Vegans of Color

Because we don’t have the luxury of being single-issue

Living Humanely in an Inhumane World… September 25, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kanika Ameerah @ 9:32 am

The other day I sucked myself into the never-old “vegan cat” debate (for the record, I am vehemently opposed to feeding cats vegan food, but that’s not here nor there). During this discussion, one person brought up the point that dozens of animals are made to suffer for the life of one cat, which had me thinking of a million other points…

When I chose to take in my feline friend, I promised to take care of him to the best of my ability. And that included feeding him food that would best nourish his body…Admittedly, I am not thrilled about the fact that his canned food consists of animals that were tortured & killed in factory farms, but it’s not the only situations that comes to mind when I think of suffering & consumption. I am not particularly thrilled that many animals were tested on and killed so I can take medicine to relieve my ails. Or that the produce I eat may have been picked by the hands of day labourers who are exploited by big businesses. And it doesn’t particularly please me to think that the clothes on my back and/or the doll I bought my niece for her 2nd birthday could have been made by a person working in the worst of conditions. But unfortunately, that is the reality of the situation. There is someone out there suffering just so that we can live with the basics (save my niece’s doll, that is). And it doesn’t have to be this way…

Another issue I struggle with is trying to live humanely when times aren’t prosperous. While I do my best to buy fair trade and organic foods as much as possible, I have found myself shopping in Wal*Mart during tight times. I know many people are vehemently opposed to Wal*Mart. I, on the other hand, can’t fault one for doing what they must. If one is on a shoestring budget (and have a large family), Wal*Mart is one of those stores that will get them by in a pinch. Even with that knowledge, I often wonder to myself how do we survive during economic challenges and try to live humanely?

Even if we got rid of Wal*Mart today, it would only serve as a band-aid on a gushing wound. Chances are there is blood, sweat & tears on most of our everyday items, no matter where they’re purchased. There is much we can do as conscious consumers to not support suffering, however we can’t starve or go naked until everyone behaves consciously. So how do we live humanely in an inhumane world? Is it even possible in this lifetime?