Going vegan makes little or no impact on the world, so why should anyone bother?
It is true that large-scale societal changes rarely happen as a result of one person’s efforts. Rather, these changes happen when a number of people begin to live in alignment with their shared values. In the case of vegans, more people are beginning to live compassionate lives, and each of them is contributing to a more compassionate world. In this way, the animal rights movement is no different from those of women’s suffrage and racial equality, which were both comprised of many individuals who held in common values of compassion, peace and social justice.
On a smaller scale, however, it is important to keep in mind that no matter what another person does, you are accountable to yourself. This means that even though one person alone cannot create the world veganism envisions, you need to be able to look at yourself in the mirror every morning. To that end, it might be helpful to note that each vegan saves roughly 400 animals per year, reduces more greenhouse emissions than non-vegans and uses a fraction of the fresh water resources. Moreover, each vegan chooses not to participate in the market for animal suffering, which makes that market just a little bit smaller and the lives of animals just a little bit better. So while each vegan cannot save the whole world alone, individual vegans are saving a small piece of it, and together those small pieces add up to something great.
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