I attended a speaking event organized by the satvik vegan society on Monday on the 6Th of August. The speaker was Joanne Kong, a renowned and one of the most compelling advocates for plant-sourced nutrition today, raising ethical awareness that greater compassion for animals and our planet are vitally necessary for transformative growth and positive world change. She is highly praised for her TEDX talk on veganism and has been mentioned on numerous websites internationally.
Honestly I have never really attended many talks, except for the ones organized by my schools and colleges which always came with a clause that attendance was compulsory. Ugh! I am not really sure what changed my mind to attend this talk because I already knew the things that would be discussed here, and that was about veganism. And I wondered if it would really be fruitful because I was pretty sure no non vegans would be attending this talk.
Not one of those typical talks
The talk was held at the Youth Hostel in Miramar. I went for the talk expecting it to be something fancy in an auditorium. I felt it would be like any other public speaking event where people would listen and immediately forget about it the moment they left the room.
But to my surprise when I stepped into the room I saw around 15-18 people gathered in a circular seating arrangement in a small room. Joanne Kong was somewhere in between. I grabbed a chair and sat behind an attendee. Well, this wasn’t any typical talk, everyone made sure I was part of the circle as well.
While Joanne Kong spoke about different aspects of being vegan, she urged the attendees to be a part of the discussion. It seemed like non vegans wouldn’t be a part of this discussion but there were quite a few. We had doctors, activists, councilors, engineers, yoga instructors and restaurateurs amongst us.
Stories that inspire
It was wonderful to hear how each of the vegans had a different story of how they made the connection and decided to ditch animal products but the one that really captivated me was the one shared by a non vegan.
He shared his story of his ancestral animal farm back in Germany. One day in the absence of his uncle he had to step in as the butcher. He was just 10 years old. He had to slaughter chickens. He went on and said he just couldn’t kill the chickens but had to do it anyway. It was the way the chickens looked at him in fear that made him so hesitant. He cried and cried and just could not eat chicken ever after that. He reminded us that animals bleed the same as humans; the stench of blood is not any different. He also mentioned that he was taught to butcher pigs.
This person is a non vegan; he does not eat the animals he had to kill by himself. But he does eat other non vegetarian food. He joked in the end and said, ‘’if you really want people to go vegan show them the truth especially the kids. And tell them that we can actually survive without doing this but we still do it.’’
I was a bit despondent after knowing the fact that we have a long way to go to desensitize people when it comes to animals. But this story also encouraged me in a way because this guy is trying to switch to a vegan way of living. This really shows that people are secretly compassionate deep down and we need to help them realize that.
It’s never too late
If I hadn’t attended this talk, I would have missed out on so many inspiring stories. Also I got an opportunity to inspire other non vegans to make a change by sharing what made me go vegan. Every day and every place is a chance we get to speak up for the voiceless and make their plight heard.
I met a senior couple for this talk who asked, ‘’is it too late for us to go vegan?’’
Well is it ever late to be compassionate and kind towards all animals?