My position on Veganism in a Nutshell
I would be vegan even if animals were exploited on green pastures rather than factory farms. My position is not about horrific treatment in factory farms or on the way to being slaughtered, (of course that’s despicable), but about any animal’s birthright under any conditions not to be objectified for human use. Animals should not be made slaves to humans any more than humans should be made slaves to other humans. I am pro-rights; fundamental rights of anyone who can feel and has consciousness, not to be harmed in my name. My educational efforts and campaigns are based in RIGHTS of anyone sentient not to be enslaved, exploited, sexually-violated, and/or violently assaulted by humans; who can live vegan.
I am anti-violence to any being; human or other animal. It is my life’s stance. I have been successful for nearly 4 decades through vegan living.
I use my advocacy time to educate people about the vegan ethic. Veganism is comprehensive and inclusive of all species of animals and all ways they are harmed by humans.
I tend to focus my energies towards those who are already interested. I hold FREE public vegan educational events, admin groups where people who are interested can join, etc. I have found that there are plenty interested already, so I focus on them; with the ultimate goal of reaching a “tipping point” in human consciousness. I believe the Golden Rule and treating anyone sentient (human or other animal) with basic respect. Therefore, I like to offer welcoming, FREE public-service events with a FREE vegan meal and education. I also like the written word; because I became vegan from someone’s writing.
I don’t have to use graphic shocking imagery which is unnecessary when you are talking from an animal rights-based position; as it is not about “treatment” or poor welfare standards in certain situations, but about any being’s birthright not to be violently assaulted and used at all, by humans. I prefer to use imagery that depicts “the way it should be”; beautiful images of humans being friendly to other animals.
I don’t ask others to follow my personal form of advocacy. I realize we all come from unique perceptions and people want to campaign from what they feel is true to their beliefs. I only mind if they misappropriate the very definition of veganism – a non-hypocritical way of life that seeks to exclude all forms of cruelty and exploitation of animals for food, clothing, entertainment, experimentation, labor, breeding, etc.
I look up to veganism. I don’t put other activists on a pedestal. I put the vegan ideal on a pedestal. I consider the vegan ethic and the Light from the Sun to be my leaders and what I follow.
I realize that many humans are conditioned by society where it is socially accepted to abuse animals; eat and wear them, buy products that were tested on them, etc. I try to alter the perceptions of humanity and lift them up to seeing the vegan ideal, rather than lowering the literal meaning of veganism to meet “where people are at”. I would not feel right diluting the vegan message; it’s a Great Truth and we should be cultivating the vegan in everyone. I don’t see vegan living as the “end-all-point” or that we should “take baby steps to get there” -but- “the first step” or “the least we can do”.
I never confuse the meaning of veganism with a plant-based diet or a plant-powered diet. Eating a plant-powered diet is a big part of being vegan, but only a part. One can eat a plant-based diet for many reasons other than non participation in animal exploitation. There is one reason to be vegan. It is clearly in the definition. Veganism is always about not exploiting animals for food, clothing, products, and practices, to the furthest we are capable.
Since veganism is not really about YOU – but about THEM, I don’t tend to try to get someone to go vegan for their own personal benefit. I do mention that there are personal benefits. It is freeing to our spirit that we are living our life with the knowing that we don’t harm animals. It is uplifting to our soul and enhances our life to live according to what we know is right. And if someone does not know that it’s right not to hurt animals; my role is to help them to empathize, to care, and not to infringe on animal’s inherent rights.
Since we can live vegan, I believe veganism is for everybody – a Universal Truth. It’s something everyone needs to evolve to seeing and doing. If humanity embraced vegan living; we could save the world from environmental devastation caused by farming animals, and the violence that plagues this planet. We could attain Peace on Earth quite literally, if humans evolve to the vegan way of life. Many long term vegans have proven that vegan living is a viable and preferable alternative to what is now considered the norm. I believe becoming vegan evolves us and helps us become who we are meant to be. If I try to get you to go vegan, I am not asking you something that will harm you or anyone.
Vegans are the pioneers ushering humanity into a more civilized way of living on Earth that has far reaching benefits to the planet and all its inhabitants. Helping others to become vegan and making it easier for everybody to become vegan – is the perhaps the most important work we can do.
