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I've written about Thanksgiving (October in Canada, November in the US) more than once on this blog, but the posts have mostly boiled down to this: giving versus taking. Specifically, why can't people GIVE thanks without taking? Expressing gratitude is... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2020 at Have Gone Vegan
Good one, thanks, will add. :)
Toggle Commented Sep 11, 2020 on Vegan Slogans at Have Gone Vegan
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Yep, last August. Got an email from Facebook saying, "Someone asked us to review your profile because it might not be following our Community Standards. We ask everyone on Facebook to use the name they go by in everyday life—what... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2020 at Have Gone Vegan
I agree, those who tend to say All Lives Matter don't usually really mean ALL human lives, but certain human lives. At least, if actions indicate values more than words do. Yep, not a simple problem, thus no simple solutions either... Not sure how many people this blog actually reaches, but I'll keep talking for as long as I can. ;)
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Oh, no apology needed, there are times when I feel pretty hopeless myself. Humans can't even behave decently towards each other (yours truly included, sometimes), so wanting them to behave decently to other animals they don't even feel they need to respect may be asking too much. I sometimes think that any change benefitting other animals will only happen when humans don't have a choice. When, for example, some environmental catastrophe forces consumption habits to change. On darker days I even think that if the human race were to go extinct because of their self-serving behavior, well, it would serve them right. I'm not a naturally positive person, haha, and being vegan just amplifies that, but I try not to have that deter my efforts completely, snort. All we can do is keep trying...
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p.s. Typepad Support was testing my comments, because for some odd reason the Chrome browser doesn't recognize me when I reply to comments and throws them in the spam folder. Even when I sign in it says, nope, don't know you. So glad other people can at least comment without issue! Right now I either have to publish from spam folder or use Internet Explorer if I want to be recognized. Ah well, bigger problems in the world, eh? ;)
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Hey kiddo, I hear ya about living situation, and you guys had another heatwave? Yikes. Another thing we can thank humans for, although climate-change deniers (many of whom may be anti-maskers to boot) will undoubtedly deny human responsibility too. What a world... It's hard trying to change it, and people's minds, so sometimes all we can do is bear witness and say out loud that we don't agree with what is going on. Not that that may help, but it's the least we can do. I agree that the HEEFS gang do more for veganism and animal rights than they probably realize, and in such a positive way too. Your cow friend will always be on the page. She exemplifies one of my favourite mantras right now: Someone, not something. Try to stay cool! :)
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Well, that's the million-dollar question isn't it? And if the answer was an easy one, an awful lot more people would have gone vegan by now. We also would have avoided the bickering between camps advocating different approaches. Abolitionists, incrementalists,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2020 at Have Gone Vegan
Hello! If you haven't read part A yet, feel free to do so now. More importantly, if you haven't read the original whose lives matter? then you'd better do so tout suite! In that post I was trying to convey... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2020 at Have Gone Vegan
Hey kiddo, just put up follow-up post part A now, with hopefully part B to follow in the next couple of days. Maybe we can continue the discussion over there? p.s. I once heard or read something along this line in response to the idea that animals don't have a voice: they do, but humans just don't listen. That has always stuck with me. :)
Toggle Commented Aug 5, 2020 on whose lives matter? at Have Gone Vegan
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This is a follow-up to whose lives matter? as I thought a few links that I included in reply to a comment would be helpful in a post as well. (Note: I rambled on too long, so those links will... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2020 at Have Gone Vegan
Hi Krissa! Thanks for checking back in again and glad you were able to see the comment. Yes, I'm working on making it into a separate post, which will now end up being two posts as I had a bunch of pre-post things to say as well. In other words, too many words, snort. (And I was inspired to start another post as well. Not sure where this impulse to write - after being silent for over a year - comes from, but I guess I have to honour it.) Yeah, I know how frustrating it can be to watch folk simply say slogans without having their heart in it. Worse though is those who completely refute not only the words but the ideas as well. I really think we're at a critical juncture and if we as a species can't get our shit together when it comes to racism and sexism for starters, then we're in even more trouble than we realize. I'm hoping my follow-up posts will explain things a bit further in depth (you can only say so much in a comment), and help show why the BLM movement is so critical to the work that vegans as allies have to do. Thanks, as always, for your comments. I know we don't always agree on every point, but diversity of opinion makes every movement and every friendship richer, methinks. Hugs to you!
