Happy World Vegan Day!
1) No one living in a house or apartment in the developed world in 2010 is 100% vegan. Let’s get that out of the way. This is for all of the devil’s advocates and naysayers who claim you’re not really a vegan because your neighborhood was built on the homes of animals, probably resulted in the death of animals, and probably was built with products that were tested on animals or have animal products in them. I ask you: Just because you cannot completely avoid harm, does that mean you shouldn’t try your level best to avoid it in the most obvious ways, and even in some others? Refraining from eating or wearing animals or their parts, or using products that you know were tested on animals (and that you can avoid) or have animal products in them (and you can avoid them), and of course refusing to participate in activities or “entertainment” that use animals goes a long way to alter the demand for such things and dictate whether or not they continue in the future. So for all of you vegans, if you became vegan yesterday or have been for decades . . .
On behalf of the planet and the creatures who (should be able to) roam it: I thank you for choosing nonviolence. I thank you for choosing justice. I thank you for doing what the vast majority of people for some reason cannot do or refuse to do, even though they know they should, and then taking the ridicule that comes with following your conscience.
While you’re eating your vegan dinner this evening, raise a glass of vegan wine (or tea or whatever) in solidarity with your fellow vegans and the sentient nonhumans whose lives depend on our choices.
2) November is also National Adoption Month and I think that vegans should consider broadening their discussions about adopting homeless nonhuman animals to human animals. Twenty years ago, when there was still a Zero Population Growth movement to speak of, the emphasis was on having only two biological children (per couple, to replace the couple). That number has been reconsidered (read: lowered) by many who are now members of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (and the homepage has links to many questions you may have about it). The adoption of humans (and my husband and I have recently adopted one), as a principle, is similar to the adoption of dogs and cats, for me. There are so many who need families, and I feel obligated to do something about that before I create a new one.
Environmentally speaking, whether you adopt or create a child, that’s still one more person in your home, using resources. Your carbon footprint as a parent will always be larger than as a nonparent. And the same is true when you adopt animals. If the smallest carbon footprint is your goal, don’t bring anyone else into your household. But if your goal is justice for the children and animals of the world who already exist and who don’t have permanent homes, one thing you can do is adopt them. And from a vegan movement standpoint, what could be better than raising a vegan child? Also, environmentally speaking, adopting someone who already exists easily trumps creating a new person.
I’m not trying to talk anyone into parenthood. People who don’t want kids are usually pretty clear about that policy for themselves and why they are committed to it. But what I would like to do is start a discussion among vegans about adopting humans as well as nonhumans.
Finally, there is a lot of misinformation about adoption swirling around the Interwebs. From what the process looks like, to the timeline, to the costs, the reality is that there are many variations and options. And there are legitimate reasons for adopting internationally, just as there are legitimate reasons for going to the foster care system. All I ask at this point, is that if you are considering expanding your human family, consider adoption.
–The V above is from the World Vegan Day page on Facebook.