Short answer? I am vegan for the animals, for our planet, and for my health.
Growing up I, like most people, ate A LOT of meat, eggs, and dairy. I lived in a household that had an entire freezer dedicated to meat. I never thought about where this food came from, I just ate it and went about my day. My journey into veganism began back in 2014. I was starting my second year of college and began feeling a disconnect. For as long as I can remember I have been a huge animal lover. I began to feel weird about eating meat and decided I would try and be a vegetarian. I would go many days without eating meat then occasionally would have some chicken for dinner. By the time my sophomore year came to a close I decided to go pescatarian for the summer (this means I ate fish and other seafood but didn’t consume chicken, beef, or pork). After two months of living at home I decided to make the switch to being a vegetarian. For about a year I thrived off of eating vegetarian. I still had immense amounts of energy and was able to run a marathon and two ultra-marathons on this diet. However, the more I learned the more I felt the draw to switch to veganism.
I realized that the chickens that were producing eggs had it just as bad as those who were being raised for slaughter. I later learned that ‘free range’ only means that the chicken has to have at least two square feet of space. This wasn’t exactly the free range chicken roaming a pasture I had in mind. Overall the main reason I switched from vegetarian to vegan was a decision that came from wanting to better our planet. The production and transportation of meat and dairy has a drastic negative effect on the planet we all share and love. In the fall of 2016 I became vegan and have never regretted this decision.
Back in 2013 I had an illness that required me to be on antibiotics for about five straight months. And while this medicine cured my infection, it left me with some pretty gnarly acid reflux. My symptoms immediately improved back when I became a vegetarian. And since being vegan all my symptoms have practically disappeared. Cutting out dairy has been a HUGE help for my personal overall health. I no longer have to take pills to try and prevent my acid reflux from happening.
I love being vegan and everything that it stands for. Veganism is about compassion for all. This includes not only animals but also fellow humans. This means loving one another and not judging those who live a different life than me. For me veganism is NOT just a diet. It influences the products I use, the clothes and shoes that I buy, and the way I view the world. I believe that we are all sentient beings. I do not think that how cute an animal is should dictate whether we cuddle it or eat it. I also believe that being vegan is a personal choice. I understand that we are all on our own journey and I myself ate meat for a large majority of my life. If anything, I hope you can better understand why I, or someone else, is vegan. The people I love most in my life all eat meat and are some of the most caring and compassionate individuals this world has to offer. For me being vegan is an ethical based choice and not some trend that will phase out of in a few years. And while I’m sure this story won’t make you immediately go vegan, I hope it is able to add some perspective into a topic that I am deeply passionate about.
If any of what I said has sparked your interest I encourage you to learn more! There are plenty of resources to learn more about veganism linked down below :)
(Check out Cowspiracy on Netflix)
FORKS OVER KNIVES
101 REASONS TO GO VEGAN