20 January 2011

Why I am still a vegan, a response to 'Why I am no longer a vegetarian'

When it comes to writing, whether it be a blessing or a curse, I am a short and sweet kinda gal. Get in, get out. Just the facts ma’am. So when a friend of mine forwarded me an article titled “Why I am no longer a vegetarian,” my first reaction, after reading it, was to place it in the queue for one of our other writers to address. I knew my “Oh brother, you are an idiot” was not only unprofessional, it also wouldn’t meet even my typical minimum word count of…errr… 200.

You see, when I am asked about my reasoning for being a vegan, my answer is always the same: “It’s the right thing to do.” Some people may say that the answer is a cop-out, but sometimes we just know in our hearts if we are doing something right or wrong. In my heart, I know eating animals is wrong. But again, “It’s the right thing to do” doesn’t make for a good read. So I’ve decided to stretch my thinking to give a more proper rebuttal to the aforementioned article.

Here’s the gist of “Why I am no longer a vegetarian”:

The author, Jenna Woginrich, became a vegetarian after realizing the horrors of factory farming—she “discovered a twisted world of assembly-line death camps, crippled animals, radiated carcasses and festering diseases.” Woginrich lived most of her adult life as a vegetarian but had a change of heart when she realized that her “aversion to meat wasn't solving the animal welfare problem.” She decided to start raising and butchering her own animals because of her “love for animals.” Wait, what? Basically Woginrich believes that abstaining from eating meat doesn’t protest factory farms properly. In order to teach those places of torture a lesson, we must support small, family farms or raise our own animals to eat.

After a little digging, I found that Ms. Woginrich recycles the same article over and over and over again. “If You Care About Farm Animals: Eat Them” is one such redux, posted on Huffington Post. I won’t bore you with the details of that article. The title pretty much says it all.

Whether a shill for the farming industry or a meat-loving fool hell-bent on irritating vegetarians—I don’t know. But Woginrich is quite determined to share her message… with everyone.

While some vegetarians, who refrain from eating meat for the sole purpose of protesting factory farming, may be able to relate to Woginrich’s words, the message does not resonate with me in the slightest.

I’m not a vegan to protest factory farms (that’s just a bonus); quite simply I don't believe in eating sentient beings. Whether raised and treated humanely or not, the end result is still the same–death. Just as I wouldn’t eat my cat or dog, I refuse to ingest an animal that had to die to reach my lips.

So, Ms. Woginrich, you can continue to preach about love displayed through eating animals, and I will continue to encourage compassion and love for all beings through life.

Daelyn Fortney | @daelyn | email
Daelyn is the co-founder and managing director of the animal rights and eco-friendly news source, This Dish Is Veg. In addition to her work at TDIV, Daelyn homeschools her three daughters.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/joost-ijmuiden