Most people agree that it is wrong to unnecessarily harm or kill other animals, yet most people are not vegan, which is contrary to the values they hold. There is no shortage of reminders of the reasons to be vegan. Being vegan is easier than ever because there are readily available replacements for animal use whether they are food, clothing, research and entertainment, or personal care and cleaning products. There are also many intersectional benefits to veganism such as the reduction of zoonotic disease, antibiotic resistance, and the environmental benefits of plant-based agriculture.

However, being vegan is not always easy or convenient. We live in a speciesist society that caters for the non-vegan majority. Those who profit from animal exploitation continue to plant seeds of doubt about the nutritional adequacy of a plant diet and the feasibility of replacing animal use with non-animal alternatives. They have a vested interest in promoting animal use as normal, natural, necessary, and nice. It is astounding to examine how easily we have all been conned by this notion that is entirely without substance. Most of us grew up believing that animal products were necessary for our health even though we can get every nutrient we need on a plant diet, especially if we take care to include fortified foods and/or supplements.

While supermarkets have an increasingly good selection of vegan friendly goods and many restaurants offer a vegan option, airlines, schools, colleges, workplaces, hospitals etc frequently fail miserably to cater to the rights of vegans to live without killing and exploiting other animals. In our surveys with vegans, we hear of unconscionable discrimination and bullying that make life miserable for those living according to their morals and beliefs. It is wrong to discriminate against someone we perceive to be different, especially if the reason for that discrimination is because their belief system reflects our own lack of moral consistency back at us. As a society we need to address these issues and help the non-vegan public to overcome every perceived obstacle to being vegan. You may not be vegan yet but if you witness discrimination of someone who is, please call it out. It is wrong and should not be tolerated.

Even if being vegan is sometimes inconvenient or difficult, it is always the right thing to do.

It’s World Vegan Month. If you are not already vegan, please ask yourself what is stopping you? Are you aware of what other animals experience every time you pay for a non-vegan item and demand their incarceration at the hands of humans who control every aspect of their existence; who regard pain and suffering as justification for human profit, taste, and convenience; and who take their lives from them for products we can easily live without? Are you aware that you can be healthy and happy as a vegan, and that being vegan is not necessarily expensive? Have you researched the evidence on the link between animal agriculture and zoonotic disease and pandemics, loss of biodiversity, the climate catastrophe, and the disintegration of the ecological systems on which we depend for our survival? Please educate yourself during World Vegan Month. It is your right to know, and it is your responsibility to act by being vegan.