A little background….I went vegetarian at the age of 15 – a young, passionate teenager vehemently sharing my views on animal rights and the plight of the voiceless from the day I read Peter Singer’s eye opening book “Animal Liberation”. Since then, I can’t honestly say I was 100% every single day – there were times, like during my two pregnancies, that I did revert back to my meat-eating ways. Back then there was no facebook, no instagram, no YouTube, not much in the way of social media with which to share the horrific images and stories of what goes on behind those slaughterhouse walls. I never did any research either, as to whether or not a vegetarian diet could sustain a healthy pregnancy. I just thought I had no choice, that I had to eat animal flesh to get the protein I needed. Boy was I wrong!
During the last omnivore stint, every time I would consume animal flesh I would get sick. Terrible stomach aches and indigestion accompanied by intense gas pains (gross I know) and misery after eating. Every…single…time. That was it. My body was telling me to stop and I had no problem quitting again cold turkey. I never looked back.
Here it is 15 years later and I have a daughter who reminds me a lot of someone I used to know. About 2 years ago, after eating a steak dinner, for some reason she decided to watch a video on YouTube “If the Slaughterhouse Had Glass Walls”. On the way to drop her off at her friend’s house that night she said to me “I’m not eating meat anymore. I watched this video and cried the entire time”. I felt my heart leap in my chest and knew one day she would figure it out for herself. This was the day!
About a year into it, she told me she wanted to go Vegan. My daughter does a lot of her own research and was horrified to learn of the methods used in the dairy and egg industry. Although I was still eating these things, I supported her in her decision and did not try to sway her either way. Veganism just seemed so difficult to me. The thought of coffee without creamer in it, no cheese pizza and no tuna sandwiches or egg biscuits…how could I give that up? I was buying “Organic” creamer and cheese, “cage free certified humane” eggs and “sustainable” fish. Sounds okay right? Cows have to be milked and hens have to lay eggs…that was my reasoning. No, it’s not – it’s not okay and again, I was wrong.
Even though my 15 year old daughter had made a smooth transition and preached to me daily, it wasn’t until my visit to a local animal sanctuary opened my eyes to the necessity of living a totally Vegan lifestyle if I was truly wanting to do my part to end animal suffering.