I Want To Care...Why Do You?
This has been bothering me for a while and it's a bit long...please bear with me. I wanted to avoid this question because it makes me feel embarrassed but I can hold off no longer.
I've been a vegan for a little over 2.5 years now. I have no taste for meat, dairy or eggs and plan on being vegan for the rest of my life. I've seen a huge improvement in my quality of life, it's cheaper and it's easy so I have no incentive to stop. My blood work is always excellent and I feel vibrant.
The problem is that I see people, other vegans/vegetarians, talking about animal cruelty, about animal welfare, about animals being on par with humans and I just don't...care. I WANT to, but I just don't. I have shed exactly zero tears even when watching the worst animal cruelty videos. All I think is, "How can a person be that f*cked up as to attack an innocent creature?" but it's more of a curiousity, a psychology thing...I really want to know how their brains formed to make them think that was okay.
The thing is, I really want to care. I have no intention on hurting animals and I've even attended rallies and held signs at protests. I want to care, I want to love all life and respect all life but I don't know how.
I'm no monster and I've had instances of sorrow, sure. A cattle truck passed me on the freeway and as we drove the same speed for a few seconds, I made eye contact with a poor cow and felt awful knowing it was off to die and I wished I could do something. I just want to feel like that all the time.
I feel good knowing I don't eat of death, I do. I know I associate the two, I know the breadth of the situation. I just don't feel that pull, that compassion that I see in other vegans. I'm full vegan...I don't wear animals, use products tested on animals or buy things from companies that test on animals. If I find out a company does, I stop buying from them, too. I avoid more than just meat, dairy and eggs...I forego gelatin, carmine, honey, etc.. I *like* doing this. I feel good not to wear death.
I just see a dog and think, "It's just a dog" and I want that to change. Please help me make it personal, make it relevant. Give me your best, whether it's logic, a sob story, whatever it is that makes you care, I want to know.
P.S. if you're going to post that it's natural, smart or logical for me to not put animals and humans on the same plane of life, then please keep that opinion to yourself since that's not what I'm asking for. I'm not looking for reinforcement of a belief, I'm looking to change something I feel is wrong with my thought process.
All fab answers so far but I wanted to touch on Ben's...the loudest, most animal-compassionate people I've met are, in fact, men...both in real life and online.
Ben: Yes, I have a good mix of friends...different genders, including transgendered...different religious views, political views, backgrounds, etc.. Now that I think about it, the female friends I have are actually more likely to cheat on their diet. In fact, I was relieved that a female friend of mine finally stopped calling herself vegan because she would keep eating dairy and eggs knowing full well that they aren't vegan-friendly!
It's interesting that the men you've met are concerned about chemicals...the women I've talked to say that's one big reason they gave up meat: for weight loss and for their skin. Men like Robert Cheek definitely do it for the animals...the health is a nice benefit :)
- Anonymous9 years agoFavorite Answer
I apologize in advance--my comma key is broken! Okay so pretend there are commas where there are supposed to be-I really do know where to put them!
First of all if you didn't care you wouldn't have felt something when you looked into that cow's eyes. Shortly after I turned vegan I had gone to a zoo (hadn't been to one in many years--have no plans to ever support zoos ever again btw) I met a cow and we kind of had a moment too. I wondered if she knew I would never eat her--if she could smell her own kind on people's breath as they fed her grass. I stayed with her and stared into that huge eye not wanting to ever forget that it was just like looking into the eye of a person except huge--she had something in her--a personality or spirit or whatever you want to call it. In the end a dog is a dog and a cow is a cow--that's enough reason to care because they aren't meat or food and don't deserve to be tortured. You are doing so much for the animals by not eating them--saving them from being born to be killed. Even if you were doing this purely for health reasons I would say it would be unlikely for you to be so successful unless you really did care.
