On the topic of veganism, and mine specifically I want to talk about oysters. After picking through some very opinionated articles on why you absolutely could not be a vegan by definition if you eat oysters I felt a little discussed in the righteousness of the people demanding you to do as they do. As I work my way(hopefully) into the online spotlight I think it is important that I define my values clearly. I consider myself very vegan. I do not eat any animal products or byproducts except what is technically considered an animal by definition the oyster. I do not eat honey, I buy products that are vegan, and I support other people in their journey to being vegan. Is that VEGAN AF to you? Do I think people who eat meat and animal byproducts are monsters? No. Why? Because not everyone was educated on the matter, or grew up with the values that I did. On top of that, there is the argument that no effort to help the earth will matter because it is already polluted beyond repair. To address the suffering issue really has to align with your values. I do not see the harm in hunting or fishing to feed your family and community. I believe this because I know that suffering is as much a part of life as happiness is. Factory farming and mass butchering of overfed, poorly housed, and unhappy animals is just not okay in my book. Not to mention the pollution that comes from an industry like that. I transitioned to veganism very easily because I like to challenge myself to cook dynamically healthy meals, and I realized I felt so much better!! I am not talking about my body, or my energy(though that improved). I am talking about the way I felt about my impact on the world, and aligning my actions with my values. Doesn’t it feel good being whoever the hell you want to be?
To redirect the topic to oysters, eating them doesn’t upset my values. There are a few scientific reasons why. It has been argued that oysters resemble plants more than animal. The lack of a central nervous system or brain in these bivalves doesn’t allow them to feel pain supposedly. Oysters can not move, and do not need to “feed”. Instead oysters filter the minerals from the water to obtain nutrients. Therefore oysters do not need to use the bathroom and create waste, nor do they pollute water. What oyster do is add nitrogen to the water which benefits other sea life, similar to nitrogen-fixing plants that are used in permaculture. Addressing the farming of oysters is also more of an incentive for me because oysters produce more quality if the water is clean and free of pollutants, so oyster farmers are geared toward keeping inlets clean to produce better quality! The wild harvest of oysters can sometimes be done with dredging, and I do not approve of this. I personally eat oysters from local oyster farmers, or pickers.
If someone were to take something from this, it would not be that you should eat oyster even if you are vegan. It is, define what values you hold, and stick to your guns on it. Make educated decisions, that are best for you. Just like I wan’t richness and diversity in my food, I also love it in community! Not everyone needs to be vegan. Everyone needs to get off their high horse, or I am going to turn this car around. Got it?