Veganism Essay

This essay has a total of 1737 words and 6 pages.

Veganism


Veganism can dramatically alter ones life forever, often producing deep emotional
changes. Although choosing veganism is a source of great joy, it can also create friction among
family and friends. Cultural pressures, the demand for conformity, and the personal desire for
acceptance can challenge a vegans confidence and self-esteem.
Because vegans so acutely see and feel the suffering of the world, and are at odds with
many widely accepted social customs, some will invariably experience occasional bouts of the
blues.
Vegans who experience anger, pain, or frustration for extended amounts of time may
become depressed and exhausted from maintain such strong emotions. Feelings of loneliness,
isolation, or rejection can compound matters, leading to despondency in an otherwise emotionally
healthy person. Holidays and celebrations such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and
reunions are opportunities to reconnect with family and friend and feel like a part of the broader
culture. However, most gatherings center around customs and practices that are very upsetting to
vegans. Meat is typically the center of the holiday table and the focal point of picnics and
barbecues. Although most happy occasions are intended to convey a spirit of fellowship and
conviviality, they can be extremely uncomfortable and unpleasant experiences for vegans.
Consequently, it is not surprising that many vegans feel torn over their allegiances and may
distance themselves from family and community celebrations. They may opt instead to participate
in alternative festivities or start their own traditions with others who share their perspectives and
ideals.
The most difficult challenge for me in being a vegan is the separation and distance. I often
feel far from others who are not vegan. It is no longer comfortable for me to sit down at a table
where animal products are being served. I feel that I know too much, and it is so painful to be
aware of the profound suffering and misery that is represented on the table. This is especially true
at celebrations such as Passover, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc... where the the holiday is about
freedom and gratitude. Oppressing and harming others while we speak words of thanksgiving
feels hypocritical and wrong to me.
People who profess to be animal advocates yet eat meat, eggs, or dairy products or wear
leather shoes and belts apply contrary rules of ethics. They are known as people with selective
compassion. Their actions imply that one group of animals– the one they represent– has a greater
right to life than another and suggest that sacrificing habit, fashion, and beauty, comfort, or taste
is a worse evil than taking an animal's life or making an animal suffer
Some activities vegans are against are rodeos, marine mammal parks, circuses, zoos,
fishing, racing( dog and horse) and hunting which is probably the worst activity.
Hunting, hunters proclaim, instills in its devotees such noble qualities as self-reliance,
ruggedness, discipline, and courage. But in fact, hunters skulk about the forest in camouflage,
wait in ambush for their victims, and kill at a long range with overpowering, technological
weapons, often going to extraordinary lengths to lure their unsuspecting prey into a violent death.
Equally important is the fact that hunters are rarely in any danger from the animals that they hunt.
They inflict pain and death on creatures who cannot hurt them. Even animals who could pose a
threat, such as bears or cougars, would normally run rather than fight a human unless they are
cornered or protecting their young. Hunters entrap and frequently shoot terrified animals in the
back as they flee for their lives. Often, hunters tempt animals with a false promise of a mate, and
then kill the trusting creatures who are duped by their bait. Also 17 million animals are trapped in
the United States each year for fur, many traps are so painful that the animals chew through their
own limbs to escape.
Some materials Vegans do not wear consist of leather, wool, fur, etc. Most people
believe that shearing is not only harmless, but necessary to rid sheep of excess wool foisted on
them by nature. Like much information about animal-agriculture practices, this, too, is a myth.
Merinos are the most commonly raised wool producing sheep. Their unnatural skin folds and
excessive coats cause severe heat exhaustion and fly infestations. To reduce fly problems, the
sheep are subject to mulesing, a surgical procedure performed on about 20 % of Australia's 150
million sheep. The great majority of wool used for clothing in the United States comes from
Australia, which produces nearly one-third of the world's supply. Mulesing involves cutting large
strips of flesh off of the hind legs of 4 week old lambs. Another procedure is called tail docking,
designed to maintain the salable condition of the wool surrounding a sheep's anus, whereby the
tail and some skin are cut off with a knife. Because of economic and logistic considerations, these
procedures are performed on fully conscious lambs without analgesic, producing varying degrees
of acute pain that may last for hours or even days. Sheep, like most farmed animals, have been
genetically manipulated. Previously sheep shed their wool naturally. Today modern sheep,
however, produce abnormally excessive amounts of wool. As a result, they are no longer capable
of shedding their wool and must be shorn. Sheep shearers are paid by piece rate; the more sheep
sheared, the more money they earn. Therefore, speed alone dictates the shearing process.
Because there is no incentive to deal with the animals carefully, the sheep are often violently
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