Sunday, April 18, 2010

It's a process..

I am giving veganism another shot. What has motivated me to try veganism once more is animal rights, environmental issues —and simply the possibility of enjoying more energy and vitality. Like I may have stated before, when I was vegan for the duration of the challenge I literally felt like a changed girl! I had more energy, I was sleeping better, I felt more compassionate and much more in touch with the world as whole. 'Twas glorious!

After beginning to consume animal products once again, I started putting more thought into the ethics of veganism. I wasn’t remotely motivated to go vegan because of ethical or environmental concerns, but after researching it, those aspects began touching me. I watched videos of factory farming, and I was saddened by the animal cruelty, especially when I realized this is what most people contribute to every single day. I feel relieved that my decision is making a small but positive effect in reducing animal suffering and environmental damage. I like that every meal I eat is one that didn’t cause animals to suffer and die.

I was thinking just recently that all of the things that actually occur to the animals are just so terrible. The effects that it has on our environment are so detrimental so why in the world am I contributing to this issue and essentially voting for all of this to continue with my dollar, and with the choices I make on what to consume. The cheese and ice cream I once loved so much and thought I could NEVER give up suddenly didn't seem so appetizing. Of course, it's hard once in a while but I just think of the benefits and what the cow that gave me that mac & cheese or ice cream sundae had to go through..and suddenly, boom.. the craving is vanished.

It can be rather hard to avoid all animal products but I am doing my very best, and I feel great about that. I realize now that the reason I felt so guilty about eating cheese or ice cream was because I am just so passionate on this issue. I feel so happy that I have chosen to live this lifestyle now. Veganism is going to be a process for me that's for sure as I'm sure it is for anyone.

In general, I try to never come off as preachy towards others about veganism. There are a billion reasons why people would choose a vegan diet including health and the environment. While those are both extremely important issues to me, animal cruelty is certainly what made me make the transition. Being overly aggressive is obviously an immediate turn off to people. However I will say, as aggressive as Peta is, watching one of their videos is the reason I decided to become vegan(Meet your Meat). After watching a video about how animals are farmed for food, I felt like it should almost be mandatory for everyone to watch. Even if you still decide to eat meat afterward, I could respect that decision more if I knew you were at least completely informed. "Earthlings" which is a documentary (available here if you're interested) that investigates animal cruelty in pets, food, entertainment, clothing and science. I decided to watch it because although I've seen videos on food before, I wasn't as familiar with the other four topics. Even though it was no doubt the most difficult thing I've ever had to watch, I walk away from it feeling even more proud of my decision to maintain this lifestyle and I will continue to find out what more i can do. If anyone who reads this blog has been flirting with the idea of becoming vegetarian or even just cutting back on meat consumption a little, I strongly urge you to please do some research or watch a video. That way, no matter what decision you make, you can make an informed one.

Individuals often have a hard time giving up meat simply because they like the taste, and do not want to open their eyes to the reality of where their meat is coming from. Yes, certainly meat tastes good, why else would we consume such mass quantities of it as a nation. However, the benefits of giving up meat or all animal products all together outweigh the taste and simple pleasure. With each bite, you are essentially making a vote. If you eat meat and animal products you are voting for the continuation of animal cruelty, the destruction of the environment and health problems for one’s own self. Before you take that bite, think about the consequences. Start off cutting meat and animal products out of your diet just once a week, and expand on that. Vegetarianism or veganism is a process. It takes time but the consequences of eating meat definitely prevail over the simple pleasure one receives from consuming another once living, breathing creature’s flesh.

Here is to a journey of serious dedication and commitment. Here is to a new me! :)

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