My Vegan Story
"Why on earth would you be vegan?" ~Most people I talk to
I try with all my might to be the chillest vegan on the planet. I cannot stand the "holier than thou" mentality of so many of my fellow vegans. That being said, I will happily talk to anyone about why I'm vegan or how they can go vegan, if they ask. My goal is to live in alignment with my beliefs, taking care of animals, people, and the planet. So, that being said, this is my vegan story.
Setting: My childhood home, Thanksgiving day
Characters: My mom, me (age 3)
ME: Mommy, what's turkey made out of?
MOM: What do you mean Halli? Turkey's made out of turkey.
ME: No mommy, what's turkey made out of.
MOM: Halli, turkey is made out of turkey... It's a bird. See. Holds up turkey and displays wings. These are the wings and the head used to be here and the feet down here.
ME: Mommy! You mean we eat animals?!
MOM: Of course we eat animals.
ME: Well, what's hotdog made out of? What's hamburger made out of?
Mom proceeds to explain to me which animal each meat comes from.
Me: Mommy, I don't wanna eat animals.
Thank goodness I had amazing parents who told me that if I didn't want to eat animals, I didn't have to. They explained to me that this life-style was called "vegetarian". This was how I ate until I was 16 years old. Along the way I was never perfect. It took me years to not eat a slice of bacon or two when my mom would make if for the family on Sunday morning. It was a huge struggle for me to give up salmon because I absolutely adored the taste. It was all a learning curve and one that took me many years to finally eat no meat, ever.
When I turned 16 I decided it was time to try meat again. I had been craving it for some odd reason, and wanted to experience it as there were so many foods I had never tried. So I went all in! I wanted to try it all. And I did, for about 8 months, until I was served a plate of steak for the first time. It was bloody, and I could see where the rib bones had originally attached. I almost vomited. It had been so easy to forget I was eating animals, because most meat doesn't even look like it came from one by the time it gets to your plate. But this, this sent me over the edge.
After that encounter, I began to do research on the meat and dairy industry. I read about the horrendous living and slaughtering conditions factory-farmed animals. I discovered the unacceptable working conditions and pay of the illegal immigrants pigeon-holed into working for these farms and slaughter houses. I began to comprehend the environmental impact factory farming has on our planet, i.e. green house emissions, transportation pollution, run off contamination, rain forest clearing, and the amount of water and grain that could go into a human mouth that instead goes into raising millions of cattle.
For me, it made sense. Give up these pleasures to make the world a happier, healthier, and safer place for animals and humans alike. I started off cutting out meat, and then one dairy product at a time. From there it took off into my lifestyle, what I was wearing, what makeup I used, ect.
Was it easy, no. Do I still make slip ups? Absolutely. Is it worth it? 110% yes!
No matter what step you might make: meatless Monday, buying only from a local farmer, becoming vegetarian, going vegan, it all helps. Don't be afraid to start because you think it won't matter or make a difference. It does.
We as consumers have the power to change the world. Our dollar will dictate companies' regulations and procedures. They will listen and change if we put our dollar where our mouth is and only support those who are ethical and environmentally friendly.
YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE THE WORLD, ONE MEAL AT A TIME.