Many people seem to think that since the whole world won’t go vegan overnight, any efforts to eliminate factory farming and other anti-animal practices are futile. You’ll never get rid of it, they argue, so why bother even trying?
It seems to me that this “if we can’t fix it all right now, we should not bother doing anything” attitude is just one more defense mechanism that animal users employ to feel better about the bad choices they are making.
No, I can’t make the whole world go vegan right now. Believe me, if I could, I would. But I can’t.
But does that inability clear us of any and all responsibility in terms of what we do to harm animals every minute of every day?
It does not.
I can’t control what others do—I can only control what I do. And I choose not to be part of that brutally oppressive and torturous system. What I do is up to me, and my choices DO make a difference.
I’ve had three people so far tell me that I’ve inspired them to become vegan. I’ve had others start to think about what I’m saying.
That is making a difference.
My choice to remove myself from that system of oppression means that fewer animal products are being sold and one more person is speaking up for animals.
Yes, I am just one.
But I am one of many. And each time an individual makes the choice to be vegan, our numbers grow. Our voice gets louder.
It only takes 10% of the population getting on board for an idea to go mainstream. We don’t need every single human on the face of the earth to embrace veganism.
We only need 10%.
That is do-able.
Change is always ponderously slow. The abolition of slavery in the American south took a long time—and a revolutionary war—to end something that we look back on now incredulously.
People are loathe to give up what they have become comfortable with, and they really hate facing their own complicity in oppression. But over time, change DOES happen.
So I will not listen to the nay-sayers, to those who refuse to change their ways simply because they think others won’t. If we all had THAT crappy attitude, nothing would ever change at all. And I can’t live with that.
It may not happen in my lifetime, but at least I know I am doing my part to contribute to a more peaceful and just world. I hope that my living life the way I want the world to be will inspire others to do the same. And I have seen that happening, so I know there is hope.
To those who refuse to change simply because they don’t think their efforts will matter, I feel very sorry for you. You are teaching your children that ideals and values don’t matter, that what matters is what everyone else is doing.
You are not teaching your children to stand for anything. You are teaching them to be complicit and unthinking. You are not leaving a better world for them, and you are not teaching them that they can achieve a better world through their own actions.
That is a tragedy.