Do you remember when gays wanted equal rights so they could do things like being able to visit their loved one in the hospital just like a married person? This made a lot of sense. Many States were willing to pass laws that would give them all the rights of a married couple but they would call it domestic partnership and similar names. The idea would have spread until all States would have eventually had that kind of law. Eventually they could have changed the name to "marriage". Did it happen? No! Gays wanted all or nothing. So because of their unwillingness to compromise on one word they got nothing except in one State.
Personally, I do not care if gays could get married or not. I just want to see them get equal treatment under the law. What I am trying to get at is that when we try to go for everything (having someone go vegan) we most often get nothing. On the other hand when we try to promote DASH and other scientifically proven programs, we get people to eat far less flesh, dairy, and eggs. That saves a lot of animals. With this compromise, people may eventually become a vegan but in the mean time they are saving animals.
Just like gays lost almost everything by wanting all or nothing, we can lose almost everything by not seeing the value of getting people to cut way back on flesh, eggs, and dairy instead of only going vegan. Of course I want them to go vegan but it just works better one step at a time. Getting people to cut way back is working. Getting people to go vegan is so very slow. Many try it but give up and not only go back but they start tearing down veganism in order to save face. They just do not want to admit that they were not strong enough and dedicated enough to remain vegan. So it is very important to support our fellow vegans and not hammer non-vegans to become vegan.
I may have only been vegan for almost fourteen years but I was a vegetarian for 29 years before that. During that time I have tried many thing to get people to become veg'n with some luck but this new method has given so much more success and in far less time. Personally, I would now rather see a hundred million people cutting their consumption of flesh, eggs, and dairy in half than to see a million new vegans. The hundred million flesh eaters would equal 50 million vegans as far as the number of animals saved. That is 50 times the number of animals saved over the million new vegans. Of course I would prefer having both the million new vegans AND the hundred million flesh eaters cutting back by 50%.
I believe that vegans should promote DASH. DASH stands for "Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension". It has been shown to lower elevated blood pressure in as little as two weeks. A study in "Archives of Internal Medicine" has evidence that the principles of DASH protect women against heart disease and stroke. More than 88,500 healthy women ages 34 to 59 were followed for 24 years. Their eating habits were evaluated during that time. The group that followed DASH closely were 24% less likely to get heart disease and 18% less likely to have a stroke than women whose diets strayed most from DASH. Nieca Goldberg, medical director of New York University Women's Heart Program said "This shows that food has a more important role in disease prevention than we thought". Goldberg was not involved in the study.
So why should we promote DASH? DASH promotes a diet high in fruits, veggies, and whole grains. It goes on to promote moderate low-fat dairy, nuts, and legumes. It asks everyone to go easy on red "meat", sweets, and sodium. It is not vegan or even vegetarian but it does cause people to be involved in less killing of animals. Which is easier, to get flesh eaters to eat less than 50% of the flesh that they now eat or to get them to become vegan? Getting people to become vegan is far more difficult than getting them to listen to medical doctors and eat far less flesh. If we back the MD's we can do far more good for the animals than using the same time to promote veganism. I am not saying that we should stop promoting veganism like passing out "Why Vegan". I strongly believe that we should be doing both. For the last couple of years I have been trying a few things in a different way.
I have been telling anyone that offers me a meal that I am on a vegan diet. I tell them that because of my two leaky heart valves that I need to keep my arteries clean. I also tell them that my cardiologist said that I would not have to have mechanical heart valves because of my diet. I do not have to lie which I do not do anyway. I just tell them the truth. This technique works two ways. First, it makes my veganism acceptable to them and second it helps them to decrease their intake of flesh, dairy, and eggs because it lets them see what a cardiologist says about flesh, dairy, and eggs.
I also advocate them to go on DASH and other similar programs. Somewhere down the line I introduce my love for animals but I do not do that right away. It is really working. I am being more accepted and I am getting people to cut back their intake of flesh, dairy, and eggs. I like it far better than just trying to get people to become vegan. I hope vegans consider doing what I have proved works. Please remember to be creative but still stay honest. Honesty is the best policy.
Insert date: 2010-05-09 Last update: 2010-05-09