I am writing this blog to document my exploration into veganism. I’m not yet sure if I am a vegan, but I want to learn.
I want to explore the answers to two questions:
- Should I be vegan?
- How would I live as vegan in a society so clearly set up not to be vegan?
How did this start?
Originally, I had planned only to answer the first question. I would do some reading, join a couple of online forums and hopefully engage a willing vegan or two in conversation. I would think about it as logically as I could and arrive at a thoughtful, well-reasoned conclusion … and then proceed from there.
The best laid plans … as I started looking for research material I began to feel like I was sliding into an ethical quagmire that I didn’t even begin to understand. Worse, although I hadn’t realised it, I was already neck deep in the mud. I wouldn’t be able to do this one from the side-lines.
To arrive at a credible position on veganism, I would have to become vegan. Using animals as ‘products’, while trying to figure out if using animals as products is morally wrong wouldn’t work for me. I’d have a vested interest in not being honest with myself; a built-in agenda not to engage with the nuances of the situation with a clear head. The only way to do this fairly was to go to the other side and look back.
Okay … Plan B
I would become vegan for 12 months. I would think and act as though I were vegan. I would reflect on my actions and thought patterns. I would try to unpack my cultural baggage and see it from the other side. At the end of this time I would hopefully have an answer to my question. Probably, a complicated answer, but still a well-clarified ethical position on the relationship between animals and humans, and I will know how I need to respond to that knowledge.
Which brought me to the second question; deciding to go vegan and actually doing it, well … FUCK! As I started to investigate the behaviours that would have to change, the assumptions, the ingrained thought patterns, the day-to-day logistics, just the practical stuff alone that I needed to research, I realised that jumping straight into a vegan lifestyle was not a viable option.
Okay … then so … Plan C
I’ve made a rough 18 month plan of what I think I’ll need to do to go fully vegan. Chances are it won’t go to plan, as I learn more, but for now it’s what I am doing. At the end of that time, my goal is to be fully vegan – if I can successfully work out what that means, and then spend 12 months as vegan.
I don’t know where I will be two and a half years from now … but this is where I am now.