Toggle Commented Jul 31, 2020 on whose lives matter? at Have Gone Vegan
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Hi Krissa, so I'm trying to think of how to reply to this comment (just as you were trying to think of how to reply to this post), and I want to begin by saying to others who may be reading that Krissa happens to be a friend of mine, so I absolutely know her heart to be in the right place. I'm also going to put up a few links at the bottom of this comment that explains this issue better than I could, and may even put them up in a separate post as well, as I think I know how it may be confusing to vegans (who I believe use the slogan All Lives Matter in a different way than non-vegans) as to why continuing to use this slogan at this particular point in time is problematic. So first, vegans using ALM (I'm going to use the abbreviated version from now on) typically think of other animals when saying 'all lives', whereas I don't think non-vegans do. In essence then, saying ALM serves to dismiss or cancel out Black Lives Matter. And while some vegans may be more intersectional in their approach, too many aren't, and sadly (and incorrectly) feel that animal rights activism shouldn't include concern for human rights at all. The analogy that I've often seen used to explain why saying ALM isn't appropriate is the 'house on fire' one. Basically, if one house in a neighbourhood is on fire, it is appropriate to focus all attention on trying to put out that particular fire, and not worry about the other houses. One could argue that All Houses Matter, but in this instance the house on fire gets priority. Another analogy I've seen is the lifeguard one. If a person is drowning, then that person gets helped, not everyone else in the pool. So to quote from the first article linked at bottom: "When someone counters “Black Lives Matter” with “All Lives Matter,” it’s appropriate to use the metaphor of a neighborhood: if someone’s house is on fire, while others are not, whose house is the priority? Similarly, choosing to insist that “All Lives Matter,” including those of non-human animals, is not technically wrong, but still distracts from and diffuses the potential impacts of an important and necessary racial justice movement." In the second link at the bottom, the author of Stop Comparing Black Lives Matter to Animal Rights, makes the powerful argument that non-black vegans should NEVER make that comparison, saying: "Why? The reasons why are multiple, but let me start with the most basic: You already enjoy the opportunities and privileges that Black people are fighting for." They end with, "Please, vegans with privilege, I’m asking you to join me: Show up and fight racism without equivocation, suppress that impulse to compare the plight of non-human animals to the plight of your fellow humans, see that society’s compassion will never extend to animals before it extends to all humans, and recognize your privilege as a non-Black vegan to fight for animal rights without having to also fight for your own rights." The third link includes 9 different explanations as to why we should stop saying ALM, which means that something should resonate with everyone, hopefully. Krissa, I think you nailed it on the head when you said, "...the road to finally making things better for other animals is tied to our species - and we clearly can't get things right even between ourselves", and I think that points out the importance of tackling racism. Doesn't mean that we as white vegans don't tackle speciesism as well, but that we do understand the need for those who aren't as privileged to prioritize differently. link 1) https://sentientmedia.org/protesters-pigs-the-diversity-problem-in-animal-welfare/ link 2) https://medium.com/tenderlymag/stop-comparing-black-lives-matter-to-animal-rights-59a640d741f1 link 3) https://www.vox.com/2016/7/11/12136140/black-all-lives-matter
Toggle Commented Jul 19, 2020 on whose lives matter? at Have Gone Vegan
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Hi Krissa, glad you found the quote as helpful as I did! And yes, we never know when that one letter, one email, or one conversation will be the one that makes a difference. That pushes things over the edge enough to make, as you say, a huge difference. That's one reason to keep trying. Another is to voice dissent. To simply say No, we don't agree. To be on the record of trying to stop whatever it is we can't change, or are trying to change. And a third is to bear witness. Not sure if you clicked on the link (I almost don't blame you if you didn't), but if you did, then you'll know that the awful Ag-gag law in Ontario passed. Not only passed, but has already claimed the life of a dedicated activist, Regan Russell (link below) who died only two days after. Died, in my opinion, in large part because the Bill's message further emboldened those who work in the industry. Bearing witness is what Regan Russell did with passion and determination, and what other activists have to continue. Even if it seems hopeless, action is, as you agree, essential. Now even more so than ever. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/regan-russell-1.5627216
Toggle Commented Jul 19, 2020 on hope is not required at Have Gone Vegan
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Hi Krissa, yes, I've been on a bit of a roll of late, snort. But I have some time now while we wait for Mom to go into long-term care after the Covid restrictions lift, and then I may be absent again for a spell until she gets settled. Remember the Milk: It Does a Body Good campaign from the 80s and 90s? Wrong. My vegan journey started with eliminating dairy as it caused too many sinus and phlegm problems - yuck. And those problems went away as soon as I ditched dairy. After that it wasn't so hard to give up other animal products as well. Really tells you something, eh, when the industry tries to disallow a word that's in the dictionary for Pete's sake. Most of them will say that the secondary meaning of 'milk' has to do with the product produced by seeds or fruit or the liquid of various plants, just as a secondary common meaning of 'meat'is the flesh of a fruit or nut. It's obviously a tactic of a scared industry with falling sales. The comment I hear most often (sometimes to my face, usually behind my back but loud enough for me to hear) when I wear the 'Not Your Mom, Not Your Milk' shirt is that veganism is too extreme. As if all the horrors we inflict on other beings isn't. It's like, yes animals are cute, but only insofar as they don't interfere with my daily routine too much. Mind you, the dairy industry has pumped millions (billions?) into marketing, so it's not too surprising that most people still believe cow's milk to be good for them. So sad.
