The other day a friend asked me, “why are you vegan?” This isn’t a question I’ve been asked recently, and my reasons for my diet have evolved over the years.
I thought I’d go into depth about why this is. It’s kind of a long story!
It started in my late twenties, when I was struggling to find myself after generally feeling depressed about life and unsatisfied with the course it was on. I was desperately trying to find out what I believed in, and what I wanted out of life.
I did a lot of research into philosophy. Not from a religion standpoint, but definitely on morality. What I found resonated with me the most is basically anarchy. Not anarchy in that sense where there are no rules, but definitely in the sense where there are no rulers.
Anarchy, where individuals govern themselves, not communities governing individuals. Where individuals protect individuals rather than relying on a centralized government to do so.
I think this idea has become more commonly known as Libertarianism or Voluntaryism since the word Anarchy often has associated negative connotations. These philosophies resonated with me the most, and my interpretation of their foundations are three fold.
A government or other people do not own me– I own myself.
I can own land and other things. Social contracts make it so.
The non-aggression principle
It is morally wrong for me to initiate force.
Pursuing this mentality, I started to see the world in a different light, and the Sci-Fi movie Skyline was an unexpected eye opener for me. Spoiler alert! In Skyline, extra terrestrial invaders come to Earth and harvest humans for the body parts. Brains and spinal cords specifically. I thought about how the non-aggression principle could apply to the situation.
The E.T.s should not be initiating force against the humans, that is morally wrong of them! Even though they are probably a vastly superior race in terms of brain capability and technology, they should not take advantage of these lower lifeforms. Wait a minute, humans do this same thing! Humans harvest body parts from cows and other animals… OMG!
My mind was blown. I didn’t want to be like the E.T.s in Skyline.
I got into trans-humanism around the same time, the philosophy of using science and technology to overcome human limitations. Trans-humanism opened my mind to the idea that humans could create a new strain of themselves just like people fork code repositories and create a derivative codebase. Creating a new race of people with entirely different thought processes and physical makeup would be possible. A new race could emerge, one that doesn’t eat other lifeforms and travels among the stars indefinitely as it feasts on pure star energy or something. I know it’s weird and it’ll never happen in my lifetime, but if I had to think of an ideal path for future generations, that would be it.
Back to today’s reality. I knew I had to eat lesser lifeforms to live, since fruits and veggies are forms of life after all. Not everyone puts much thought into it, but everybody draws a line at what types of lesser lifeforms they consume. Some people only eat certain types of animals. Some people are okay with eating anything that isn’t human. I decided I’d draw my line at what has a brain.
That’s pretty much it. Why I’m vegan.