I’ve officially taken the step to veganism. After wishing I could do it and trying a few times to do it, it took only a texting conversation with my dear friend Holly to say, yes…Just Do It. She has also been a longtime vegetarian and recently took the step to veganism. When I asked why now, she said a fellow volunteer at the cat shelter reminded her how awful the dairy industries are and that she had always told her itself going vegan would be hard but then thought, maybe it won’t be that hard.
Yes! And now we’re partners in vegan commitment, texting photos and recipes.
Even my doctor, who owns a local farm with her family, told me last year that if I was a vegetarian for animal reasons, then I should go ahead and become vegan because the dairy industries are just as bad. I had my yearly appointment with her recently, just after I’d become vegan, and mentioned it to her. She didn’t say anything—I sensed that she thinks the notion is foolish, especially when you can get locally made cheese and meat in this area from family owned farms, where animals are treated well and the damage to the environment is minimal—and I appreciated her silence.
Because the sole purpose for my decision to become vegan is the animals. It’ll be great if other health benefits roll in from eating a plant based diet, but that is secondary. I want to know my personal sphere that I have encircling me as I walk this earth is filled with doing as little harm to animals as possible while I’m here. That’s it.
And what’s interesting is I feel almost guilty because of the burden I fear it will put on my friends. Already, just a few days after I made this change, a friend came to me in the office and said he’s hoping to have people over soon and wanted to find out about my dietary restrictions…he knew I was a vegetarian and when I said I was vegan, he said, Ohhhh. I could see the wheels turning as he tried to suggest something he might make, but it turned out the original dish he was going to make could easily be made vegan. So he left with a plan and I was left thinking, I am going to be a giant pain in the ass to all my friends now.
There’s also the desire to tell friends and family, especially those who love animals, about the awfulness of the farming industry. I think everyone, for the most part, knows that factory farming is awful, but it’s even worse than you think. And one of the common statements from the organization Mercy For Animals is if you can’t watch the undercover videos from factory farms, why would you eat the product that allows them to thrive? I feel similarly, but it is against my nature to proselytize.
See, veganism is the closest thing I have to religion. My beliefs about animals and their purpose here has always pushed me toward veganism. But I know what it’s like to be preached to—no one likes it. No one wants to be made to feel bad about their choices (including me—I have many a meat-lover in my life that think veganism is lunacy) and so I’m going to work on my sphere and let others live in theirs as they wish. If they ask me, I will tell them about it. We all have our own lives to live and our own decisions to make about what we want our lives to look like: “Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?”—Bob Marley
Here on this blog, though, there may be a bit of preachiness. Feel free to tune that out. And if you invite me to dinner, I’ll be sure to bring my own dish to share. And there are always dishes that can be made vegan at restaurants.
But, really, pigs are too awesome to be eating.