I'm going to get the ball rolling by discussing my favourite topic -Informed Choices.
My decision on becoming Vegan was based on the research and information I had found out through books and trusted sources - it was an informed choice. I've said this before, it was one of the best choices I've ever made.
It is because I am informed (but not as much as I could be) that I have chosen to live my life the way it's going and I am at peace knowing this. It's the truth to say that my choices are based on being moral to animals, humans and the Earth. With that said, I would class myself as a good person. So is someone a 'bad' person if they are making informed choices that are immoral?
A good friend of mine, let's call him Ron, and I had a particularly heated debate today about Veganism and it's got me thinking all night. To be fair I wouldn't say Ron was informed at all about anything; everything he knows is what he's been told by his Mum and what's he's seen on the TV. It was, however, an eye opener for me and it reminded me that not everyone is willing to accept the truth or even want to understand it.
Ron was absolutely certain that slaughtering animals is natural and that he was still a good person because he was not the one who was killing them. I made my 'are you stupid?' face at him.
I continued to question his theory and Ron went on to say that he was bought up knowing between right and wrong. He was most definitely in the right because he was not harming any animals. He even proudly told me he would never eat an animal if it were alive in front of him. Ah, what a good boy.
This is completely crazy. Eating meat is not only condoning the act of killing but it drives the supply and demand that is causing people to become sick and obese, not to mention the slave labour in the Third World. Cheap, hormone injected, poor quality animal meat is being churned out every second or every minute and what makes me sick is that barely anyone knows exactly where their food is coming from.
How can he think that just because he's not the one with the stun gun and knife that he is all clear of 'sin'? Absolute rubbish. I think in some ways it's probably worse seeing as he's the one who is paying the slaughter houses to run their corrupt corporation the way that they are.
When I tried to explain to him what was so wrong about all the things he was saying, he announced that he didn't really care much for it and that all animals are to die anyway. My heart saddened at this point.
Back to my original question; if someone makes informed immoral choices, does that make them a bad person? Ron is a great Dad and good husband to his wife, he is a wonderful friend and great colleague. There is little bad about him.
Being informed doesn't mean that you will automatically make the right choices. Yes it does count to know and it does count to understand but I believe that what really means anything is how you act upon it.
I just can't bare to look at someone who is truly informed and doesn't do the right thing. Luckily, Ron will remain blissfully ignorant to it and he will continue to be a friend nonetheless.
What are your choices based on?