We are not from another planet, we are from the future, part 2

By Marit de Haan, Friday 20 December 2019
A while ago I wrote a story about why I became a vegan. The reasons and how..... In this article I would like to talk about how it IS to be a vegan. Especially with regard to relationships with friends and family.

Yesterday afternoon we had a long talk with a good friend who, like us, became more and more conscious about eating animals and their products. She said  a very wise thing. Being a vegan in this world where so many still eat animals is not easy and it is as if we are tested everyday to be able to continue to do so. There are so many influences around us that make it difficult for being a vegan, that makes you want to change even if you can’t really. Ads on TV or reactions of friends and family. Because isn’t it what we all want. Being liked by one another? But almost everyday, you have to fight to be able to overcome all these influences. How easy would it not be to change and not persist  in your believes.... ? Just go with the flow again, to avoid all this resistence....  ?

There are different kinds of reactions when you say to someone that you are a vegan. There are the people who really don’t give a shit about animals. They are actually the easy ones, because they see animals as products, and they don’t see any harm in what they do. They see you as an exception. They don’t have a conscience. They don’t feel and are not threatened nor attacked by what you do and what you say.  

Then there are the people who are conscious of what they do when they eat animal products and in a way they feel guilty about it.  These are the people who can really harm you, who attack you one way or another, because they know you are right. Very often vegans get the blame that they are preaching too much and that they think they know better. But even when you decide  not to talk about eating animals anymore, to save the relationship whether it is with  a friend or family, to be kind to each other and accept each other the way one is,  you still get the attacks, the questions, the numerous  arguments ....... These people fight with their own conscience and it’s a fight they can’t win. So they fight with you.....  You constantly need to defend yourself. And there is nothing to defend really. Eating animals and their products is just ethically wrong. 

The last group are the people who stay quiet, who think, who are conscious of what they do, and in the long run change their habits. Like us. Not everyone can be vegan, wants to be vegan. And I don’t mind in a way. I once had a talk with someone who said: “Marit, you are totally right, but I like meat too much.” That’s OK. People are not perfect. I was not perfect and ate meat even though my brother told me 30 years ago that animals were butchered for my salami. And people need time, like we did. But what I do condemn is the constant attacking, the bullying, the discriminating of vegans just because we are! And believe me people can go far in their evil behaviour. 

My wish for next year is that this would stop! If meat eaters don’t want to be attacked by vegans, then stop attacking vegans yourselves..... And just remember “We are not from another planet, we are from the future!”  because in the long run eating animal products will not be accepted as it becomes more widely recognised that it’s harmful for the planet, for the animals, for ourselves.