Why Vegan?

This post, by its very nature, will probably be more controversial than my trauma posts.  People seem to have more trouble hearing about veganism than trauma sometimes.  So, to start– I am not judging vegetarians or even omnivores.  I’m simply writing about my experience in case it helps others along the way.

I went vegetarian all the way back in 2009.  A friend of mine worked in what’s referred to around here as a chicken barn.  It’s actually a large, windowless metal building where chickens and chicks are caught, debeaked, often have their wings broken, and killed sometimes in gruesome ways.  My friend laughingly told me stories about how some of the chickens died.  I was horrified, and no piece of chicken has ever touched my mouth since.

That experience got me thinking about other animals who are used for food.  What made them less than a chicken?  Why was I okay to eat those but disgusted by chicken?  I didn’t look up anything about the animal food industry, but I did decide to stop eating animals one by one.  First went other poultry, then fish, then finally beef (I didn’t eat pork anyway).  By the end of that year, I decided to try one more cheeseburger just to make sure.  Literally could not keep one bite down.  It felt disgusting on my tongue and had no taste at all.  So that was vegetarianism.  All from the story of chickens in a barn.

Veganism was harder for me.  I went on and off of it many times.  Learning about the dairy industry was enough to make me detest dairy, but I still slipped up.  When I feel tempted now– and I still do sometimes– I just remind myself that that calf’s life is more important than my desire for cheese.

I am vegan because I believe it is the only way to truly respect all life.  I believe it is the most kind way of living and that it leaves a lighter carbon footprint.  It’s best for the animals, best for the planet, and best for my mind and soul.  From one tiny little chicken in a barn came a whole new lifestyle.

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I highly recommend Alicia Silverstone’s ‘The Kind Life’ to anyone interested in vegetarianism and veganism.  Interesting facts and some tasty recipes, too!

New Directions

It occurs to me that, since I have started blogging again, this blog will likely take on a new direction.  I’m not the same person I was when I first started the blog, and I haven’t got the same concerns.  Back then, life was all about finishing graduate school and coping with the recently-divulged secret of my multiplicity.  Now, grad school is a distant accomplishment, and I am fully integrated.  Life has definitely changed.  Looking back at old posts, even the tone of my writing has changed.  Frightening and exciting all at once.

So what am I doing now?  Glad you asked.  Now, my life focuses primarily on bipolar disorder– something that can’t be resolved via therapy– and veganism/animal rights.  As well, I am proudly Wiccan and involve many Pagan practices in my daily life.  These are the pieces of me that remain post-integration.  I still deal with trauma flashbacks and will likely write about that subject from time to time.  It’s no longer a daily focus, though.  Now, my life is about using my beliefs to walk as gently as possible on the Earth.  I feel whole in my mind and spirit, so my focus is sharper on the causes I support.

That’s the funny thing about change– it’s ok!  We all change as life progresses, but we never lose our value.  Thanks for following along with this new leg in my journey, dear readers.  I hope you continue to share parts of your journey, as well.

History Repeats

They are crowded into hot, smelly transport devices.  They are disoriented by the lack of personal space and stifling heat.  They can barely breath and are pressing on each other with enough force to cause internal injuries.  Some are injured by the strangers who have taken them from their families and thrown them into this terrifying new world.  Some cry out, some are already too weak to do so.

Their journey is arduous.  They must endure the heat and darkness for an undetermined amount of time.  They have no idea where they’re being taken, only that the people taking them are painfully cruel.  Locked up as they are with no escape, they urinate and defecate on each other.  The waste burns their skin.  Some of their fellow prisoners die along the way.  They are crushed or suffocated.  Limbs are broken, skin is torn.  The dead exist among the living in this hell.

Finally, they arrive at their destination.  Thick smoke from burning corpses fills the air.  It chokes them as they are pulled out of the transportation devices.  Who knows what their thoughts were upon being removed from those horrible chambers?  They find no relief.  They are handled once again by the strangers who show no regard for their lives.  Some are found undesirable and immediately killed.  Some are placed in holding stalls .  Most are taken into what will be their last living quarters.  They see others like themselves.  They see mangled bodies and severed limbs.  Aware, once again, that they will soon face a violent death, they fight.  Their captors prevent their release.  Every single one of them dies.

This isn’t an account of Nazi Germany.  This is the final days of chickens killed in processing plants.

