(Photo credit: Jesper Valencia Gonzalez)
VEGAN??? Buuuut WHY????
From meat-eater to vegetarian. Then back to meat-eater. To vegan.
Why did I become vegan?
This is my story…
I was 17 years old. The year was 2000. I heard something about the transportation of animals being sent to slaughter, which was something I had never really thought about. Animals transported to other countries or across the same country, are crammed into carts with little space to move or even breathe. The effect it had on me made me stop eating “that kind of meat”. I also didn’t eat poultry, but seafood, dairy products and eggs.
(Animal transport is NOT any better today and it never will be.)
During the summer of 2007, I ate chicken again for the first time in seven years. At first, I was a bit hesitant about the idea, but I persuaded myself. Thus, I started to eat chicken again.
Friday, May 20th of 2011 was the day I ate pork for the first time in 11 years. On Christmas Eve of that year, I consumed pork again (I hadn’t eating any pork after that day in May until Christmas). At that point, I still hadn’t eaten beef since 2000. It was a sad turning point in my life, because after that Christmas, I began to fall back into my old habits and began to eat what some would call “normally” again.
(I have never had lamb or veal in my entire life. They have never even come close to my mouth.)
2 years passed and it was the autumn of 2013.
During that time, there was a lot about the fur industry in the media, which I already knew so much about. I have always been opposed to the fur industry and animal testing, well animal abuse and cruelty in general. However, I knew nothing about angora, which at the time, was being exposed to the public. But frankly, what I really did not know anything about was leather and the process of how it is obtained from cows. I was on Pinterest and out of the blue, a three-minute video of Stella McCartney and PETA show up. I watched it. I was ignorant like so many others, but it really opened MY eyes. The video was a new turning point in my life. There was something about leather that made me make the connection that I could not eat meat anymore. Ever. The link to the video is right here.
(And to everyone who still believes that leather is a byproduct, all I can say is that that is very far from the truth. Wool, mohair, down feather etc. is just as bad. Anything that comes from an animal is, really.)
I decided to dive deeper into a topic that most people never think about: The meat industry and the slaughter. I saw the cruel and frightening reality that animals are faced with. I saw their truth. I saw their reality. Hell on Earth was right in front of me. And it’s happening right now, as I write this. All over the world. Every second. Every minute. Every hour. And you can find hell on Earth right here in ‘hyggelige’ Denmark as well – believe me.
In early 2014, I became more knowledgeable about milk, as I gained insight into the dairy industry. I also learned more about the egg industry and broiler chickens. I felt like I had been deceived about these industries. The dairy and egg industries are just as evil and cruel as the meat industry, regardless of whether or not they are organic or free-range. There is absolutely NO difference.
After I learned about the dairy, I ditched dairy. After I learned about the egg industry, I ditched eggs. All of it. Instantly. In the past, I had always been deceived into buying organic animal products for the sake of the animals. And that’s where you will be tricked. I felt like my life and the whole world was built on one big, fat lie. (In short, it was.)
I remember all of the emotions that were in me at the time. And after doing so much research and witnessing it all in front of my screen, I remember feeling like I was the only one in this world who knew about this. Every time I was out grocery shopping, I looked at everyone and thought “No one knows about this shit!” and began crying. Right there, in the supermarket. I felt so incredibly powerless, and at the same time, like it was all my responsibility. It felt so heavy on my shoulders. How could I, as an individual, get them to see the truth and make them understand?
It was all so overwhelming and everything hurt so badly. But never, not for one second, have I ever wanted to be without these feelings, even though it was hard to breathe at times.
(Over the years, I’ve subsequently discovered that I am far from being the only one who felt this way. It’s a big relief knowing that you are not alone. People from all around the world, across different continents, share the exact same feelings. There’s something beautiful about it, actually.)
Tastebuds, old habits, convenience, culture, traditions, social norms and society are not the boss of me.
And thus, vegan Julie was born.
I am vegan for the animals.
The fact that I’m reducing my impact on this planet: climate change, the eradication of rainforests and reduction in biodiversity due to over exploitation, load, and pollution etc. is a wonderful feeling and a HUGE plus.
The fact that anything you consume from animals, whether it be milk, eggs, or meat, is not healthy or good for the human body, so choosing not to consume these products benefits my health, which in itself is YET another HUGE plus.
The fact that I’m not exacerbating and contributing to world hunger in developing nations, which are often forced to give their land and crops (which they could feed themselves with) to the Western world, so we can use these crops as food for the animals we raise and kill, not for survival or out of necessity, but simply for pleasure. Just because we can and want to (and because there’s money involved), is ALSO a HUGE plus.
Conclusion: There are only pluses to be gained by going vegan! ♥
I wish I had known everything that I know now 18 years ago, in 2000.
I’m still upset, sad and angry.
But deliriously happy to know that I am no longer contributing to or supporting the largest animal harming industry in the world. A powerful industry built on profit, lies, deception, exploitation, oppression, and evil.
Today, I live in accordance with what my heart and soul have always told me since I was a little animal-loving child; All animals are equal. There’s no difference.
Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is evil.
And no matter how tough or heartbreaking it may be: Knowledge is important.
It’s never too late to change. It’s never too late to do the right thing. Never. ♥
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
The biggest vegan hugs and kisses (and you get them even if you’re not vegan).
I do not exploit, cause suffering, harm or death to any animal. The only life that belongs to me is my own. If you could save lives every day, get absolutely all of the nutrient you need and be healthy, or even healthier, and eat the same foods, but without contributing to the unnecessary exploitation, cruelty, suffering and deaths of animals, thrive and lead the same happy life as you used to + be kind to our beautiful Earth, then why wouldn’t you?
I am being the change I wish to see in the world.
The beautiful girl you see here (sound on) her name was Bella. I got 5 months with her (and 4 other beautiful souls) in 2014 (Bella and I had a special bond). If you want you can read about them on my Facebook. Her life, their life, was taken from them on October 14 2014. There are so many “food” animals out there with a story. We know of them, but we don’t know them. They matter just as much as the ones we’re lucky enough to know if only for a brief period of time. The only difference between a dog and a cow and a cat, a pig, a chicken, a goat, a sheep etc. is how you choose to see them.