THE POWER OF CHANGEDarya FowlerThe Power of Change A large population of the world believes that the consumption of animal products is the healthiest lifestyle.
From childhood, humans are taught that eating animal products is healthy while eating foods like grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables is less important. People become accustomed to needing meat for optimal health. We are taught that we need milk to grow and maintain strong bones and that plant-based foods just are not enough to keep them alive and healthy. For years, research has shown that the standard American diet, focusing on large quantities of meat as well as meat products and less so on plant-based foods has negative effects on health and other aspects. A better option than the standard American diet is the vegan diet.
Choosing a vegan lifestyle is not only better for health, but is also better for the environmental sustainability, and the ethical treatment of animals. However, while it is easy to give the facts of why being vegan is better, it is just as important to know that each individual person who chooses to take on the vegan lifestyle is contributing to a future of less destruction to our world and future generations. In actuality people cannot say what will happen for sure in terms of agriculture, animal factory farms, ethical views, or environmental and equality laws in the future. It is impossible of knowing that information. It is possibly unlikely, that the entire world will change to full veganism. Sadly as humans we are either very ignorant and unaware, or are aware, but choose not to change. More and more humans are realizing the importance of making the change and for every one person that speaks about the positive impact or switches to a vegan lifestyle the more positive impact it is on the world. Even if only 90%, or 60%, or 20% of the worlds population comes to realize and changes their ways, it is still far greater of an impact.
The significance of small change always outweighs no change at all. What if people believed in environmentalism, but felt their actions would be too insignificant or meaningless so they decided to leave their water running all the time? Or if people thought “of course, racism, bigotry, and misogyny are terrible and wrong, but why change things that have always been here, so they go on to perpetuate and contribute to those terrible things because there’s no point in trying to make change.” Just because change seems hard, a long way off from correcting, or often times a very a isolated battle, does not mean the answer is to abandon beliefs and continue contributing to the problem. The main problem with this way of thinking is that people seem to cling to it. They reason with, “I want the world to be different but I’m just one small person, what impact could I have on my own?” However, imagine for just a moment if all of us who had their frame of mind chose to stand up for what they believed in. We would all be standing in unison, as one.
No one is alone in this kind of thinking of being powerless. It isn’t until more research is put out that people begin to strengthen their beliefs and begin to understand how important it is for the planet to make a shift to living in a more sustainable way to preserve the goodness of all that was and still can be. Since more research has become accessible to the public, more are educated on matters of animal cruelty, animal products affecting health, the environment, and global poverty.
With all the new found information people slowly begin to open their minds and make changes. They might be very small changes in the grand scheme of things, but one person at time is already diminishing the greenhouse gas emissions, amount of animals murdered, and most of all greatly reducing chances of developing diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity and heart disease. Moreover, since making these change and becoming more outspoken about what they have learned, people use their voices via social media to tell each other what they have learned. So if someone thinks one person simply can’t make a difference that is not true. Take on this perspective: What if you worked at educating others about animal cruelty, pacifism, drugs or whatever your concern is, and each year just one other person accepted your philosophy? What if that person did likewise? And so on.
After six years 32 would have adopted your philosophy. Another six years and the number would have passed 2000, or if we halve that to allow for those who lose commitment or die, 1000, all coming from what you started a decade or so earlier. That’s quite a difference. Through difference we create of the process of supply and demand.
Animal agribusiness does not exist on its own, it exists because consumers continue to pay for it. In purchasing meat/eggs/dairy/fur etc, you are directly supporting that industry not only morally, but financially. We vote with our dollar, so it either goes in favor of a product or against. Every time you buy a dead animal – be it to eat or to wear – you are letting the world know that you accept and actively support the practice. You are directly paying someone to kill that cow/baby chick/piglet/lamb/etc and helping them continue to do so.
This may sound like confrontional stuff, because we have developed a strong cognitive dissonance to protect our consciences, but it’s important we know and take a stand for what we believe. Even if someone wasn’t able to provide any information and supporting evidence, would it matter? Surely if you believed animal cruelty or the killing of others was immoral, that should be enough grounds for you to not support it? By paying to have others killed, exploited, raped/artificially inseminated repeatedly without consent and so on, you are directly fueling this industry – so you better agree with what they’re doing. Things like grinding baby chicks alive in a big blender, suffocating piglets, and ripping babies from their mothers cannot be what humans feel is the morally right thing to do. There is never a bad time to start doing the right thing.
Of course, the best time is now. The days you haven’t been vegan are gone, and you can’t have them back. Forget them. They belong to the past. Make today, tomorrow, and every day after the priority. They are yours. Each of your consumer choices is a vote for the kind of world you want to see.
Each of your choices in the past helped build the world of today, and each of your choices from this moment forward will help build the world of tomorrow. The question is not “can you make a difference?” You already do, it’s just a matter of what kind.