are NOT just a cheaply priced cereal.
There are plenty of people who are value flakes too. They let go of their values at the drop of a hat for various reasons. Is there anyone in your life who has a particularly strong set of beliefs, but who has the ability to change his or her morals based on the people around whom he or she is surrounded? Are their morals like a veritable “light switch”; to be turned on and off at the drop of a hat? Let us examine what it is to have a particular set of morals or a system of beliefs, and how important it is to be consistent.
After perusing this blog, I am sure people now know what it means to be vegan. Deciding to live by a vegan philosophy is the natural evolution of a human whose eyes have been opened to the cruelty, who has seen reality, and who makes a conscious decision to no longer participate in the system of slavery within his/her constraints. As such, can a person who is really decent be able to turn their morals off and on at their whim to suit their own personal or professional needs? (I’ll use this green reusable shopping bag, and I will fill it with chicken parts.) Wait one minute here; isn’t killing bad? Don’t we preach non violence? Is not veganism about THE OTHERS? When did it become about US?
Here are some possible examples of these flaky people’s thought processes (whether they are vegan, or vegetarian or people who think of themselves as progressive and compassionate):
- I am Pregnant, therefore I must not live as a vegan, and it’s ok to exploit animals just for a little while because I have a human baby inside me.
- The people at my job cannot know I am vegan so I must eat this food on the plate, OR, the people at my job all eat meat so I will not be vegan.
- It would be wrong to alienate my friends, so I will eat the food they offer me.
- I am traveling, and when in Rome you know, OR, I cannot be vegan because what happens if I am in a rural Eskimo village one day and all they serve is meat? Then I would be living a lie!
- It wouldn’t make a difference anyhow what I do; it’s going to happen anyway.
- I am scared of standing out, and being different, so in this case I will make an exception, OR, I never want to standout, hence I will not be a vegan as that is too weird!
- I only visit my family at the holidays so I can make an exception; no big deal.
and my ALL time favorite (not really, I HATE this excuse)
- My girlfriend/boyfriend will not date me if I am vegan, so I can eat some cheese and eggs and meat now and again; it’s not going to make a big difference in the grand scheme of things. After all, maybe I can “convert” him/her!
What is wrong with the picture below? Since when did values become about our relationship with others, and how they affect US? Should not our values be about higher things? I am not talking about a man in the sky when I say that! There are many things that I could say are wrong about the picture, but I will choose one. Nowhere in the picture do I see anything about social justice. It is all about the self. I think the self is only as important as the other beings around us. The dedication of one’s life for the benefit of others is in my opinion is one of the highest values one can have, and I dare say that most people would agree; that is until they have to make changes in their own lives. Those who vehemently oppose slavery, abuse, and killing, yet who conveniently “forget” about this and their ideals at times in order to fit in are just flaky, wish washy and self absorbed in my opinion. What kind of consistency is that? What role models are we if we turn our backs on those who most need us? Do the suffering cows, chickens, pigs, cats, dogs, snakes, sheep, birds, rabbits, turtles, ducks, earthworms, ladybirds etc. have a choice too?
The mindset of these value flakes goes something like this: “although I know what happens to make these “foods”, cleaners, etc, I will turn off the knowledge I have accumulated in order to suit every situation in which I find myself, because I cannot offend anyone’s feelings, I want my life to be smooth sailing, and I don’t want to be difficult.”
I think this thought process is absolutely flawed. When we make “exceptions” like these, not only are we making excuses to make our lives easier, but we are throwing away our values that we supposedly hold dear to us. Not only this, but by sticking to our guns and setting an example, we are SHOWING others that it is NOT ok to use others for our pleasure, enjoyment, and NEVER will be, no matter how hard they push. They may think it extreme to fore-go the meat and two veg meal, and the soap from rendering plants, but it is much more extreme to force others to suffer unnecessarily for our products. What others think is NOT important. The ONLY thing that matters is living up to our values we have developed over time. There is no other way to live our lives other than in accordance with the things we think are important, and in this case, the fundamentally understood value that bullying other creatures is WRONG.
I hold people to their word, I expect consistency, I never ask for perfection but am convinced that a person who can so easily drop the core values they hold is someone who is not only lacking profundity, but is also lacking self respect. Tolerance for this value flip flopping is rewarding bad behavior. Pretty soon a value flake will become a value fruit loop!!! Speak up. A friend in need, is a friend in DEED.