Your Thoughts Thursday: Selective Veganism
Last week, Stacey Bendet, designer and founder of the alice + olivia brand, showed up at an event wearing a fur vest. The thing is, Bendet is “vegan”. She commented,
“I’m vegan, actually. I don’t eat [animals], I don’t put meat in my body. So every once in a while I think it’s okay to wear it. But I made it — I’m probably going to hell.I don’t feel that guilty wearing it. I don’t know why. It doesn’t make sense. But something about putting it inside me feels really barbaric. Something about wearing it just feels a little glamorous.”
It doesn’t even make sense to her and she’s still okay with it. And then there are the celebrities crying over the dolphins in their sheep skin boots and leather jackets. Why does society think some animals need saving and others need grilling or wearing? I’ve heard the cuteness factor comes into play, but is a cow or a pig really any less adorable than a dolphin or a tiger? As a child I remember hearing, “Don’t buy canned tuna because dolphins get trapped in the net and you might be eating a piece of dolphin!!!,” and thinking, “But what about the tuna? Why did he deserve to get trapped in the net if it’s an injustice to the dolphins?!” And manatees certainly aren’t bunny rabbits, but everyone wants to rush to save a sea cow. When the horse meat rumor went around, no one wanted to get anywhere near a Taco Bell, but once patrons were assured they were being fed cow, they were once again pleased.
So how do you think an individual comes to pick and choose who deserves to live- which species deserve fighting for- and which make great lunches and shoes?
- Why do you think people don’t draw a connection when they’re planning a Save the Whales campaign over cheeseburgers?
- Or when they donate to the Wildlife Fund in their guests’ honor and then go on to make the ever-pressing reception decision between chicken or fish?
- Do these inconsistencies bother you or do you take an “it is what it is” attitude about speciesism?
- Do you allow yourself similar justifications, “I don’t eat it, so I can wear it,” or “I eat fish and chickens because they don’t seem all that bright anyway, but I never eat cows or pigs.”?
- Is such thinking hypocritical or do you think we’re just all hypocrites in our own special way?