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