Toggle Commented Jul 19, 2020 on what CAN'T milk do? at Have Gone Vegan
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...is the tagline at the end of a commercial produced by the Dairy Farmers of Ontario (see video below if you must...) I would now like to answer their question. Milk (produced FOR calves but stolen by humans) and/or the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2020 at Have Gone Vegan
Well, you know my view on the matter, but this was one of the write-ups in response to the passing of Bill 156. The comment at the bottom is mine, but it's a condensed version as I was only allowed... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2020 at Have Gone Vegan
As you know, the third reading of Bill 156 passed by 68-22, with 25 MPPs not voting. It will be rightfully challenged in court, and I encourage you to support Animal Justice in their bid to overturn it. Also, read... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2020 at Have Gone Vegan
Thank you! Have added to the list, except for the last two, which yeah, a bit too provocative, but I'll leave 'em up in the comments. Love Not Your Mom, Not Your Milk, and was wearing my tee with that saying just yesterday! :)
Toggle Commented Jun 20, 2020 on Vegan Slogans at Have Gone Vegan
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Like many of you, I'm pissed off. Royally so. A good thing too that I didn't have much hope, given that the bill passed a second reading with a unanimous vote of 100-0 (how incredibly screwed up is that?), but... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2020 at Have Gone Vegan
Whether it's climate or another issue, you don't have to feel hope to be motivated to keep fighting for what you believe in. Find something that pushes you to do what is right even when the future looks bleak. Maybe... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2020 at Have Gone Vegan
Thanks Debra! :)
Toggle Commented Jun 9, 2020 on whose lives matter? at Have Gone Vegan
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Black Lives Matter. And it's about time that Black Lives Matter has finally gotten the international support and solidarity it deserves. It also goes to show what can happen when the possibility of real change (and fear of what will... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2020 at Have Gone Vegan
Hi Krissa, yep, implicit in the rise in domestic violence is that pets will be victims too. As people may (or may not) know, a common form of control for abusers is to threaten to hurt a family pet, or worse, to act upon that threat. (In one study that I know of, conducted by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals back in 1998, 61% of surveyed Ontario women who had left their abusive partner stated that their partners had brutalized or killed a pet.) Yes, animal adoptions went way up in Canada as well. A double-edged sword at best, in my opinion, and a point I'll include in the upcoming post. Not that I'm sure when that'll be... :)
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Hi Carol! Thank you for your comments. You sound like a fellow long-time vegan traveller, and yes, the continual trying to make a difference can leave us weary and depleted, but we're in it for the long haul, eh? As tiresome as it can get, I DO see a difference in the amount of awareness and acceptance of vegan ideals, which gives me hope. (Plus, the greater amount of plant-based products in just about every grocery store is awesome too.) Personally, I think this planet will eventually be more plant-based because people won't have a choice. Factory farming won't be able to feed everyone 50 years from now, climate change will continue to wreak havoc, and more pandemics will force humanity to wake up. I'm old enough that I won't be around by that time, but we owe it to future generations to at least try to do what we can. So hang in there, don't lose hope, and thank you for your efforts. :)
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