Letter to Friends and Family about Veganism
From All-Creatures.org Animal Rights Activism Articles Archive


Craig Cline, Salem, Oregon
October 2017


This letter was hard for me to write. What it contains may be hard for you, as my friend or family member, to willingly accept. But — please do.

Like most people, I have an innate sense of compassion for animals. Unlike most people, I have extended that compassion to all the sentient beings who are called “food animals.”

You already know I’ve evolved towards becoming a person who chooses not to eat or drink animal-based products.

I have many reasons for my transition. Chief among them is my personal version of the universally respected “Golden Rule”: “Don’t do to others, either directly or indirectly, what you wouldn’t want done to you.”

In this expanded application of “THE GR,” the word “others” includes all sentient beings, both humans and non-humans alike.

I’d like you to better understand that I deal with a level of personal grief whenever I witness people consume “products” that have parts of a former someone in them.

The truth is, I cannot easily stomach either the sight or smell of those products. My mind — triggered by my senses — “sees” the cruelty, suffering, and premature death that underly such products.

So I am compelled to ask you to please refrain from eating “meat” when we’re together. I see it as dead animal flesh — and it is literally abhorrent to me.

My wish would be that you “be vegan” when we’re together. But I realize that my preference represents a major step for most of you.

How about if we compromise? You would enjoy vegetarian — and vegan — choices whenever food is a part of our get-togethers.

My wish may feel harder for you to support on certain occasions; for example, at “holiday meals” — traditionally meat-based.

Yet the principle is the same, no matter the occasion. If you choose to include meat as part of it, you also choose — in effect — to exclude me from attending. Whatever you choose is fine with me. I just want you to understand the reasoning behind my personal message.

Please know that I am not condemning your “learned” behavior. Know, too, that I am always willing to help you learn the many benefits of living a vegan
lifestyle; a lifestyle that is indeed “Golden Rule” based.

In a nutshell, I am sincerely asking you to be a vegetarian, or better yet a vegan, whenever we are enjoying food together.

If you will, we can both enjoy the occasion.

If you won’t, we can’t both enjoy it. And if that’s the case, I just can’t be there for it.

My heartfelt thanks for your understanding,

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