Friday, 22 April 2011

Ranty McRantPants

I've noticed that a lot of omnis seem to think that the vegan goal is to save every single life in the world, and that anything short of this is pointless.  I've seen people point out that vegans will often accidentally kill insects, or argue about yeast, or point out that rabbits and other creatures will be accidentally killed while wheat is harvested, as if this will make us realise that veganism is futile.  This tends to leave me baffled.  No, of course I can't save everything in the world.  That's not why I'm a vegan.

I'm not a vegan because I'm utterly horrified at the idea of ever coming into contact with animal products, either.  I live with omnivores.  I date an omnivore.  I'm okay with using the same cutlery, and cooking equipment.  Some people aren't, and they are very difficult to cater for.  I've never actually met someone who insists on separate kitchen equipment, though Alexendra Jamieson mentions it in Living Vegan for Dummies (don't read that, that woman's writing is impossibly pompous and self-congratulating).  These people obviously have very different reasons for being vegan than I do, which is fine by me, just don't ask me any questions about it.

For some reason, some omnis seem to believe that vegans will run away screaming if they go near animal products.  Take a look at this comment, from here.

...I'm a bit baffled by why that last paragraph is there, to be honest.  And I guess I'll be ordering the vegetarian.

Okay, low blow, I know.  Couldn't help myself.

She's wrong, incidentally.  You can generally find an accidentally vegan item on quite a few menus.  The trick is, find them when you're not hungry, because when you are hungry, you won't have the patience to look properly.

In areas you go often, like where you work, or your nearest high street or city centre, have a quick look at all of the cafés, shops, and restaurants, while you're not hungry, to figure out what's vegan.  Ask someone in the store for the vegan options, if you like.  In Birmingham city centre, for instance,  you could get the sweet potato and chickpea curry from Wetherspoons (no naan bread), chips from the chippy, the veggie burger without cheese from The Loft, or a baked potato with beans from Spud-U-Like in Martineau, a veggie bean burger with no cheese or mayo from burger king, or a fruit salad from Tesco or Pret-a-Manger (lame, I know.  Cheaper option; McDonalds fruit bag).

Sorry, I went off on a complete tangent there.

My point is, I'm not a vegan because animals are icky, or because I think I'm doing something fantastic.  I'm a vegan, purely and simply because I couldn't meet my eyes in the mirror if I wasn't.  I think the exploitation of animals is wrong, the idea that we can own another living being is fucked up, and that factory farming is cruel, and I want no part in any of them.  I am opting out.

I started writing this post because of this tweet.

It really annoyed me.  I've been veganraging quite a bit today, due to this DailyVegan post, so I wasn't in the best mood to start with, but I think this would have bugged me whatever mood I was in.  I'm trying to figure out why this annoys me so very much, and I think I have it mostly figured out now.

Veganism and Medicine are not comparable.  One is a passive lifestyle choice, an opt out.  The other is spending quite a lot of time and money (as the tweet points out) to go out and help other living beings.  Yes, some vegans are this dedicated, and do dedicate their lives and careers to helping other creatures, like doctors and vets do.  But, that doesn't apply to all vegans.  Some of us just don't eat animal products, and that is nothing at all like being a doctor.  Show some respect for someone who actively dedicates their lives to saving others, don't just try to hog the glory for yourself. 

That's the other thing that annoyed me.  This post is so self-congratulatory about veganism, and that's the attitude I really hate.  Okay, we are saving the moo-cows and the cluck-clucks, we don't need to hold a bloody parade about it.  And it's exactly this kind of speech that gives that kind of omnivores fuel to hate those 'sanctimonious whiny vegans'.  If you really want to help the animals, don't pull shit like this that makes it worse, that riles people up more.  Give veganism a new kind of image, don't just fill out the old stereotypes, otherwise no one's going to want to join! 

Finally, this tweet makes it sound like doctors are fools, for taking the hard option when they could do just as much good by going vegan.  That makes no sense whatsoever.  No matter how vegan you are, how much you live the dream, you are going to need a doctor at some point.  You can't compare the 'good' in this case - you're working in two totally different systems.  It's not an either/or kind of thing.

I missed my double krav class last night.  I really need to go kick someone in the groin-guard, too.

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