Because I'm vegan I decide every day, every meal, to put my own ethical and moral beliefs about animal agriculture and the way animals are treated above something that tastes or looks good. No amount of tasting or looking good is worth animal suffering, in my eyes.
The way animals are treated in order for us to eat them or wear them genuinely makes my heart hurt. We wouldn't dream of treating cats or dogs in that manner, in fact it's a criminal act to do so. It's such a double standard that because a cow is a cow, a pig is a pig and a lamb is a lamb, society says it's OK to rape, torture and mutilate them. If you ask me it's totally backwards and looking back now I find it hard to fathom how I thought it was OK for the first 25 years of my life. How I didn't question the morality of it more. You see at the time, I thought I had questioned the morality of it and that I was OK with it. But the thing is I wasn't really questioning the morality. I didn't really see what was happening. I didn't really hear what was happening. I thought I did but now I know that I really, really didn't.
For me, as I've said before, it was Vegucated that lit the first spark. Vegucated made me really see the suffering for the first time. And just like that I was vegetarian. Literally just like that. I opened my mind and let it in and I knew from that point that I just couldn't be a part of it anymore.
Even as a vegetarian I had maintained that I could never go vegan. But hey, I was a hard and fast carnivore that dropped meat overnight, stranger things have happened. And they did, because I decided to just try veganism for Veganuary. I was just going to try it, with the thought that if it didn't really impact on my life then I would stay vegan, because if it didn't impact on my life then there was really no excuse not to stay vegan.
AND HEY GUESS WHAT?! It didn't really impact on my life! What a turn up for the books. So that was it, all my excuses for why I still chomped on chicken periods and cow lactation gone. I couldn't see any more reasons not to be vegan. I couldn't stand with society in saying that it was OK anymore. And honestly, I'm am SO PROUD to be vegan. I'm so proud that I stick by what I believe in. I'm so proud that I make a positive choice not just for the animals, but for myself and for the planet every damn day.
By nature, I'm not really an activist. I'm not the type of person to stand on a street corner and shout about why you should be vegan (yet, again stranger things have happened). It's far easier for me to type this out than to talk it out. And so, for me, this is my way of sharing my thoughts and feelings with the world.
However, please let it be known that just because I'm vegan, it doesn't mean that I feel my views and my thoughts and feelings are superior to yours. We are all capable of making up our own mind and making our own choices and I'm cool with that. I have no intent to be "preachy", but if my talking about veganism bothers you I think you need to reconsider why you feel so offended by it. I'm not going to apologise if it makes you feel uncomfortable, because that's your feeling so you need to own it find out why that is. I just want to encourage you to really see before you make your choice.
If anyone who reads this is interested in veganism or even just reducing the amount of animal products that you consume then there are a huge range of resources out there. Some of the films/videos I've found helpful are Vegucated, Forks Over Knives, Dairy Is Scary (warning, this is pretty traumatic however definitely highlights the very harsh reality of the dairy industry), Cowspiracy and the brand new vegan mockumentary Carnage. Many of these films are available to watch for free via Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Youtube and I'm sure there are many, many more out there.
Because I'm vegan I'm standing up for animals and saying it's not OK to abuse them for our benefit. Because I'm vegan I feel that I am helping to make a difference. Choose love. Choose compassion.