Here's the really good part---it's hard to think about animals being killed and seeing bodies on the grill at my friends' houses and carcasses going into people I love without thinking about animals being killed in that moment. Although I do care very much I do not constantly think about it. If you did think about it all the time you wouldn't have a life and you would drive yourself crazy.
Also think about what kind of person you are. Do you often wear your heart on your sleeve? Do these overly compassionate vegans? Maybe you are not the kind of person to exude your feelings like everyone else. That doesn't mean there is anything wrong--it's just how some of us are.
I recommend watching The Cove if you haven't already. That was a film that really did me in. I knew from that and a few other events in my life that I could never ever eat meat again. Once you see how horrible people's health suffers from eating dolphin meat labeled as other fish (mercury poisoning anyone?) and you hear those poor glorious dolphins screaming while their blood fills the water maybe you will relate dolphins to other less-glorious-to-some animals. I love dogs and I love dolphins but when you see something that intelligent being tortured and exploited you can't help but connect them to other life. And maybe you will find the answer you are looking for.
No one deserves to die. Not humans or animals. Even though a butterfly's life is short I believe it deserves to live it's life just like the rest of us. I don't even kill spiders anymore. I have found a way to respect all life in a new way that I didn't before. Once you can connect the dolphin to the ant to the cow to the hamburger and once you see that cow's face on every McDonald's commercial you will care plenty. But I'm sure you care enough already. But don't try to become obsessed with it--it's just like any other thing that can take you over. Be glad you're a vegan. Be glad that you saw outside the box that so many people are trapped in. At least you can see the sun now--you don't have to touch it.
Very interesting question. Clearly you care about animal welfare, you just cope with it in your own way. I suspect desensitization may be one of your defense mechanisms. I understand that because the horror of reading about and seeing how animals are treated for the sake of human consumption did the same thing to me.
Except for a few books and movies when I first became vegan, I realized it would be torturing myself to keep seeing and reading about the cruelty. I get it, I don't need to keep feeling horrified and helpless so I decided to let my actions speak louder than words by being a good role model as a vegan.
Animals of all types have always been drawn to me. Even while cross country skiing in the backwoods of the Sierras one time a wild bird landed in the palm of my hand. I used to be allergic to animals, cats, dogs, birds, dust, pollen, perfume and it seemed to worsen for several years until I stopped eating animals. All my allergies disappeared within two months. It was a complete surprise to me because to this day, I've never heard anyone say that becoming a vegan made their allergies disappear.
Not eating animals seemed spiritual to me. When people ask me why I stopped eating animals I say for spiritual reasons. It also prevents people who would otherwise want to argue about it. I'm not into arguing about it, it's my choice what I put in my body.
When I first became a vegan I thought about activists who had the strength to sneak into a facility and photograph the horrors. I don't know if I could do it but i'm glad someone has the strength to expose the truth. Just writing this makes me feel emotional but mostly angry. I'm almost afraid to really let it all out so instead i desensitize to a certain extent as a coping mechanism.
People cope with emotions in different ways. You connected with that spirit in the cattle truck. You have held signs protesting the cruelty, which is more than I've done. The fact that you acknowledge that it bothers you, you are vegan and you are asking for feedback here is a sign you are evolving.
Much peace and happiness to you....
This is totally normal, especially for men. Women are very passionate about animals.
I am a male vegan. I don't do it because I care about animal cruelty.
Like most men, I do it because I feel and look better, and I have the energy to exercise much harder. I am the only vegan in my family, and in far better shape than all of them.
EDIT: That's interesting. I haven't met many men who cared all that much about animals, just athletic performance. But I hang around the gym mostly.
Actually the men who talk about the cruelty talk about the chemical affect it has on the animal that is about to die, and how you ingest those chemicals, so yea they all cared about the affect on their human body. But hey theres all sorts out there.
Do you talk to a lot of girls?
