Our book’s premise is that we are better advocates for animals and for our fellow vegans when we accept that vegan diets do not absolutely guarantee good health. And when we also face the fact of our own mortality. Additionally, we want to share the experience and advice from vegans who are living with chronic and acute disease about appropriate and effective care giving and support. We risk alienating animal activists and losing their voice and their power when we don’t acknowledge and embrace every activist regardless of their physical size, ability, or state of health. At the core of a vegan ethic is our effort to widen the circle of compassion to include animals. Shaming and blaming people for their body size, appearance, or for having a disease belies that compassion.
We celebrate the benefits of a plant-based diet but also acknowledge that even vegans can get sick. Our messages focus on the value of building a more compassionate, diverse, and effective community by challenging disease shaming and body shaming among vegans. We encourage self-care for self and others. We address the reality of compassion fatigue and burnout and encourage activists to sleep, find joy, and avoid stressful online spaces. And, we also offer practical advice on how to express care compassionately, being mindful of advice giving, and how to actually be helpful.
We argue that everyone who is an adult needs a will and offer advice on how to proceed. Animal advocates, especially those who care for companion animals, need a will to ensure the animals in their lives are cared for if the advocate dies.
It may seem strange to claim this, but we see our book as a very positive one. It argues that by engaging with death and dying we become more empowered in our life and our activism.