And now for something completely different.
Today was the first day of the annual Veganmania in Vienna. It’s like a summer festival that takes place in various cities in Germany and Austria to show people options and varieties of the vegan lifestyle including live music performances since 16 years already! There is no entry fee, there are simply sales booths on a public place where you can buy mostly vegan food but also vegan clothing. In addition there are animal-rights-associations as the VGT
and of course
. I think it is a great event,especially because random people on the street just stroll by and might expand their horizon by chance.
I am not vegan. I have been a vegetarian for over 12 years now and I eat vegan most of the time but I still enjoy the best pizza in Vienna (and probably in Austria) occasionally (which you should definitely check out before renouncing cheese forever:
I am deeply convinced though that a vegan lifestyle suits my values, my body and the earth best. Nevertheless I fall into indulgence rather easily and sometimes I am giving myself a hard time for that, because I am not true to my deepest, inner beliefs. I am well aware that this is not helpful in any way but I am a child of this society where you should feel bad, if you didn’t do the right thing – whatever that might be. At the same time I realize how subjective right and wrong are and that there is no final conclusion on this anyway. So I am really working on this.
What struck a chord today and led me to writing this blog post was, that on the Veganmania Facebook page, somebody postet a picture of a steak, for obviously no other reason than polarising. Of course some vegans were like: “WTF???” but not in a rude way and I know that some die-hard-vegans CAN give you a really hard time but these are really just a few and they exist in any diet-sector, music-taste or whatever people like to argue about . And the steak-poster was all: “Hey come on, you should have seen that coming. Just a joke.” I felt really sad because it just deepened the ditch between non-vegans and vegans/vegetarians. The steak-poster should have seen that coming. Would you really hazard the consequences of entrenching people even more, for the sake of a really stupid, childish joke?
Meat-eating people very often say thinks like: “I am not against vegan food, just against vegan people, they are so extreme and always want to indoctrinate me.” I know a few vegans and they are not like that at all, most of them don’t like to talk about this sensitive topic anyway, because usually meat-eaters will give THEM a hard time. I noticed that this is often due to the fact that the sheer presence of a vegetarian/vegan reminds people of their thoughtlessness concerning animal cruelty and health which leads to “attack is the best form of defence”-like actions. I don’t know how many people would continue eating meat, if they connected the dots between slaughter and steak. Melanie Joy studied this ignorance-is-bliss in this great talk (on which I could write a very long blog post on itself):
Also last night I came across a very short video concerning this topic and how marketing uses this against us:
What I really want to say to everybody with this post: Please don’t fight each other over belief systems. Please don’t make “jokes” or “funny comments” on others people diet. This is such a sensitive, delicate and very personal issue and if you don’t want to talk about it seriously – leave it. Why do we need another chance to divide people into groups, parties and camps? We seem to love to define us through separation, why can’t we define us through the things we have in common? Veganism equals not healthy, being a better person or whatever and if you feel slight resistance when reading this, ask yourself why. Maybe this is your lazy defence mechanism against thinking about your diet. And if you love meat and never ever want to think about the cruel industrialized animal farming or if you just don’t care, so be it. You have my blessing really. I don’t believe that you can convince anybody to anything if the impulse doesn’t come from their inner self.
Namasté – because I really honor each and every one of you.