The vegan Dilemma
If you are a vegan, and if you are sincere and passionate about your belief as I am sure most vegans are, then how do you follow that lifestyle faithfully in a world where it is impossible to distance yourself from everything which is either cruel or exploitative of animals? Even rubbing shoulders with cruelty can be painful in itself. Do you adopt the lifestyle insofar as you can and keep it to yourself; do you wear the tee-shirt and announce it to the world; do you raise a banner in protest; do you set out to educate and enlighten meat-eaters; or do you take matters into your own hands and actively try and stop it? Where do you draw the line? Indeed, we might ask, is there a line to be drawn at all?
Moral theorists themselves try to identify clear lines or boundaries which act as guides for moral behaviour. Stay on this side and you are morally safe: step over it and you must be doing something wrong. Our skin could act as one such boundary. For example, whatever you think or feel inside is your business and couldn’t possibly harm anybody. However you wouldn’t be much of a vegan if you held the principle of veganism within as a theory only and never put it into practice. However, once you do decide to lead the vegan lifestyle, then you automatically affect the lives of humans as well as animals. After all, farmers and supermarkets survive on the backs of animals and animal products. If we all became vegans, they would suffer to some degree. I can’t speak for vegans, but I’m fairly sure that most would not feel they were pushing the boundary too far by leading a vegan lifestyle. After all, we are all entitled to vote with our feet, and that can of itself be a very persuasive tool for change. Continue reading “The Vegan Dilemma”