I started out with the intention of posting this entry on PositivelyVegan, but then realized it might not quite come across as "positive" to a lot of people. Bear with me. Nobody ever said positivity was easy. Positive steps forward sometimes take us through some difficult terrain, but that doesn't mean we should avoid those steps. Walk with me here... or skip over it if you want to.
I don't think of myself as an Animal Rights Activist. I adopt dogs who need homes, I save my vegetable scraps for my neighbor's chickens, I don't buy clothes or shoes that are made out of animals, and I certainly don't eat animals. I try not to be too much of a Vegan Evangelist about it, although sometimes I just can't help myself. We all learn at our own pace, and I know a lot of people just don't want to know the realities behind the food they eat. It's easier to maintain the disconnect between ourselves and the animals. It's easier not to think about it. But the deeper I explore and create my own vegan life, and the more I absorb the information that's out there, the more I feel a certain responsibility to share what I'm learning.
I watched the film Earthlings recently. Maybe you've seen it, or heard about it. I didn't want to watch it, but I felt like I had to because I wanted to recommend it to others. I already knew a lot of what was presented in the film, but I knew I had to put myself through the discomfort of actually seeing it. It was difficult. Really difficult. But I made it through, and my resolve to do my small part to make the world better simply with my choices in food is now that much stronger.
I realize many people feel perfectly justified in loving the animals in their homes, and ignoring what actually happens to the animals they eat. I can't change that, and I know those are the people who are probably going to yell at me after reading this - if they read it. Here's my deal - you don't get to yell at me until you've watched the movie. Take it or leave it. It's my blog.
I also know there are a lot of people who are sort of on the vegan fence. They (maybe you) are inclined towards a more veggie lifestyle, but haven't yet found a really good reason to make that leap. Your health is an excellent reason, and maybe the most important one to consider, because when we take excellent care of ourselves, we're better able to take excellent care of others. The environmental reasons for going vegan are pretty compelling too. But if you're one of those people who "loves animals", cares for them, adopts them, and sticks up for them, your reason for going vegan might just be found in watching Earthlings.
Fair warning, if you have a heart at all, this film will make you cry. I found myself sobbing and apologizing to the animals on the screen. I was truly shocked by what I saw. And if shock is what you need to nudge you from one side of the fence to the other, Earthlings is your movie.
You can stream the entire film online, free, at http://www.earthlings.com/
Brace yourself. You will be changed for the better.