Can’t stand militant extremist vegans? Neither can I – and I’m vegan. Their non-compassionate, preachy, judge-y viewpoints really turn me off and at times gets me fired up.
On the rare occasion a vegan gets too much, I’m thinking: “Just because you love animals doesn’t make you a better human – in fact, from what I’ve just experienced, you’re kind of an asshole human!”
That’s the worst case scenario. Most times I just shake my head and wonder how this individual can’t see that ‘vegan bashing’ is the same as ‘bible bashing.’
Now in April, I shared an Instagram story about my recently acquired Mamahuhu leather boots. Here’s the post for those of who you are not familiar with it:
On the whole, I received a lot of support from the sustainability community save for a couple of vegans who tried to guilt and shame me. Their words didn’t bother me though. I’m a big girl. I don’t do shame or guilt. Those feelings are disempowering and unhelpful.
Anyway, ten days after publishing the Instagram post, I received an email from Robin Schaper, an advocate for veganism based in the Netherlands:
My name is Robin Schaper and I’m the author of a well-known Dutch vegan book which I recently translated into English. I’m contacting you because I think it might be interesting to you and your subscribers…
What perfect timing you have Robin, I thought. I am indeed interested. The book’s title ‘Questioning Meat’ sounded like a softer approach to veganism compared to the fundamentalist attitude I had recently had to deal with over my new animal leather boots. Robin sounded like a vegan friend and not a vegan foe.
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In his email, Robin goes on to explain that thousands of people in the Netherlands have already read his book and that the Dutch Vegan Society uses it as their welcome gift to new members. “I’m hoping it will be received just as well internationally” Robin admits. I decided that I would try to help him.
“My goal is to spread veganism, so I wrote it specifically for people who aren’t vegan yet but are open to questioning their habit of eating meat.” – Robin Schaper
Robin’s e-book Questioning Meat is free to download as he wants “to share it with as many people as possible.” As the book’s title insinuates, the book explores the relationship between humans and prompts them to question their attitudes toward eating meat.
It encourages people to sincerely ask themselves why they eat meat, and whether this choice is made from conscious thought or if it’s based on following societal ‘norms’ and accepting this ‘conditioning’ blindly.
Robin also shares his personal story of giving up meat as a child, how his mother permitted him to do so (whilst seeking advice from physicians to ensure that her son would not miss out nutritionally) and how his choices influenced his sister to give up eating meat also.
The book attempts to dismiss the notion that eating meat is justified because it is part of our human evolution and therefore ‘natural’ to do so. The book also explores how language cleverly disconnects people further from the animals that they are eating:
“The real lives of animals in the meat, egg, and dairy industry are rarely discussed. When they are, language is used in a very different way, to cover up the details of how animals are separated from family members, locked up, and killed, which results in sentences like this: “Livestock are domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce commodities such as food, fiber, and labor.” Excerpt From: Robin Schaper. “Questioning Meat.”
Then there’s the way the book tackles how human appetites for meat has caused increases fossil fuel consumption, land degradation, ‘dead zones’ in the ocean, and other environmental issues, as well as promoting inefficiency within our global agricultural industry:
“In order to produce meat an enormous amount of plant food is needed. That food is specifically produced for the meat industry and consists mainly of corn, wheat, barley and soy. We could also eat that food ourselves, but instead we’re feeding it to animals. They convert 10 pounds of plant food into 4 pounds of chicken meat or 2 pounds of pork or 1 pound of beef. The meat industry is therefore not an industry that produces food. It’s an industry that turns a lot of food into a lot less food.” Excerpt From: Robin Schaper. “Questioning Meat.”
What I personally like about the e-book is Robin’s approach. It’s not too heavy-handed and he leaves each chapter prompting you to consider what you’ve just read.
So if you’re thinking about adopting a vegan lifestyle, I encourage you to read Questioning Meat. It answers all the common questions that you might have about giving up meat in just 332 pages. It’s also a very easy read as almost half of the book contains vegan recipes to help you get started on your vegan journey and other reference information if you’re keen to do further research on veganism.
Keen to read the book? Head over to www.questioningmeat.com and click the “Download Now” button.
And if you get something out of it, please share the free e-book with others and help them question meat!