It's not as dramatic as all that.

So, my post yesterday garnered 120 separate hits, far more than most of my others. We're a species who loves its drama, we are. And I also attracted a troll, but dramatic posts will do that.

In the wake of that post and its fallout, there are some issues I want to address about the way I approach vegan consciousness. Yes, I do think the eating of meat, milk and eggs is morally wrong and contributes to the suffering of sentient beings. I think it unapologetically, and it constitutes part of my core value system. It's also a well-informed belief, and I can present my reasons for it chapter and verse from many reputable sources. Further, I intend to participate in more direct vegan action going forward, so you might expect me to blog about bearing witness to factory farming brutality and vigils for farmed animals. I cannot be other than this, do other than this and still live with myself.

That said, I don't sit in judgment of you, whoever you are. I also don't expect perfection of myself or anyone else where compassion is concerned, because compassion and perfection cannot coexist. You don't have to explain the reasons why you eat what you do, and I won't force you to have 'the vegan conversation' if you don't want to. Conversely, I don't want to face the same questions over and over again about my diet, I don't want to be bombarded with hypothetical scenarios about veganism that have no practical applications, and I don't want to be demonized for my values any more than you do.

And about the vegan judgmentalism thing. I've said it before, but it bears repeating: What you're sensing isn't judgment. It's grief, or at least it is for me. We place ourselves in the path of a great deal of suffering on purpose so that we can talk about what happens to animals when most people aren't looking, and that's very hard to do. We also understand that the more meat people eat, the fewer the number of people who get to eat at all and the worse the planet fares as a whole. Finally, we know that meat, milk and eggs are harmful to human bodies, and we don't want for the people around us to get sick.

Do I think I'm right? Well, yeah. Don't you think you're right about your core values? Am I unwilling to bend, to understand that not every person in the world can be vegan, to see other points of view? Of course not. But today, right now, there is so much room to move in a better direction that while it would be nice to consider a hypothetical world where most people were vegan, I'd settle for less cruelty, more vegetables for hungry people, a greener planet and longer lives for my neighbors and friends.

So that's where I'm at. I thought maybe it would clear things up a bit. I wish you every good thing, whoever you are, and I hope you continue to travel well on your own distinctive journey.