I’m Vegan.

I’m Vegan.

I’m vegan.

And hearing that you’ll shake your head,

and roll your eyes because vegans are

angry, carnivore-hating, rabbit-food eating, anemics

with nothing better to do than hug trees,

and preach that meat is murder.

I mean it is…but that’s besides the point.

So let me explain.

I don’t eat meat because I stood in the freezer of a slaughterhouse on ‘kill day’ surrounded by carcasses when I was 15 years old and I lost my appetite for murder.

I don’t eat meat because no matter what we tell ourselves or are raised to believe, humane slaughter has nothing to do with animals, and everything to do with your conscience.

Why keep looking for a right way to do the wrong thing? There is no right way to murder. There is no right way to end a life.

I don’t eat meat because I believe that there is beauty in all life no matter one’s level of intelligence.

I believe that our bodies are gardens not graveyards, and kindness is a hypocrisy if the main course of dinner last night required the death of a living being.

I don’t eat meat because I’m human and my anatomy defines me as a herbivore with a maze of intestines and teeth meant to tear through plants not flesh.

I don’t eat meat because I think that Alice Walker was right when she said that animals exist for their own reasons. They weren’t made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men. I don’t know about you but I believe in equality.

I believe that all lives matter, and this idea that some matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world.

I’m vegan, and yes, that means I don’t drink cow’s milk because in case it wasn’t obvious, I’m human and I was weaned before I was 9 months old so why consume another mother’s milk if I don’t need it to survive?

Dairy intake is linked to prostrate cancer, ovarian cancer, type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis, over 75% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant but for some strange reason corporate farms and agricultural boards have us believing that milk is a necessity. Did it ever occur to you that consumption of animal products is simply a branch of the reality that is capitalism and consumerist tradition?

Milk isn’t a necessity and neither are eggs, leather jackets, fur lined coats, vivisection labs, Sea World, or the circus. We do not need to use animals as a source of entertainment, food, experimentation, or survival.

And no, actually, I don’t just care about animals. I’m vegan for the planet above all else because our futures are dependant on the lives we live now so take responsibility for the choices you make, starting with what you put on your plate.

Because with an every growing population earth doesn’t have enough land mass to raise the crops and livestock we’ll need to feed humanity 20 years from now if we continue down this path of unsustainable living. In killing over 150 billion animals each year because we like the taste of their flesh or the products their bodies produce we are killing ourselves. 

I’m vegan because I believe that plant-based living is the beginning of a better world, one where peace and compassion are a priority.

So yes, I’m vegan. And maybe I’m crazy but if living this way is the first step in the right direction than I have no regrets. Because like Ghandi said, if we want to change the world, than we have to be the change.

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Changing the World

Changing the World

Your actions determine the future of our planet, and all of humanity. So do something, take action. Plant a tree and learn to live in harmony with nature by becoming more aware of the negative impact your current lifestyle may have on the environment.

The following is a list of small things you can do to effect change environmentally and socially:

Don’t throw it away.

  • Recycle, and recycle properly. Develop an awareness of:
    • What can be recycled
    • What’s biodegradable
    • What products utilize the least amount of packaging
  • Purchase products packaged in glass, metal, or paper as plastic and styrofoam can’t be recycled or reused.
    • Purchase bars of soap, wax paper, reusable bags, rechargeable/reusable batteries, and tampons with cardboard applicators over bottled liquid soap, plastic wrap, plastic shopping bags, one-time use batteries, and tampons with plastic applicators.
  • Borrow before you buy.
    • Don’t purchase things you don’t need, or will only use once.
    • Borrow it from a friend, rent it, or buy it used.
  • Donate what you don’t need.
    • Thrift stores are recycling depots for clothing, and thousands of other reusable products, they promote ethical living and thoughtful consumption.

Live locally. 

  • Shop at local farmer’s markets as they are an outlet for the 22% of local farmer’s crops that would have otherwise gone to waste.
    • These small farms are often the major producers of local, organic food and are more likely to treat their land with respect, and their animals/livestock humanely.
  • Living locally, and eating a ‘local’ diet creates jobs in your community and protects land from corporate farms that burden the earth with pesticides, and careless farming techniques that cause local economies to suffer as the quality of the food YOU eat declines.
  • …or, grow your own food, and reap the benefits of a ‘backyard breadbasket’ which will provide you with products that are both environmentally sound and organic.
    • Most cities  also set aside land for community gardens, as they’re an effective was to provide the hungry with food, while building up communities and empowering individuals.
  • Be a responsible consumer, know where your products are coming from, are you really content with supporting huge wholesale supermarkets, that don’t necessarily have the wellbeing and health of their community in mind?

Flip the switch.

  • Living an environmentally-friendly, conservation-conscious life can be as easy as developing a habit of turning of the lights when you leave a room.
  • Or, better yet, install energy-efficient lightbulbs in your home:
    • Halogen Incandescents, Compact Florescent Lamps (CFL), and Light Emitting Diodes (LED) use 25%-80% less energy than traditional light bulbs, and last 3-25 times longer.

Let it rot. 

  • Over 50% of municipal waste is a collection of organic kitchen and yard waste, composting takes up to 75% of waste out of the solid waste stream.
  • Starting your own compost pile reduces methane gas emissions, which are a large contributor to global warming, and nourishes the earth by returning a number of nutrients to the soil.

Oh, and go VEGAN…it’s that simple. 

  • Were you aware that animal agriculture is the leading emitter of carbon gases into the atmosphere? Watch Cowspiracy if you’re interested in a more factual study on the impact of factory farming, but the moral of the story is this: a global vegan movement is the only worthwhile solution.cows

So what are you waiting for?

Go change the world.