective activism and support. You do a lot. Don't kid yourself! Your commitment and intelligence are crucial.

joan.kyler said...

Every little think we each do counts, but we all have to do something. It gets a little easier each time. I'm often very vocal privately but shy approaching strangers.

Last summer I stood on street corners here in Philadelphia and asked people to sign letters protesting the wild horse roundups / eradications that our government is inflicting on the very wild horses on public lands that they're supposed to protect. Most people on the street weren't aware that this was happening and I got 250 letters signed and sent to Washington (not that it seems to have done any good; politicians are very good at ignoring the electorate until they want re-elected; again, typically short-sightedness in Washington).

After talking to the first dozen or so people and making sure I had my facts straight and that I was able to answer questions and rebut arguments, I got into the swing of things and felt much more comfortable.

It's that first step that is the hardest. But when I weigh my reluctance to tell other people what I think they should do against the suffering of each of the millions of animals living awful lives and dying terrible, unnecessary deaths, I find I just have to do something.

Nicola said...

Well firstly I have to thank you, and then Kara, as this was exactly the kick I needed to do more.

I can't argue with a single word you or she said, I loved her post. The perfect amount of motivation with a bit of telling off.

My first stop is to leaflet. And this is really down to you, so there you go, you've upped your game and got the word out already :-)

Firstly I need to find which leaflets to give out...if you have any suggestions I'd really appreciate it. Which ones do you give out and leave at the library? Which do you think are most effective? I don't know any vegans apart from my boyfriend, we're kind of in our own little bubble here. This is new to me, and the only activists I've seen so far are from the US (I'm in England) so I kind of don't know where to start :-/

x

Harry said...

VE, I'm with D.E.M. - 'You do a lot. Don't kid yourself! Your commitment and intelligence are crucial.'

Thank you for pointing us to yet another great vegan post. And yes, the call to action is unfortunately often a necessary k.u.t.b. for so many of us (I stand head bowed.) It IS a social obligation. A moral obligation. I'm not a street shouter either but more letters ... Thanks.

veganelder said...

Thank you for commenting Nicola. Hmmm, I'm not familiar with sources for you in the UK. You do happen to be the home of the Vegan society though. Here is the link to their pamphlets (http://www.vegansociety.com/resources/downloads.aspx).

Actually the UK is likely to be much more of a hotbed of actions on behalf of the animals than here. After all, the fellow that created the word vegan, Donald Watson, was a fellow countryman of yours. Here is a link to a directory of animal rights resources there (http://www.ukanimalrights.net/).

Another cool thing I saw on facebook was a woman casually leaves a handout or two in the meat or dairy section whenever she goes to the supermarket, or she leaves a few in the physicians or dentists waiting room when she visits. I sort of like that stealth activism. :-)

You look around and let me know if you find some resources...trust your own judgement about which ones are best to use. I get stuff from veganoutreach.org here but curiously I have found that the pamphlets from United Poultry Concerns get picked up the fastest when I put them out. Karen Davis at UPC does a terrific job and makes the literature super cheap in order to get the information out into various communities.

Let me know how it is going...I know how being in a bubble feels but I betcha you will soon find some like minded folks. :-)

veganelder said...

Thank you for commenting VeganRabbit. I'm glad you had the courage to put it out there, it is time to start pushing...way past time...this has to be done. Thanks for your kind words and having a VeganRabbit with me is quite an honor. :-) (The bunny that lives here seconds that.)

veganelder said...

Hey Anne, thanks for commenting and I look forward to reading more of your writing and congrats on the Technorati piece...give us a heads up when it is out.

veganelder said...

Thank you DEM for commenting, you and your writing and photos are phenomenal. Twyla? Wow!! How awesome that she does that...thank you for supporting her and thank her for what she does. We'll all just look out for one another (and the other animals).

veganelder said...

Thank you Joan for commenting. Wow, street corner activism, good for you and thank you. You're right, we all have to do something....thanks for what you do.

veganelder said...

Thank you for commenting Harry. Your efforts are mindboggling...you provide sanctuary for so many abandoned and at risk animal folks and then write so wonderfully about them. It is a real treat to have your blog as a place to visit...thank you for all you do.

Nicola said...

Thanks for the links :-)

Yeah I know there's loads of activists somewhere, I'm sure once I find one I'll find them all!

Will certainly keep you posted. Love the idea of leaving leaflets at the meat and dairy section!!

x

Bea Elliott said...

Thank you so much for putting me in the company of those that I greatly admire. I am deeply honored and gladly accept the "social responsibility" to speak up - Loud and clear- when and where ever I can!

I know everyone does their advocating in what ways they're best at. That's the beauty of truthful messaging. It's a rainbow of hope! The choir is rich and full with many rational and compassionate voices!

And every time we read someone's thoughts on how to keep the activism going... It fortifies and inspires us!

VE - I too have dropped animal rights material at the meat counter... I love it that there's someone else out there doing that too! I also "hide" the boxes of "beef jerky" when I'm at a checkout... Along with any magazine that features a recipe for flesh --- Poof! Just turn it around or upside down... The vendor won't fix it for a month! Ha-Ha! ;)

I know in a way it seem childish... But really, is it any more deceitful than what the institutionalized users have in their arsenal? Coloring books on veal? Give me a break!

Finally, the last word on leafleting, bumper stickers and advocating --- My husband teases (compliments) me when he notes that I can turn *any* conversation back to spotlight nonhumans. And it's true that there's not a single thing we do that doesn't somehow negatively impact them. And there's nothing good in the world without respecting them.

Like every other advocate I know nothing I do will ever be enough... But one thing's for certain - We must keep them front and center in all our actions. I too thank all of you that have chosen an ethical vegan life.

veganelder said...

You're welcome Nicola, keep me updated on your experiences.

veganelder said...

Thank you for commenting Bea. You are one of my superheros and hope someday to get to meet you in person. I have been and still am in awe of your energy and commitment. Childish? Pshaw!! Anything that might help those with no human voice cannot be a bad or trivial or childish thing, no way no how...nope...not possible. :-)

Have Gone Vegan said...

Thank you for including me with such wonderful folk, but you give me way too much credit! And you underestimate your own contribution BIG time. It's funny too, because at the moment I think of myself as more of a vegan inactivist (and feel badly about it), but realize that it IS situational right now and one of those waxing/waning things.

Thanks for introducing VeganRabbit (excellent post indeed), consider yourself one of MY vegan heroes and friends, and please accept my apologies for my inconsistent commenting of late! :)

veganelder said...

Thank you for commenting HGV. Waxing and waning is the stuff of life.

I appreciate your thinking of me as one of your hero/friends, that's greatly appreciated.

Waxing and waning applies to commenting too! :-)