There are lots of reasons people decide to go vegan. It’s better for the environment. It’s also often healthier than other diets, especially the standard American diet (SAD), as long as you aren’t eating highly-processed vegan foods. People who decide to go vegan are generally more knowledgeable about eating healthy anyway. And while those are both excellent reasons to go vegan, the most important for me is philosophical.
Ever since I was a little kid I’ve known about vegetarianism, but I never wanted to really look into what it was all about because I wanted to continue to eat meat. Meat is delicious and so is cheese. I didn’t want to give those things up. I figured that as long as I was blind to what was happening to the animals that I ate, there was no reason to feel guilty about it. I think this is probably what most people do too.
Going Vegan and Getting Educated
My fiance, Michelle, had already been a vegetarian/vegan for about a year. During that time, she brought home pamphlets and posted videos to Facebook, so I started to learn more about it as time went on. When Michelle went vegan, she really started fighting for the cause and that’s when I started to see what it was all about. Instead of me just seeing pamphlets occasionally laying around, now Michelle asked me to read them. It was important to her, which made it important to me, so of course I read everything she asked me to read.
It was some time in May 2011 that I started considering going vegan, almost entirely to support Michelle, but I wanted to know everything there was to know about being healthy as a vegan. Was I going to get enough protein? Can I still build muscle?
Or was I going to turn into a sickly toothpick, like all of the bodybuilding and health forums said? I didn’t know, because I didn’t know any vegans other than Michelle. She seemed healthy though.
I did research on everything that I could think of. I read every article on the pros of being vegan and the cons of being vegan. I wasn’t taking sides at this point. I just wanted to learn. I educated myself on how much protein I needed, where to get my protein, vegan replacements for the supplements I liked, alternatives to meat, nutrient deficiencies, vegan beauty care products and stores where I could buy everything. I was starting to feel good about it.
The Speech That Changed My Life
One Saturday morning, me and Michelle were sitting in the living room, both of us messing around on our computers. She didn’t know about my intentions of trying to go vegan at that time, but as I was sitting on the couch opposite of her and doing some more research on being vegan, she played a video from YouTube titled “Best Speech You Will Ever Hear by Gary Yourofsky.”
This speech sealed the deal.
The further we got into the speech, the more I realized how ready I was to go vegan. I had been doing research for 1-2 hours almost every day for about a month, and at this point I knew I could do it. I had been focused mostly on the health aspects of going vegan, but after listening to the speech from Gary Yourofsky, it completely changed my reasons. Now I wanted to go vegan for ethical reasons. The right reasons.
Right after we listened to that speech I told Michelle that I was going to go vegan. I think that probably made her day 😀
I put together a meal plan that had the amount of calories and protein that I wanted and I took the transition slowly. I still had a freezer full of meat and I continued to eat it, but I wouldn’t buy anything from that point on that had animal products in it. It took about a month for me to eat all of the non-vegan food in my house and I finally went full vegan on July 1, 2011.
One Year After Going Vegan
I’ve been a strict vegan for a little over a year now and my feelings on being vegan couldn’t be stronger. I became vegan because I no longer wanted to support the industry of animal exploitation.
One of the interesting things I’ve noticed about myself during my time as a vegan is that I’ve become more spiritual. I’ve never been a spiritual person, but being vegan has given me a much greater appreciation for life. For my own life and for the life of others. All living beings. I feel like I now see how great it is to live. There’s no describing how great this feeling is for me. To have the opportunity to be alive makes my desire to be vegan even stronger.
I want to do what I can to provide a better life for the living beings of this earth. By not eating animal products, less animals are manufactured and less have to live a life of pain and torture. It’s sad that it’s better for a farmed animal to never exist, but it’s true.
Cows are raped in order to produce more cows and to produce milk. They are literally placed in “rape racks”. How disgusting!
Can you imagine being raped every nine months, giving birth as often as possible and being immediately separated from your child. And then after that you’re hooked up to a machine that sucks the milk from your body for so long that it hurts and puss comes out? And there’s absolutely nothing a cow can do about it. They’re trapped in cages no larger than their bodies. They can’t even move around or lay down. A living, sentient being should not have to live like that.
What about chickens? Right as they come into this world, they are thrown onto a conveyor belt where they are separated by male and female. Females have their beaks ripped of their face, with no pain killers given to them and then forced to live in extremely small cages for the rest of their lives, producing eggs for humans to eat. Oh and the male chicks? They get thrown into large bins where many often suffocate. For those that don’t suffocate, they are tossed into a grinder still alive.
The industrial farming industry has absolutely no respect for life. It disgusts me.
Even worse, I haven’t even gotten into the abuse that a lot of these animals have to suffer at the hands of sadistic perverted farm employees. Thanks to organizations like Mercy for Animals, many of these sick people are caught on video abusing animals – bashing them on the heads with hammers and repeatedly kicking them in the stomach. What kind of person can do something like that? If there’s a hell, they’re going, that’s for sure.
Going vegan isn’t an easy thing to do, but I hope you consider at least cutting back on how much meat and dairy you consume. If anything at all, stop eating meat from fast food chains and buy only meat that comes from naturally raised animals from your local farm. Make sure they employ the most ethical choices when raising their animals. Although there really is no humane way of animal farming, that’s a good start and maybe you can move on from there.
When it all comes down to it, being vegan for me is really about the appreciation and respect of life. Now you know why I’m vegan. I hope my thoughts inspire you to consider going vegan as well. Cheers!