All over the media at the moment, I see a surge of people scrambling to defend their actions. Or trying to brand vegans as angry and out for blood.
Article after article and post after post. It is a constant stream.
I see people trying to justify certain language, trying to excuse certain actions, trying to cover tracks or push through to get their point across. I hear a lot of noise.
Activists are being called out, and a spotlight is being cast all over so-called militancy and extremism.
Vegan activists have been accused of terrorism, intimidation, and threats.
We have even seen vegans calling out other vegans - a divide when now, even more than ever, we should be standing together. United.
Throughout it all, the noise grows and the message becomes blurred. It has become about the peoplem, about the rush to protect our egos.
Are we forgetting who we are fighting for?
In times like these, with so much pressure on our backs, it can feel like we have been told to never get angry.
We have been told that anger is bad, and negative emotions are bad. We must stay composed and calm to present a straight face to world.
Vegan activist Joey Carbstrong spoke to PBN about being accused of being militant. Subscribe to PBN's YouTube Channel here
Well I want to tell you that it is ok to be angry.
We do not have to call it passion, or put another positive spin on it. It is not something we should be shying away from.
We do not have to cover a negative with a positive. Anger is not a bad word.
In fact, with all the horrors that go on daily baisis, we should be angry. We should be rising up. We should be taking a stand.
If humans were abused on the scale of animals, we would have already turned over the system and started a revolution, demanding change.
In everything that matters, all earthlings are the same.
We all feel fear, pain and joy. So why do we continue to attempt to justify our archaic habits that need to move with the times?
Animals are dragged across the country, sometimes even across countries, bought and sold, tortured and mutilated, murdered, all for food that is making us sick and destroying the planet we live on.
We are raising and killing animals for their skins or to cut them to pieces in laboratories. We separate mothers from their children to encourage productivity. We herd up families and drag them out of the ocean so they can perform tricks to make us laugh.
We chase after animals, only satisfied when the hounds tear them to shreds. We then shoot those hounds who no longer run fast enough - or who simply do not want to run.
None of them wanted to die.
Vegan 2017 charts the progress of the vegan movement. Subscribe to PBN's YouTube Channel here
Slaughterhouse workers suffer the highest rates of PTSD, suicide, depression and drug and alcohol abuse.
They are a cog in the wheel that we spin around, chew up and spit out.
We do not need to consume animal flesh. There is nothing we cannot get from plants.
We live in a world with so many other accessible options, that it makes no sense to fight a shift away from animal exploitation.
There are now ocean dead zones, a hole where the rainforest once was, polluted lakes, a world coming to its knees.
Our hospitals struggle to cope with the ever-increasing population.
Diseases inflicted by our own habits, by never looking inwards or being willing to make a change.
Thousands of people will gather to run to raise money for cancer research charities. How many would be outraged if they knew that most of their loved ones' deaths could have been prevented?
We have to sit and watch our loved ones feast on the corpses of baby animals.
We have to make peace with the suffering we contributed to before going vegan. We have to learn to forgive our parents, our families and ourselves.
We are confronted daily by people who question our protein intake, who suddenly worry about our health, when they themselves are leading themselves to an early grave.
We repeat ourselves time and time again...We repeat ourselves time and time again.
Vegans often face some strange accusations. Subscribe to PBN's YouTube Channel here
Some say going vegan is like waking up in a horror movie, where you have seen the monster, but no else has seen it yet. You are running about and screaming but no one listens.
My question is, why isn't everyone outraged?
It is easy to see why we are passionate for change. And it is easy to see why we are angry.
And instead of using our anger as an excuse to justify your ignorance, maybe you should ask yourself why we are angry?
Emotions are a part of human nature. All feelings are equally important.
Just as we feel happiness, sadness and contentment, we also feel anger. To suppress one throws us out of balance and denies us who we are.
It is important to learn to recognise these emotions and learn to deal with them appropriately. Otherwise, we can end up over-reacting and hurting ourselves or those around us.
With activists in particular, this can result in burnout, isolation and alienation.
It can lead to addictions and self destruction, to doubting yourself and not knowing how to trust your emotions.
It can prevent you from processing other emotions, and lead to an empty feeling inside. It can turn to resentment. Bitterness.
If you can't accept your own feelings how can you learn to understand someone else's?
Veganism has been thrust into the mainstream. Subscribe to PBN's YouTube Channel here
But when we learn to manage anger we can use it to our advantage.
Just like stress or nerves, anger is not always a bad thing.
It can motivate us to take action, to drive us forward - it can be the catalyst for change.
For not only is the consumption of animal products so far removed from being morally justified, it is terrible for human health, causing millions to starve all over the world and is beyond destructive to the planet.
Veganism is about compassion. We are vegan because we care.
Being angry does not mean you do not care.
Being angry only proves that you care.
Together we can learn to channel this. And create the biggest wave this world has ever seen.
Emily Noble has been vegan for four years. She got involved with animal rights activism just over a year ago and haven't stopped since. Emily is now an organizer at Suffolk Animal Save, Norfolk Animal Save, and Norwich Livestock Market Animal Save. She also attends as many other events as possible. In her spare time she enjoys taking photos and hiking.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself.
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