We all know where we want to go

I think within our movement we so often forget we’re all working for the same things. There may be minor differences in the envisaged outcome, but basically the animal rights/vegan movement wants a world where animals are not being used or killed by humans.

The differences are about how to get to that situation. Having a clear and concrete objective doesn’t imply we also know how to make it a reality. On the contrary, sometimes having a clear objective can be misleading, in the sense that it makes us think the way to get there should just be based on our aim. If we want x, we ask for x. But that’s not necessarily the best, the easiest, the fastest way to arrive somewhere.


In the movie Lincoln, there’s a discussion between Abraham Lincoln and Thaddeus Stevens about how to pass the amendment for the abolition of slavery. Stevens talks about our “inner compass”, which should point North (showing where to go, what is right, etc), but in many people doesn’t. Lincoln’s reply goes like this:

“A compass, I learnt when I was surveying, it’ll… it’ll point you true North from where you’re standing, but it’s got no advice about the swamps and desert and chasm that you’ll encounter along the way. If in pursuit of your destination, you plunge ahead, heedless of obstacles, and achieve nothing more than to sink in a swamp… What’s the use of knowing True North?”

Please check out the post Lincoln’s thoughts on a compass, the inspiration for this post. And watch Lincoln, if you havent.

People are beautiful

How we experience the world, and whether it’s good or bad, whether people are good or bad, is often mainly a matter of focus. It’s a matter of what we want to look at, and how we interpret things.

Yes, people are responsible for a huge amount of horrible stuff. Among those horrors is the way we raise and eat animals, sixty billion of them every year. So it’s easy to condemn Homo sapiens and consider us an utterly depraved species.

But let’s try to see things in another light here, for a second. We’re an animal, just like other animals. The primitive parts of our brain are still there, and they’re active. They haven’t been selected out. Our biology is bound to make it difficult for us now and then, certainly when it’s combined with our tool-making intelligence. But in spite of this, for the first time in the history of our planet, an ever bigger number of people is consciously saying no to eating animals. For the first time ever, a species is actively defending another species.

This is special. It moves me. And I get a warm feeling when I see people get together, speaking up for those who can’t. When they do it with patience, with love, with compassion for everyone who is not yet there, who is still learning about kinder solutions… then all the better.

Maybe I’m not making my feelings entirely clear. Watching this beautiful video, which inspired me to write this post, may make them clearer: