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Going Vegan

It’s been a while since I’ve posted non-fractal stuff on this blog, but I feel that I need to make myself publicly accountable for this.

In the month of september, I will eat a 100% vegan diet.

There. I’ve been considering to change my diet for quite a while, but there was always something “more important” I chose to focus my energy on. One of the biggest obstacles of eating a non-standard diet is that the entire social structure is constantly pressing against your decision. A couple of years ago, I tried going vegetarian, but found it hard to keep up mostly because I had a normal job back then, which added even further to that pressure with lots of lunches, meetings, and events.

Early this year, when I finally gave up my job to become a freelancer, I meant to give it another try, but somehow always kept pushing it off. The excuse was that I wanted to get used to my new working environment first, and the inertia generated by that decision carried the habit forward another 6 months unquestioned.

I’m putting an end to that right now. It took a not-so-gentle reminder popping up in my feed reader, even if I already knew all the arguments for making a switch. My reasons for this decisions are three-fold:

1) Nutritional: Some people say that humans are made to eat meat; others say that we are vegans by nature. I’ve eaten meat my entire life, so it’s only fair to see how it’s like to be on the other side of the debate.

2) Environmental: Do you seriously think that deforestation happens because you printed one too many pages of paper? That’s absurd. The paper industry plants trees just as fast as they raze them. Forests recede when cows take their place. Eating fruits and vegetables is orders of magnitude more efficient than eating meat, simply because a very low percentage of the energy animals consume is actually converted to meat, the rest being lost to side effects such as growing bones, keeping their body temperature and emitting greenhouse gases.

3) Ethical: It’s nice to pretend you’re not responsible for the things you are (directly or indirectly) paying other people to do for you, but that just isn’t true, and I’m not willing to ignore it any longer. I’m not against eating meat per se, but rather against the horrible practices of the industries involved (see video in the link above). If my personal ethics prevent me from mercilessly torturing and killing animals, they must also prevent me from allowing others to do it on my behalf.

I don’t know whether this experiment will turn into a permanent change. I’m giving myself permission to return to my old habits after september is over.

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Categories: Compassion, Purpose
  1. September 15, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Society always has been like this: helping the similar ones and defending from the rest, that is, the outlaws and barbarians. Human civilization cannot go beyond its own species, unless it could be proven that other individuals different than us are able to assume the same kind of roles and duties. No one has an unconditional right to be fed, besides the handicaped, which are an exception because of a very particular circumstance. Thus, why should we feed animals if they become useless to our purposes? Is forcing them to extinction less cruel than just killing them? No, it’s just sillier. Thanks to this “modern day nazis” poor people can eat meat.

    Plus, you vegans are not as consequent as you think. If killing animals is a crime, why don’t you ask for a punishment for the ones that do or allow it? And why don’t you prevent carnivores from devouring their preys?

  2. September 15, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    irichc :
    Society always has been like this: helping the similar ones and defending from the rest, that is, the outlaws and barbarians. Human civilization cannot go beyond its own species, unless it could be proven that other individuals different than us are able to assume the same kind of roles and duties. No one has an unconditional right to be fed, besides the handicaped, which are an exception because of a very particular circumstance. Thus, why should we feed animals if they become useless to our purposes? Is forcing them to extinction less cruel than just killing them? No, it’s just sillier. Thanks to this “modern day nazis” poor people can eat meat.

    A diet that includes meat uses up much more natural resources than a vegan one. Therefore, it’s inefficient for the survival of animals and poor people alike.

    Plus, you vegans are not as consequent as you think. If killing animals is a crime, why don’t you ask for a punishment for the ones that do or allow it? And why don’t you prevent carnivores from devouring their preys?

    I don’t believe that killing animals is a crime. It’s absolutely natural for a carnivore to hunt and devour its prey, and for a human to hunt a wild animal and eat it. However, it’s not natural to systematically breed many orders of magnitude more specimens than the environment can support, eliminate those with an expected return that’s too low, and keep the rest confined in abhorrent conditions.

    Freedom of belief is one of the most important human rights. The last thing I want is to punish those who see the world differently. It’s your choice to continue supporting the practices of the meat industry; don’t let it bother you that I’ve decided to stop.

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