Priorities

Oh my gosh. All I want for breakfast is a Black bean, Escarole, and Chickpeas!

In recent years, there has been an increasing awareness of animal lives and rights. With the increased interest, people have chosen to become vegan– a dietary and life restriction to never consume or use animal-based products. In an attempt to spread their beliefs, organizations which represents vegans hold rallies, information sessions, and other events in an attempt to recruit more people to living a vegan life.

Veganoutreach.org is a website which accepts donations from the general public in order to further its interests of creating a “vegan world.” Before donating, the non-profit organization shows a picture of one person labeled as “me” followed by a group of people labeled as “me+donation” in order to show the website’s viewers that a single donation will help many people learn the aspects of living a vegan lifestyle. It makes the person in question of donating feel as if they are contributing to a larger purpose, bigger than themselves.

In addition, the website puts”speciesism” on the same level as racism and sexism amongst humans; therefore, making a claim that both human lives and animal lives and rights are equally as important. The non-profit uses the work of philosophers in order to advance and support their opinions, for example, the website contains a quote from renowned utilitarian thinker Jeremy Bentham: “The question is not, ‘Can they reason?’ nor, ‘Can they talk?’ but, ‘Can they suffer?” They also make the claim that not killing a dog for food gives a reason for people not to kill another animal for food. Considering dogs are domesticated companions, I am wondering if maybe this website supports the idea of putting cows on leashes and taking them for walks down the street?

In a world divided amongst race and gender, our society ought to ask the question of what is more important: human issues or animal issues? While it is nice to care for animals with the utmost respect as we ought to treat humans, are there other issues, such as ending childhood hunger, increasing education in impoverished communities, or ending the gender gap in certain professions, which we should focus our donations? I believe this is so, but that is a question for individual people, and at the end of the day people decide whether looking at a dead farm animal, which can be used to feed a number of human beings in need of food, equates to the sight of watching a child starve to death. Many vegan options for food have low caloric content, and for the foods which are packed with nutrients, especially protein, they tend to be very expensive– a burden on low income families.

Why Vegan

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