No, not one of those…I’m talking about hypocrites.
This post is the confession of a hypocrite.
I work for a national animal welfare organization. I spend my time working to protect animals. I try not to buy leather. I would never wear fur. I don’t eat meat. I do, however, eat eggs and dairy. In fact, I eat sort of insane amounts of cheese. I am educated about this stuff, way more so than most people I know. I am fully aware of what happens to dairy cows throughout their lives, and of how horrific conditions are for egg laying hens in this country. Yet I continue to eat these items simply to satisfy my own appetite. I have always said that for me, it’s about lessening my negative impact on the world — about doing whatever I can to make things a little better than they would have been otherwise. But I often find myself wondering — Is it enough?
I had a conversation today with a friend and co-worker whose opinion and thoughts I respect a tremendous amount. She is a vegan. I think she assumed that I was one too. As I heard myself saying “I’m not a vegan” during our conversation, it got me thinking. Why am I not a vegan? There are probably a million reasons, or rather, a million excuses, I could give, but ultimately, there are really only 3 main ones. First, I love cheese. It’s that simple. I am addicted to the stuff. I have been since I was a small child. Second, I am an insanely busy woman, working full time and raising a nine month old son. My husband is equally as busy, if not more so. Most days, it’s all we can do to simply whip up some pre-prepared, frozen something-or-other for dinner. On top of that, we try to eat relatively healthy and not load our diets with a bunch of processed, carby junk. Most foods that fit those criteria are not vegan. Oh, and one more thing…I generally don’t really like vegetables! For years, my mom has said that I am the only vegetarian she knows who hates vegetables. I am a picky eater, also a trait I’ve had since childhood. I don’t like mushrooms (not even portabellas). I don’t like most beans. Add together all of those factors, and it becomes exceedingly difficult to be vegan.
But I digress. I am a hypocrite. I try to persuade people every day to treat animals more humanely, and here I am supporting two of the most inhumane industries that exist on a regular basis. It’s an internal struggle that I fight frequently, yet I have been unable (or unwilling) to take any action to change it. Do these types of ethical dilemmas pervade everyone’s minds on a regular basis? Or is it just me? I am open to suggestions and ideas about how to cut animal products from my diet entirely, but I’d probably be lying if I said that I would give up the convenience of prepared foods, or that I would not cheat once in a while for a piece of cheese.
So tell me…what are you hypocritical about in your life? And are you doing anything to change it?