Preachy Vegans Redux
By Linden Mackey, Guest Contributor
[fusion_dropcap color=”” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”1px” class=”” id=””]I[/fusion_dropcap] loved the article “Everyone Hates a Preachy Vegan Except the Animals
” by KD Traegner — In bringing to light the stereotypical views of people who are sometimes being merely passionate about their beliefs as being ‘preachy’, and calling for all vegans to stand stronger together than to draw dividing lines between ourselves, this article articulates much about how we learn to find and raise our own voices, remain true to our beliefs, and yet refrain from coming across as though we are actually morally superior than our audience.
While I personally believe that humans actually do have a moral imperative to treat their fellow residents of Earth with kindness and respect, and that veganism is one of the fuller ways to live out that intent, it would be an example of breathtakingly spiritual pride to believe I personally am morally superior to someone who is not practicing veganism, or vegetarianism, or anything else. We cannot presume to know another’s journey and challenges in meeting and/or choosing moral high ground.
I did, however, have to open my eyes, look and act — and I think most people of all times and places prefer not doing so. This is not unique to veganism. Most people have a pretty innate sense of right and wrong — and they simply don’t choose to look (at least for not very long), because knowledge generally translates into some sort of action, and if no behavior is changed, then some sense of ensuing guilt.
People are quite adept at shoving their guilt aside – sometimes what people call ‘preaching’ is actually just someone’s points hitting too close to home. You can’t know which of your words or actions might make just even the slightest difference, if not at that moment, then some time in the future, since we are all of us continually in progress with every choice we make.
I love C.S. Lewis’s take on this – you can call “God” anything you want in this instance — the point is how we shape ourselves daily to become closer and closer to higher truth and integration with the entire universe:
“… every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred . . . Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other.”1
Speaking out, preaching or not, gives all who hear you the opportunity to listen, look, and perhaps make just even that very first small change.
1 C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, Macmillan Publishers, 1952
Photo credit: Ana Gama