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Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society, Inc.
38 East Market Street, Rhinebeck, New York 12572 USA -  845-876-2626
Vegetarian - Vegan - Animal Rights - Health - Nutrition - Environment

The mission of the Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society, Inc. is to promote the vegetarian ethic in the Mid-Hudson (New York) region, educate the community and aid anyone in the pursuit of a totally vegetarian (vegan) cruelty-free and healthful lifestyle.

Newsletters - Summer 2007 Issue

“He is a vegetarian, and we are proud of him”
by Yu Lu, MHVS member

I have been a vegan for almost three years and most of my coworkers know this. I don’t advertise the fact but don’t hide it either. At one recent group gathering at a Japanese restaurant, when I was explaining to the chef that I do not eat meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, milk, or anything that contain these, one of my buddies loudly proclaimed: “He is a vegetarian, and we are proud of him!” My coworker is not vegetarian, nor did he particularly care about the distinction between vegetarians and vegans -- and none of my coworkers under my direct manager is vegetarian.

For about the first six months after I became a vegan, I tried to see if I could find a way to convince some of my friends to follow suit. I quickly found out that it takes much more than a simple and compelling argument to change people's longstanding habits. Some people will listen for a while and then find an excuse. Others might refuse to listen and switch topics right away. It is TOUGH!

To me, the argument is simple and straightforward. We should not harm anybody without justification, and consuming animal products harms sentient beings. And we certainly don’t have any justification for this in this day and age.

I now understand what Matt Ball of Vegan Outreach means when he says, “If you save the half hour trying to convince a friend or relative to go vegan and instead go to a local college and hand out our leaflets, you will most likely change more minds and do more good for animals.” I can't speak in general, but I know for a fact that SUNY-New Paltz students are very receptive and polite -- even though they may be total strangers. I know this because I go there a few times a year to hand out literature about factory farming and veganism.

Leafleting helps me vent my frustration at the enormity of the problem and helps me regain hope for a better future. When my four-month old son grows up, I hope that he will meet some of these students as teachers or co-workers, and that they will be vegan like him, or at least that they will understand the ethical arguments for veganism. When my son grows into adulthood, perhaps he will have co-workers who will proclaim: “We are vegans, and we are proud of it!”

Go on to “Where the Blind Horse Sings”
Return to Summer 2007 Issue

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