This is a cow called Fiete. He was rescued from slaughter and lives on a sanctuary in Germany. Hearing him, I am ashamed that he says better in 30 seconds what I have been trying to say for over a decade as a vegan activist.
How beautifully, and how irrefutably, he answers the question: Why vegan?
But I have another question once you have listened to Fiete. It’s a simple question: if you met Fiete in his field, and you had no need to hurt him — would you rather harm him, or cause him no harm?
But harming animals for pleasure goes against core values caring people hold in common —
which is why, for example, we oppose practices like dog fighting on principle. The notion of deriving pleasure from needless violence toward animals is repulsive to us; so how can we justify harming animals simply for the taste of their flesh, milk, or eggs? How can it be wrong to harm for pleasure in one instance, and not the other? The same reasons that compel us to oppose dog fighting compel us to abstain from eating animals we have no need to eat: namely, that it is wrong to harm animals for pleasure, and it is wrong to kill animals for pleasure.
The only way for our values to mean anything — the only way for our values to actually be our values — is if they are reflected in the choices we freely make.
And every day, we have the opportunity to live our values through our food choices.
If we value kindness over violence, if we value justice over power, if we value compassion over causing unnecessary harm, then veganism is the only consistent expression of our values.
For most of us, the question of eating animals really comes down to this basic question: all things being equal, would you rather harm an animal, or cause him no harm? If you believe it is wrong to harm others for pleasure, then living your values means living vegan.
Dea is passionate about pursuing gentle, pure living in all its forms. She’s a veg and fruit foodie, who loves to explore the healing properties of plant-based foods and then fully indulge in their sun-filled taste. She believes that “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”