Friday, January 30, 2015

Ⓥ Bad Vegan Guilt

I'm honestly not sure if this is something that is unique to me, or if other vegans experience it as well. I get this feeling that I'm being a bad vegan for liking things that are not specifically vegan. I'm not talking about foods or clothes, or anything else that actually contains animal products (that would make sense). I'm talking about TV shows, musicians, books, things like that. I refuse to support anyone, or anything, that I know to be cruel to animals in some way. I stop supporting any artist who wears fur, I won't watch movies if I find out that the animal actors were mistreated, etc. I still feel somewhat bad for supporting anything that is not actively vegan though.

I know it's rather unreasonable for us to expect everything we participate in to be directly in line with our beliefs, especially considering what a small percentage of the total population we are. Still, it's rather disappointing to be reading a book and find that the author keeps mentioning that the characters are eating meat. When I get involved in the lives of fictional characters, I am always tempted to just pretend that they feel the same way I do about animal rights. This works out fine, as long as nothing is actually stated to the contrary. When it is directly pointed out that they don't share my beliefs, I lose a little bit of the connection I felt to them.

On the other hand, I find that I try very hard to like things that are created by other vegans or animal rights activists. I make a point to listen to bands that I wouldn't otherwise listen to because the members are vegan, or watch movies that don't necessarily appeal to me because they have vegan actors. I feel like we, as vegans, have an obligation to support each other in every way we can. To me that means sometimes convincing myself to like things that I otherwise wouldn't.

I guess when you get right down to it, it's basically just a need to feel a connection to the things I love. It's the desire to feel understood. I don't want to have to put my beliefs on hold in order to be entertained. I want to be able to be who I am and love what I love at the same time. Unfortunately, for now, that can be pretty hard to do.