The decision to go vegan came in my 20s—I committed myself to making drastic dietary changes because my health was failing.
In actuality, it was a selfish move. My shiny vegan label came in the wake of desperation to cure an ailing body. Prior to my health issues I enjoyed steak (the rarer, the better), burgers, chicken and bacon in moderation. I was never meat-obsessed—I flirted with vegetarianism several times—but I had little issue with the idea of a society that consumed meat. In fact, I had so little issue with it, I never thought about it at all.
Once my vegan diet was firmly in place, the lifestyle changes became a gradual, but inevitable, extension.
You’ll be hard-pressed to open a book on veganism that does not address the horrific deaths that animals are forced to endure with factory farming. You’ll have difficulties blocking the practices of the fur trade, industrialized dairy farms or the egg industry from your mind. You’ll find yourself contemplating where those sexy leather shoes came from and wondering if you can ever go back to that blissful state of ignorance.
Something about the vegan diet connects you to these animals and their stories. We tap into a child-like understanding of what it means to respect life.
Children see animals for what they are: living, breathing extensions of themselves.
If we’d just listen, we can learn a lot:
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Ed: Brianna Bemel
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