I do not want people to be agreeable, it saves me the trouble of liking them.
~ Jane Austen
I have gotten into animated debates, with a large number of people, about a vast array of issues. From marriage equality to veganism, religious issues to racism. I love a good argument – anyone who has known me for any length of time would agree whole heartedly with that statement. I love hearing other people’s opinions on issues and trying to nut out how they have come to their conclusion on whatever philosophical subject it is that we happen to be discussing. I love being able to voice my own views and bounce ideas around – often resulting in my world view either being cemented further, or thrown out the window and reconsidered entirely.
Over the course of my arguing career, I have managed to decode some of the language often used. One of my absolute favourites, and one I have mentioned in previous blog posts, is the statement, “I don’t care if they want to believe that… but don’t shove it in my face”. I remain unsure if the people who use this one regularly, are aware that it is the equivalent of running around with your fingers jammed in your ears, singing badly at the top of your lungs. Especially, when it is used by someone who is ignorant about the issue being discussed.
In my experience, veganism would have to be the leading cause of the finger-ear statement. The thing that makes me laugh about that, is that it is the finger-ear user who has generally been the one to ask the question, “so, why did you decide to go vegan? Was it for health reasons?”
I do not know of many vegans, or plant based diet enthusiasts who would not raise issues around the fact that animal agriculture is the leading cause of pollution in the world, that it is destroying natural habitats at a faster rate than any other human pursuit. I do not know many vegans who would not raise the issue of the huge amounts of plant based food provided to animals for consumption, rather than people who are starving. I do not know of many vegans who would not raise the somewhat questionable and cruel methods used throughout much of the animal agriculture industry.
There are reasons. And valid ones at that, as to why veganism is such a fast growing movement. Just like there are reasons why people fight so strongly for marriage equality – or indeed any kind of equality. There are reasons why we need to end racism and sexism.
You see, this post isn’t about being a vegan. Or a feminist. Or any particular issue. It is about that person, who asked the question, and then regretted it because they had to hear the answer – and it made sense. So they slam into reverse and hurdle backwards out of the logical and educated puddle they have landed themselves in… because it is easier not to know. It is easier not to change. It is easier to remain under a rock, rather than take in the wealth of knowledge we as humans have gained and start fighting for a better future – not just for ourselves as individuals – but for everyone, as a collective.
So you see… there is no choice. It has to be shoved in your face… because we, as human beings, have no choice. If we are to progress as a species… or, indeed, survive, then unfortunately for the finger-ear user, some of us have to come out from under the rocks. More of us have to come out from under the rocks.
Because hiding behind convenience and comfort is not sustainable… and because it is not a luxury everyone can afford. Your ability to hide beneath your rock, is the very reason you should be coming out from under it.