I suppose this post isn’t going to make much sense to someone who is not vegan. Oh, it will make intellectual sense — but emotionally it will probably result in the equivalent of a blank stare. One of those odd consequences of being part of a decidedly minority subculture. But what the heck.
Recently I was having lunch with a friend/colleague. He said that the thing that bothered him about vegans is the hypocrisy. After all, he said, how could you buy a product with the name of “Fakin’” (a product that is more a less a vegan substitute for bacon).
Something told me to stay quiet, and not give a response. It was one of those moments when you realize some process is going on in the back of your brain, and that you are not going to figure out what it is in time to say anything sensible. Besides, I don’t eat “Fakin’”. So I let it go.
But later that day it occurred to me that the ethical situation he’d laid out was more or less the same as arguing that violent video games are bad for you because playing them is hypocritical.
After all, if you really feel like blowing somebody away with a 57 Magnum, isn’t it cheating to buy “Grand Theft Auto” and merely pretend to walk down the street shooting people?
The truly honest thing would be go to your local gun shop, buy a piece, and proceed to wander through your neighborhood, randomly blowing away pedestrians. That would be the honest thing to do.
Now, of course there is something absurd here. The vast majority of people who play action video games would be completely horrified, if not traumatized, to witness real world violence against actual people — let alone to partake in it.
My take-away here is this: Of course I can eat whatever I like, and you can eat whatever you like. Presumably we are all responsible adults and we all know what we’re doing. Nobody is perfect, and we’re all struggling in our own way.
But to call other people to task on some kind of ethical grounds for the way they eat plants? That’s just — pardon the harsh language here — ridiculous.