“I thought veganism was about compassion for everyone, including humans!”

Unfortunately some people use this statement as a silencing tactic.

Compassion is experiencing someone’s suffering and taking steps to alleviate their pain.

Some people take this literally, and expect us to tell them only what they want to hear. Perhaps they want vegans to be “nice” or have a neutral attitude towards animal exploitation.

Let’s remember though: sometimes, the most compassionate action is to help people work through their suffering, rather than avoid it. Even if its not exactly what they want to hear.

This could be:

  • Providing a fresh perspective on the conventional view of animals as objects.
  • Being vocal about social justice issues, because others may not be fully informed on the impact of their actions.
  • Asking questions to help others clarify their own decision-making process.
  • Providing facts so that people are more informed in their choices.
  • Holding people accountable for harmful, exploitative behaviour (including behavioir that disrespects, discredits, or mistreats us).

Ultimately, it is compassionate to promote the vegan message, because it’s the only way to truly reconcile the cognitive dissonance of “loving animals” while being willing to contribute to their harm.