I am vegan because I am being the change, I wish to see in the world.
When I decided to go vegan in June 2016 I barely knew anyone who was vegan, none of my friends were vegan, no-one in my family and truthfully I knew very little about the vegan diet other that some people used it as a weight-loss and health regime, which at the time did not make much sense to me. However, after watching the documentary “Cowspiracy – the Sustainability Secret” and YouTube videos like “Diary is Scary” and “The Most Important Speech You Will Ever Hear” by Gary Yourofsky my world view was turned upside down. I could barely believe that the facts about animal agriculture were so well hidden and kept silent. I had considered myself an environmentalist for so long by then and while I knew that red meat and burger were bad for the environment (which is why I did not consume those and was mostly vegetarian) but I had never truly understood how destructive animal agriculture was for our planet. It was only then that I realised that it is impossible to be a true environmentalist and consume meat. I also did not understand that the dairy industry is the meat industry and how immoral the slaughter of factory farmed animals is. It was only then that I finally saw standard factory farmed animal videos and the immense suffering in the animal kingdom due to human desires.
“A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral.” – Leo Tolstoy
I know that most of us pretend that the animals and animal products we consume come from “humane animal farms” and animals that live happy lives outside before at the end of their lives they are painlessly killed and made use of in the best way possible. But if we really think about it …it is evident that that is impossible on such a large scale and with the amount of meat consumed in the world. Furthermore, another line stuck with me:
“How can we humanely kill anything that does not want to die?”
Everyone has the responsibility to look the truth into the face and watch footage of what goes on behind the closed walls of animal farms. It is also important to look further into definitions because free-range chicken does not mean what the standard human being believes it means. It is easily to forget what animal products means when we see cake, deserts and deliciously prepared meals. You cannot see the lives and suffering anymore. Most people would claim that they are animal lovers but in supermarkets animals are suddenly not sentient beings anymore. They are objects. Packaged pain.
That was it. For me there was no going back. I set my mind on becoming vegan.
For the planet. For animals. For my soul.
It was quite a shock to realise how many animal products I consumed. I first had to educate myself on what I could and needed to eat for a healthy diet and how best to be vegan in social situations. I watched the documentary “Forks over Knives” and was surprised to find all the health benefits of a vegan diet. That is when I realised what a life changing decision I had taken and to this day I am endlessly grateful for this decision. The internet and YouTube were also a great help and inspiration on my journey to become vegan. I slowly but surely cut out more and more animal products and in December 2016 after finishing my final school exams I had made the final decision to be fully vegan. No excuses and no exceptions. I proudly called myself vegan.
To this day I say it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.