Tricky, tricky! Ending with a cliché about being your own worst enemy… bet you didn’t see that coming.
For all the complaining we can do about other people, the industry, and companies with fervent anti-animal policies, we really owe it to ourselves to take a look in the mirror and critically view what we see.
I’m not necessarily talking about “us” in the collective sense, though heaven knows the movement can always use some time for introspection, but “us” in the individual sense. What is it about ourselves that is somehow not helping the animals when we could be?
For lacto-ovo vegetarians, perhaps it’s making that jump to veganism and getting rid of the dairy, eggs, leather, wool, etc. What’s holding you back? What reasoning are you using to make it OK to not be vegan? Is it the “it doesn’t kill the animal” argument? Is it the “veganism is just ‘too far'” argument? Or is it the (sigh) “I like cheese too much” excuse? Take a minute and think about it. Think about the reasoning you’ve been using and pretend you’re a vegan hearing someone else say it. How would you respond?
For vegans, perhaps it’s the honey issue. Are you the way I was when I first went vegan, saying, “Oh, honey’s not a big deal,” eating it anyway? Turn the phrase around. Say it again: “Oh, honey’s not a big deal,” but this time follow it with the phrase “to avoid.” Because it really isn’t. You’d be surprised how extending your circle of compassion this little bit encourages you to find other ways to keep extending it.
For long-time activists, have you become so enveloped in the animal rights culture that you find it hard to relate to omnis? Remember this: one of the best things you can do to save animals is to convince someone else to go vegetarian or vegan. You’ve got to be able to maintain healthy relationships with meat eaters not only to help combat the “crazy vegan” stereotype, but to be able to reach out honestly and sincerely to help show them the cruelties of meat, dairy, and egg production.
Every single one of us could be doing something more to further the cause. For me, it’s the idea of handing out literature or speaking in public to people I don’t know. These things could make a huge difference, but I’ve got to get over my own anxieties. I need to remind myself that the animals can’t speak with words, so it’s up to me to help them out.
What do you need to do to better yourself for the good of the animals? What’s making you your own worst enemy?
(I hope you’ve enjoyed this theme week. There were plenty of other “enemies” I wanted to include, but I’ll save those for another time. Thanks for reading and stick around for another theme week sometime in the near future.)