Funds raised: 500€. What’s this for?
I want to do an experiment. Trying to start a new life at the age of 36. It’s been a while since I’m an animal rights advocate but now I’m going to try to take that “extra” step: study veterinary in college and see if a new life in animal rights activism, at 36 in Italy is possible.
Since I became a veg, more than 7 years ago, I had to face several clichés, jokes and silly questions. Here are the most commons I had to answer to. Oh and just for you yo know… Italians are often closed to new ideas or life concepts so what may seems obvious for you it’ s huge mountain for an Italian.
1. Where do you get your protein? Well, this is a classic. I don’t want to talk science, but almost all foodstuff has proteins. Maybe only water hasn’t. There are two kind of proteins in Nature: the good ones that you can finds in vegetables, cereal, legumes etc – those who give you the good cholesterol – and the bad ones that you can finds in the meat – those that give you high pressure (among all). Vegans get their proteins from vegetables. Plus, I’ve never heard of a person (at least in western countries) dying for “protein deficiency”, but there are really many people having cholesterol diseases, obesity and (guess what?) osteoporosis.
2. Yeah ok I care about animals, but fish… it doesn’t have a brain. Well… just because another being doesn’t have blood in their veins or we are not able to hear it screaming while dying, it means it doesn’t suffer. Fish have have nervous systems that comprehend and respond to pain and they suffocate and die when they’re out of their element, just like us if we were put underwater.
3. But meat is soooo tasty. I don’t believe that TASTE is a good justification for meat consumption. Jeffrey Dahmer thought his victims were tasty too…
4. You don’t eat meat, fish, dairy… what do you eat? Only grass??? No. Vegan diet is really various and delicious. Many times people told me “come on, come to the party, there’ll be grilled vegetables and salad for you…”. Actually I don’t like grilled or steamed vegetables that much, but there is so much good food to eat… especially in Italy with our mediterranean diet: all kinds of pasta, cereal, rice, legumes, seitan, tofu, tempeh served in wonderful ways. I’ve just found out the “lupino steak” as well but they’re kind of expensive. Why don’t you check this website out? You’ll surely find out something tastier than “grass”.
5. a) I really cannot cut out meat from my diet because I’m anaemic. b) And look at you. You’re so pale… if only you eat meat… c) you have a headache/stomacache/feetache/toothache/your back hurts? It’s because you don’t eat meat. a) Hey guys guess what? I’ve been anaemic all my life… since I became veg. The problem was that my diet was not balanced (pasta, hamburger and frites always), but I discovered this just after being veg. I used to eat big quantities of raw horse meat. No doctor ever told me about the veg diet to cure my disease. I kept swallowing iron pills and phials forever but then… the miracle. Recently I’ve been anaemic again because of too much work and stress. I couldn’t eat properly so I thought it would have been fair to eat cheese again. How wrong I was. Anaemy was back again like an old boyfriend you don’t want to see anymore. Got rid of cheese, got rid of anaemy. b) Well maybe you don’t know, but meat has no beta carotene so it cannot help you sun tan. I’m pale and I got eye sockets because I work 8/10 hours a day, 7 days a week in an office and in a restaurant. And I don’t like my jobs. I never sunbathe, I’m often tired and stressed. I sleep 3 or 4 hours per night… this leaves shadows under my eyes, not salad!! c) I have headache/stomacache/feetache/toothache/my back hurts as anyone in the world. My life is really stressful for me… for other info please check section b)
6. If we don’t eat animals, thwy will eat us. Ehm… well… I really would love to see that day, when cows, hens, pigs, duck will army themselves to kill us. No ok now seriously. There are millions of farmed animals because of us. We farm them. If factory farming didn’t exist, animals will automatically adjust to the availability of food, space, and shelter (something humans don’t do). Factory farming is so bad that is destroying the vast majority of the forests. We are destroying ourselves with our own hands… and we know it. See this interesting video
7. Hunting is good for the animals. Our habitat is plenty of animals that destroy everything. This is totally wrong. Hunting destroys everything. Only the strong will survive in Nature, but hunters kill everything that moves: the strong and the weak.
8. But factory farmed animals are raised for food, clothing etc… So kids were born to sew balls? Women to serve men? Jews to be exterminated? And can I abuse my son just because I have the power to do it?
9. You’re inconsistent. You speak out for animals but then you walk over ants and flies are killed on your windscreen. I try to do my best not to hurt other beings, but it’s unrealistic not to hurt anybody (when I buy made in China or multinational products for example). I try to avoid any suffering whenever I can and, even though I cannot save all the flies on my windscreen, I cannot NOT see the pain of animals in slaughterhouses, circuses, fur factories, pet stores etc…
10. Vegetables suffer as well. Well this is doubtable. If it suffers it will have legs to run away from danger. And salad as well. Fruit is designed for this purpose: to be eaten from animals to ensure pollination. Vegetables have a different nervous system than ours. My hair and my nails are alive too, but I really doubt they suffer when I cut them. What is real is animal suffering in slaughterhouses or vivisection labs.
11. There are more important things to take care of: kids, elderly people, abused women… These are all great causes to dedicate, but the great thing is that you can do both when you’re vegan. You can save animals AND help whoever else you prefer.
12. You have your opinions, I got mine. Freedom of expression is different than freedom of action. If I don’t like your t-shirt and I tell you, it’s fine, this is an opinion; but if I tear it up from you, you sue me. When you eat your T-bone, your “opinion” has just killed an innocent.
13. Don’t dairy cows need to be milked? This is the best myth ever. In order for a cow to produce milk, she must have a calf. Each “dairy cow” is impregnated every year so that she continues to produce a steady supply of milk. In nature, the mother’s calf would drink her milk, eliminating the need for her to be milked by humans, but on factory farms, calves are taken away from their mothers when they are just a day or two old so that humans can have the milk that nature intended for the calves. Female calves are slaughtered immediately or raised to be dairy cows. Male calves are confined for 16 weeks to tiny veal crates that are so small that they cannot even turn around. But if you like milk… why don’t eat your cat’s or dog’s?
14. Man is omnivore, and anyway… the lion eats the gazelle. Carnivorous animals have claws, short digestive tracts, and long, curved fangs. Humans have flat, flexible nails, and our so-called “canine” teeth are minuscule compared to those of carnivores. We have flat molars and long digestive tracts that are suited to diets of vegetables, fruits, and grains. Eating meat is hazardous to our health.
Well this is just an excerpt of all the questions I have been asked daily. Let me know your comments or tell me the questions you have been asked… I’m really curious.