I do not consider myself poor. What is poor? Poor is going without a day or more’s worth of meals so someone else in your family can eat. Poor is wearing through your only pair of hand-me-down shoes until your frostbitten feet brush snow. Poor is living out of your car because the monstrous corporate entity that took over your town cannot pay you a wage that puts a roof over your head, let alone “luxuries” like health insurance.
I'm always a bit late to the game when it comes to viewing theatrical releases. I finally had the opportunity to watch 12 Years A Slave, a multi-Oscar winning film adaptation of the real life, 1853 memoir of Solomon Northup, a black violinist who was born free in New York.
Solomon is a well-respected musician and a member of his community in Saratoga Springs, where has a blissful life with his wife, son, and daughter until the day he is drugged and kidnapped by two men promising a music gig who instead sell him into slavery.
Vegans are a small group, less than one percent of the world population. We have to stick together. I get it. That's why I haven't always felt good about making noise in particular vegan cliques I have been part of. We are all supposed to get along. We need a unified front to stand up to the hordes of people who still don't get it that not eating animals is the most important social justice issue of our time.
You seem like a good person. I know you did not ask for my judgement; oh well. Here goes. I estimate you as genuinely good, meaning you have cooperation and altruism in your heart. You have done inspiring work, including building yourself up from nothing and using your power and influence to help women across the world. If nothing else, you are a shining example to any woman born in poverty that she can be any person she wants to be.
In the months before I went vegan on July 26, 2010, I flirted with veganism. My earnest investigations (Are all vegans weak and sickly? What really happens to momma cows?) led me to one of the largest vegan/vegetarian websites on the internet at the time. Among the other earnest seekers, warm souled activists, and few veteran vegetarians, I stumbled upon the most dreaded, repulsive, arrogant, pathetic, officious breed of people ever to disgrace our tiny planet, a person I have now come to brand as the Thought Police Vegan.
Here are some questions often asked of vegans (Hey! Wait a second! I'm a vegan!!) After reading the wise, mature, measured responses of thirty-five year vegan Butterflies Katz, the well respected blogger of Veganism: A Truth Whose Time Has Come, this is how I would answer the same questions.
Humans need animal products for survival. You will die earlier. There are things in meat, which your body needs and you cannot get from any other kind of food.
A. Oh, hell no. Saying PETA represents all vegans is like saying Madonna represents all women over the age of 50. PETA is part of the vegan family even though a great deal of the family ignores her. She is very troubled and there's been a nasty rumor going around that she's not vegan at all. I recognize her as part of the family, however, I personally refuse to associate with her because of her erratic behavior. PETA is our doofus, not-very-bright cousin. She's got problems.
I recently read Orange Rain, a novel by Jan Smitowicz. Orange Rain is a revenge story about a suicidal, heroin-addicted paraplegic Vietnam veteran with leukemia caused by Agent Orange. He teams up with a Mai, his favorite Vietnamese prostitute from a massage parlor to go on a cross country adventure to destroy Monsanto, the evil corporation responsible for destroying Max's health and for poisoning Mai's forest village.
One of the clear signs meat-eaters are on the losing side of the ethical battle for our plates is the awesomely fallacious "plants are sentient beings" argument. "Plants have feelings too!" the meat-eater bellows, his fancy taking flight to a mystical land of anthropomorphized carrots and talking watermelons.