“But where do you get your protein?”
If I had a euro for every time I’ve heard this over the past two months, I’d have enough to treat myself to more Salvie Sea skincare products. It’s a question so often asked by someone who doesn’t care too much about their health anyway; someone with a cigarette hanging out of their mouth or with a Big Mac in their hand.
The fact is they don’t care where I’m getting my protein from. By asking this question, they’re projecting their idea that what I’m doing is something I haven’t thought through, hence the stupid question. It’s almost a default response, asked by people whose knowledge of nutrition ends with ‘meat = protein, banana = potassium, dairy = calcium’. The question isn’t a simple one. It has an agenda and it’s a mask for what they’re really trying to say: What about your health? Won’t you feel weak? You need meat. You need dairy. Why are you doing this? Why is your lifestyle choice making me question and discuss my eating habits?
I was the same a few months ago; oblivious and blissful in my ignorance with my head planted firmly in the ground. I truly never thought I would ever give up eating meat permanently, never mind dairy and eggs as well. I was ignorant, I said moronic things about how good meat tasted in front of my vegetarian friends, I got into arguments with vegans online and chastised them for ‘forcing their views on me’. In short, I was a massive knob, the kind of person that I look at today with pity – pity because I know that they know what they are doing is wrong. They just haven’t faced themselves yet.
Many people give out about vegans for being militant with our views on animal rights, on ethical eating and cruelty free living, but when you’ve finally opened your eyes to the cruelty that humans have inflicted onto other creatures for centuries, you want to shout it from the rooftops. You want everyone to wake up, to question the status quo and to look at their plate with compassionate eyes. I have that burning desire to shake my loved ones and try to get through to them about what they’re doing to the planet, what they’re putting in their bodies and the pain and suffering that they’re condoning by consuming meat and dairy.
It is so important to question what is ‘normal’ and what is right. I have hope that in twenty, fifty, or seventy years time meat consumption will have drastically decreased, with most of the world embracing an ethical lifestyle. I want veganism to be the norm, with cancer rates plummeting and obesity decreasing and happier, healthier people populating the world. I want us to be in a position to ask the niche of meat-eaters about why they continue to consume creatures when they don’t need to. I want to ask “But where do you get your fibre?” I want my meaning behind that question to ring loud and clear: What about your health? Don’t you feel weak? You don’t need meat. You don’t need dairy. Why are you doing this?
Why are you doing this?