people are always sending me messages like “am i a bad person for eating meat” and.. no. but it’s not that simple. you’re not a bad person but it’s complicated.
yes, i obviously believe killing and abusing animals is wrong and very very bad, but it’s for a lot of reasons. obviously the one that comes to most people’s minds is “animals”, but it’s also about earth and humanity in general— it contributes to overfarming, waste, poisoning water and land, pollution, etc, and also preys on areas that are typically poor/red tape racism in a lot (lot, lot, lot) of places, often abuses workers without visas, and actually makes food less valuable while raising prices on anything nutritious.. it feeds into poverty, abuses the impoverished and it makes only non-vegan (processed/unhealthy) options accessible (affordable due to abusing the concept of living wages), keeps ppl poor so it can use them and then it winds up killing poor people (directly related to poor working conditions and diet) thru food deserts and other arms of capitalism. eating a typical western diet contributes directly to the oppression, silencing, abuse and pollution of the homes of everyone else in the world. it’s not just about animals. it’s complicated.
similar things happen with vegetable farming, that is undeniable and would be horrific to blow off. just as the “am i bad for eating animals” bit, it’s complicated. racist agricultural practice is the result of straight up capitalism and systematic oppression that has been abusing poc and poor people since its inception. it is wildly important to not erase this issue, but it is a classist fallback that is used far too often to discredit veganism entirely. if you live in poverty, it is difficult to avoid because of the aforementioned design of capitalism. if you have any other information on brands or methods to help solve this issue, please let me know. otherwise, here are many small ways you can help:
- garden yourself (or make friends who do!)
- go to farmers markets
- find ethical brands
- don’t buy up foods such as quinoa and kale that is imported from countries that depend on it (and can’t afford it anymore)
it’s also very, very important to note that veganism has been stolen and consequently whitewashed (just as often, weirdly enough, by anti-vegans). veganism is not a white concept nor a white movement and its history has been erased, as has the history of the “green” movement (biking, gardening, etc). veganism can be dated back to ancient greece and india, egypt, etc. a lot of the world doesn’t eat meat. in fact, america and the uk is where it’s generally less often seen. meat (not in western societies, obviously) is typically a luxury.
it could be summed up that the issue with western/white veganism is that it, too, is in the wheel of capitalism and as such if you are thoughtless with it can continue to contribute to all those same issues as above. it also often becomes a class issue, as processed vegan food is much more expensive than processed omnivore food, and the class system is designed in such a way that people in lower class situations have less time to cook due to being overworked and underpayed. however, here are some things to consider if it is possible for you:
- going vegan, even if you are not able to get access to a garden, local market or other sustainable food sources will dramatically cut down the amount you contribute to this mess
- going vegan is typically cheaper (and this example didn’t even really shop smart) and can be done for $120/mo (i’ve done cheaper, but this is a good start! also, if you don’t track your own groceries or don’t yet buy them, that might sound like a lot of money, but to give you an idea of what the government expects poor people to spend on food, SNAP benefits for a single individual are on average $130/mo and most people have to spend more than that). this neat woman made a menu for vegans who had less than £1 a day to live on!
- going vegan— like eating any other way that requires cooking— requires access to electricity, water and some time, BUUUUUUT it doesn’t require tons of time at all NOR a fancy full sized kitchen. here’s an example of cheap meals that take less than 20 minutes, cooking without a stove, and cooking in a dorm room (cooking GF vegan in a dorm room here)
anyway, that’s me debunking some misconceptions about the lifestyle that ppl often bring up with me. thank u and hope this answered some questions.
I;m sorry, no. You’re still presenting this in a way that still has it linger as ‘ethically wrong’ and the sources you’ve linked to are not reliable. We are literally a part of capitalism whether we eat meat or not. Don’t imply that somehow eating meat removes you from the chain. That’s not true.
I apologize in advance for this.
