April 20, 2012

My Veganism

I remember times when I wanted to stop eating meat and become a vegetarian. But I didn't know how to say it out loud and was kind of intimidated how people would respond/will they let me a vegetarian without thinking I'm trying to lose weight or something. So I struggled to continue eat dead animals on my plate a little bit longer. It wasn't a sudden idea or teen-rebel-thing but something I had thought for a long time and wanted to do. And when I finally got it out loud I wasn't sure about the reactions. I wasn't trying to get attention but more like that kind of approval when people won't look me at the dinner table down their noses and looking me munching a piece of cabbage waiting this "phase" to be over and waiting me to crawl back and asking to get meat again. I know my parents but somehow I feared not being allowed to eat what I wanted and what I did not want. I didn't need/want/ask/wait "yes" or "no" answer and the only reason I "announced" it was that it would not be strange if suddenly I would not eat meat. However, it was a good reaction and because of that I felt bad not to break it down much, much earlier.

Actually, I started to realize I had left red meat almost out entirely, I almost never ate fish, I used cheese and eggs very rarely also and little by little I had started to prune meat out of my plate - I had been banning McDonald's for many, many years before all this. At the end of May 2009 I became a Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian; I stopped eating meat and only used eggs and milk. Still the whole time I though why use them at all, I had really only used eggs when I baked and I’m glad I baked very rarely. And milk I didn’t use really at all and to me soymilk even tasted better. It wasn’t a big leap to become a vegan but it happened about a year later. Milk and egg industry is also so very cruel I felt bad that I had eaten those even that long. But after I was totally vegan, I couldn’t feel better about it!

My main reason must have been the suffering of the animals - I had been thinking it from quite a young age. After that I learned more about the negative sides of eating meat and the whole industry. I had thought about the cruelty towards animals a long time, after coming across of those videos and pictures of the cruelty towards them and thinking how can someone do those kinds of things to other living creatures. And also I was confused how could I eat chicken and cow and pig but not my pet cats for example... I mean, people seem to see all meat as meat they can eat. But all living creatures are at the same position to me and I couldn't reason out how could I eat this meat but not that meat - and why would I need to do that for they all live and breath and they all need to be killed for food. That's not right at all.

I wanted to learn more which was a shocking but educating thing to do and every horrible thing I saw and read confirmed that I will stop eating meat, using leather and everything that has came from an animal - by changing my habits I could make a difference on my point. And getting to know what was really going on I made sure I would not be one of those people who just ignore the truth. What also affected me was those stands of animal right organization with horrible images (an aggressive approach but I’ve noticed it is needed) and people giving out leaflets with more info about the horrible industry of meat and eggs and everything. It started out as stopping on the stand and talking to the people and asking questions, taking one of every leaflet (and a few to give out to others), writing down my name to the appeal for animal rights and not just walk by like too many people did, closing their eyes from the reality. And later I asked how to join in the activity.

The more I knew the more I started to feel a disgust towards meat and it became harder and harder to eat and finally I made the decision and changed that. I have not missed meat for I can’t even think of eating it again – same thing with eggs and milk. Sure I’ve eaten meat before I became vegetarian but I don’t ever see myself eating it again. I’m not trying to save the world or giving the impression I would – but the main reason I wanted to change my eating habits was to make myself feel better and knowing no one had to suffer and die because of my food, clothing or anything like that. May sound hypocrite to some people but it’s really that simple without any ulterior motives. Some people still seem think this is some kind of phase but what they don’t seem to know that this has grown like a lifestyle to me.

I was so surprised how much alternative foods is out there for people who don’t eat meat or use eggs or milk. I didn’t really need to give up anything, I was not left missing anything. And those things some people might see as loss is not really a loss to me for I don’t really care for them (for example fish). And with a little creativity certain foods like omelets can still be done without eggs – pretty marvelous.

What also surprised me but in a bad way were attitudes and assumptions towards vegans and people who don’t eat meat coming from ignorant people and rude meat-eaters.
Anyone who seems to be different than the “normal” people are often seen as an outsider. It often feels some people are judging you because you don’t eat meat, eggs, cheese, milk or other animal products. When people hear that you are vegan the look they give you may change between confusion and judgment, making you feel like there’s something wrong about not eating meat. And really there is not. Offensive meat-eaters should get over themselves and start accepting that people are different and there’s nothing wrong or weird about being a vegan.


I end this entry with funny memes I found...


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