I have made certain “vegan stands” through my nearly 37 years of vegan living. I am vegan-sexual and have been for 3.5 decades. I don’t desire to be intimate with someone who has no issue with animal abuse. I won’t eat in a non-vegan restaurant. I try to support and promote vegan-owned businesses, as they will make it easier for others to be vegan. At age 25 (3 years after I became vegan) I saw that I was still participating by being employed by restaurants, and so I made a stand to stop working for animal exploiters.
When I do live with nonvegans, at times, they are fed vegan and educated about veganism. If I rescue animals that do not want to eat vegan, I find them a more suitable home. No one is going to get me to participate in nonveganism.
I don’t believe in buying animals ever, as I don’t see animals as objects that can be bought and sold like slaves. I don’t believe in breeding other animals or anyone but yourself (and I don’t believe in that either). I see it as sexual violation to breed animals, and unethical. I only rescue animals. I feed them a balanced and supplemented vegan diet and instill in them not to kill other animals. I don’t recommend to “adopt/foster” without saying feed these rescues a vegan diet, simply because I don’t believe in rescuing animals to feed them other tortured and murdered animals. I don’t participate in feedings carnivorous animals.
I prefer certain species of animals – and humans are not the top of the list. I often prefer living with dogs (fed a plant-powered diet), deer, bunnies, ducks, birds – over humans. However, I would not ever harm or kill any species of animal (including humans) intentionally or pay someone else to do it for me (by being nonvegan). I show basic decency to anyone.
I try to rid myself of all indoctrinated speciesism, sexism, racism, ageism, nationalism or any discrimination based on irrelevant criterion. That is a part of my vegan advocacy and personal growth.
I have a strong stand against “wrongful conviction” in humans and the same for imprisoning victims of other species….capturing animals from the wild and forcing them to entertain humans and live in prison, purposely breeding animals to bring harm to them, etc. I have a strong stand against “breeding” or sexually violating individuals, of any species. I have a strong stand on using a someone like they are a something; turning the bodies of animals into a reproductive machine for human use. I have a strong anti-slavery stand; whether humans or other animals. I only would purchase fair-trade chocolate, coffee, etc. Anyone against slavery must be vegan.
When it comes to animals in the environment that are introduced or so called “pest animals” – I don’t kill or harm them. I believe in sterilization bates, not poison bates. I’m an environmentalist, but I’m vegan first. So I won’t kill or harm animals that may be bad for an environment. If I did, humans would surely be targets, as there is no species of animal that is more a pest to the planet. I am not humancentric. I see the big picture that includes humans, all other animals, and the planet we all share.
I believe in helping animals living in the wild. Even if they are not exploited, some of the most horrific torture I’ve seen on film is predator animals horrifically killing a baby animal; eating them alive. Animals in the wild need help too. And we should help anyone who needs help, if we can. Also, my dog friend Kisses was rescued from living a free life in the surrounding woods where she had been abandoned. I believe she lived a longer and better life with me than free-living in the woods without human intervention. She obviously agreed, since she was able to run away into the surrounding forest at any point, but she never did. So living free of human intervention is not always better.
I do believe in hunt-sabotage. I do believe in peaceful protests and standing outside animal exploiting businesses to voice objection to their marketing lies and violence. I do believe in nonviolent civil disobedience and protest. I do believe in public activism and educational stalls and events. I don’t believe in any violence to anyone; so no arson to animal exploiting buildings. Someones can be in that building; birds, rodents, and other small animals. Plus you are adding to air pollution for those in the neighborhood. (And they will just set up business somewhere else.) I do believe in rescuing and saving animals from animal harmers; if you can and if you have a good home for these rescues. They can’t generally be freed into the environment. It’s not stealing. Animals should not be property of humans so they can torture them. The law does not have right on its side, at all times. I follow the laws of my conscience above the laws of government. If I somehow can rescue someone from a life of misery, I will and I think that is right – even if the law considers them someone’s property. I don’t. If I could have “stolen” an African-American slave during the time of legal slavery, I would have. If I could have stolen “a Jew” from a Nazi concentration camp, I would have. Hitler was an elected official. A hunter walked through my campsite and killed a deer that I befriended; he was perfectly within his legal rights. Sometimes the legal laws are not what is REALLY RIGHT.
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compassion and kindness,
are THE main course.
win win for all….
and a most
Karen Lyons Kalmenson