If you saw a dog getting kicked, you would probably do all you could to help her. But what if you don’t actually see her getting kicked, yet you know for sure it’s happening? Do you just shake your head and say “that’s too bad…”? As long as you’re not kicking the dog yourself, is it really up to you to do something about it?
Practicing non-violence is a necessary and harmonious way of life. But when it is up to you to take “Ahimsa” one step further and – in the words of Gandhi – truly “be the change you wish to see in the world”?
In many ways, we are gaining traction as a movement: pro-animal legislation is popping up left and right; vegan celebrities are coming out by the masses to speak up for animals; cruelty-free cuisine is becoming more widespread and delicious than ever before; positive animal rights-themed media coverage and book publications are on the rise; and it seems that people are “seeing the light” and going vegan before our very eyes.
Shockingly though, the percentage of vegans is so small that it is still considered by some to be within the “margin of error.” For those of us who spend our evenings at vegan potlucks, meet-ups, and social gatherings with like-minded friends, this can seem unreal. Still, outside of the “vegan bubble,” ditching meat and dairy is usually considered “fringe” and animal rights is often seen as “radical”.
That is why it is absolutely necessary that vegans extend their advocacy to beyond just their meals, and speak up for animals in their daily lives. If everyone did just one thing a day for animals – one thing that can easily fit into your life as you know it – perhaps we’d exit the margin of error, wake up the rest of the world to the fact that veganism is a moral imperative and animal rights is a must, and create real change.