I used to think that my love of rare steaks, fearlessness when it came to trying any and all foods and my negative attitude towards vegetarians and vegan made me cool. I loved hearing things like ‘oh girls don’t normally order that’ or ‘that’s funny coming from a girl’ when I would often refer to animals as ‘cute and delicious’. I used to think that vegans were either weird hippies that just wanted to push their self-righteous views on everyone else, or extremists that denied themselves the simple pleasure of eating meat and other animal products.
And then I went vegan. I did it for health reasons initially. Selfish reasons; reasons that only benefited me. I wouldn’t go around telling strangers I was vegan (and I still don’t). When someone found out about my diet my automatic response, whether prompted or not, was “I’m only vegan for health reasons”. Funnily enough, people would let out a sigh of relief when they heard this. It was ok to be vegan as long as it wasn’t for the animals or the environment. “Yeah I’m not one of those vegans”, I would laugh with them.
But the longer I stayed on the diet, the more research I did about it and the more I discovered how my old eating habits effected the animals and our planet. After six months on the diet I could no longer look the other way and call myself a non-ethical vegan. I had to man up and take accountability for my actions and realize that I had been indirectly harming innocent beings, and lives were being taken. Why? Because I wanted to enjoy a fucking steak? Or bacon? Or cheese? (yes lives are taken for cheese and dairy and eggs for that matter). I won’t go into the logistics, if you want to learn for yourself, here’s a great place to start.
But I kept my thoughts to myself. I knew then that I wouldn’t be able to eat meat or animal products again but that didn’t mean that I had to shove my opinions down other peoples throats, right? Well, when you tell people that you went vegan for health instead of animal rights a funny thing happens. They don’t feel threatened by you like they would an ethical vegan, you aren’t judging them for eating meat. All of a sudden they feel the need to tell you why they eat meat and why they could never be vegan and why they don’t care (or sometimes they don’t believe) that animals have to suffer and die before becoming their food. It becomes very hard to bite your tongue when people are explaining their justifications for eating meat when you are trying to be a passive vegan. If you knew how the meat and dairy industry really worked, you wouldn’t eat it either.
So, here it is, eighteen months later, and I’m still vegan. Except I’ve now dropped the ‘for health reasons’ sub-label. I couldn’t deny the truth anymore, it was time to open my eyes and realize the harm a omnivorous diet causes. It’s easy to walk around with blinders on, it was hard to learn how the meat, dairy and egg industry are really run. Meat is for pussies, so toughen the fuck up and accept the truth. I may have changed for myself but I’ll stay this way for the animals.
– Eat AVEC LUI – KL