Saturday, November 01, 2014

Happy World Vegan Day!

I've been putting off writing this post: I kept thinking that I want to do something big, something super inspiring and educational, something heartfelt and that can encompass all the feelings I have about eating and being vegan.

Too much pressure!

So let me just keep it simple and say what I really think: I wish everyone in the world would eat a vegan diet. I wish everyone knew about the horrors of animal abuse in the meat and dairy industries, and that everyone had the resources they need to make the switch. I wish eating a peaceful plant-based diet was a topic wide open to discussion, and I wish everyone would ask more questions and be willing to make changes in their lives to avoid suffering.

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This is me holding a huge bowl of salad! I look like one of those uber-healthy vegans, right?! Truth is, I don't care for this much salad. Give me vegan pizza or a bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter and I'm happy.

My Veganniversary is April 6, 2013. I gave up meat right after Halloween in 2010. So it's been 4 years since I last ate a piece of animal flesh, and 1.5 years since I quit eating animal secretions (cheese, eggs, milk).

Honestly, it feels like way longer. It blows my mind that I never made the connection earlier that cows have to be pregnant in order to make milk. I'm astonished that I knew meat comes from animals in factory farms, but never stopped to ask myself, "Am I OK with that? Am I cool with participating in this system and paying another person to do my killing for me? Does this align with my values?"

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It's way too easy to go along with the crowd. To push aside your conscience whispering feelings of unease. To justify your choices with illogical reasons and lies. Making changes can be hard, yes. But my perspective is that once you know better, you have the moral obligation to do better. And making difficult choices is much easier when they at least align with your values.

For me, it's no question if I want dairy cheese on my sandwich. I will NOT eat it; it's from an animal and the animal that made it suffered. I will not consume that suffering and the inequality, violence, and speciesism that accompanies it. Oops, you accidentally put cream in this dish? Take it back, I requested no cream. If you can't accommodate my dietary preferences, I will leave.

Truths that remind me why I'm vegan:
  • Humans are the only species who drink another species' breast milk.
  • Dairy cows are forced against her will to be pregnant in order to keep producing milk.
  • Eggs are a hen's period. Her reproductive cycle is altered and exploited for the sake of more eggs and more profit.
  • Just because you did not kill it yourself doesn't mean you are less guilty. By buying meat, you are paying other people to do the killing for you.
  • All animals killed for their meat are murdered before they reach their natural life expectancy age. Every piece of meat you eat is from a baby.
  • There is no difference between your pet dog and the chicken that was slaughtered for your lunch. If you can't stomach killing and eating a dog, you shouldn't eat a chicken.
  • Humans do not need to eat animal flesh or secretions to live a long, healthy life. In fact, eating a plant-based diet is proven to reduce dietary diseases.

My advice: Quit eating animals. Don't know where to start? Start here.

Or start where I started: Vegan Podcast by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. Or check out her short videos over on YouTube.

I make a point to not write too many posts about veganism on RubyBows, since that's not my focus here. I have a totally separate blog for that! It's called DirtyStove, and it's a tumblr blog. Check it out!

dirtystovedotcom

2 comments:

  1. I think this article was ALL of the things you wanted it to be: big, something super inspiring and educational, AND something heartfelt. Thanks for being you, Leiah.

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  2. Thank you, Jenn <3 A mantra I try to keep in mind, especially when it comes to veganism, is Speak Your Truth (advocated by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau). Sometimes getting into arguments with non-vegans can be infuriating and roundabout, but if I just speak my truth, there's no denying my feelings!

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