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advice on not doing AR much anymore...


dontxhide
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First and formost, I love being vegan/raw. Its a lifestyle for me, and I will never turn back.

 

Now that that is out of the way, I have lost my passion for animal rights. Or lets say, I have lost my willingness to do things about animal rights. Watching those PETA videos, Meet Your Meat, Anti-Vivisection, and Fur Farm videos still piss me the hell off, but I really dont do much about it anymore.

 

Let me give you a brief history of what I have gone through:

 

Turned vegan 6 years ago. Started protesting immediatly. Protested for the majority of those 5 years. Somewhere last year/beginning of the year didnt want to protest anymore. I still volunteer at animal rescues, but in my gut I feel I dont belong at AR protests anymore. This goes along the lines of anti-war protests. Each time I go to either of these, it always feels stupid, like we are protesting to effects of problems, and never the causes. Then I start getting uncomfortable and not "enjoying" my time there, or feel like anything is being accomplished.

 

I think I read too much Daniel Quinn. Feeling that why focus on AR or anti-war movements, when our whole culture and how we live are the problems.

 

Its not that I stopped caring about AR altogether. Whenever someone at my work, friends, or anyone else talks to me about my eating habits, I welcome the conversation and tell them why, including the AR reasons. I have gotten a lot of my coworkers to start eating healthier also!

 

Anyways. I think its a Utah thing I am not digging much anymore. When I first started getting calls about protests and telling people I wasnt going to show, it was shock. They made me feel that because I no longer protested, I was no longer vegan.

 

This feeling of protestors uneasiness to me is continuing. I get called: pussy, someone who doesnt care about the animals, why are we friends if you dont protest, fucker, etc etc. I even had an old gf tell me that she is glad we arent together because she wants to be with someone who passionate about animals, unlike me. You get the drift. Like my whole basis of who I am depends on me being active in animal rights. And my friendships I made in the old days were just because I protested.

 

Now. I honestly dont miss being active much. I love going to the animal rescue and volunteering, talking to people interested in my diet, and supporting those who protest. I get all excited when I see vegans portrayed in a good light in the media.

 

Is this lacking passion? Not caring anymore? I dont know. I just know that other things in my life are more important now than going to protests. Why am I being accused and hated on because of this?

 

Maybe its because of how people are treating me that I have been turned off. ~shrugs~

 

Any thoughts?

 

ps: I honestly dont care what these people say about me. If they dont like me because I dont go to protests they never were my friends. Im more just antsy, like I should be doing something, but nothing is being done. Like the small stuff I do is not enough.

Edited by dontxhide
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Personally, and I know I'll get flamed for this, I don't think these protests do much good. I think getting on a personal level with individuals and changing them is much more effective, at least it has been for me. I'm actually in the process of helping someone eat better right now, he used to live off meat and dairy and has only had chicken once this week. To me, that's been the most successful way to do things, be an example and help individuals change.

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@dontxhide - i don't mean this to sound rude, but whether you _want_ to do AR/AL work or not doesn't matter, any more than firefighters _want_ to run into a burning building. they, and we do it because we have to. there are lives depending on our actions.

 

AR/AL work sucks - it's depressing, you take a lot of abuse, it costs money that you might not have, it takes up your time when you could be doing fun stuff...

 

but you have to do it.

 

people who are ignorant of what's happening to our brothers and sisters actually get a pass, but once you know, and decide to do nothing about it, you're just a poser, or a weakling, or selfish. and none of those are tags i'd apply to real vegans.

 

getting burned out is normal. just suck it up and keep fighting for the animals. we are ALL they have.

 

 

Personally, and I know I'll get flamed for this, I don't think these protests do much good.

 

our protests got ringling bros to quit coming to our town, the march of dimes to move their entire campaign out of tallahassee for two years, and after that to not do it on public property, forcing them to have to rent the fair grounds for the march.

 

my agitation at work got the entire department of financial services of the state of florida to stop it's yearly sponsorship of the ACS Relay for Life.

 

that said, direct action does more than protesting.

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No offense taken Asocial. And I also agree that direct action helps more than protests. At least what I have seen here in Utah, nothing has really happened due to protests. We just get people angry at us, us angry back at them, and thats no way to change someones mind.

 

To me changing a few peoples minds about going vegan is much more positive and helpful for the animals than turning away a few people from a store, and having a store stop selling certain items.

 

Id much prefer to help the animals in my own way than being the mad angry vegans the news tells everyone we are. I dont know that way yet, I am trying to find it, and thats why I wanted to see what you all though...

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Interesting topic, thanks for sharing!

