“I love animals, too, but I still eat meat!” they say with a laugh that shows their obvious amusement and disgust at my choices, followed by a, “So, why are vegan again?” in a disheartening tone that fills the already tense air up.
I try to calm myself down and tell myself they mean no harm, but it doesn’t always work out so great. I know the majority of them don’t understand, but there’s always those few that know exactly what they’re doing. They are the ones who yell out, “PETA! People Eating Tasty Animals,” even though no vegan really supports such a distasteful, fake organization. It’s always followed by a laugh. Someone always ends up getting hurt. They are the ones who say they know what goes on in slaughter houses yet they’ve never had the stomach to watch an undercover film where they can see the life drain out of a cow’s throat or the pain in the hen’s eyes as its beak is being seared off and as its children are being ground up because they are useless in the industry. They are the ones who say they respect my decision yet they shove their obnoxious meat and dairy onto my plate and try to force it down my throat, all while knowing that it will hurt me. They are the ones that say they care - that say that they truly care for all beings - yet they eat the ones they don’t call friends. They are the ones that claim to be doing nothing wrong but don’t want to hear it at the dinner table. They are the ones that cannot associate another being’s pain with their own; the ones that cannot put themselves in an animal’s paws or hooves or gills or wings for even an instant. They are the ones that cannot accept that all beings are the same - that we all deserve a life void of unnecessary pain.
And yet they are the ones that still call out to those who are just trying to help other beings who are in pain and completely voiceless. They can express their feelings about the meat industry and animal testing industry, and leather, wool, and suede industry, and every other industry that exploits living beings for profit, but if I even dare to disagree with them even slightly, all hell breaks loose. They are the hypocrites who always expect what they don’t give. They are the ones who give vegans a bad name - who give me a bad name, while all I am trying to do is save the life of the innocent who deserve so much more than any of us ever give to them.
So, why am I vegan again? Because someone has to be.