Go veg.  Life depends on your decision.

Vegan Shaving Stuff

I’m always on the lookout for good, reasonably priced vegan products.  Since I live in a very small town with absolutely no products marketed directly to vegans, I do most of my shopping online.  Vegan Essentials and Kiss My Face are two of my favourite sites.  I highly recommend the Kiss My Face Moisture Shave shaving lotion.  I have the Vanilla Earth scent.  It’s $7.95 USD for an 11-ounce bottle, but you only need to use a little bit at a time.  They sell a 4-ounce bottle for $4.95 USD.  It smells great, and the texture is excellent.  Also, it doesn’t take all the moisture out of my skin.  Always a plus.

Vegan Essentials sells replacement blades for the Personna Mystique razor.  I have never used a better blade.  I *thought* I got the actual razor from Vegan Essentials, but I can’t find it on their site at the moment.  The blades stay sharp for quite some time.  They’re a bit on the expensive side– $5.49 USD for a package of three– but in my opinion, they’re worth the money.

Happy Shopping!  🙂

Shocking Reality

Having trouble sticking to that New Year’s resolution to adopt a vegan lifestyle?  This site will definitely motivate you to keep working towards a cruelty-free life.

If you’re still a meat eater, the videos on the site might very well help you understand why so many of us have chosen to rid our diets of animal products.  Fair warning– the videos are graphic.  Sometimes, though, it takes a bit of a shock to get people to consider change.  And when the change involves saving innocent animals from torture, no amount of shock is too much.

http://www.meat.org

The animals of the world exist for their own reasons.  They were not made for humans any more than black people were made from white or women created for men.

–Alice Walker

Happy World Vegetarian Day!

1 October is World Vegetarian Day!!  Throughout the month, vegetarians will be working to raise awareness of the benefits of being vegetarian, as well as supporting fellow herbivores and sharing tasty tips.

You can celebrate by cooking a vegetarian meal for friends and family, printing and displaying the World Vegetarian Day and awareness poster from NAVS, or doing anything you’d like to do to raise your voice!  If you’re not a vegetarian and would like to celebrate, why not go veg for one day?  Try something new.  Have a bit of fun!

World Vegetarian Day was founded by the North American Vegetarian Society in 1977.  To read more about them, click here.

Happy Eating!  🙂

Why Vegan?

Because animals used for dairy suffer too.  Their flesh may not be visible to consumers, but they often suffer every bit as much as animals used in the meat industry.  A vegetarian diet saves many, many lives and prevents cruelty to many animals.  If you’re vegetarian, why not take it that extra step and cut dairy out of your diet as well?

PETA’s latest investigation involves the cruelty cows are subjected to by the suppliers of Land O’Lakes.  Click here to read more about the investigation.  Be advised that the images are graphic and might not be suitable for children.  If you’d like to teach your children about a cruelty free lifestyle, have a look at the PETAKiDS site.

As I’ve said frequently, we all share this world.  Not one living creature, humans included, should ever be made to suffer for another.

Something to Stand Behind

As a survivor of SRA, I know what it’s like to live in incredibly horrendous conditions.  I’ve also seen animals exploited in terrible ways for use during rituals.  That’s why, after some careful thought and research, I decided to join People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and get involved in some of their work.  I know it isn’t the choice that every survivor of SRA or indeed every person in general wishes to make.  However, it’s what works for me.

Before moving to America, I hadn’t eaten meat in years.  Very recently, I made the decision to go back to the vegetarian diet, but I departed from that briefly.  Now that I’ve picked it back up, I’ve started making other changes as well.  Last night I chucked any cosmetics I had that were produced by companies that do animal testing, and I narrowed down the leather bags and clothing to a few items that can be sold or given away.  Dairy is slowly disappearing from my diet as well.  Certain changes should be made slowly, and as my diet was more dairy-based than I realised, that is something I’m phasing out over the next week or so.

It really isn’t as difficult as it sounds, this vegan lifestyle.  I haven’t got alot of spare money and can’t afford highly specialised products.  What I *can* do is become more aware as a consumer and buy brands such as White Rain that are affordable, accessible, and cruelty-free.  Try Caring Consumer for resources on cruelty-free shopping.

This was a well thought out decision for me, and fits perfectly with my belief system.  I feel great about making the transition.