 

Here's how I feel.

I used to be very interested in politics, I'm not anymore. I hardly believe in trying to convert people to a better life.

Let's call this context we live in Industrial capitalism. Capitalism is something natural and positive that within another context would make both us and nature flourish. Before someone goes haywire over this statement here's my definition of the foundation of capitalism:

1. You own yourself.

2. Every living organism will use as little energy as possible to acquire as much energy as possible.

 

If you create a taxation system that puts nature in focus these two can be used for good and the one who actually helps nature and helps building a better world would also be the richest. Within industrial capitalism this is as you know not happening.

 

The reality we live in creates problems in every area of life because this system will benefit people who is the most effective at fighting mother nature. You cannot win that fight and if we continue with this system (which we will), nature will knock us flat out. It's Mike Tyson against a 4 foot, cocky, undernourished kid with ADHD. It's not even fun to watch. Here's what the commentators have to say:

Economists: Crap, we're in in debt with our monopoly money (credit and Fiat currency).

Geologists: Yeah, the party is pretty much over... (Peak oil)

Physicists: Replace fossil fuel? Yeah, we got 50 years right?

Meteorologists: Who thought we'd need ice caps and Gulf streams? (Climate change)

Zoologists: We're running out of species to test cosmetics on. (Mass extinction)

Ergonomists: The soil is sponge onto which we pour petroleum based poison. Nothing will grow without roundup ready. (Soil depletion)

Physiologists: Once we put the whole periodic system in different variations into peoples bodies a sense of security will take place in them, us and big pharma.

Psychologists: We've always been this miserable. We've just recently figured it out. Good thing we've got these pills.

George W Bush: I want to talk to you about the important issue of gay marriage because I'm too dumb to discuss real problems.

 

What am I getting at? The system is unstoppable by us. Mother nature will take care of it eventually but we can't because we don't know how. No political parties or paradigms have the answers because they all are created within the limits of the current system. Marx didn't have all the facts, Locke didn't have all the facts, Rand didn't have all the facts, J.S. Mill didn't have all the facts. They all based their view on flawed premisses that seemed plausible at the time.

The only thing I can do within the current system is to ease the side effects of the current system. These include animal suffering, human (non)health, extinction and multiple others. Veganism in and by itself is not a solution. It's probably not even part of it. No one knows what will happen when we shift from Industrial capitalism to whatever, there's not even a good guess.

 

Rant over.

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Just being vegan and being an athlete/bodybuilder/fit dude might be your own kind of AR/AL work.

 

Lots of folks I meet are surprised by my diet. They don't know vegans can look like me. I explain that my diet helped me shape my body to its present specs and they think about doing the same. Some probably end up going for it.

 

-Aaron

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offense74. I do agree that we are headed towards extinction because of our current course, and it would take a man made miracle to reverse the tide.

 

I have realized a long time ago that veganism isnt the answer to our current problems. And helping stop animal suffering is important, though in the long run its not going to change a whole lot. I dont know if this thinking is the reason I have stopped doing animal rights.

 

"There is no one right way to live." Daniel Quinn

 

I have been thinking about that quote often, and the quote is usually accompanied by, "as long as those people are living within natures laws." And as we can see, our society is not living this way. Thus our world is being destroyed.

 

I just dont get the rhetoric that I hear sometimes, that being vegan, or doing AR protests, are the best thing you can do. Many of the Black Panthers and other anarchists/socialists/revolutionary groups were never ever vegan or veggie. Yet when I read about them I see that they did so much more for their community and neighbors to ease the suffering of their fellow man, its just seems more important. Not more important, but more vital to maybe reversing this tide.

 

I have known people that would not allow non-vegans onto a sports team we were trying to start because they werent vegan. Yet I hold a couple of those people in higher respect for everything else they have done, than most the vegans that were going to be on the team.

 

It seems so petty sometimes

 

My rant over

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There are ways to not protest the effect and protest a cause...heck...most of the time they fit hand in hand. KFC kills chickens because people buy chicken...protest people buying chicken and there you go. And sure most of the time it doesn't work but sometimes it does. Fur stores shut down...some fast food places have shut down thanks to daily pestering hurting sales...its not completely useless. I'm not knocking you though. I'd be perfectly happy if people stopped eating animals because they hated them.

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hmm... interesting comments.

 

I think what is going on with you is not that you care a lot less about animal rights, but you've just become more passionate about living "raw", and I think we can only spread ourselves so thin in life before rationale takes over and says, "dude, you can't do everything".

