New Year’s Day is not just New Years for me, it is my one year anniversary with veganism. This year has been a complete learning experience. I entered 2017 thinking that “going vegan” would be a fun challenge, something I would try and probably not succeed at. It has been so much more than a challenge. I have succeeded and I am grateful for it.
Throughout college I was a pescetarian, meaning I only ate fish. I abandoned this lifestyle for a while and went back to eating meat. At the end of 2016, I decided I would try to cut it all out. Not just meat, not just fish- all animal products. As I began this journey, I started doing personal research on what I was (or was no longer) eating. I did a lot of research through different internet searches- “Are humans carnivorous?” "Protein sources,” and “What is the dairy industry?” And, I of course watched the classic documentaries, “Forks over Knives,” “Cowspiracy,” and “Food Inc.”
I was uncomfortable with what I saw. I was deeply disturbed and saddened to know that the yogurt I used to eat daily was a driving force in baby cows being ripped from their mothers as soon as they are born. I was offended to know that chickens are pumped full of so many hormones to create large breasts that they cannot even stand on their little feet because they are too heavy. I was pissed the fuck off to learn that these animals are kept in disgusting conditions, they are diseased and not only killed for their meat, but abused beforehand. I was offended by it all. So, this was no longer a challenge, this became my life. I saw no reason to contribute to the horrors I saw.
This has become more than what I consume, but has affected me overall as a consumer. I haven’t bought a makeup product without the vegan bunny in a long while, I will say over well over 6 months. I buy all cruelty free, vegan make up (check out the Glitter and Glam section for affordable, must have cruelty-free products) and this is something I am proud of. There are several brands that could be vegan and cruelty free, but want to sell their products in countries that enforce animal testing, so they are not. I buy my shampoo, conditioner, and soap from Trader Joe’s. Everything by Trader Joe’s is also vegan and cruelty-free. This has become a lifestyle and something I am passionate about.
I am much happier about my ecological footprint and what I am doing to save the physical world. Many do not realize that breeding animals for consumption is directly related to global warming, deforestation, and water use.
I am NOT a perfect vegan. I have been to dinner, ordered and accidentally eaten dishes with animal products in them since committing to a vegan lifestyle. I am sure I have used products that were tested on animals. I just vow to do my best and to do better. I think that is all we can do as humans.
I am not here to shame anyone, to each their own. Your body, your life, your choices. I do hope that these posts will make people think. I have talked to many people about veganism, as it is something that I promote through this blog. It comes up, period. I have found that a lot of people do not what to educate themselves about the meat and dairy industries because they actually want to remain ignorant to the pain and suffering that these industries cause. People do not want to open their eyes because they are comfortable and #sorrynotsorry, that’s fucking lazy. Do your research. Understand what you are eating before you judge what others are not. Do not tell me that I am not getting enough protein, when you’re getting protein from diseased, hormone infected, murdered chicken okurrrrrrrr. End rant there.
I feel better since making this change. My skin, which I have struggled with since I was 9 years old, has cleared beautifully. The scarring remains, but it is mostly clear! After 10+ years of acne, I will not complain about a zit here and there. I do not feel shame or guilt in relation to food anymore. I eat when I want, what I want, and as much as I want. For the reasons listed above and more, I do not see myself eating meat or dairy ever again. I really do not have any desire to do so after all the research I have done. Why would I when I can find awesome alternatives and create dishes that taste incredible without causing suffering?
So, here’s to a year of veganism, learning new things and trying my best to better in my eyes and the eyes of the baby animals.