I got to march in the Veggie Pride Parade yesterday. I was thrilled to be part of a large group of passionate people. We had fun chanting things like, “Go vegan, save the world,” through the streets of Manhattan. It was crazy windy and my arms got tired, but I held my sign up over my head as much as I could and yelled as loud as I could.
At the end of the parade there was a stage for speakers and several tables for vegan minded groups and vendors. There was also a soapbox to share at, but I have this blog. So here is where I will share my thoughts.
Veganism is love. I have written about this before. Love for your body, love for animals, love for the environment, love for your neighbors, love for your mental health, I could go on. I may be unique, but I am a firm believer that when we approach veganism from anywhere else, we contribute to the problem and push others away from the idea. Sure I’m angry, disgusted, and grossed out by how we treat the world. As an eco-feminist, I feel everything is connected. But I refuse to contribute to it.
When the parade ended, the organizer got on stage to share. I’m certain she had spent hours organizing and planning, in hopes for an incredible day. The weather conspired against her and a few people dropped out at the last minute. In my experience, people always drop out at the last minute. Life happens. Weather is only one issue. Anyway, she got on stage and said mean things about the people not there. Instead of being gracious for all of us who came out and shared our love and enthusiasm. What? My stomach turned and made me nauseous. I left. I didn’t want to be around all that hatred and anger. I returned after getting lunch and explored the tables.
Here is what I would have said, or at least something like this:
Thank you all you beautiful faces. I’m humbled that so many of us came out in this wind to show New York how much we care about the animals, the environment, and our own bodies. I hope all the smiles we passed were people who will try being vegan, even for just one day. It will save so many lives. You are all amazing and we can always use more volunteers. If wanting to help make next year even more incredible, please sign up on this clipboard. We can use your passion and enthusiasm. I loved hearing all your voices and the reactions of the people we passed. Please thank the police for doing an excellent job of keeping us safe through the traffic. Please visit all the tables and talk with the organizations doing incredible work around the world for animals. We can only make a big change together and we start the journey new each day. Thank you for begining this day together and post all over social media about how much fun we just had. Love to you today and every day you help the world. And hopefully we’ll see each other marching again next year!