What's Standing In The Way Of Progress? People

                                        We Animals - Jo-Anne McArthur : On display at SeaWorld, Florida. 2011.

                                        We Animals - Jo-Anne McArthur : On display at SeaWorld, Florida. 2011.

I don't often do these types of posts but I wanted to express a few things. Those who know me either via Twitter, my blog or in person know I have made some drastic changes in my life over the last two years and I honestly wouldn't have it any other way.

What did I want to express in this post? Well I wanted to express the one major frustration on my journey down these paths, and I know I am not alone in feeling this.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the most difficult thing I have had to deal with over the last few years is people. People who are extremely ignorant they can't see anything outside their precious bubble, people who don't understand my choices or can't comprehend why anyone would choose to do the things I am doing. People who choose to ignore what they know of you and ask silly questions or say belittling remarks, and people who try to take gusto out of your passion with a pessimistic attitude.

I don't shove my vegan lifestyle down anyone's throats, no one is forced to read my blog, I don't share graphic content on social media and I don't lecture anyone on veganism and I NEVER bring it up. It is always someone else who brings up the subject of my diet (for some reason) and makes the situation awkward and indeed, turns it into a situation.

I don't mind people asking questions if they're genuinely interested, but I have found it rarely turns into anything positive and then they always end up saying "Oh I couldn't do it" - whats the point? An attempt to try and rub meat-eating in my face? Whether people mean to or not, they can also make you feel like you're a freak, or as if you're doing something so extreme that has never been heard of before. It really isn't that big of a thing - get with the times and get over it. I can deal with it, why can't other people?

I understand people have different lifestyles and passions but I don't see why one person gets scrutinised for their choices, good choices at that. I don't sit there when someone is eating a steak saying 'I'm not sure that steak is good for your diet. It may increase your blood pressure and cholesterol. It's probably been pumped full of antibiotics. There is probably faecal matter in there. Do you have one of these every week? How do you survive?". So I'm not quite sure why I should get a similar critique from someone else?

Times have change, and the vegetarian and vegan options are in full swing in supermarkets and restaurants. But if there is only one thing on the menu I can eat - it's fine, it's not a big deal. It's not the end of the world - I don't live to go out to eat. I'll worry about me - you worry about yourself, what I eat has literally nothing to do you whatsoever.

I believe a lot of the negative comments come from a place of denial, because they know you are doing something good, and they're probably not doing anything to help any situation. Knowing what I know now and seeing what I have seen, I wouldn't care if all I could eat was rice and beans for the rest of my life. I have chosen this lifestyle for a reason and purpose higher than my own appetite or greed and everything else just doesn't matter to me. 

Speaking up for animals: "Its a endless battle you will never win, it's so hard" - a response I have heard time and time before. Yes it is hard, most things worth doing are tough - really tough. That doesn't mean you should give up and not do them. Just because we are fighting against big corporations and cosmetic companies doesn't mean it's a battle lost. There have been TREMENDOUS changes in the last 3-4 years in animal welfare and animal rights, and this has only happened because of people speaking up. Every petition counts, every protest counts and every voice counts. I campaign for cetaceans where I can, specifically orca's in marine parks; I have been asked what is the point? - there is nothing I can possibly do to help change. An awful attitude to have; hearing those comments, I also think it's a sad way to live your life. Everyone can make a difference. The point for me is these animals do not have any choice. I believe they deserve a life like every other being. A life where they are not incarcerated in a concrete tank and where they are not being used for human entertainment. For these reasons I do what I can and I always will. 

 We Animals - Jo-Anne McArthur : On display at SeaWorld, Florida. 2011.

 We Animals - Jo-Anne McArthur : On display at SeaWorld, Florida. 2011.

What keeps me on the vegan path? Knowing these animals have feelings and are beings not just objects to use and abuse. What keeps me speaking up for animals? The top picture to this post sums it up for me. We should not be treating animals like this. Everything about this picture is wrong, so, so wrong. Since when did this behaviour become ok? Animals are abused in so many situations, I see horrific imagery and articles every day of the realities for animals in the world and It feels like my heart breaks every time.

On top of all of this and more, we are experiencing a huge environmental issue and most of the planet doesn't seem to be bothered. Our oceans are in the worst state they have ever been in, filled with pollution, huge amounts of coral bleaching is happening and all the marine life has depleted at an alarming rate. People aren't bothered. There is not enough ground to carry on the agriculture business at the rate the world has been doing it - there physically isn't the space. One of the results of this particular business is deforestation too, so much land is taken up by growing the GMO feed for the animals to eat, as well as the land expanding that these factories and farms. We are minimising the green and blue on our planet and half the world is asleep. 

I'm choosing not to ignore the huge problems that are going on around me and yet I get criticised for it. Until all those problems are fixed I will never stop speaking up and helping where I can. There are so many people making a difference all over the world in their own ways and they should be thanked, not scrutinised.

If you're thinking of making a lifestyle change or want to get involved in animal/environmental issues - do it, do not let people's ignorance and comments stop you. They can try and stop progress but you have the power to make that progress happen. 

So please, before you start to criticise think, if you're genuinely interested - great, but if not, keep walking, I do not have time for it.