A short essay about why I ditched veganism:
I was vegan from 2005 till 2014, then I ditched it and these are the 5 reasons why.
1st reason: Stress: Yes, stress is the silent killer and people are awesome at giving stress or causing some problems and inconveniences to others. No, it’s not hard to find protein, what’s hard is to find the patience to deal with the million assholes who ask you where do you find protein. The difficult part of being vegan is not finding vegan food, is having to defend yourself from all the people who attack you for being vegan, or get defensive whenever they hear the word vegan, and they feel they have to defend their food choices, while actually I never actually gave a damn about what other people ate, I was vegan because I wanted to, because I had chosen to, and never cared what others ate. But still, people felt the need to attack me because I ate something different than them.
And yes, I was healthy, I didn’t feel sick not even once in 9 years, and I never needed to go to the doctor because of being vegan, I had to go to the doctor because I was living a reckless life and having heaps of accidents but not because of being vegan.
And people are insecure and they need validation, they need you to validate their life choices and food choices, they won’t accept the fact that you have chosen to eat something different than them, they will want to talk about it, A LOT, and ask you many questions and judge you and attack you for no good reason besides the fact that you have chosen to eat something different than them.
2nd reason: Freeganism: Yes, veganism is the solution to all the world’s problems, except that no, it totally isn’t, freeganism is! Because even if we were all vegan, our society is still structured so that, for whatever reason, we will waste 50% of the food that is produced, be it vegan or not vegan, that food will still be thrown away if it reaches its expiration date, if the packaging gets damaged during its transport, because someone didn’t finish their meal or whatever other crazy reason.
Freeganism means eating or using whatever has already been discarded by society and that’s the real solution to all our problems. Because vegan food that is made especially for you to eat, takes heaps of resources to produce, pack and transport and that would all be saved if you ate whatever had already been discarded by society, whether it was an animal product or not. You won’t be raising the demand by eating from the bin, because it had been already thrown away anyway, so no one would be able to buy it anyway.
3rd reason: Star Trek: This is one is a strange reason, but one I feel deeply identified with. By understanding and acknowledging the fact that other animals also feel pain when they are killed, you actually belong to the 1% of people who are empathetic enough to understand that there are other sentient beings on this planet, besides themselves and that animals are not a commodity, but they are sentient beings who are scared and want to live, and don’t want to be chopped into little pieces and sold just for your pleasure.
So, the fact that I was able to understand that, it actually made me feel as if I were beyond my time, as a Star Trek character, following their prime directive:
As the right of each sentient species to live in accordance with its normal cultural evolution is considered sacred, no Starfleet personnel may interfere with the normal and healthy development of alien life and culture. Such interference includes introducing superior knowledge, strength, or technology to a world whose society is incapable of handling such advantages wisely. Starfleet personnel may not violate this Prime Directive, even to save their lives and/or their ship, unless they are acting to right an earlier violation or an accidental contamination of said culture. This directive takes precedence over any and all other considerations, and carries with it the highest moral obligation.
And it made me adopt their prime directive as a philosophy for life. A philosophy to avoid getting crazy dealing with all the people who want to judge you for having chosen something different than them or for being way ahead of your time from at least an ethical point of view. And yes, I know society is like this and we shouldn’t question it, and yes I know, traditions, customs, politics, religions, economy, everyone says you should eat meat because they have their own agendas and they all benefit from you eating meat. You will get cancer and get sick more often so the doctors or insurance companies will make more money. A single hamburger is the equivalent water consumption to leaving the shower running for 2 months, so some water company will benefit from you eating meat and all the grains that are fed to cows are enough to feed the entire African continent, and I am sure many rich people benefit from poor people dying or staying poor. And I’m sure many poor people benefit from other poor people dying because they save themselves the hassle of having to think for themselves or having to questions the system. Being obedient is easy, while going against the stream means you need to face those who have chosen to be obedient to avoid having to think. Because thinking means having to accept the fact that we are going to die a meaningless life and that we are no more than insignificant specs of dust in the vast cosmic ocean. So doing, thinking, saying and eating what is socially accepted will relieve me of the pain and stress of having to confront and be confronted by every single obedient sheep everytime I go to a freakign restaurant or get invited for dinner somewhere.
Reason 4: Other vegans. If you are vegan you not only have to be against the meat eaters but also against other vegans, who are always trying to make you feel bad.
Meat eaters try to make you feel bad for not eating meat and vegans will try to make you feel bad for not being as vegan as they are. And they are snobby and usually well off, and I’m poor and usually homeless, and they don’t understand that when you don’t have money to buy special vegan food you need to eat whatever people give you or you can forage. But still they will try to make you feel guilty for agreeing with them only 99% instead of 100% and that all ads up until one day you find that you have ran out of patience to defend your life choices in front of both meat and non-meat eaters.
And it doesn’t stop there, some vegans will also attack you if you don’t read books from vegan authors, you don’t watch vegan movies or documentaries, or stupid things like that, and they won understand I found this pair of leather boots were a gift from someone who didn’t use them anymore, and didn’t pay for them so I’m not increasing the demand for it, the rabbit was already dead by the side of the road and I didn’t contribute in any way to it’s suffering or dead.
Reason 5: Powerlessness, I truly don’t believe the actions of a single individual can make a change in the big picture. And I believe life is too short for having to spend time arguing with people, and the universe is too big for any of our arguments or choices to matter.
I know I will die soon, that’s why I chose to spend my last years on this planet doing only the things I like, which are: reading, writing and exercising. And they certainly don’t include having to defend myself at every meal.
And yes, I do eat meat sometimes, especially when invited to eat at someone’s place, I just don’t buy it or pay for it, and yes it stills grosses me out, and I still think it’s disgusting, and I would never eat it if there was another choice.
And yes, I do eat cheese or ice cream sometimes, and yes I think it’s disgusting and I imagine the pain the cows have to go through while being impregnated and having their babies taken away and killed in front of them but I still do it because I know I’m a terrible human being.
And yes, I do eat the road kill sometimes because I don’t want it to go to waste, I skin it and take the guts out and cook it, and I do eat the meat from the bin that the supermarkets have thrown away, and yes, I do eat the leftovers from the restaurants’ tables and I do whatever I can to avoid the need of having something produced only for me to eat it or use it.
And no, I don’t have all the answers, and no, I don’t know if I do the right thing, and no, I don’t know anything better so far. And no, I’m not a politician or a billionaire and my life choices will have no effect whatsoever in the big picture, and no I don’t feel guilty for being morally superior and not doing anything about with it.
And yes, I still don’t get sick and haven’t been to a doctor in 15 years and I still can run a full 42k marathon without breaking a sweat and no, it doesn’t have anything to do with my diet, it’s because I run and train everyday, and yes I can still do 50 pushups in a row, that’s 49 more pull-ups then everyone else I know, and no it’s not because I favor soy burgers over beef burgers, it’s because I train hard every day.
And yes, I do still care for the animals and the environment, just not as much as I cared about it in my 20’s when I felt I could be the change I wanted to see in the world and I felt that my choices could make a difference.