Just some veganish thoughts bouncing around in my brain

I touched on the time when my husband accidentally got a chile relleno from work that had beef and although he’d only been vegetarian for a few weeks at most, he felt upset about it and struggled with eating it. Like me, he doesn’t see anything morally wrong with eating something that was otherwise going to go in the garbage, and he couldn’t even say he had developed an aversion to the taste or texture of meat, it was something else. All these years, I still don’t quite understand the phenomenon. There have been a couple of occasions since when a restaurant has screwed up our order and given us ground beef instead of beans, and we just decided to chuck it, neither of us wanted to eat it. In fact, I think if I were an animal who died for food consumption, I’d be more offended my body was just thrown in the trash pointlessly, not even providing nourishment. I also struggle with family coming over and ordering meat dishes and then throwing a big chunk of it away. I wonder how many animals could be spared if only people weren’t wasteful? For me, and why I guess some would say I’m not a certified card-carrying vegan, it’s not the death of an animal that bothers me so much. We all die and that’s inevitable.

So yes, I know animals die for non-animal products. I get that. Sometimes animals, like insects, have to be killed with pesticides. And I’ll easily admit I think a cow’s life is more worthwhile than a crop-destroying beetle. I don’t know if I agree or disagree with the idea of speciesism. I honestly haven’t had the time or bandwidth to understand the argument! I’m also okay with that. I don’t have to be a well-learned vegan philosopher to reduce my animal consumption. For me, it’s enough to say I’d like less cruelty and that’s a worthwhile thing to pursue. I find it absurd I am either supposed to be fully not-vegan, or I have to be level 10 vegan who grows all my own food ensuring not even a gnat was harmed, otherwise I’m a <gasp> HYPOCRITE!

And, no, I’m not a hypocrite. For me, reducing my consumption, and in my case, to mostly vegan makes sense. All crops cause animal deaths and suffering. However, it’s more efficient to eat plant foods generally than it is to eat the animal who had to eat crops. I’m sure there are exceptions, but overall, it’s true. So we grow less crops the less animals we consume. Some people can’t eat less animal products, because of availability, aversions, finances, health issues, and so forth, but I can, so I do. I have no interest in shaming anyone or shouting GO VEGAN. I hope to show people some things they might be able to do, regardless of how vegan they can go. There’s also the human side of meat production that I don’t love. From what I’ve read, many meat-processing facilities exploit workers, and sometimes even use prison labor, conditions are unsanitary and unsafe, and having to slaughter animals can take a huge mental toll on individuals which then impacts their families. It’s not wholly different when it comes to produce-processing but it’s less so from my understanding. I hope for a day technology can eradicate the need for human labor in these areas.

So for me, focusing on meat and then egg/dairy consumption is more of a priority than anything else, but as I said before, it’s big-picture, not analyzing every bite and ingredient, not about purity of my personal consumption. If affordable and possible, I mostly go for products that weren’t tested on animals but it’s not my priority. We aren’t forgoing medical breakthroughs like vaccines over here. I can reduce my consumption of certain products, the ones that have the biggest impact, but I probably can’t do much about medical research or FDA requirements for animal testing. So I do what I can with my resources!

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  1. I feel ya there! I am compulsive about not wasting food, and I don’t say this to toot my own horn. It truly is like an illness for me. And yet, I do feel uncomfortable and grossed out if the restaurant brought me the wrong food, and let’s say it has meat on it, not the big-picture-vegan food I requested.

    Typically I will eat it anyway, because from a practical standpoint for animals, that’s the better option, and because of my compulsion about food waste, but … UGH. I usually feel pretty gross while eating it.

    Sometimes I’ve been able to overcome the gross feeling but taking a deep breath, and just going clearing my mind. Like, “OK. This isn’t what I wanted, but it’s here, and I’m going to eat it, and it’s going to be fine.” Sometimes, it’s not totally fine, sometimes I have upset tummy afterwards. Other times I don’t feel any different, afterward. It varies. But I’d rather have the vegan food I ordered; then there is no weirdness!

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