Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Notes for a 1 Minute "Elevator Speech"

I'm hoping to create a terse and effective "elevator pitch" (used by many to sell their worthiness to company executives during the course of a brief elevator ride together)...only this one will be to address the motivation for being a vegan and why other, non-vegans, should realize the benefits of the transformation as well.

This I will eventually memorize and finally have as my immediate response to questions from omnivores when asked why my hair is on fire. No, I mean, when asked WHY WOULD YOU BECOME A VEGAN?

The following disparate sentences will be harvested somehow soon into this perfectly succinct rap-recipe which will both educate and convert all unsuspecting naysayers as they watch me from my tower of superiority flashing teeth filled with spinach and sesame seeds wearing my "Al Gore Invented Global Warming" t-shirt:

I'm glad you care about what I eat! So do I about what you put into your mouth.

It's about refraining from harming others, an idea most people already adhere to.

I feel it's wrong to deny any animal, including a human, the basic rights to pursue pleasure and avoid pain.

For me it took 36 years of vegetarianism to come to embrace veganism.

I do not want to support an industry that tortures and mistreats animals. Animals trust us to care for them.

Veganism is a lifestyle which helps advance animal rights by abolishing their slavery and the thrust of thinking that views animals as commodities.

Eggs? Okay, I'll consume an egg only if the chicken is a pet who has a name and is not force-impregnated.

Cheese? Okay, I'll consume milk products only if the cow is a pet who has a name and is not milked after it's natural cycles.

I want to live by my values, not by my lust for tastes achieved through suffering.

People have a very strong attachment to their food choices...their "comfort foods".

However, a knowledgeable consumer can make better choices which can ultimately send a message to industries hell bent on ignoring the health and safety of it's customers for the more focused concentration of how much money for how little product care possible. Remember Big Tobacco?

Okay,I'll validate for you my eating habits and my lifestyle if you'll also tell me why you prefer cloven hooves and pig flesh on your bed of lettuce.

Oh well. It obviously is in the early stages. I think it has the core of a pithy, forceful and effective rap.

Any and all comments are welcomed to help tighten it up.

1 comment:

Meg said...

"Eggs? Okay, I'll consume an egg only if the chicken is a pet who has a name and is not force-impregnated.

Cheese? Okay, I'll consume milk products only if the cow is a pet who has a name and is not milked after it's natural cycles."

I do not come here to judge you, but since you have decided to speak out about veganism (which I think is great) I do hope that you'll read more about the meaning of veganism here: http://veganmeans.com/vegan_who/VEGANISM_DEFINED.htm

Veganism seeks to end the exploitation of all animals and therefore it is generally understood that knowingly eating eggs and animal milk are not acceptable because they are part of that exploitative system.

Now, I do realize that people see a big difference between pet animals and factory farmed animals. However, in either case there is exploitation because animals are treated as property. Adopting strays and rescues is one thing, I do think that is better in most cases than "euthanasia" since they're already here and generally not suited to just being let "free" -- especially since local governments generally don't look favorably on that sort of thing. But breeding pets for human enjoyment is another matter.

So, to me, it doesn't matter if an animal has a name, that still doesn't make it right to use it as property.

I will admit, as a disclaimer, that I do say this as someone who is still a bit conflicted, one might say. I do have pet chickens, back from when I thought that would be a the best alternative to store-bought eggs. I still regret that decision on the one hand, though on the other I am grateful for the lesson they have taught me. Their lives -- while so much better than their sisters -- aren't free. They still rely on me for many things, they still live cooped up most of the time, most of their brothers were still killed just for being male, they are still products of many generations of breeding that have led them to lay eggs at an abnormally high rate.

If they would eat their own eggs, as some chickens do, I would let them do so, but they don't seem so inclined even when broken up, so I guiltily give them to friends and neighbors that I know have no intention of going vegan hoping that will at least reduce the number of store-bought eggs that have to be produced (I'm not big into just throwing things out).

I do worry, though, that it might encourage people to believe that I think it's alright to eat eggs, but I hope it's the lesser evil. It's not perfect, but neither am I. And

I hope you will consider this and also whether having exceptions to eating a vegan diet -- and publicizing those exceptions in your "elevator speech" -- helps to reduce the exploitation of animals or encourage people to just look for "good enough" solutions that still are exploitation. I don't mind you sharing here as I think it is a good subject to discuss, but it might muddy the message when you have limited time for discussion.

In the end, we must all make our decisions the best we know how. I am very happy to find another vegan online (I found you through your comment on Veganism is Not a Religion). I hope to read more of your blog! Congrats on going vegan!

Finally, if I may ask, what made you decide to go vegan after 36 years of vegetarianism? I've heard a lot of talk about vegetarianism as a "stepping stone". Do you think it is? Or do you think it made you too complacent? I'm curious because a lot of vegans do seem to have been vegetarians at some point but neither my husband nor I were. In fact, he was still perhaps one of the most devoted carnivores I have met -- until he told me that he wanted to try eating a vegan diet for a while. And so we did and not long after we decided to become committed vegans after we realized it was a real choice for us (and that we'd have to actively choose to buy animal products now that it wasn't just the default/normal option).