Formerly Vegan

"I used to be vegan"
all smiles as they say this
confident this confession
has shown me that they
are one of the good ones

"I get it" they assure me
with their eyes fixed on mine
the strange sense of pride
that emanates from
their knowing smirk

I've never quite understood
why this is believed to be ingratiating
I'll let you in on a little secret
if you're a proud former vegan
I like you less than a life-long carnist

This comradery you imagine between us
only exists in your delusional mind
at least a non-vegan can feint ignorance
most people just don't understand
but you're a different breed

You've seen what I've seen
you've let it sink into your bones
let it change your whole being
then actively chosen to return to brutality
exploitation, suffering, and violence

All I see is the allegory of the cave
Plato knew it would be hard to believe
the world we've always known was all shadows
this I can understand, because I once lived
shrouded in the same blissful darkness

But Plato didn't account for anyone
knowingly turning back into the cave
the frustration of seeing someone learn the truth
and then throw it away in favor of comfortable illusion
that's worse than never seeing the light

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