American Morals Under Review
Published March 11, 2018
Category: Plant-Based

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When I first decided to be vegan, I’d been vegetarian for just over one year. It was a slow progression for me. First I cut out red meat, then chicken and fish (let’s be honest- I was a freshman in college so I wasn’t eating much fish to begin with), and I had sworn, “I’ll never cut out eggs! They are too delicious and healthy!”. Flash forward six months and I was staring at a plate of eggs wondering about the chickens who created them. Were they young, old? What did they eat? Were they healthy, cute, happy? What were their names? I put down my fork.

The truth was, I had seen the documentaries. I knew the facts about how poultry, pigs, and cows are treated and viewed in American agricultural practices. I knew they lived in the most inhumane conditions- crammed into enormous barns, defecating on one another- how they were fed steroid-filled “feed” in order for them to mature faster. I’d seen the videos of the pigs with abcesses and rashes, the chickens who were so unhealthy they barely resembled Foghorn Leghorn.

Are you cringing yet? Don’t worry- I’m done with the descriptive imagery. (for now)

I put down my fork.

I began thinking about what it means to be an American. Not about what the constitution says, or what John-Jacob’s cousin might say. I thought about what the media says about American women and men. I thought about how our authorities act, what they label as truths, and what children are taught to believe in lunchrooms and summer camps. And while there was a lot of morality and positive attributes, something didn’t make sense.

As an American woman, I have spent my whole life ignoring my hesitation. I spent 19 years of my life always mending things or accept them, regardless of my emotions.

As Americans we are taught to settle, to shrink our fear, and belittle one of our most powerful biological gifts: sensitivity.

After all, it is sensitivity that allows us to understand one another, form relationships, and build community. It is sensitivity that allows both pain and absolute joy. It is sensitivity that shows us that killing another person is wrong, and it is that same tool which enables us to forgive and let go when we have been wronged. Yet we live in a society where young children play violent video games where they get points based off killing. We are bombarded by sexualized magazines and so much misinformation about nutrition that we can’t help but be overwhelmed. We are desensitized to violence, and we are desensitized and separated to the murder of 100 billion animals every year.

The moment I became vegan was the moment that I embraced my sensitivity. I heard the voice in my head say, “You are not okay with this. This is not who you are.”

I responded by putting down my fork, picking up a mango, and starting my plant-based journey.

Cece

1 Comment

  1. Halle Smith

    Yes!! So good.Thank you for your vulnerability xx

    Reply

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