Veganism is an issue which although well-received in various aspects of daily life, represents a change in nutritional behaviour which is strongly resisted by many people. Nevertheless, society is becoming increasingly aware of the need for nutritional awareness in relation to health, sustainability and the environment.
When talking about sentient animals and ‘meat’, the terms appear disconnected. Many people consider themselves animal lovers or protectors while continuing to be omnivores, managing to separate animals such as cows and pigs from those in need of saving or protecting. In this way, while people express horror at the fact that dogs are consumed in China, they unwittingly view meat consumption as positive. Meanwhile, consumer society manipulates information and advertising, succeeding in separating images of animal suffering from meat consumption, allowing people to eat meat without guilt, doubts or questions of any kind, far removed from the idea that this meat was somebody and not something. Eating meat thus comes to be seen as the obvious, logical, necessary choice, a decision that requires little thought.
What is seen as strange, eccentric and even dangerous, are decisions which diverge from the collective majority. Veganism therefore falls victim to distorted information and erroneous interpretations such as those promoted by Western nutritionists who constantly bemoan the lack of vitamins in the vegan diet resulting from an absence of dairy products and animal proteins. Biased discussions give the false impression that everything can be boiled down to two extremes, the ‘rational’ versus the ‘emotional’. “They feel sorry for the poor little animals!” is a commonly used phrase employed with pejorative irony.
In reality, it is not only a question of love and respect. We have a huge quantity of scientifically proven information on the conditions in which the meat industry raises and feeds animals, the health problems caused by processed meat, the enormous impact of the industry on climate change and the environment: the arguments against meat consumption are numerous. I recommend the perspective of the documentary ‘Cowspiracy’.
Other controversial issues are present within the veganism debate: the use of animals for testing pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, for entertainment in dolphinariums, zoos and circuses, and finally in zootherapy. I wish to highlight the latter, which while attempting to provide a positive approach, is in fact negative as it continues to revolve entirely around the benefits and wellbeing of humans without considering animal suffering as a result of captivity and hours of practice to meet the expectations of the Homo Sapiens. Let’s take dolphins as an example, used frequently as an instrument for emotional and physical therapy and rehabilitation, doubtless a noble and positive goal, and yet…
I believe that a lack of information is the main issue which prevents change, change that would not only give millions of animals a better life, but which would also offer millions of people a healthier existence and improve the condition of the planet.
Source Maddalena Meiani
Maddalena Meiani is the owner of AmaLuna Restaurant, a Vegan Restaurant offering a unique experience in the heart of Cortecito, Bavaro. (Punta Cana, Dominican Republic) For information call (809) 552-0664 of visit the Facebook page at AmaLuna Vegan Restaurant or website at AmaLunaRestaurant.com