If you haven't twigged yet, I follow a compassionate vegan lifestyle. I go into horrible places and situations, see horrible things and reach out my hand to care. As a family, we then support all the folk we get out of a corrupt and abusive system. In everything I do I try to ask for kindness, by being kind myself. I do not expect everyone to be kind and to stop eating other folk, there will always be those that want to consume bodies, however weird and distasteful that seems. But the hatred and spite directed at us seems to indicate clearly that eating bodies affects the mind and judgement in a lot of humans very badly. It has often been noted that eating certain foods clouds the mind, in as much the same way as alcohol. From personal experience as a misguided vegetarian for many years, I thought of myself as compassionate and aware, until it was I gave up dairy. Then the shackles were released and I could feel even more deeply, empathise with more clarity, became more compassionate, became logical without dissociation. I firmly believe from my experiences and from talking extensively to others, that consuming non human animals and their milk and eggs creates a barrier in the mind. It makes being unkind easier, if you will. If you consider for a moment the amount of hatred and violence that is directed at us, just because we opt out of a cruel system, then the extent that the general population have been brainwashed is staggering. To harm others just because they are being kind is not evolved or humane but is decidedly human.
Becoming plant based is a lovely start to a compassionate lifestyle. Veganism is another imperative step, a lifestyle that chooses not to wear, eat or use animals. However, if we stop at this point then exploitation will never end. The personal journey needs progression, for our actions and choices are not limited to personal consequences when they have such a huge , detrimental effect on others within this world.
As the demands of this worldwide movement increase and the products we need likewise, without activism from all, then the exploiters will change their products but not their mindsets. If a farmer can sell his coconuts for oil/milk/cream/ cosmetics to a growing market, he will be happy. If he/she knows that the growing market stop thinking and caring about how that product is collected, it will become inevitable that animals will continue to be used in a slave-like existence to enhance profit margins, or once ethical companies will move backwards in the goal of higher profits. Not to count the devastation caused from deforestation, the lists of animals destroyed is unimaginable, orangutans, owls, tigers, monkeys, birds, insects, reptiles.... That a biscuit considered vegan by some, (oreo) is responsible for huge swathes of tropical forest destruction.
The only way forward is to still push for an end to animal exploitation. Just following a diet, or a lifestyle with no activism, will promote continued exploitation just with usable products that can carry a vegan label. We need to question at every opportunity, where has this product been made? How was it farmed? How was it harvested? We need to let the big commercial enterprises know that a ‘vegan label’ is not enough, that we will continue to ask for higher standards, for no exploitation, for fair trade, for a kinder world. That we are not egocentric and focused on ourselves, that we care and understand that to survive, we must all walk gently. That our buying power cannot be corrupted or cajoled into looking the other way in the name of profit. Do we not want a world where we are all free? Is not the goal to be sustainable, mindful and nurture the world on whom we depend?