 

The comments from the people you were involved in the rallies with, will subside. It sucks having to hear all the negativity, but you can't help that you are more passionate about a different area of Veganism now.

 

Whether we've become Vegan for Animal Rights, Anti-Aging, the Environment (my thing), or trying to live the most vital, healthy life humanly possible while we're on this planet... we are all on the same team!

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Whether we've become Vegan for Animal Rights, Anti-Aging, the Environment (my thing), or trying to live the most vital, healthy life humanly possible while we're on this planet... we are all on the same team!

 

i'm not. i'm vegan because i'm an abolitionist, not the other way 'round. while i applaud people who are complete vegetarians, they're not really doing anything in the war for animal liberation than someone in the old south of the US who said 'i don't own slaves. i'm not part of the problem.'

 

i find i have WAY more in common with the omni cat lady at the local humane society than the this raw food vegan i used to associate with, who was only in it for health and antiaging. she is awesome, and a real soldier for animals. he is a trust fund baby and a tool.

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As you know there are more people that will eat more meat than people that will go vegan because of some more or less dumb AL actions. The balance will probably go towards more meat eating because of AL.

As I understand, this isn't a concern because the only statistic that counts is the number of converted real vegans. It seems to have nothing or very little to do with the total number of animal that died for consumption. Some AR people are also effectively against "sustainable" animal farming instead of factory farming because of their principles.

I understand the religion and moral behind the principles since I've heard them before. What I would like to know if animal casualties in this war counts at all? The cat lady brings the casualties up and the raw food vegan obviously brings them down.

 

We've had heated discussions about this before.

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good questions, offense.

 

i'm not any sort of official AL theorist or anything, and know many in the movement, all it's branches, will disagree with me (i've often thought that the only movement more fragmented than AW/AL/AR is socialism. heh.)

 

that said, i don't think we'll ever win globally. it's the selfish gene, again. most people care only about themselves - the spreading of their genetic material, and the avoidance of pain, and seeking of pleasure.

 

to my eyes, our fight is wholly symbolic - we fight because we can not do otherwise. like the monks that immolated themselves in vietnam - they didn't stop the war. to the pro war forces, it was just one less troublemaker.

 

no one alive is truly vegan - as soon as sperm meets egg, we begin to kill others, to use resources others might have used. mere existence is a constant, ultimately doomed battle against entropy. our homes are built on land animals used to own, our cars or buses or bikes kill insects, our vegetable crops are grown on stolen land, and animals _are_ killed in processing.

 

that doesn't mean we give up though. in my ideal world, we each do as much as we can, every day to diminish our impact, and to offer succor and safety to the innocent.

 

i myself fall short of my ideals, as does everyone else. what i, and everyone else should be doing is fighting an insurgency against the bastards that are butchering our brothers. we should be martyring ourselves. instead, lacking the balls, we wave signs, we read labels, we write letters, we feed ferals. everyone is a poser.

 

so, to some degree, what i think, is that the measure of our conviction, and our morality, is the degree to which we suffer for the animals - the amount of stuff that we don't want to do, that we do anyway, the money we spend for them, that we would rather have spent on ourselves, the amount of abuse we take from omnis and cops, the number of people we piss off.

 

we're all born with an immeasureable amount of guilt, and all we can do to win forgiveness is to live in a crucible, trying futilely to burn that guilt away.

 

so yeah, the cat lady is guilty of hurting animals b/c she's an omni - but to each of the souls she saves, she's a savior, and to that one cat, that's all that matters.

 

ditto for the raw food guy i knew - to each animal he doesn't eat he's a savior, of sorts.

 

but she suffers more for her convictions than he does. he eats different things, and that's it. the inconvenience to him is minimal. he still doesn't go out in the rain to save cats, his house is expensive, spotless, and empty, while hers is filled to capacity with refugees, litter boxes, and cat hair, and as soon as she finds a forever home for one cat, she takes in another, and begins the battle anew.

 

 

in all, i think very little of any human, and if i could, i'd be happy for us all to go to the gas chambers. it _would_ be horribly sad, but i'd be smiling when i entered, shut the door behind me, and hit the switch.

 

 

 

*******

let me amend that. i think a LOT of many humans, but just like all life, we live on others lives. so, since we alone carry the curse of the knowledge of morality, we can know that this method of existence is wrong, and so are required to do something about it.

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well, what can i say... i totally dissagree about the cat lady.. Although i'm not concerned about AR, i believe that those who are passionate about animals and still eat them, are hypocrits. Cats are cute but cows arent huh?

