Long-time vegan Emily Deschanel recently talked to Yahoo! TV about her TV series, Bones, and questions about her vegan diet were brought up. Deschanel has been vegan for over 20 years. For those of us who can’t imagine life without the goodies stocked on the shelves of our local grocery stores, Emily went vegan in a time when the extent of these items was tofu and accidentally vegan items.
How’d you become a vegan?
I became a vegan at Crossroads [high school], actually. It was called Diet for a New America, and it started a whole debate about whether it was ethical to eat meat or not. Which engaged me, and I felt the arguments for not eating meat were much stronger than the arguments for eating meat, when I saw the reality of how our food gets to our plates. Not only the cruelty to the animals but also the detriment to the environment and also our health. It was kind of a win-win-win situation when I decided to become vegetarian after that. I wanted to become vegan, but I did that slowly. I became vegetarian for two years, then became vegan. I do think it’s the most humane and environmentally sound way to live, as long as you are good about your nutrition, because like any diet you have to be careful.
Do you get grossed out when people eat meat around you?
You know, there’s a certain amount of grossness, I guess, to me, but I’ve lived for 20 years with people eating meat next to me, and I have to be understanding of where they are and their choices if I want them to understand my choices. So I try to be tolerant and understanding. Yeah, it grosses me out on a certain level, but I have become used to that, I guess you could say.
How do you square animal suffering with human suffering?
Is animal suffering as important as human suffering? I don’t know. It’s hard for me to say. I don’t believe that animals are ours to use or to harm. They feel pain. There are people who might not be as intelligent, but they feel pain. And I don’t think we should feel OK or ethically sound hurting them, just as I don’t think it’s ethically sound to hurt an animal, when it’s perfectly healthy and doable to survive on non-animal sources of food. I don’t know. If there’s a hierarchy, humans I might value more than animals on some level, but to me, that doesn’t give me a right to hurt an animal. There’s a real gray area. If you say you need to kill these 10 rats to cure cancer and save all these people, that’s wonderful. But that said, a lot of times it’s not about saving people’s lives or curing cancer. There’s lots of people experimenting on animals for cosmetics that I don’t think any of us would agree are ethically sound or justified.
Source: Yahoo! TV
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