I am a vegan hypocrite!

I have been home for about a month and a half and in this time of self-isolation, I have taken ownership of learning as much as I possibly can about a variety of things that I have always wanted to understand. I am studying a couple of courses, attending webinars and learning three languages. I have knitted a scarf, read a handful of books and started strumming a guitar. I am discovering sign language, cooking veganised Filipino dishes and gathering information on monotheistic religions. And with all this newfound knowledge swimming around in my head ready to burst, I am also questioning my beliefs and values. And I realise that I am a hypocrite.

I care about our planet, this wonderful world that has been subjected to such enormous levels of exploitation. I try to help in my own little way by being a voice, by trying to live a zero-waste lifestyle and by following a vegan philosophy. I believe that I can do more and I give myself no excuse to expect anything less of myself. However, I believe that by using this time to better my understanding of the world, I have become a lot more self-aware and have really come up short. So, I state to the world that I am guilty of being a hypocrite. Because with all the efforts and advocacy I put into the things that matter to me, I am only half-assed.

I mean this by the fact that I have a voice but don’t shout. I have words but don’t preach. I have platforms but don’t stand high on them. I am a proud vegan but stay silent as soon as someone starts to debate. I give my reasons of why I choose not to eat or use animal meat or matter but give empathy to my carnivorous fellow beings. I laugh when jokes are thrown at me for eating vegetables but do not explain the seriousness of why I will never change. I speak about veganism to me being about the environment and about health but do not push the arguement of it being due to cruelty of animals. Because it is – eating meat is abuse.

And I am a hypocrite for not speaking out enough about it. It is one thing to have a belief system against something I believe is so heartless, yet I concern myself more about what others will think and trying not to make a situation awkward. And now I realise with this current pandemic, the deadly link between animal agriculture and zoonotic diseases, it stands to reason that I should increase the volume of my voice and stand up stronger as ever. Given that people don’t like to hear things that make them question themselves, I try to be gentle in my approach.

But if I love my family and love my friends and love the planet and all living organisms on it, I am doing a great injustice by simply standing by while I see them contribute to the brutality of animals by supporting any business that slaughters, artificially inseminates and chemically tests on these sentient beings. Because people unwittingly do not know they are doing it and their health suffers because of it. Who am I not to create an awareness of their unkind actions? Who am I not to care enough and be a voice for the voiceless?

So, I write this with every intention of speaking up more. I am a huge advocate of taking care of our planet and being a vegan is the easiest and most impactful thing to do to help this mission along. I am a proud vegan, proud to be powered by plants, proud to care for those who cannot speak and proud to have the motivations and support of a huge community that believes in the same moral values as I do. And I can just imagine the reactions of others towards me going forward. But being popular is not my intention at this stage of my life. Caring enough, is!