Veganism is a pretty new lifestyle for me, but there are few other things that I have ever felt as strongly about. I almost can’t believe the change that it has caused in my general attitude and views, but the changes are all happy ones. I feel more positive and more connected to the world around me, not to mention that I’m becoming a great cook, if I do say so myself.
I, like many vegans, never expected to become one. One of my best friends from high school went vegan a couple of years ago, but by that point we were going to college in different places. She did make me aware of veganism, but it would take some time before I began thinking about it for myself. About 5 months ago I started looking into it, probably because I stumbled upon some random YouTube video. Those initial seeds planted in my mind were vital; very few people will go vegan until they begin to connect the meat on their plate with the living, sentient creature it came from.
The pivotal moment for me came out of nowhere one night while I was eating dinner with my family. My mom had made barbecue chicken wings for dinner (the sauce was reddish in color) and, as I was eating, I couldn’t see anything but the bloody, mutilated body of an animal that didn’t want to die. I won’t lie, that was not the last time that I ever ate meat, but every time after that felt wrong. Eventually I stopped eating it altogether, but I didn’t go vegan until the middle of March. YouTube is my holy grail resource for learning; Mic. the Vegan’s videos, still some of my favorites, are completely fact and research-based, and his “Why I’m Not A Vegetarian” video enlightened me to the horrors of the dairy and egg industries as well. Although ethics would have been enough to make me go vegan, learning about the environmental and health benefits as well just added fuel to the flame.
Every day I learn a little bit more about the industry of animal agriculture and all of the harm that it causes, and everything I learn makes me feel more strongly about my choice. Going vegan is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I only wish that I would have done it sooner. Don’t get me wrong, mistakes happen (reading labels is SO important) and it’s not always easy, but putting forth an effort is what really counts.
I could honestly talk about veganism for hours, but that would make for a very long blog post. If you have any interest in going vegan, or even just learning about the animal agriculture industry in general, feel free to ask me some questions. There are also tons of resources out there, from documentaries (Earthlings, Forks Over Knives, Cowspiracy) to websites to YouTube videos.
You might have done something for your entire life, but that doesn’t mean it was right. Learn to question tradition. You could be surprised by what you discover.