We were told to wear your clothes, speak your language, and adhere to your societal rules. At the time, the colonialists were doing what they thought was morally right. All the bloodshed and colonozing of those countries was done becuase we, as Asian people, including India, China, and the Malayas We were altered to be ‘better’.
Presenting veganism as a ‘more moral choice’ or a ‘more ethical choice’ is deceptive. Western culture in general is more uncomfortable with death. You don’t hang your roast meat on hooks for display, for example. It has to do with a larger western - and capitalist - hatred of sacrifice or having to make compromises. If you want something, you have to give something up. This is a very old trope found in multiple parts of not just western, but Asian folk tale.
So when you link not to a source, but a sanctimonious article - written completely by westerners who have no right to speak outside of their western experience, that ridicules the idea of veganism having cultural and imperial roots - you are wrong. You are wrong and you are speaking over people, like myself, who were raised in the East and whose culture is still incredibly important to me. Do not give me a history of ‘veganism’ that does not exist in Asia, because that is an oversimplification of Asian history and heritage.
Yes most of India is vegetarian - NOT VEGAN. This is because as a part of their religious makeup (which includes Hindu, Jain, Islamic, and Buddhist faiths) meat is not regarded as acceptable. Now while this is a religious reason, as with any culture, the recipes and the food and cooking practices developed developed around that. So really, it’s cool that their cooking practices are ‘more acceptable’ by white people, in the west, cheers, good for them.
62% of the world’s pork is consumed in China, because of farming practices. Seafood and pork is intrinsic to most Japanese cooking. Sate, Gule Kambing, Rendang, and Opor Ayam, my grandmothers dishes, all meat based. Does that mean my culture is ‘less moral’ than that of your personal decisionand the cultural histories of other parts of Asia?
Animal death and acceptance of death as a part of life is a big part of Asian culture. Being respectful no matter how something dies is important. With western culture, you’re still incredibly uncomfortable with death. You don’t like admitting that an animal has to die to make your food. So when you tell me that me making my grandmother’s recipies is wrong, when you link to a blog article written by westerners who have never been to ANY of the countries they list - it makes me very hard not to feel like you’re telling us what to do.
You’ve created a frame work where you’ve basically said ‘I’m not telling you it’s wrong, but it is’. And that doesn’t work. It just doesn’t work, because it is racist and it allows you to shame and judge entire cultures for what they do, and place your ethical framework above theirs.
You can make ‘substitute’ vegan traditional dishes. They are no longer traditional dishes. It is that simple. You have, by default, already taken something from my culture.
I am telling you as someone who has a vegan mother who still cooks her traditional recipes come holidays or birthdays, I am telling you as a diabetic who has had to alter their own diet and cut meat in different ways substantially, I am telling you as an Asian Person of Color who was raised outside the west - this is colonialist. To say you adhere to a ‘higher morality’, which is the same excuse the British gave in their blood soaked conquering of the world, who instead attributed it to ‘God and Country’. We didn’t have that choice, because we didn’t have that privilege.
Do you know what the biggest shock to moving to the west as for me? It wasn’t just the casual racism in Australia. It was the insidious idea by elitist members of Australian society that, without having to say it in so many words, my culture was still ‘savage’ for eating meat.
So you understand why I feel angry about this particular issue, and particularly offended, especially since intersectionality and imperialism issues people are supposedly concerned about on this website.
Please stop presenting veganism within this framework. It is insulting and culturally erasing. You have every right to be vegan.
But this continued insinuation that me, my family, and my brothers and sisters, my aunties and uncle, are some sort of ethically unsound savage from an ethically corrupt culture has to stop.
This reality is a bit harder to swallow: There are more white people in the US and Canada because the US and Canada were established using the systematic genocide of Native peoples, the theft of Native lands, and the labour of enslaved peoples in the past and immigrant peoples currently who were and are never meant to stay or survive.
And now you’re uncomfortable. Good.
