On Atheism and Veganism
For me, atheism and veganism go hand-in-hand. Why?
Most of us were born to or adopted by people who eat animals and believe in a god, and that was all a mere accident of birth and/or geography. But something inside us (and perhaps prompted by something outside us) gradually (or quickly) questioned what was occurring. We questioned traditions and rituals surrounding food and clothing as well as worship and community.
We, atheists and vegans, ask: What do we know to be true, and what are we going to do about it? Though we don't know the extent to which plants experience any kind of suffering, we do know that sentient nonhumans experience pain, pleasure, boredom and frustration. And because of that, we know that the just thing to do is to act accordingly: to be vegans. And though I don't know how any atheist can say s/he knows for certain that there is no god–and many say that and claim those who are agnostic are merely "atheists without balls"–I do know that a preponderance evidence points in one direction and we have an obligation to be reasonable and rational about that and act accordingly.
Both food and religion have myriad myths attached to them that keep people hypnotized into believing that there is a story that is true and must be honored. Whether that story is that god put animals on Earth for humans (and we should treat them mercifully); or that there is one, true god and that being can save only those who worship it; or that we are at the top of some food chain (a story with multiple problems); or that god made man and woman and told them that the only sanctioned sex is between man and woman (and for procreation). The stories are what make a culture what it is, therefore when one believes and behaves in a way other than the stories, one is labeled "counter-culture."
Vegans usually have spent quite a bit of time exploring our relationship with nonhuman animals and making a conscious decision to go against the mainstream. And atheists who were parented by believers have usually spent time examining the religion they were raised in as well as why we'd believe there is a god at all. I see these counter-culture positions as parallel and based on the same evolution of thought and deconstruction of the stories of childhood.
Am I the only one who sees it this way?