Last week the Huffington Post reported on the news that veganism is close to becoming a human right in Ontario. I saw some mixed responses to this news.
Rather than do my usual personal ranting, I thought that it would be more meaningful if the responses came from people who were more passionate about the issue. Certainly, I have opinions but I think that these perspectives might get people thinking about the issue in different ways.
In the vegan corner we have Jason. Jason is from Halifax and is celebrating his 20th year as a devout vegan.
In the opposing corner, we have Amy Matheson. Amy is a strong and vocal advocate of the Canadian agricultural industry, and is very passionate about our food and the farmers who produce it. She is part of a dairy farm and crop growing family outside of Stratford, Ontario. She can be found on twitter, with her nose in a book, outside playing with her kids and drinking strong coffee.
Jason’s thoughts on the new legislation:
I’m beyond thrilled that the province of Ontario is one step closer to recognizing veganism as a human right. However, I’ll be even more excited when government recognizes it as an animal right. That is to say, only when meaningful legislation is passed that directly protects the animals, not just the people who want to protect the animals, will true progress be made. Nevertheless, this is still a tremendous step in the right direction and my hope is that this landmark decision will kickstart likeminded initiatives across Canada and will serve to open a new dialogue at the federal level, with regards to animal’s basic interests.
Ladies and Gentleman, I think we’ve peaked.
I think that we, as society, have reached the epitome of entitlement. Here’s why:
Vegan or not, can we just please agree on one quick thing? Any animal that you will find on any farm is totally, completely and absolutely dependent on us, the farmers, for their very survival. They are our responsibility, and it’s an obligation we do not take lightly.
The activist group Animal Justice has a mandate to end animal agriculture and that all animals used in agricultural production should simply be freed and allowed to frolic in the tall grass (meanwhile as while I type this, it’s -22 degrees here in SW Ontario). With that, they should be allowed to fend for themselves. That would not only be a breach of our moral obligation, but would mean unnecessary widespread suffering, and death. Okay, super?
If you agree with Ontario Human Rights Commission’s impending decision to include veganism as “creed”, recognizing ones personal decision not to use and consume animal products, and you don’t agree that the money, time and energy used to make this a reality would be better used to ensure that all children, for example, have access to warm clothing, shelter and food, then I believe your moral compass is broken.
From where I stand, a creed that sets out to protect the right to not put pork on your fork is illogical and where does it stop? Shall we have a creed for people who chose to salt their food, use sweetener instead of sugar, margarine instead of butter, prefer blue cheese dressing over ranch?
If being vegan is a human right, isn’t being an omnivore, a carnivore, a red foods only-avore?
Having this absurdity recognized in Ontario as a human right just further perpetuates the belief held by vegan and animal activist groups that they’re somehow morally superior to those of us who live our lives stewarding the land and the animals in our care.
I want the freedom to farm without vilification. I want the freedom to continue to do so without interference so that one day our children will live off the land that’s been in this family for over 100 years, and to know what it is to care for a newborn animal.
And that, that is my “creed”.
What do you think?