When you accept and acknowledge that census figures reflect a long history of marginalization, it is preposterous to use these same figures as the benchmark to which you measure the inclusion of marginalized people.
just bc someone has low self esteem or has depression doesnt mean theyre not fucking disgusting and manipulative and i keep having to learn this lesson over and over
If someone uses their mental illnesses as an excuse to hurt you without apologizing you get the fuck out of there. My abuser would use it as an excuse and make me feel guilty for my hurt feelings because it wasn’t his fault he was cruel to me.
This specifically refers to a hand striking the side of a person’s face, tells quite a different story when placed in it’s proper historical context. In Jesus’s time, striking someone of a lower class ( a servant) with the back of the hand was used to assert authority and dominance. If the persecuted person “turned the other cheek,” the discipliner was faced with a dilemma. The left hand was used for unclean purposes, so a back-hand strike on the opposite cheek would not be performed. Another alternative would be a slap with the open hand as a challenge or to punch the person, but this was seen as a statement of equality. Thus, by turning the other cheek the persecuted was in effect putting an end to the behavior or if the slapping continued the person would lawfully be deemed equal and have to be released as a servant/slave.
THAT makes a lot more sense, now, thank you.
I can attest to the original poster’s comments. A few years back I took an intensive seminar on faith-based progressive activism, and we spent an entire unit discussing how many of Jesus’ instructions and stories were performative protests designed to shed light on and ridicule the oppressions of that time period as a way to emphasize the absurdity of the social hierarchy and give people the will and motivation to make changes for a more free and equal society.
For example, the next verse (Matthew 5:40) states “And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.” In that time period, men traditionally wore a shirt and a coat-like garment as their daily wear. To sue someone for their shirt was to put them in their place - suing was generally only performed to take care of outstanding debts, and to be sued for one’s shirt meant that the person was so destitute the only valuable thing they could repay with was their own clothing. However, many cultures at that time (including Hebrew peoples) had prohibitions bordering on taboo against public nudity, so for a sued man to surrender both his shirt and his coat was to turn the system on its head and symbolically state, in a very public forum, that “I have no money with which to repay this person, but they are so insistent on taking advantage of my poverty that I am leaving this hearing buck-ass naked. His greed is the cause of a shameful public spectacle.”
All of a sudden an action of power (suing someone for their shirt) becomes a powerful symbol of subversion and mockery, as the suing patron either accepts the coat (and therefore full responsibility as the cause of the other man’s shameful display) or desperately chases the protester around trying to return his clothes to him, making a fool of himself in front of his peers and the entire gathered community.
Additionally, the next verse (Matthew 5:41; “If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.”) was a big middle finger to the Romans who had taken over Judea and were not seen as legitimate authority by the majority of the population there. Roman law stated that a centurion on the march could require a Jew (and possibly other civilians as well, although I don’t remember explicitly) to carry his pack at any time and for any reason for one mile along the road (and because of the importance of the Roman highway system in maintaining rule over the expansive empire, the roads tended to be very well ordered and marked), however hecould not require any service beyond the next mile marker. For a Jewish civilian to carry a centurion’s pack for an entire second mile was a way to subvert the authority of the occupying forces. If the civilian wouldn’t give the pack back at the end of the first mile, the centurion would either have to forcibly take it back or report the civilian to his commanding officer (both of which would result in discipline being taken against the soldier for breaking Roman law) or wait until the civilian volunteered to return the pack, giving the Judean native implicit power over the occupying Roman and completely subverting the power structure of the Empire. Can you imagine how demoralizing that must have been for the highly ordered Roman armies that patrolled the region?
Jesus was a pacifist, but his teachings were in no way passive. There’s a reason he was practically considered a terrorist by the reigning powers, and it wasn’t because he healed the sick and fed the hungry.
Though I ended up deciding Christianity wasn’t for me, I went to my parents’ church with them because the sermons were more like academic lectures on the contexts of the scriptures. Without knowing the context, reading any religious text accurately would be very difficult.
If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also