This time last year, I started looking round and realised that something horrible had happened. Something subtle and subversive had occurred.
Many of my friends had turned vegan.
But it wasn’t that I was horrified by their moral altitude or life choices. I was shocked that after years as a vegetarian, there were others close to me who had quite simply outdone me.
Ruffled by this realisation, I resolved that January 1st 2019 would be the start of something new, as Troy Bolton once said.
On the issue of veganism, a recent issue of Charlie Hebdo did a good job at summarising the threat vegans pose to the rest of society:
Be vegetarian and you follow a diet. Be vegan and you try to change the world.
Being vegan isn’t just to decide that an animal shouldn’t die. It’s involves the acknowledgement that the entire animal industry and our relationship to it is deeply flawed. It asks you to examine your conscience beyond the free-range egg, right back to the murdered male chick. It asks you to question why our ownership of animal’s bodies and the whole vital planet is so utterly total.
And whilst being vegan is easily defensible, it still feels like an uphill struggle. And this is in spite of the blatant natural destruction caused by the exploitative animal foods industry, where 85% of soya production is used for animal feed and 60% of Amazonian deforestation is for cattle ranching.
The reason it can feel so hard to defend is because, as opposing voices in Charlie Hebdo cried out:
Veganism threatens an anthropological rupture with the past such as we've never seen before! Never before have we yielded our divine right to animal management. And that's simply not natural.
Well, all I can say is, coming up to a year later, I feel as natural as ever. And if we can rupture our past - all the better. There's a lot of nasty shit back there too.
So if you dare, join me and the UK’s other 3.5 million vegans and make a decision that really will change the world…