This article has been on the back burner since November. I went vegan in September of 2016 and it’s now almost the end of April and I haven’t really spoken about that choice.
Why did I go vegan?
Ah there’s so much more to it then just the animal side of things, which is really why I needed 10 pages to explain it but I’m hoping to summerise in just a few pages (
we’ll see– Nope It took ages). It’s a tough topic and no doubt many of you are already rolling your eyes at yet another ‘vegan blog post’. I’m hoping this one will be different.
I went vegan for so many reasons. I’ve always been sensitive to animals as a child; I’d cry when I saw animal documentaries; If I accidentally stepped on a bug. It was in my nature to be kind to animals, isn’t that the case with most children? My nephew often tells me he doesn’t want to eat animals anymore and yet will beg for fish fingers and chicken nuggets – ge doesn’t know any better. We are so inquisitive and yet we’re taught as a young age to treat animals as food. It’s such a shocking realisation now, but back then it was just ‘normal’ for me to eat meat.
The main reasons for me going vegan were
- The Environment
Not something you’d have thought would be top of this list but for me the environment has always been a huge issue. We have already destroyed the planet and I’m really not prepared to let me great grandkids Interstellar that shit. I’m a huge green-freak, always switching off electric at the switches, recycling, growing my own veg. Being green was always a big priority and after doing some research (it’s so easy to find) about farming and emissions it really triggered me to make a change. but I wasn’t quite ready to give up meat.
I have always worried about my health. Suffering from bulimia in my teens and early 20’s food was a huge trigger for me and learning about the health benifites of eating the ‘right diet’ really helped me to recover from it. Health and diet is very subjective and after following the paleo diet for almost 2 years I finally felt healthy but my diet was 70% animal products and health was great but I still wasn’t quite ready to give up meat. ( I recently found a blog post from 2014 explaining why you should go vegetarian that is basically a weight loss post – I feel ashamed.)
- Donkeys in Santorini (July 2016)
This one. Is a biggie. I really suffered emotionally when I went to Santorini and it felt like a physically pain to be that emotionally hurt by what I saw but it was nothing compared to the long suffering from those animals and It’s embedded in my brain that I will not be part of animal suffering anymore. I was one step closer to giving up meat and drastically reduced my intake of dairy and animal products but I still wasn’t quite ready to give up meat.
- This one is a wierd one. (September 2nd)
Also a huge push forward for me in my diet. I stepped… on a dead chick. Yeah, like.. in real life. It was horrifying and it really scared me for months. I won’t go into detail but it was on an ordinary street on the way to an event in September and I didn’t see what I had stepped on but knew it was bad. Stupidly, I went to check and was horrified. I’m not one to gag but I burst out crying and rang my sister. I could barely walk. It was the most disgusting, saddening and shocking thing! I gave up eggs and dairy on the spot (I had been eating almost 2 a day for a year) but I still wasn’t quite ready to give up meat.
- Watching other channels on youtube
Not a huge leap from the extreme things above but after stopping eating eggs I found myself not wanting much to do with chicken and then I thought why not just cut it out all together. It went from meat every day to every few days to finding new ways of not eating it. Dairy was pretty much gone too. All in all it took 4 weeks of watching youtube videos and listening to vegans talk about the farming industries for me to say “No more”.
I became vegan on the 19th of September 2016 and have slipped twice (ran out of bloody milk and had no oats left to make my own) I felt guilty drinking it naturally, as I know what the dairy industry is like. A few months back I felt like ‘it’s just a small slip’ from my moral standpoint but a small slip is really quite huge in the grand scheme of things. Veganism is what you make of it. We can’t know what is in all of our food all of the time but making the conscious effort to find out is what it’s all about.
I started calling myself a vegetarian for the first 3 months as I didn’t want people to think I was being ‘extreme’. We’re always told that veganism is ‘extreme’ and I guess people use that as an excuse not to go vegan themselves.
“Oh I could never do it” – Why, why couldn’t you?
It’s just removing a food group, we cut carbs, sugar and most diets cut fat completely so.. Why not animal products? It’s not that we can’t do it, but more that we don’t really want to do it. We don’t want to re-learn how to eat or learn what suffering we’ve caused because it’s terrifying. If I could block out all the horrible things I’ve done in my life I would, but I wouldn’t have learnt those lessons.
Why should there ever be a reason to not do something so valuable and important? Because we’re scared of change? Because we like the taste of meat more than we care about the pain and suffering of an animal. That’s what it comes down to.
I hate to be preachy
but If I don’t do it now then it’ll just be simmering inside of me. I am an angry vegan. Call me stereotypical but there’s so much to be angry at! Not at people that are uninformed, misinformed or aren’t ready to make a chnage, that makes no sense. Let me explain why I’m angry. I’m angry that;
- At myself; I haven’t told more people the information I know, sooner. ( I feel like I found the secret answer to some huge equastion and I was too scared to talk about it!)
- I’m angry that I was scared to talk about it. A few people make judgements on my morality to hide their own and It makes me afraid to speak up for myself. I need to learn how to grow a backbone.
- That so many other who actually DO know what’s happening and don’t do anything to stop it.
- I didn’t do it sooner.
For me, that’s the worst thing. I feel guilty that I’ve eaten animals for 24 years of my life and countless lives have been taken just because ‘I didn’t know any better’ it’s no excuse. You wouldn’t say ” Ah Billy killed Tammy because he didn’t know any better”. Why aren’t we taught more about the industry and a younger age? better yet why don’t we take the responsibility on ourselves to learn about this? Why don’t we find the information ourselves?
Why didn’t I do something sooner?
because I was you. Sat behind the information my parents had given me or the fact that it’s ‘what we do’. I hid behind the fact that ‘everyone else does it’ why can’t I? We all know it’s wrong and yet we sit there and do it anyway. This is why vegans are so angry, we’re angry at ourselves and we’re angry at the people who are just like us before we made the change and we want to shake them and tell them the information now so they don’t feel this way when they eventually do make the swap. The information is out there.
It’s not all doom and gloom!
Although my previous 1,000 words may have had you fooled I’m actually really happy with the world at the moment. I may be new to the game but I’m here full force and I’m so fecking happy that I’m making a positive change in the world. It seems to really be taking effect in recent years.
There’s a reason why it’s gone up by 360% The reason is you. The more posting changes you make, and you can get others to make, in our diets will directly impact how farming industries and government legislation change. My mother-in-law has recently gone dairy free (her colleague is on a new dairy free diet), both of them are saving 8ltrs total a week of dairy milk!
I should give a brief nod to the food – Plant based food can be versatile because there aren’t any boundaries aof what foods ‘go-together’ everything does. Baring that in mind I have been eating 5 waffles a week which makes 5 of my day a tonne easier.
If you think you can’t make a difference then you’re wrong. Any change is better than no change. If I haven’t persuaded you then please spare half an hour to watch a drama series called Carnage (it’s really good I promise) on how we view vegans today and how we’ll view them in 40 years. It’s genius. I’ve really learnt a lot about my vegan diet and what I need to eat in recent months (I’m still learning) but here’s an update.
A life is worth more than a meal.