 

Anyways, i think that animal eating is unethical just because animals arent in the human food chain. eating them is a blasphemy towards nature's balance. We hurt the environment and ourselves. If we couldn't survive without animals meaning that we were biologically omnivores, i would definately eat animals and i don't thing that the AR proponents would choose to die. At least not all of them who now brag about their protests...

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...Although i'm not concerned about AR...

well, there you go. you're doing it for yourself. not for them.

 

so the fact that you'd eat them if you had to fits into your ethical scheme.

 

it doesn't fit in mine.

 

i don't think the animals care whether protesters choose to brag about the protest or not, so long as people are trying to help them. also, your impression of them bragging, might really be you compensating.

 

the people that do a protest, and feel good about themselves, and what they've done, might be making you feel shallow for 'not [being] concerned about AR'.

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I eat healthy solely for myself. Helping animals and the environment is just a bonus. I don't live to be a "martyr" for a cause, just to care for myself and be happy (I had to say it).

 

dontxhide made a good point...it is the culture that's the problem (and I am not talking about animal rights, just society problems in general). How do you change culture??? Laws can always be revoked and/or introduced, but that does not mean people are going to support and embrace them. Just keep doing what you are doing, taking care of yourself and volunteering, and people will notice your success.

 

Swayze

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... How do you change culture???

 

with force.

 

with rigid, dogmatic, fanatics, and cadres spreading the doctrine and discipline.

 

cde castro liberated cuba with an initial group of (i think it was) twenty seven men.

 

the North Vietnamese fought the french, and then the US to a standstill, and (i have been told) that a times in the struggle, the average NVA soldier went on patrol with no boots, and five rounds of ammunition.

 

the US will never win in Iraq, b/c the insurgents _are_ willing to martyr themselves. they are willing to do _anything_, commit any atrocity, to achieve their goals.

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Sure, there are many situations in which force is necessary. With that said, I don't think animal cruelty is one of them.

 

If my personal freedoms were being infringed upon to the point that I could not live a fruitful life, I would have no problem fighting back. Things have not gotten to that point yet and most likely won't in my lifetime.

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To me changing a few peoples minds about going vegan is much more positive and helpful for the animals than turning away a few people from a store, and having a store stop selling certain items.

 

I agree with this statement 150%

 

It's called "leading by example". Although I have the utmost respect for people who do rallies, protests and put themselves out there as well.

 

The older I get, the more I realize that you can change more peoples minds through leading by example than by shoving your views down their throat, but again... that's just me. When people say "What's that your eating"... or "Wow, you are so fit, what do you do?".... then you can tell them what you're about and they are much more open to your views because they asked you.

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If we couldn't survive without animals meaning that we were biologically omnivores

 

Do you believe in vitamin b12?

 

 

Zack, we have discussed this again, and yes i believe that vitamin b12 deficiency is irrelevant to either an omni or a vegan diet. I have said that i believe that one can get the vitamin by a 100% raw vegan diet allowing the body synthesize it in the intestine just like it was meant to be. But that's only MY opinion. For me, being a vegan, didn't hurt me so far, on the contrary i'm cured from all the health problems i had. But i guess time will tell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

the people that do a protest, and feel good about themselves, and what they've done, might be making you feel shallow for 'not [being] concerned about AR'.

 

But it's also possible that the people that do a protest and feel good about themselves, and what they've done, might be so shallow that try to cover it, protesting for animals and expressing their anger for their life.

 

anger will bring anger. violence will also bring more violence.

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Ape you ever heard of a guy by the name of John Brown? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Brown_%28abolitionist%29

 

one of my heroes (the other being Giles Corey)!

 

he and my avatar are, to me, the bookends of the american civil war. john brown started it, cump ended it!

 

i get chills when i remember Fredrick Douglass' comment on him - "His zeal in the cause of freedom was infinitely superior to mine... Mine was as the taper light; his was as the burning sun. I could live for the slave; John Brown could die for him."

 

not to mention his pamphlet "Did John Brown Fail?" http://www.nps.gov/archive/hafe/douglass.htm

 

i wish i had the time, money, discipline, and education to write a book about the parallels between the old time abolitionism and modern abolitionism.

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anger will bring anger. violence will also bring more violence.

 

tell that to the men who liberated the inmates at treblinka. their anger and violence stopped a gang of genocidal monsters.

 

what you wrote is nothing but a hackneyed, new age-y cliche.

 

i'll go get my copy of bartlett's and find some of my own.

 

But it's also possible that the people that do a protest and feel good about themselves, and what they've done, might be so shallow that try to cover it, protesting for animals and expressing their anger for their life.

 

try as i might, i can't parse this.

Edited by the Asocial Ape
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