- 9 years ago
if you're happy that it keeps you fit then that sounds like a good enough reason to me. when i found out how meat was made when i was little, i didn't mind at at all. i still ate meat. i just thought, "it's just an animal" i'm twelve now and i've been a vegetarian for almost a year after seeing how cruelly the animals are killed. i'll be honest, i have NO PROBLEM with the fact people eat animals for food. hell, i'd still be eating meat to this day if i hadn't figured out how cruelly they do it. it's the sheer numbers that have to die and the harmful methods used to kill them that's my main problem. sometimes i think my problem lies with the human race in general. we're such lazy creatures. we pay others of our kind to kill for us so we can have the next meal. i think sometimes that if i went out hunting my own meat i would eat it with no guilt because i know that i deserve it for working so hard to get it. i don't think it's right people pay others to kiss Innocent animals for them.Source(s): personal feelings
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- 9 years ago
You show that you care just by asking this question. Just remember that animals were put on this earth to live and have the same rights as us. Not all vegans particularly love animals either so don't feel pressure that you have to. But, still, animals do deserve the same treatment as us.
- =)♡Lv 59 years ago
You're an individual! Not all vegans "have" to be into animal rights. Of course I am for animal rights but I don't attend protests or don't do much about it if I'm honest. I feel the same way that you do.. although perhaps when I see a dog I go "awww what a cute doggy" :)
My answer is - be yourself. You're vegan because you want to be, that's all that matters!!
- Anonymous9 years ago
I'm not completely sure if this is what you want, but this is what I've got :)
A story that explains my reasoning behind animals' rights involves the deer at a local park where I live. Where I live, the deer population grew in one area alone: the park. Authorities believed something should be done about it - too many deer would eventually lead to too many problems in the city. So they hired people to come in and kill a certain number of deer in the park.
This issue eventually got brought up in my class a few years ago. My teacher used the following excuse: "Well, there are so many deer that eventually, they'll begin to starve because of lack of resources." My response? "If there was a HUMAN starving, you wouldn't go and shoot him/her just because THEY were starving, would you?" to which she replied, of course, "No."
Seriously, though. Those deer were here before any of us. We came in and built around them until the only place left for them to go was that park, and that's a reason to kill them? I think NOT. The same goes with killing animals for food. We don't kill other humans and eat THEM for food; why should animals be any different? Why are their lives less important than ours?
So any-who, that's the story I've got for you :) Hope it helps.
- m.e.m.Lv 69 years ago
I'm vegan - and have been for 1.5 years so far - for many reasons, though, animal cruelty is not the first. The first is the environment, and then my health thereafter. I just simply do not comprehend why people see it necessary to torture and kill animals. I agree with what you said.
- 9 years ago
It sounds as if your vegan to keep YOURSELF healthy and HAPPY, SEEMS LIKE A BEAUTIFUL ENOUGH REASON TO ME!!! =D Do you surround yourself w/ lots of animal rights activist?...i only ask because, the more I hang around activists the more active i think I should be, when in reality we are ALL individuals and we ALL have VERY DIFFERENT AND SPECIFIC roles in life...you sound very compassionate about BOTH animals and humans alike..but maybe the role you are meant to play in the Vegan movement is to share how HEALTHY and ALIVE this lifestyle has made you feel! =)...in the long run u'd be helping ppl be informed and healthy...and each person who decides to convert because of your success story is one less animal being consumed...hope I was helpful, I know you wanted advice to help you care more...but I don't want you to THINK less of yourself, WHEN IN REALITY YOU SEEM LIKE A VERY AWARE & CARING INDIVIDUAL =D...have a BEAUTIFUL DAY! and LOVE YOURSELF for all of the positive things YOU do! =)
- PennyLv 59 years ago
The fact that you are asking this question says that you do care. You are wanting to feel empathy and you are a vegan who was moved when you saw a cow going to slaughter. I would say that you aren't moved when watching footage of factory farms because part of your brain shuts off to cope with the horror of what you are seeing - that's what happens to me. If you are looking for something hardcore, have you watched Earthlings on youtube? Maybe, try that.
Congrats on your 2.5 years as a vegan. :)