precision female wrote:I'm prepared to suffer (and die) for what I beleive in ...that's the difference...other people draw the line at the idea that they might actually suffer themselves and justify reasons they shouldn't have to.
Well, a main difference here is that, just as I value the lives of other sentient beings, I also value my own life and the fact that I have a host of people who depend on my existence for their own well-being as well (wife, employees, family, cats, etc.) While the notion of suffering for my beliefs if I truly believe in them is fair, I'm not just suffering myself by denying medication, but I also would be increasing the hardships of all those who rely on me as well. The fact is, it would be selfish as well to say "Hey, I'm going to need you to help me around when I lose 90% of my vision, I may no longer be able to employ you when I can no longer work, and I will now require you all to provide care for me when I can no longer care well for myself." There is more to the whole picture than just the consideration of animals lost in the past, there is also a great deal of concern on my part for those who need me now, both human and animal, and those who will need me to be at my functional best in the future.
precision female wrote:Imagine your own child being experimented on - tortured and killed - so that you could take a medicine.
But, this is under assumption that we have a choice in animal testing at this time. There is none, sadly, and that is just how it goes. I did not ask for animal testing to happen any more than I asked for the afflictions that have changed my life drastically. Would you tell someone dying of cancer who may need chemo that it is their better purpose to accept a painful death because their drugs were animal-tested and that they need to forego their own existence to make an ethical stance on something that can't be undone? Where do we draw the line on what we can and can't take for proper health based on vegan ethics? Where in the basic tenets of veganism does it state that we need to consider shortening our own lives for our ethics?
precision female wrote:Maybe if people started dying because they refused animal tested drugs then they'd start making drugs vegan and not animal tested...but that's what it would take for drastic changes to the system...some of us will need to suffer/die to make it happen. I wouldn't consider my life wasted.
If thousands and thousands of people decided to forego life-saving medications to die for their ethics and made a public spectacle of it, maybe then something would happen. However, a few vegans seen as giving up medications to make an ethical standpoint will succeed in one thing and one thing only - making the movement look "crazy", and reinforcing the stance to most people that it's a lifestyle that what we do is so far off what they'd consider, it will only marginalize veganism further. Remember those stories about "vegan" parents who ended up killing their children through malnutrition due to their inability to know how to properly feed their babies? It would become another one of those situations overnight, creating more fodder for the non-vegans to make us look insane.
precision female wrote:Forcing an animal to live a short, miserable, excruciating life so that I don't have to is wrong. The animal experiences terror and pain just the same way I do. It too only has one life that it gets to live in this world. I don't deserve happiness or health more than it does and if bad luck has stuck me with whatever illness then that is my own bad luck. Just because I can steal an innocent animals happiness and health, and everyone else is stealing it, doesn't make it ok.
But, this is being said on assumption that every time you were to medicate a condition, an animal somewhere is being killed each time you take a pill, receive an injection, or whatever it may be. That's far too broad, and not factually accurate. Yes, when medications are tested, due to current mandates, animals are unfortunately still used and killed for research and data. However, not all medications are being tested over and over and over again on a constant daily/weekly/monthly/yearly basis, it is not necessarily a continual requirement on everything. Now, say a medication that could vastly improve your health had been tested during the clinical study phases a decade ago, but had not been tested since that time. In such a case, the damage is done, and cannot be undone by avoiding taking such a medication. I am not saying this to excuse what had been done to create it - it is simply fact. No amount of self-inflicted suffering by avoidance of that medication can resurrect an animal life lost to that testing. So, if that is the case, what is to be gained by avoiding such a medication? Will people walk past you and instantly know that you're making an ethical standpoint while you suffer silently? How will that change hearts and minds of others? That's ultimately the core of my question - I do understand the great desire to not be connected to cruelty any more than need be, but also, by driving, by using electricty, by having shelter that was created for us, by merely walking outside, something had to die for it. And things will continue to be killed for our own day-to-day existence whether we like it or not - we just tend to overlook the hundreds of examples that aren't made a spectacle of, while things like medications and the processes used to create them get more attention. I mean, we could talk about the thousands of field mice and other creatures that are killed during the harvesting of vegetable crops, but following the logic of not being connected to cruelty in any way, we'd have to stop eating altogether if we put it all on the same plane. That's why I don't think we can be completely sweeping about some situations, because we are all hypocrites in some way with veganism, we still unfortunately have to bring about suffering so we can live the way we're accustom to.
precision female wrote:If people want to make their difference to the world by not eating animals and being happy healthy people inspiring others meanwhile taking antidepressants, headache, arthritis or whatever meds that have caused just as much animal misery as slaughterhouses I think its only 50%.
So, despite my eating/living vegan for over a decade, starting a business that serves the vegan community, and avoiding non-essential medications except for two that have allowed me to continue to exist without being in misery and allow me to function, that's only 50% good? I have to say, that's a pretty offensive statement to make. I know many people like to tweak the definition of veganism to suit their own emotional needs the way that it makes them feel like they're doing things properly, but you do have to understand, it's simply YOUR personal interpretation and not that of the general movement. And, I do not mean to sound rude, but such an attitude will turn more people away from going vegan than it will to convert people to it.
precision female wrote: You can influence others with your body and diet, that's fantastic...but you an also lead by example of compassionate self sacrifice - which really gets peoples attention and makes them think. They won't follow...they're conditioned to care only of themselves and block out the screaming of a mutilated animal...but at least they will think.
I personally don't know anyone who was ever attracted to veganism for the glory of personal suffering and self-flagellation over the sins of their past for living a non-vegan lifestyle, or for the sins of others who committed atrocities against animals that were without their knowledge and under factors beyond their control. Most non-vegans I speak with think that it's the ultimate self sacrifice to have to give up cheese - try telling those same people that to be TRULY compassionate, they may need to let themselves die in agony one day in order to make a stand. Those I know who were drawn to it were attracted primarily because they love animals and wanted to reduce suffering to the greatest extent they could within reason. Not everyone who loves the animals and wants to reduce suffering is willing to perform self-sacrifice for their ideals, just as most who claim to hold certain ideals in high regard are not willing to die for other agendas as well. It's not a sign of not caring enough about the animals - it's simply that we're all only human, and we aren't all on the same page about believing that self-sacrifice is the highest form of commitment we can make. Because, after all, once you've sacrificed yourself, you can't do any more good for the movement...