I hear too many excuses (and yes, most of them are boiled down to just that; excuses) for why people I know “could never be vegan.” “Oh, it’s too hard! You’re so preachy! I loooooove my meat! Animals eat each other all the time! It’s too hard to find non-leather shoes/belts, sweaters without wool, ties without silk, and cosmetics not tested on animals!” ad nauseum. I’ve come to realize that there is only one proper response to such excuses: “So what?” Really, it’s that simple.
Okay, maybe a little explanation is necessary. Gary Yourofsky is correct when he says nonvegans are obligated to see the harm their lifestyles cause. I find it so frustrating when nonvegans call vegan animal lib supporters “preachy” and “self-righteous” because we tell them the truth about animals killed for their food, clothing, entertainment, etc., because its practically saying they’d rather live in placid denial than make changes based on new information. Positive change in the world doesn’t come from placid denial (how much worse of a world would this be if Gandhi, Dr. King, and the women’s rights movements had chosen to accept that as a viable option?).
As for veganism being “too hard” or inconvenient, or that you LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE meat/cheese/fur/leather/CoverGirl/rodeos too much to give them up, here’s a crazy thought, maybe this planet isn’t always about what’s convenient or pleasing to your palate, ego, ad nauseaum. You and I share this planet with other beings. No one lives in a vacuum, every action each one of us takes has an impact. Would it really be a bad thing to try to make a positive or even just not-so-damaging impact on the earth and the beings with which we share it? Even if it takes a bit of extra effort to get plant-based meals (or push for more options in areas that lack them), or find non-leather shoes, fur-, leather-, wool-, and down-free winter coats (which has become easier and more affordable, at least in my experience), or silk-free neckties and evening wear, or find products not tested on animals, think of it this way: if you were being tortured, and were to be killed so someone else could use your body in the way they wanted, wouldn’t you want someone, anyone at all, to take whatever actions they could on your behalf?
Please consider my words, and live vegan!