January 10, 2013

Letter To A Vegan, From A Meat Eater.

Here is a letter, emailed to me this morning:

Hi Karl,

I hope this doesn’t come off as weird or annoying, but I want to talk to someone and you seem like the perfect person because I actually find you the least judgmental of the vegans/vegetarians I know.

Whew! Poor woman, you must know so few vegans. If I was any more judgemental, I’d need a black robe and magistrate’s wig. Well, maybe I’m getting better at hiding it. That’s something.

I have been thinking for a long time of embarking on a vegetarian experiment—I’ve been turning my eyes away from the truth for a lot of years that I really do believe it is probably wrong for me to eat meat.

Awesome! Watch this now, don’t worry, its only a song.

When asked about it or confronted about it by vegetarians I have never had any argument—it has always been just that I admit my hypocrisy. If I had to actually kill an animal or watch it be killed for my food, I would not eat meat, so to eat it otherwise, simply because it comes neatly/cleanly packaged in styrofoam and plastic wrap, is just willful blindness.

Well, from over here, yeah. Complete agreement. We all know its easier to sneak up on carrots, too. And besided, all the guts. Gross.

Photo: Dharma Yoga Playa

I do feel, however, that this is intensely personal to me, and I’m not going to become one of those loudmouth converts who proselytize and condemn everyone else from their self righteous perches. Also, I don’t see myself never having another cheeseburger or never eating Thanksgiving turkey again.

Completely agreed, and believe me, if it wasn’t for my self-imposed “wear it loosely” boundaries, I wouldn’t be able to wear the labels I so preciously adorn daily. I’d have to turn in my “no cheese” crown! Oh, and the sash. There are lines in the sand all the time, and I usually do the best I can, on a given day. There’s no police, and its kind of delicious and yummy and sexy to eat plant-based. Perfection is overrated. And self-righteous perches are for dorks.

I’m a little stuck by those ‘blocks’ and also by the fact that I am in a relationship with an avowed carnivore—I tend to raise or lower myself to the behavior of those I am with, in some ways (though not all).

Hmmm, tough one. Especially if your partner is lightning fast with concepts and sharp as a tack. I’ve been there. Maybe take it as playfully as possible, allowing lots and lots of space.  Any other ideas out there, readers?

Were you always a vegan? How did you handle those issues? If you have already written something about this, you can link me to it, rather than having to spend time answering it.

I handled those issues clumsily, when I handled them at all.

No, I was vegetarian a few years ago. I heard Dharma Mittra speak on animals and compassion. His voice was genuine; he is a true teacher. I cannot convey the power in his approach, the gentle way he conveys his message, but I remember what he said:

“All animals are our little brothers. They fear violence. They look to us for protection.”

Something happened to me when I heard that, and it made the choice to step away from eating fish meat and dairy not something I was taking away from myself. It made it gift I was giving myself. That viewpoint has remained. My only problems with my diet now is that it often sends the wrong message to my friends; I appear judgmental just from my choices. (That, and from the fact that I judge them horrifically.)

Thanks for listening—I know we aren’t close friends, but I liked you/felt drawn/connected to your brain and creativity right away and I do set a lot of store by your writing and opinions. And just the way you are.

Saludos, hope you are well (and not too resentful anymore).

Well, thanks for that.

I’m interested mostly in what the writer fears regarding others: “I do feel, however, that this is intensely personal to me, and I’m not going to become one of those loudmouth converts who proselytize and condemn everyone else from their self righteous perches.”

Photo: Ken Kanouse

Because I’ve been there. I’ve railed loudly on elephant, regarding diet here. And less loudly here and here. I’ve tried it gently, here. About horrible elephant poaching bastards here, and the great cowardice of modern hunters here.

But lately, I’ve grown quieter. I’m listening. I’m tired (of that). I know my position and nobody is trying to stuff anything down my throat, so why should I do the reverse?

The truth is, Monsanto is well on the way to poisoning all the veggies, too, so squalking about plant-based love stuff is kind of, well, I don’t do it anymore.

I wish you the best in your journey; it isn’t my place to pretend to be anyone’s guide. Sorrow for the animals is so, so raw; it can easily lead us to mistreating the animal called “human.” I am glad you wrote and I am as unequipped to give clear answers as people writing ethical reasons to eat meat.

Want the video that will cure you of meat? Hit Gary up.

You cannot watch this with a full attention span and enjoy meat or dairy after that, I don’t think. His logic is impeccable, he’s hip and there is nothing he lays out that I disagree with.

When I really looked into what meat and dairy are, the choice was made for me, by what I found; it was simple.

Walking away from that horror show was a genuine gift to myself.

Thank you so, so much for reaching out. I hope this serves.



Like elephant animals are people too on Facebook.


Ed: Bryonie Wise


(Source: meth-amorphosis.tumblr.com via Kerri on Pinterest)


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