For The Love Of Animals…

Cow In PrairieImage courtesy of Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Today, I have decided to share an issue that I have been silently contemplating. I chose a vegan diet for better health. I have always been concerned about the humane treatment of animals but viewed “humans eating animals” as part of the food-chain. I recently joined vegan social networks and I am amazed by the beauty of people who have consciously made their dietary sacrifice for the love of animals.

As a health coach, I have met hundreds of people who could not change their diets to save their own lives. Now, I am connected to large groups of people who seem to care more about animals than they care about themselves. It has touched my heart in ways that words cannot describe because I really adore animals.

Emotionally, I am there and willing to join the masses of people who thoughtfully base their buying decisions on animal welfare. I really want to do anything I can for the benefit of animals. Yet, there is a part of me that is not fully committed.

I will most likely continue to use all of the skins that I currently own. The question that I am challenged with is will I actually stop buying leather? I sincerely hope that the answer is yes. However, I have long held the belief that leather is better, especially for the feet, than man-made materials. These beliefs came from social conditioning as well as shoes that have seriously hurt my feet.

I wanted to share my dilemma with my virtual vegan network but there are some extremely passionate people on those websites. I dare not repeat the words of one man who clearly valued animals over humans. He is one, of many, whose vehement remarks have been written against meat- eaters. Some people refuse to date or live with meat-eaters while I buy meat for my cat. So, almost immediately after discovering a network of seemingly like-minded people, I felt alienated.

Then, I visited a website and noticed a divide between those in the vegan community who fight for humane treatment versus those who fight for no killing. I thought, “Seriously?”  I wish there were unity among vegans, considering all of the benefits the lifestyle contributes to the world. I wish all humans were united but that is a subject best saved for another post.

It is interesting how, for the love of animals, some people feel hate. Their passion for the cause compels them to say or do mean things to people. It is a paradox. On one hand, they have been blessed with the gift of sensitivity towards animals.  On the other, they are lacking the ability to empathize with all humans.  I assume it reduces their ability to truly enlighten the meat-eaters in their lives.

I appreciate all of the vegans who are able to convey their messages without hatred or judgment because they have inspired me. Perhaps they are able to understand that people from different cultural,  socioeconomic and educational backgrounds have not been afforded the same opportunities or exposed to the same beliefs as they have. Maybe they recognize the unique opportunity they have to serve as ambassadors for all living beings. Whatever the case, I hope that they are able to continue to lovingly work their magic by influencing the rest of the world.

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