“Do you want some?”
“Oh no, sorry, I’m Vegan actually” A common exchange I find myself involved in, and the more it happens the less I add in “sorry” because in all honesty, I am not sorry.
This February marked my 10th year of becoming a Vegetarian, and my 1st full year of being Vegan. It started out when I was 15 years old, the pop-punk band “Goldfinger” had just released an album titled “Open Your Eyes” which I had picked up and listened to on repeat for weeks. The interesting part of this album for me, was the inclusion of a DVD that featured a music video about animal cruelty. It was horrifying for me, I had never really made the connection of where my food came from, or what the possibilities were for how they might be treated before being slaughtered. It was that same day that I decided to become vegan (it did not last FYI), it lasted approx. 5 hours until my cousin offered my a chocolate bar.
It would not be for another year and a half before I actually made the commitment to become a vegetarian. My mother was frustrated to say the least, suddenly I was refusing not only meat but anything with chicken/beef stock in it as well. She was baffled in how to feed me, and yet supportive none the less. I am now going to do something I formally considered impossible, I am going to explain precisely why I am vegan. What it comes down to is one simple thing, I am not comfortable that another living thing has to die in order for me to eat. Causing another creature pain is not something I am willing to be a part of, plain and simple. However there are more complex reasons that have developed as I grew older and gained more information, like questioning our reliance on an archaic practice based on out dated concepts that are not challenged due to “that is just the way it is”. Such as drinking milk past infancy, we are the only mammal that continues to drink milk into adulthood, in addition we drink the milk of another mammal instead of our own, which is just gross.
An important thing to know about me, I am a hypocrite. I no longer care what anyone else does, call it hypocrisy (I call it misanthropy) but if everyone around me wants to continue to eat meat (and drink cows milk) they are welcome to it. I will happily smile and ask if your steak is good, and smile and nod when you say how much you love to add bacon to everything. I am often asked if I would eat meat, or be more in support of meat if all farms were ethical. The short answer is yes, the long answer is still no. To me, it will always be unnecessary to eat meat. The argument that we evolved to eat meat, and therefore must continue to eat meat, is silly at best. Just because our ancient ancestors needed to eat meat, does not mean we do. We have surpassed that point, we have options, we have information, and resources that allow us to survive without it.
In short, being vegan has made me a healthier and happier person. This post got away from me, but I am willing to discuss and provide resources for anyone interested. Including recipes! (Yes, vegan food can taste good!)
“Don’t you miss bacon?”
“But it tastes good!”
“So what do you eat then?”
A sampling of quotes I still hear regularly, usually from people who do not know me very well, or from friends of friends. They (usually) mean well in the jokes and questions they have for me, but when you show up to a gathering for the hundredth time and are told “Oh..right you’re vegan…well you can have salad I guess” is frustrating to say the least. I am thankful to my friends for being understanding and supportive, they always were sure to include something for me (usually something amazing that surprised me).