If enough people repeat a lie enough times, then the lie becomes part of the culture. When the lie is transmitted through the generations, it becomes tradition.
Traditions are the third reason why a person does not commit to veganism. They are not innate, nor natural, but we learn them from our family and our society. Many of them are not harmful (at least not directly), like policemen’s uniforms, gift exchange on Christmas, or folk art, while others perpetuate archaic immoral behaviours, such as early marriage or female genital mutilations. Being part of a tradition or a culture is often used to justify these transgressions, but it doesn’t make them any less harmful for the victims. Fortunately, our society condemns the examples I gave.
But we still need to open our eyes on many others. Bullfighting, foie gras on Christmas, dog meat festivals in parts of Asia, European hunting traditions, wearing fur … All traditions involving someone’s pain that we were taught to ignore. As children, our instinct was to protect animals and play with them, but our feelings of love towards them were suppressed in favor of capitalism. Not that all children’s acts based on instincts are necessarily good ideas.
This is why I strongly suggest questioning the origins of what we know as true, our habits and traditions, especially if they are destructive. I recently wrote an article on reality* suggesting three sources : our tendency to conform to the group, our research of a social consensus, and the projection of our desires and our perceptions of reality on reality itself.
Reflecting on culture and traditions shapes our critical thinking, open-mindedness, empathy, and is an important step for the evolution of Humanity.
You can click on “Continue reading” if you are interested in my short response to tradition being used as an excuse, and why it is irrelevant.