Jun 12th
    MAD MEN: where men and cigarettes come first.

    MAD MEN: where men and cigarettes come first. (and veganism probably comes last)

    It’s a strange journey…this year.

    Almost everything that happens seems to have some bearing on my understanding of our relationship to animals. It’s as if I’m somehow infected.

    You ever have that experience? You walk out of a gallery and everything looks like the pictures you just saw?

    I’ve been watching MAD MEN and just as I am getting seduced by the sharp suits and copious alcohol I find myself believing its acceptable to smoke 60 a day and a good idea to denigrate women. I’m one of the boys!

    And the point?

    I’m reminded again how easy it is for a whole culture to be wrong about something that seems so morally normal. For denigrating women and for smoking cigarettes you might want to read dominating animals and eating meat.

    It’s only been a little time since I stopped eating meat but I’m surprised at how easy the shift has been. I expected it to be a little like giving up smoking – you know its a good idea but its a pain in the arse.  You really want another drag. I don’t at all because something in my gut has shifted.



    I still eat some fish and I still eat dairy.

    I’ve met more and more animal activists recently and I’ve sensed their uncertainty about me. They expect me to be vegan. Maybe they think I’m a lightweight.

    In one sense they are right. If one wants to spend a year helping animals then why the hell would one eat animal products? It’s like punching someone with your left hand and offering them a plaster with your right.

    But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I only want to make changes to my diet when I feel a total convinction in my gut. I accept the arguments for vegetarianism and veganism wholesale but I’m not ready yet .

    How can this be?

    Because there’s a difference between knowing something intellectually and really knowing something with your gut.

    All smokers know that smoking will kill them. But they continue anyways. Others see a relative die of lung cancer or they get a chest infection and something shifts in their gut. They know the same fact but they know it deeper.

    Equally we all know intellectually we could die any day. But how many of us live according to that knowledge.

    This might explain why there are plenty of doctors who smoke and plenty of animal carers that eat meat.

    I deeply respect those that are vegan. But I hope they can respect the fact that, at least for now, I am one of those many humans that is capable of having a head and a heart and a gut that are not totally in line.

    That is the purpose of this journey – to bring myself into alignment. And I am not there yet.

    I’m soon to be investigating farms where I want to see with my own eyes what goes into our food. That may change some things.






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    9 Responses to “DAY 260: MAD MEN AND UNCERTAIN VEGANS”

    1. what a great post..
      good luck with it .. 🙂

    2. Hi Martin,
      I seem to be struggling with the same things that you are…although you put it so much better! I emailed you about The Moo Man (they got their funding by the way and the film should be distributed UK wide!). I reckon it could be hugely demoralising visiting some farms (which is what I know you’re trying to highlight)…just a suggestion but it might be worth contacting the moo man as a salve to some of grind of industrialised farming. Everyone needs a bit of hope I reckon.

    3. How funny Lisa, I was just talking about your previous email with ann and we were discussing the very topic. YOu make a very good point and I need to think carefully about how i work on the farm issue. Thanks for still reading

    4. this is so eloquently put. It is exactly where I am at. It has been suggested that I watch the film Earthlings to get my head and heart aligned. But I am scared of traumatising myself. Have you seen It?

    5. No! But its on my list and in the next few weeks am about to watch it. I feel the same as you..but I feel I must. I’ll report back soon

    6. Bonnie you say you are scared of being traumatised that’s how farmed animals including dairy cows feel when they go to slaughter or have their calves taken from them. For the sake of 5 minutes pleasure on your lips. Go vegan. It’s not hard

    7. thanks for this Lin and also your facebook posts. I appreciate it. I’m considering this very carefully I assure you. As i’ve said on my blog I’m taking my time to come to the conclusion not just intellectually but also emotionally and I want it to tie in with my journey.

    8. Don’t let perfection be the enemy of good. or something like that! What your blog is saying: do what you can, educate yourself, take some action even if it isn’t perfect, and be willing to be uncomfortable. I love animals. I was a vegan for a year and I did not thrive as other people seem to. So now I eat meat from pastured, humanely raised animals. I’m not going to stop caring for rescued dogs because I can’t be a perfect advocate of animal rights or because I’m a ‘lightweight’. There is a huge difference between the dog meat trade and the local small farmer’s hog trade. Do what you can. And thank you for your year, Martin.

    9. Wise words which I would do well to heed. I don’t find it easy this process…..thank you

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