I’ve said many times that there’s an important link between being gay and being vegan. I’m still not entirely sure about the nature of that link — I need to do a little more soul-searching before I put forward a cogent theory — but I have a hunch it comes down to empathy.
In junior high and high school, I was teased relentlessly for being effeminate. As a middle-class white male — one who grew up in the American South — I’m hesitant to say that I’ve ever been “oppressed”, but I certainly know what it’s like to be an outsider.
I also know how to put myself in other peoples’ shoes. Maybe that’s some of my adoptive mother rubbing off, maybe its some of my biological uncle I inherited (he was an accomplished actor). But for whatever reason, I can see things from multiple points of view.
In other words, I have an ability to empathize, and I’m especially drawn to those on the margins, including animals.
I don’t think that’s a unique talent. In fact, I think it’s pretty common, particularly among LGBT folks who’ve grown up in the straight world (i.e. most of us). For better or worse, many don’t use it, though.
The mini-doc embedded above doesn’t dig nearly deep enough into the connection between the fight for LGBT rights and the fight for animal rights, but it scratches the surface. And maybe it shows that I’m not crazy for believing that the connection is there, too.