“Being vegan is not an end in itself, it’s a means to an end. And for me that end is unconditional compassion: doing everything we can to make choices that cause the least amount of harm – both to ourselves and others.”
Colleen Patrick Goudreau, The 30 Day Vegan Challenge
Chapter 2 – Definitions
I thought this would be the quick and easy chapter, but instead I got side tracked reading up on Pythagoras and Buddha (more on that later).
In Chapter Two Colleen defines ‘vegan’, giving her readers a clear understanding of what she means when she uses the word. Definitions can be slippery. It is all too easy to assume everyone will understand the meanings of words in exactly the same way you do.
Until I started thinking about and reading further on some of the references in the chapter, I hadn’t really clicked to how important figuring out what ‘vegan’ (as a label or as a word) really means to the process I am now involved with.
“… you just don’t know where it’s going to take you.”
Colleen Partrick-Goudreau, The 30 Day Vegan Challenge
Before getting into the challenge proper, The 30 Day Vegan Challenge by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (know henceforth as 30DVC) spends several chapters on set up. For the most part, 30DVC assumes its readers already know why they are going vegan, and instead focuses on providing information and perspective on how to go vegan successfully – the reason why I am reading the book.
Over the past six months, I have done a lot of random trial-and-error research. I am hoping that this book will pull it all together into a more cohesive, foundational whole.
“What veganism means to me is striving for a better world. It’s being conscious of your actions and the decisions you make. I ask myself, by doing this am I going to harm anyone else or am I going to harm the environment, which is later on going to harm someone else. That’s my thought process in all of this. It’s about striving for a better world.”
Quote taken from the video at the end of the article.
Many people want to do the right thing, we want to strive for a better world. Misleading information makes that more difficult, especially when it is misinformation people really want to be true.
Even if you do not care about animals these are statistics we cannot ignore. As the impacts of climate change start to really kick in, land available for agriculture and water become even scarcer than they are now. As we increase the populations of our own species and the animals we eat, we consume resources faster than they can be replaced. We destroy habits for countless species.
Our extraordinary little planet has had mass extinctions in the past. Why are we so hell bent on going there again?
If we could just stop and do things differently, we could feed everybody, and our grandchildren would not have to live through the ecological nightmare that will be their inheritance.
Now, is the time we need to stop and rethink – Right Now!
“Being vegan isn’t about being perfect, and it’s not about being pure. You do not get a certification of 100% purity when you become vegan. Being vegan is about intention. It’s about doing the best we can to not cause harm when it’s practical and possible and it’s not always practical and possible.”