Why Vegan? Why Now?
I'm not sure if it's a quarter-century life crisis, or what, but I've been thinking a lot lately about changes that I would like to start making in my life.
I would like to move to a warmer climate. I would like to learn new things. I would like to take major strides to live a healthier life. I would like to invest more time and energy into the things that make me feel the most at peace with myself: Spending time outdoors, meditating, practicing my (very poor) yoga skills, and eating better.
But most importantly, I would like to focus on living an overall kinder lifestyle.
I first learned about the vegan diet a long time ago, but for some reason, I never really considered it as an option for myself. I think I might have felt a little overwhelmed by the idea of it, and I decided that I couldn't possibly do it. (Note to self: Work on self confidence!) After all, it requires a lot of effort to reprogram yourself after 20 plus years of doing things a certain way!
Today, the vegan diet is a little more mainstream. I see all sorts of delicious looking vegan recipes on a daily basis. Every once in a while, I'll see "Certified Vegan" printed on food packaging while at the local grocery store. It seems as though it's really catching on!
That's certainly a good thing! The more people who adopt vegan eating habits, the more animals we can save, and the more abundant our vegan options will become. It's the beginning of a wonderful cycle, don't you think?
So, apart from health reasons, which I'll likely explain another time, there is one major reason that I am interested in pursuing a vegan lifestyle: For the sake of animals around the world.
I have always had an immense love for animals. For as long as I can remember, I have been surrounded by pets. While I was growing up, my family had chickens, ducks, goats, bunnies, cats, dogs, fish, iguanas, etc. And I loved each and every one of these beautiful creatures as family.
Now, I have my dog Suzie. I know that some people might not understand it, but she truly is one of the best things that ever happened to me. She is my best friend. She makes me want to be a better person! When she looks at me with her kind, brown, puppy-dog eyes, I just want to love and protect her.
I believe that animals have just as much a right to be happy and loved as humans do. I believe that we should treat them with care and respect.
We, as humans, have our words and voices to explain how we are feeling.
Animals don't have that luxury. They can't tell us how they feel. They don't often have the choices that we have. I believe that it's our responsibility to advocate for them. It's our job to make sure that they get the respect that they deserve.
By choosing to live a vegan lifestyle, I am making a decision to no longer treat animals as goods. I refuse to intentionally support industries that have no respect for animals as living beings. I cannot, with a clear conscience, go on treating other creatures as though they are on this earth solely for my benefit.
I believe that all living beings have rights, and that they should be treated with respect.
I get all fired up just thinking about they way I was living my life before going vegan. My decisions were selfish and I was downright ignorant to the horrors that animals in the meat and dairy industries suffer on a daily basis.
But I feel better knowing that every time I choose a plant-based meal over a meat and dairy riddled one, or every time I refuse to buy leather goods, I'm making a difference in the lives of hundreds and thousands of animals.
And you can too! All it takes is a few simple decisions each day.