It’s beyond confusing and difficult to turn down opportunity in a time of hardship. I have been somewhere I never expected for over a year now: I have been underemployed despite having good work experience and specific skills.
I thank God for my circumstances often (I should every day) when I remember that while I don’t have my dream job, while I feel the desire to contribute a lot more (doing the same things but more of them!)–and earn more money–I at least get to do something I’m good at some of the time.
Today, I received an interview request for a job that at first had seemed desirable. It was with a vegan company, and while I am not vegan (and don’t want to be!) I do have a lot in common with them in terms of food and product/lifestyle choices, so I applied.
After a short email screening, I was given a call and during this call I was criticised in passing for refusing to identify as an ethical vegan. I didn’t know how to handle this and offered that many would consider me a vegan and that I was open to learning more about the vegan lifestyle.
But that’s not my truth… And it’s only after I’d agreed to an interview time for tomorrow that I realized the anxiety dredging up inside of me wouldn’t just go away. I’d lied about something that is important to me.
So what is my truth? I’ll sum it up this way: I think all people are equal, regardless of what they eat. I think animal exploitation is bad (you don’t have to meet too many animals to see their lives matter…). And with all that, I think it’s better for 70% of people to eat meat 50% of the time than for 5% of who never eat it (or use animal products in other ways…) to stand in a corner screaming at the other 95%.
I believe there will be a day to fight the abolitionist battle and that that day is not today. Today I think we can promote alternatives and a decrease in exploitative consumption. This is a message that I believe many, many more people are willing to hear and integrate into their life than that of abolitionism–something that I’ve tried to inform myself about by becoming familiar with Gary Francione’s work but that I just can’t get behind for the masses today.
So I did something really hard, a choice that makes me feel like I’ve doomed myself to stand outside in cold freezing rain without a jacket or umbrella for a while longer. I cancelled the interview.
I apologized and explained I wouldn’t be able to contribute to the role in the necessary manner.
This experience, along with the rest of the hollowness and some of the arbitrary aspects of the job hunting process, has really tested my faith but also strengthened it in some ways because I feel it’s one of the most valuable things I possess at the moment. It’s what gets me up in the morning and keeps me trying when the numbers don’t add up.