I am in the midst of my seventh decade (amazing) and worked as a psychotherapist and college professor. I tend to be a voracious reader, usually having several books going at once, non-fiction also a fair amount of mind candy material. When I discover an author I like I will track down everything written by them if I can.
Right now I also do some volunteer work at a local animal sanctuary and find it to be enormously educational and satisfying. I grew up 10 miles from the nearest town and spent much of my free time roaming the woods and countryside in southwestern Oklahoma. This was when the state still had an abundance of jackrabbits, horned toads and scissortails. The scissortails seem to be slowly making something of a comeback, not so the jackrabbits or horned toads. This devastation of wildlife and plant life is grotesque and disheartening.
We human animals not only murder other animals for "sport" or "pleasure", we also unthinkingly destroy their habitats for our convenience (often to make a "profit") or poison their living areas and food sources with our industrial and municipal wastes or agricultural chemicals.
I enjoyed the company of animals when young, and find that I enjoy their company even more as I age. Neither bears, lions, tigers or moose have ever constructed much less operated a concentration camp and I doubt that they ever will. I am convinced that humans either never knew or have forgotten much that is important about living as good citizens and children of mother earth. The deer people, raccoon people, rabbit people and bird people have not lost their way, only the human people seem to have detoured onto some odyssey of death and destruction for profit.
Some of the members of many Native American tribes seem to be clued into living as good planetary citizens. Their traditional tribal cultures seem to promote much greater respect for the earth and all of her beings. Many tribes have spiritual values that preclude such environmentally destructive practices as mining or oil drilling. Needless to say, viewing the earth as a "resource" to be "developed" leads to very different outcomes than viewing the planet as the source of all life and needful of respect, protection and homage.
I view living as an ethical vegan as a small, stumbling attempt to behave as a worthy peer of my fellow animals and as a respectful inhabitant of mother earth.
Update: October of 2016. The past couple of years have stunned me in a massively painful way. Because of an encounter I had with an eruption of something Dr. Robin DiAngelo aptly calls "white fragility" I threw myself into some deep learning about race and racism as it operates here in the U.S. I have come to dimly comprehend how profound and pervasively we white people have flimflammed ourselves regarding our "goodness".
There's way too much to it to write about here...go read the veganelder blog beginning a few months into 2015. We white people are way way more messed up than you (if you're white) can even begin to grasp unless you somehow managed to evade all the crap we shoveled on ourselves about Native Americans and African Americans and Asian Americans (those are imprecise and misleading terms but you can look up the reasons why they are...I use them here because most are familiar with them). If you did manage to miss it...good for you...but...I must tell you I strongly suspect you didn't avoid being conned just like the rest of us. We were duped from birth and the sly and mostly under conscious awareness messaging drenches us daily in newspapers, the internet, movies and and and.
Shame on me for not working on this sooner...and shame on all of us white people. There are no words for the enormity of our wronging of our sister and brother humans.