‘Farmers Fear Vegan ‘Terrorists’’.
That was the headline of our local paper yesterday. Where I live that’s the kind of headline that could start a war. The barista in my local café held the paper up this morning in outrage: “Can you believe this? They call us terrorists but they are the ones killing animals.” She had a point. And society should be mindful of just who they call terrorists. The vegans are rising. Their numbers are growing and they’re vocal.
While many don’t appreciate the vegan aggression that was experienced in Melbourne, you’d have to admit they’ve got the conversation on the front page of papers around the country. While the general public ignored their film Dominion last year, the film that vegans wanted everyone to watch, the vegan community have ensured that this time the conversation is centre stage.
Maybe that had to happen. Maybe it was the only way we’d look at our plate and realise the impact of our choices. Only problem is, I wonder whether the ‘vanger’ (that’s what I call vegan anger) has just further polarised the carnivores into bloody defiance. Some Australians have only just started eating salad, they’re a long way off living a plant-based diet.
I live in Mullumbimby, where every second person is not only vegan, their dog is too. We have pop up vegan restaurants that sell ‘pulled pork’ aka jackfruit on a bun. We even have a nail salon that boasts vegan-friendly products. We may have started out as a dairy region, but these days we probably run a bigger head of vegan than we do jerseys.
I am not a vegan, but two of my kids are. Lots of my friends are. I wish I could be a vegan but I find it hard to give up meat. Ethically I support veganism and ethical farming. But I still eat meat. As much as I hate to admit it, the vegans are right. Even ethical meat production is having a detrimental affect on our planet.
Vegans are not terrorists and calling all acts of social dissent ‘terrorism’ is in my opinion very dangerous. Doesn’t democracy enshrine a person’s right to express their view? Perhaps in the future these angry vegans will be seen as the front line activists who tried to save the world.
I am saying this as a meat eater. I buy organic, hormone-free happy meat. Well that’s what I tell myself. That my meat lived a happy life as a cow or a sheep until one day it fell asleep and never woke up. I actually don’t like to think about the process that delivers meat to my plate, it’s far too graphic. I’ve always found vegans a bit self-righteous, mainly because plant-based diet has been proven to be better for human and planetary health.