by Dave Warwak
There are many wonderful things happening in the vegan world’s
efforts to get the word out. Change will come. Will it be the change we
are fighting for? Will the Earth be patient? Will the animals be
patient? Will real change come in your lifetime? I am a patient person;
however, this problem is much too urgent and I see big problems in the
Animal Rights movement. Specifically, vegans are too withdrawn and need
to get out in the meat-eating world more. Our biggest deficits are our
unwillingness to be more confrontational and we do not include children
in our activism enough.
It is as if we willingly adopt meat-eaters’ attitudes that say their
choice is a personal one and children are too young to chose wisely.
This is exactly why we need to speak up for the voiceless, as those in
charge have chosen poorly for our children. Do you remember, the 143
million pound Hallmark Westland Beef Recall? Do you remember how it
affected schools, prisons, and the elderly? It is not a coincidence
these unfortunate recipients have no choice. School boards have a, “They
are only children” attitude towards our youth. Children deserve to know
they can live an extra 10-15 years on a vegan diet. Hiding lifesaving
information from children is criminal. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is
nothing to sweep under the rug. I wonder how people will feel in 10 to
15 years when the children of today are the “dropping-like-flies” adults
Everyone knows deep down inside how immoral meat eating is. The
survival of the human race is on the line and with so many species
extinct – more and more everyday, veganism is nothing to be hush-hush
about or talk of passively. No revolution was ever comfortable. Our
Earth will not patiently wait for vegans to reach critical mass; yet,
many vegans try to awaken others’ without being “too” confrontational.
This non-confrontational, gentle approach does work; however, there are
faster, more effective ways of waking people up.
Many vegans adopt a “personal choice” attitude towards Animal Rights
and believe it is best to let people come around at their own speed.
Please consider the following before adopting the easy road. Peer
pressure should not rule your actions, especially when there is a
meat-eater born every 10 seconds in the USA. Furthermore, as George
Carlin wisely stated, “Just because you got the monkey off your back,
doesn’t mean the circus has left town”. It is not a “personal choice”
when you are eating my friends and you are ruining my world. When you
made your “personal choice”, did you ask the animal if you could
confine, torture, and murder him or her? When you made your “personal
choice”, did you ask me if I mind all your pollution and devastation? My
tax money subsidizes your “personal choice.” Just because we personally
make selfish choices does not make them “personal choices”. By all
means, be gentle with your approach; but, when you see that strategy not
working; do not hesitate to get a little louder until you are heard.
Schools avoid Humane Education and teach students to be ignorant and
apathetic. Miss-educated doctors scramble to find a cure for cancer;
yet, wise vegans know prevention is the cure. So too, truly defeating
ignorance and apathy lies within prevention. Humane Education teaches
children the truth about our world and raises a generation that cares.
The philosophy learned in classrooms today becomes the philosophy of
society tomorrow. Vegans need to work on “meat-eater prevention” by
lobbying for Humane Education in public schools and by talking with
children whenever possible.
Those ignorant meat-eaters who make every excuse in the world to
resist change were the students of yesterday just as the children of
today will be those you argue with in 10 or 15 years. Would you rather
try to convince an adult to become vegan after their minds have been
molded? I prefer prevention and early intervention by engaging children
about the real world while they still care enough to change. They are
not brainwashed yet. The information is all good and children are
thankful. Aren’t you grateful to whoever gave you your heads-up? Silence
is complicity. Speaking the truth is not criminal. I feel bad when I am
silent. I feel good when I speak the truth. That is my religion.
Children deserve the truth and are the key to change. Children are
the transmission of society. It is up to vegans to break the cycle of
hereditary ignorance perpetrated by school boards who allow the meat and
dairy industries to go after the very children we entrust them to
protect. Milk mustache posters are an embarrassment to the educational
system and a crime against humanity, far worse than Joe Camel, for they
hang in an institution that children trust for truth. The indoctrination
vegans fight so hard is ingrained in schools - the very place we should
be working on prevention.
Life does not lose its luster when we speak the truth. Life shines
brighter than ever when we speak the truth for those who have no voice.
How will you explain to your grandchildren that you grew up during the
Vegan Revolution, but were too worried about meat-eaters’ feelings to
make a real difference? Maybe you will say, “I thought it best not to
press the issue and chose to be polite.” If you lived during the Civil
War, would you adopt an attitude that slavery is wrong? Would you then
speak-up about it at every step of the way? Would you insist on teaching
children the truth? Would you adopt a non-confrontational, me-first
attitude or would your circle of compassion be open to all? What stories
will you tell your grandchildren?
I am simply offering information and have not forced food or beliefs
down people’s throats. Imagine if just saying or writing something could
force people to change. When children see that adults care enough to
change, they will care in turn. In closing, Elie Wiesel wrote, “We must
always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.
Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented". This is too
serious of an issue to leave alone just because some wish to eat
unimpeded or because the people in charge possess the criminal attitude
that claims, “They are only children”.
Return to Articles