You don’t need to eat meat to be a man!
I should just stop here actually. Because that’s it. That’s everything there is to it.
One could dissect the topic by constructing a very structure argumentation on 1- what it is to be a man ; 2- what it means to be vegan and 3- why 1 & 2 are not mutually exclusive.
One could also dismantle arguments of meat eaters one by one. It has been done time and time again, sometimes quite brilliantly. Yet, this approach doesn’t seem to work on the tough guys, who define themselves by what they eat.
Once could make fun of such tough guys, the ones who get tattoos of steaks, the ones who argue they are alpha, comparing themselves to the lion in the jungle, etc. etc.
But one could also be totally depressed about the tiny little progress humans make with regards to the protection of the environment, the way they treat other species, our blatant disregards for other living creatures and yes, the fact that the discussions on veganism and masculinity come back, from time to time but are always the same… Always the same arguments, always the same attitude and always a few ‘bacon’ thrown in the conversation like ‘whoa, you’re so smart for thinking of such a joke’.
It is tiring to be vegan! It is tiring to have to explain that you don’t want to hurt living creatures, you don’t want to participate in an industry that is destroying the planet. That you don’t want to put decaying corpse of animals in your body. etc. It’s tiring to hear the usual jokes. Yes, the scream of the carrot and all the others.
When starting on their vegan journey, most people talk about it often. They want to share their experience. How their skin looks better, how they feel better. In the process, they often annoy non-vegan, who unconsciously tend to feel guilty about their own choices.
When further away on their vegan journey, most however become a lot more quiet about it. There are just so many times in your life, you can hear the same jokes and have the same conversations, over and over.
I certainly don’t have the strength anymore to have yet another conversation with a diehard meat eater or someone who wears fur for that matter. There is no interest in such conversation, nothing good can come out of it.
The resurgence or apparent resurgence of articles about masculinity and veganism got me thinking about the things that define us and specifically who and why people define themselves by what they eat.
Who define themselves by what they eat?
Vegans certainly do! But that’s because veganism is a life choice that goes way beyond what lies in their plates. It’s the clothes they wear, the skin care and make up they chose and by extension, it is a representation of the life choices they make to be consistent between their respect for other living creatures and the commitment they make to not be asholes.
Why in the World, would someone who eats meat define themselves by their choice to eat dead, rotting flesh is beyond me.
Having said this in an absolutely contentious way, I just think it is very small minded. Boxing ourselves in such a small container isn’t something we should wish to do.
Small boxes for a wholesome being
No matter the reasons, it feels so small to define oneself by our eating habits. We are so much more than that.
We’re not defined by our jobs, not by our sexuality, not by our religion, not by how many hours of sport or which sport we practice either. Those are just little part of us, of what we do, of what we like… We are just so much more than that.
We are complex humans being, living a life in an extraordinary body which enables us to do amazing things. We have a heart, a soul, a mind which enable us to feel complex emotions. We have a brain that enable us to imagine incredible things, to design stunning art, to invent revolutionary technologies. We dream, we love, we create, we have opportunities to be who ever we want, be as amazing as we want.
And yet, we chose to be petty and small, we chose to box ourselves up in little tiny boxes of choices, like these defined us, like these had power over us.
We loose ourselves trying to explain our little boxes to someone who chose a different, but just as little boxes. And the little boxes just pile up and reproduce, because there are so many categories of interests and choices to box up. Also because we are told we absolutely need this box or this one.. and yes this one as well.
We box it all up and guard such boxes to never allow ourselves to jump from one box to the other. What could possibly happen!?
And then we die.
And our body is put in a final box. It’s ironic really. But hopefully, our soul is now free of all the boxes we had created and protected all our lives.
The box of masculinity
You may wonder why we got from masculinity to coffins!? So let me clarify if needed.
The masculinity some guys want to achieve and project is just another little box they’ve created. A little box that they define, with certain criteria and try to protect at all cost. Including at the cost of other living creatures.
But at the end, it doesn’t matter, it’s ridiculously obvious really. These guys will still end up in a box and will probably have spent way too much energy and time of their precious life, protecting their tiny box of masculinity.
Don’t box yourself up! You are su much more than that.