On Tuesday my country elected Donald Trump as president…
How do I even continue on from this sentence? What can I say that hasn’t already been said?
I debated writing something, as some may think, what does this even have to do with veganism? To me, everything. Veganism isn’t just about abstaining from eating animal products – it’s a way of life that is inclusive, compassionate, gentle. It believes that all living things deserve respect, decency, protection. To help those who don’t have a voice. This goes beyond ourselves and extends to our fellow human beings, animals, the planet.
And this goes completely against the rhetoric that Donald Trump has ridden in on on his way to the White House.
So yes, I feel sad today. I feel like it is a major blow to everything I, and fellow vegans, stand for. It’s hard not to feel disillusioned, when half of Americans chose fear, racism, sexism, bigotry and hate. We have a man who doesn’t believe in global warming or scientific fact. One that is openly racist. One that has dangerously divided the country and made it ok for hateful words to be part of normal American vernacular.
I understand there is more at play here. This is about people who feel disenfranchised, sick of the establishment and who want real change, not the status quo which has forgotten them. I get all that, but it doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. Not yet anyway.
And what of the animals? The Humane Society called a Trump presidency a “threat to animals everywhere.” According to the organization, Trump has assembled a team of advisors and financial supporters tied in with trophy hunting, puppy mills, factory farming, horse slaughter, and other abusive industries. And of course there’s the infamous photo of his sons holding up the body of a leopard they shot and killed (both are unapologetic champions for trophy hunting).
Like many have said before me, it’s ok to grieve and mourn. Take all the time you need, but then get up, roll up your sleeves and let’s fight like hell. Continue to do what you can – whether that’s helping to educate your friends and family, donating to worthy causes, volunteering or even offering emotional support for those who might be feeling particularly vulnerable during these scary times. If ever there was a time to get involved, now is it.