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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

On Love, Tempeh, and Irresolvable Paradoxes

You may recall that Caryn Hartglass had me on her radio show to talk about Bones & All and veganism a couple weeks back. If you listened to the segment, you heard me say—quite emphatically—that I believe eating animals is immoral.

As I spoke those words, I felt a little cosmic tug on my sleeve: You have to explain this. How can I assert that eating animals is immoral without implying that all the omnivores I know are immoral too?

I do think eating animals is wrong, yet I dearly love many people who do. My parents. My grandparents. Almost all of my family.

My friends: Seanan. Kelly B. Alex. Ailbhe and Christian. Shelley and James. Liv. Mackenzi. Elliot—one of my very favorite people in the world—celebrated his thirtieth birthday last weekend with a backyard pig roast. Dude ain’t going vegetarian anytime soon, but he’ll always be the brother I never had.

Am I silently judging my loved ones? Do I love them in spite of their diet? Do I tell them I love them while in my secret heart believing that I am a better person than they are? More evolved than they are?

Nope.

We just have to chalk this up to an irresolvable paradox. I claim the right to be able to say these two things to the same person:

You are one of the VERY best people I know.

AND

I hope that someday you will extend your love and compassion to all sentient creatures, not just our fellow humans.

I know it’s hard not to feel like I’m judging you when we talk about veganism. I know it can feel awkward when the conversation wanders toward my diet, philosophy, and worldview, and how it contrasts with yours. But please know that I don’t love you in spite of our differences; I just love you.

That’s the point of veganism, after all: unconditional love.

 

4 Comments to On Love, Tempeh, and Irresolvable Paradoxes

  1. June 10, 2015 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Beautifully said!

  2. Susan Grant's Gravatar Susan Grant
    June 11, 2015 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    And I love you back!!!

  3. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    June 17, 2015 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Very sweet about Elliot. And you never know with people. My high school friends were fairly shocked when I went vegetarian because I would eat anything under the sun previously. Remember how I would taunt you with the steak? Anyway anyone can change. I’m still partially immoral but trying to reduce my dairy intake.

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.