you had me at meat-free

i am a vegan.

your question is:
why are you a vegan?

it’s an interesting question. and i intend to answer it.

but here’s the thing.
that’s not the question you’re actually asking.
and you’re not actually asking me.

the question you’re actually asking yourself is:
why am i not a vegan?

and you already know the answer.
you might not like it.
but you know it.

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

Douglas Adams – Life, the Universe and Everything

now, i don’t give a fuck about you being a vegan.
or not.

i don’t give a fuck about you full stop.

i’m not here to propagandise.
i’m not here to proselytise.
i’m not here to preach.

this isn’t cowspiracy.

i’m not here to recruit you.
i’m not here to convert you.
i’m not here to save your soul.

there are so many compelling reasons to be a vegan.

because it’s healthier for you.
because it’s ethically the right thing to do.
because it’s environmentally the right thing to do.
because it’s economically the right thing to do.

and when i say right thing to do, i don’t mean like how it’s the ‘right thing to do’ to give up your seat on the tube for a pregnant person. i mean like how it’s the ‘right thing to do’ to not then beat them to death and eat them. and their foetus.

but you already knew that, didn’t you?

i wasn’t always a vegan.
i used to eat meat.
i used to be a meat-eater.

i used to really enjoy eating meat.

i’m talking drive-thru [sic] mcdonald’s bacon roll breakfasts, on friday morning with my dad, on my way in to school.

i’m talking ham-and-cheese toastie lunches, at uni, cooked on an electrically erratic pig-themed toastie-maker that i kept in my locker and never once washed.

i’m talking friday night post-work weekend-feeling chicken cottage meal-deal dinners, with a bottle of healthy boy brand sweet chilli sauce and a movie.

i’m talking junk food
gelatine sweeties
bacon and egg mcmuffins
chicken nugget happy meals
meat feast pizzas
smoked salmon fritters
campfire sausages
fish and chips
taiwanese fried chicken

i’m talking turkey fucking dinosaurs

where your food comes from…

which is to say, i get it.

meat is tasty.

but to paraphrase a quote popularised by supermodel kate moss:
nothing tastes as good as vegan feels

which brings me back to your question.
not your actual question.
the other one.

i get asked this question a lot.

people, stop projecting your insecurities onto me.
i’ve got my own, in case you haven’t noticed.

i’m tired of being your emotional support animal.
i’m tired of you eating your fucking emotional support animals.

and i’m tired of answering this question.
which i why i’ve written this post.

if you’ve asked this question, of me, or of anybody else, and been directed to this post – way to go, you’re part of the problem.

so here’s my answer. in list form.

this list is not about after-the-fact self-justifications.
to me, and to any rational, compassionate human
who has happened to amble by within a mile or two of the empathy factory
at any point during their walk of life
the reasons are really fucking obvious.

the writing, as they say, is on the wall.
writ large.
it’s in big fucking letters.

but i did, for a while, wonder why.

i don’t volunteer at a soup-kitchen.
i don’t give blood.
i don’t offer to share my umbrella with strangers in the rain.

‘the right thing to do’. sure. but why?

these are the actual reasons why i became a vegan.

because my self-loathing reached a certain tipping point.

because i was tired of being a hypocrite.

because i wanted to be on the right side of that particular patch of history.

because i wanted to show myself some respect.

because, for me, it was easy.

because i began, finally, belatedly, to see the sick irony in considering myself an animal lover and eating my loved ones.

because i wanted some evidence that i was a kind person. i wanted hard evidence – just thinking or believing it wasn’t enough for me.

because i was nearly thirty.

because i’d been smoking a lot of weed and dropping a lot of acid.

because all my cool friends were either vegetarians or vegans.

because i’d already waited too long.

because, in our current, late-capitalist paradise, there’s no good reason not to.

because i asked myself the question – is my being here, on this blue-green space hopper, in net terms improving things, or making them worse, and i wasn’t sure. or i was, and i didn’t feel good about it.

because i wanted the right to engage in earnest discussions about this sort of thing, without feeling like a fraud.

because i wanted the right to continue complaining about the action or inaction of others.

because i wanted to do something radical and anticapitalist, but i didn’t want to have to do anything.

because i was beginning to feel that my work was, in every respect, except personally, completely pointless, and i wanted a result.

because although it’s probably too late to save the planet, i thought it might still be possible to save myself.

because i wanted to prove that i hadn’t completely given up – not on myself, and not on the world around me.

and you know what? i haven’t.

and in answer to your actual question.

you probably just don’t hate yourself enough yet.

but don’t worry, you’ll get there.

when the dead souls of a thousand billion farm animals
realise, in this new hell
they're the ones holding the pitchforks
they aren't going to read everyone's labels to check who's vegan
we're all gona fry.