Written by Venus Aradhya, 15, Washington
Veganism is a controversial topic, between non-vegans and vegans alike. While vegans don’t see any issue with talking about their experience and pointing out the faults in eating meat, those who eat meat tend to not like this. As a vegan, we can educate people, teach them what they can do to be more ethical and how animals are harmed, but we can’t force them. Morals are completely subjective, and it’s incredibly hard to change morals. For people like me and others who are vegan, we see it as immoral to eat animals or torture and abuse them. However, many don’t see it as immoral to eat animals because it’s natural and this is how species are programmed (we don’t need to anymore though). When it gets to the aspect of human rights, that’s the only are where a majority shares similar morals that everyone needs to be treated equally. Over time there have been things like slaves, murdering out cities to claim land, murdering people who follow a religion or are different, and this is seen as immoral now, but wouldn’t be back then. This is because you can justify that it is human nature for it to separate and some humans to be superior to others. This was natural and some were able to dominate, which is why slaves were justified for a while by morals (even ancient romans had slaves). However, over time, slaves grew power and were able to prove they are just as capable and fought for their rights. Now, we don’t have that many differences based on race (other than systematic racism) and we mainly treat races as the same. Similarly, women were seen as inferior to men, but women proved themselves as equals and through empowering, women gained equality. Now it is immoral to treat someone differently based on ability, race, gender, identity, etc. Why? Because we see each other on the same level. We have proven ourselves to be codominant with each other and that all of us work together in a system to maintain humanity. Therefore, morals which are reasons to help us survive, guide us to treat all humans the same as it is the only way we can all survive together. The big difference with animals? Animals aren’t necessarily on the same level as humans. People like you and me may see them on the same level because we all work together to maintain a system, an ecosystem, and we depend on them heavily. However, other people don’t because humans can easily dominate other species. Whether it be hunting, labor, etc. This power gap makes them think that they are greater and it’s not immoral to eat animals. And because of this, it is incredibly hard to change people with different mindsets on how they view our ecosystem. This is why, rather than forcing others to go vegan, teach others how they can be more ethical. Ethical farming where they raise animals to live a life and only “harvest” them near the end of their lifespan is amazing because they get to live a natural life until their death. As a vegan, I fight against unethical farming where they treat animals like machines. There are many farms that naturally allow calfs to grow and still get milk, and take eggs naturally as well, letting them live safely. They don’t artificially inseminate cows, or stuff many chicks in one compartment. That’s why I want to help others who may not be able to or willing transition their lifestyle with this. Let’s face it, everybody would take an option to help animals or give the least pain possible if they had it (other than sadists) so if I can teach people what options they have and how to choose products that come from ethical farms, then that’s great as well. Vegans don’t need to be against meat eaters, we can never change everyone, but we’re against unethical farming, which we can change, and that’s the point most non-vegans don’t see. Veganism‘s main goal isn’t to convert everyone, but rather to get rid of unethical farming as a whole. Where they can live a normal life yet still be used as produce, rather than treating them as machines.