I am… a vegan
Kath Redmond on faith-fuelled veganism
For me – a vegan and a Quaker – veganism is the logical extension of a spiritual way of life devoted to love, peace, nonviolence and social justice. But I am aware that this is a minority view, even among Quakers. If not for the animals themselves, there is a great deal of concern about sustainability among Quakers, many of whom are now aware of the impact of animal agriculture on the planet. Consequently, most are actively reducing their intake of animal products, particularly meat, which I welcome.
During my five years of being vegan, several members of our area meeting also went vegan. And, three years ago, our area meeting decided to only provide vegan food for gatherings and business meetings. There are always some who bring vegetarian items, claiming to find veganism ‘too difficult’, but at least there is no longer any meat on the table. This has made eating with others very much less painful because, as a vegan, I don’t see meat as food, I see it as cruelty and a disregard for the lives of other beings.
The reason I went vegan was because my partner and I became very upset by Nepal’s Gadhimai festival, where thousands of animals are slaughtered openly in the name of religion. When online campaigning about this, we came across comments saying that westerners were no better with our slaughterhouses and factory farms, and that we should respect the religious practices of others. We also met vegans online who enlightened us about the cruelty in the dairy and egg industry. I realised that I couldn’t campaign against animal cruelty in one context while funding it in a different context, so I went vegan there and then…
Kath Redmond is a Quaker and lives in Manchester
This is an extract from an article that was published in the February 2020 edition of Reform