April 19, 2018

The one thing Vegans & Meat-eaters should all be able to agree on. ~ Waylon Lewis

I’m vegan, but I don’t believe in proselytizing. It’s not up to me if you’re vegan or not—it’s up to you.

I am fine to answer questions, if friends have any.

That said, I am curious—nay, confounded—why factory farming is a thing. I get that most folks want to eat dairy and meat. I don’t agree with that. But what I do think we could all agree on is that factory farming is cruel. And most of us hold our own ethics in high regard. So why would we eat tortured animal food?

It should be the one thing we can all agree on.

As for affordability, meat and dairy are inefficient and made affordable only by tax subsidies to big ag and big corporations.

It’s easy to be poor and live healthfully if and only if there’s access to decent, real food. Food deserts are a real thing, and we’ve covered them extensively. My mom and I grew up poor—she never made more than $12K a year, and I lived on food stamps and school lunch vouchers—but she gave me simple food and we made it through, if only barely sometimes (hello, rice)…

If you have a thoughtful view on this, and don’t just want to attack others (vegans or meat-eaters), please contribute your two cents.

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Brenda Murphy Apr 19, 2018 8:13pm

Factory farming is a blight on our landscape, our environment, our animals and our conscience. I have a few friends who are active farmers in this capacity and their consistent comment is that factory farming was/is consumer driven. They would be happy to go back to the way their families and those before farmed. Instead we have a massive group of people that want to consume animals every day for very little money.

Tod Evans Apr 19, 2018 4:09pm

I was a vegetarian for years and was finally able to let go of dairy about a year ago. Even though I was somewhat aware of the horrific torture of animals (which is appalling by any measurement), the power of denial, the corporate programing and societal permission kept me happily ignorant as I enjoyed the ease and manufactured tastiness found at the drive-thru and summer BBQ’s. What finally nudged me into the gravitational pull of a vegan lifestyle was the realization of the harm that factory farming and animal agriculture does to the entirety of the living systems of our planet. Factory farming is a big part of the ecological devestation that we are experiencing today. We really don’t have a lot of time to pull our world back from an abyss that our children and grandchildren will find themselves in if we don’t radically change our ways. And adopting a vegan lifestyle is a commanding step towards our remembering that we are Earthlings before we are anything else. That remembering, and acting from that remembering, is what will bring healing to our world. And really, there is some incredible vegan delicacies that can be found today!

Megan Olvera Apr 19, 2018 3:42pm

Thanks for putting into words the subsidies point. We're vegan as well, and it's nice to have a counter to those who argue that eating this way is too expensive. (We also take the road of not proselytizing.) Funny, that argument, though...those lentils I made last night were super-affordable and made enough for seconds AND leftovers...and rivaled that of the best restaurants. It is nice to see more and more going meatless, though, and it always gives us a little glow when friends are happily surprised to experience amazing & fresh meals with us, and then somewhat begrudgingly admit that mayyybe they could do this, too. ;)

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Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.