A Renewed Vegan Philosophy

While I just updated the “Philosophy” tab of my blog mere seconds ago, I felt it a powerful and inspiring summary of why I find immense inner peace and feel such passion toward a vegan lifestyle, and thus decided to recount it in a separate post.

An avid kale muncher, smoothie blender, chickpea fiend, avocado worshipper, I passionately extol the health virtues of a wholesome plant-based diet, in utter awe of the vast array of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes that nature bestows upon us to nourish both our bodies and souls. I launched this blog to satisfy my curious friends’ inquiries of “But where do you get your protein?”, “What do vegans eat besides carrot sticks and tofu?”, “What about ‘organic’ and ‘humane’ meat and dairy?”, and “Isn’t it hard dining at restaurants?”…among others.

While doing so, I experienced a personal vegan evolution—whereas I originally focused mainly on the nutritional superiority of an animal-free diet, my vegan convictions deepened immensely once I finally allowed myself to absorb the true magnitude of the utterly inhumane impact a non-vegan lifestyle has on non-human animals. Essentially, I became vegan for my health, but remain vegan out of a fierce desire to show non-exclusive compassion for all beings, to cause as little harm as possible to the world around me and all of its inhabitants, and to help others on their journey to an enlightenment that our industrialized, profit-driven, meat-centric society constantly works to shroud.

In response to those who consider veganism “restrictive,” I’d urge them to consider that I made a conscious decision to stop eating animal flesh and secretions because it felt completely anathema to partake in the exploitation of animals, in a corrupt billion-dollar industry, and in food that would intensely hinder my health. It’s not restriction—it’s liberation.

I entitled this blog “Farmers Market Vegan” out of my fervent appreciation for the cornucopia of seasonal, organic fruits and vegetables grown mere miles away from my hometown of Madison, WI, which in turn spawned my desire to both study sustainable agriculture in college and to begin cultivating my own vegetable garden in the hopes of becoming as self-sustainable as possible.

However, after proudly declaring myself a “locavore” for quite a while, I realized that many proponents of the locavore movement also ardently support the impossible ideal of “ethical meat,” and thereby conveniently ignore the violent slaughter of non-human animals inherent in a society that manipulates voiceless creatures for selfish gustatory pleasures, as well as choose to romanticize images of “grass-fed, poetry-read, tucked-in-bed” animals raised within shouting distance of the homes of those who consume them. No matter how local, organic, or “humane” a farm claims to be, the fact remains that these terms are all but entirely unregulated, that the animals are only allowed to live out a fraction of their potentially fruitful lives, and that any agricultural operation, whether local or on a factory farm, contributes to the notion of non-human animals as inferior beings.

Thus, I yearn to reclaim the term “locavore” and instill it with new connotations that are compassionate to the environment, to health, and, most importantly, to the animals. Allow us to truly live off the earth and its bounty of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds, rather than off the mangled carcasses of those who share the earth with us.

-Until next time, Ali.

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14 thoughts on “A Renewed Vegan Philosophy

  1. aspiringsteph says:

    Great post. I became vegan for my health, religious beliefs, and for the environment. To add, i feel vegan diet is what suits our human physioligy. Animal rights is smth that I yet feel very attached to. However I do feel that ” humane meat ” is an oxymoron – how can smth be humane if u r gnna kill it and drain its blood etc in the end? It’s very frustrating at times when ppl just ignore all these problems and simply seek “pleasure.” what they don’t realize is that vegan diet can bring pleasure for all, not just for one.

  2. Kristy says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. It truly bothers me to hear people discuss how well they treat the animals they eventually murder. It’s like saying “I was very polite to the people working at the bank before I shot them and stole all their money.”

    You have such an eloquent writing style, Ali, and your passion is beautiful. Keep up the good work! 🙂

    • Ali Seiter says:

      That’s a really great way of putting it, Kristy! I’m going to start using that in my everyday life, if you don’t mind.

      And thank you so much–I could not appreciate your support more.

  3. * Vegan Sparkles * says:

    Gorgeous post and I especially loved the line: ‘It’s not restriction—it’s liberation.’ Soooo true. I have never felt happier or more free than I have since going vegan and the freedom from worrying about my weight is a lovely bonus!
    That gypsy caravan photo is adorable! Nice work. 🙂 xx

    • Ali Seiter says:

      Thanks a bunch! That’s exactly how I feel–absolute joy and inner peace from the inside out. Even in tough times, I just remember how much of a positive impact I’m making on the world and all of its inhabitants.

  4. Gabby @ the veggie nook says:

    This is a beautiful post and I am right there with you. It’s funny, I became vegan for environmental reasons, but the longer I ate this way, the more of an ethical vegan I became. I agree and with regard to ethical meat- there is nothing ethical about it- from the point of view of the animal, what it does to your body and the environmental effects of it which in turn effect every person and animal on the planet!

    Good for you for reclaiming locavore 🙂

    • Ali Seiter says:

      Thanks so much, Gabby.

      I think that often happens–you find veganism for one reason or another, but the thing that really draws you in is the deep moral aspect of it. It’s as if we’re all vegans inside, but we just have to become resensitized to the suffering and violence so widely accepted in our culture.

  5. jevismavieenvert says:

    I loved this post. Oddly enough, I’d just finished writing a post about my own changing motivations for veganism before I read this! I think that a vegan lifestyle is so beautifully enlightening and dynamic, and I really enjoyed reading about how your veganism has impacted upon you. I too loved the line ‘It’s not restriction, it’s liberation’, it sums up veganism perfectly!

    • Ali Seiter says:

      Thanks so much! I think it’s quite empowering to write out what veganism means to you, both to underscore your own values and to inspire you to continue them.

  6. Gena says:

    This is a really great post, Ali. I’m stunned at how maturely and bravely you’re taking on a very incendiary topic (happy meat). You both stay true to your ideals, yet also remain balanced and compassionate. This is wonderful, and I’m so very impressed!

    It’s an honor to watch your evolution, m’dear.

    • Ali Seiter says:

      Gena–

      I cannot thank you enough for your amazingly kind words. You’ve certainly contributed to my evolution and I’m always thrilled to hear from you. Again, thank you so incredibly much.

      -Ali.

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