The Romain Rolland quote I posted last week has been on my mind a lot lately:
To a man whose mind is free there is something even more intolerable in the sufferings of animals than in the sufferings of man. For with the latter it is at least admitted that suffering is evil and that the man who causes it is a criminal. But thousands of animals are uselessly butchered every day without a shadow of remorse. If any man were to refer to it, he would be thought ridiculous. And that is the unpardonable crime.
It rings so true to me. Sometimes it just floors me that people are eating the flesh of sentient beings everywhere I go, and yet if I say anything about how unnecessary or disgusting it is, I’m the crazy one. People look at you like you are either a) a complete idiot, or b) off your rocker.
Here’s a great example: This past weekend I went to a charity gala. The menu was very meat-centric: chicken, shrimp, and really, really rare steak. While my boyfriend was kind enough to call ahead and make sure they had a vegan entree prepared for me, we somehow ended up right next to the buffet line. Directly behind me was a man cutting the pink flesh of what had once been a beautiful cow. It grossed me out, and I thought about it all night. I looked around and saw people take big helpings of animal flesh without once giving a thought to the fact that it had been a living, breathing, feeling being not long ago. Not even the blood pooling on their plates made them think of it. Here were a bunch of good people gathered together, celebrating and raising money for a great cause that helps families with seriously ill or injured children, and I was the only one there who requested a vegan/vegetarian meal. I guess it shouldn’t surprise me, but it did. The chefs were all wondering who the vegan girl was, and brought my special meal out as everyone sat down (it was great, incidentally – and one of my table mates commented on how delicious it looked!).
Anyway, Romain Rolland kind of hit the nail on the head with this one. We veg*ns are sometimes looked at like space aliens or something, but I think it’s important that no matter how odd some people think we are, we don’t give in to the pressure, or start to question why we’ve made this lifestyle choice.
Stay strong, vegans!