I have a hard time with the word “pride” when it comes to being vegan. I say this as someone who has marched in the NY Veggie Pride parade, someone who literally and figuratively wears her veganism on her sleeve, someone who believes in this philosophy more than most things.
But that word… pride… Is not using animals for my own benefit something to be proud of? Is something that once didn’t but now does seem so obvious, so basic, so the only right thing to do, worthy of such a feeling?
I sometimes feel like it’s me saying, “Way to go, self! You are slightly less of a self-absorbed asshole!” I mean, let’s be honest – none of us is completely selfless. Should I be proud of myself for leading by example, for influencing the awakening of others?
Then I think of all the other social movements of our time; the people who fought and continue to fight for civil rights, for women’s rights, for LGBT rights. For all that they have accomplished, they should be damned proud.
Back in 2011, YDV even started a Twitter campaign to inspire vegans, #VeganProud:
Let’s start a twitter campaign talking about our vegan pride. We have accomplished so much in the past few years, let’s get #veganproud a trending topic on one of the largest platforms out there. Imagine a bunch of happy, proud people inspiring the masses, showing how wonderful our lives of compassion really are. Life can bog us down with stress, bad news, and article after article of factory farm animal abuse- and that’s not even counting the people who go out of their way to put down veganism. We can get sucked into the negative aspects of life if we allow ourselves. Let’s combat the anti-vegan rhetoric, bad news, stress, etc. with happiness, compassion, pride, and solidarity.
And so, isn’t that the answer? To those who are no longer on the wrong side of history, pride is an appropriate feeling. To those who save the lives of animals, pride is an appropriate feeling. To those who have awakened, who make it their life’s mission to educate, advocate, and inspire, pride is an appropriate feeling.
Maybe my issues with the word have nothing to do with the word and everything to do with me.
Are you proud to be vegan? Let us know your thoughts or tweet us and hashtag it #veganproud!
Photo credit: urbangarden via Flickr