I’ll admit. When I first became vegan I entered into it as a dietary vegan and a reluctant one at that. Reading Colleen Patrick Goodreau’s “30-Day Vegan Challenge” I was counting the days and following along page-by-page waiting for the weight to drop off and the amazing euphoria of cleansing my body of meat to occur and all the other wonderful, miraculous things that were going to happen to me (as a matter of fact, VegNews published one of my rants about this in their magazine). As an aside, all of those benefits did arrive but took a bit longer than 30 days. Still, I highly recommend this book to EVERYONE …
In that first year of being vegan I was also longing for all my “old” foods. I would attend vegan dinners and complain endlessly about missing this or never going to be able to eat that again. I was very, very reluctant. Annoying actually.
But I stuck to it.
The first year was filled with longing while the second year was filled with learning. I hadn’t made the connection until about 16 months vegan. I had watched all the movies, read all the articles, and filled my head with as much information as I could handle about animal treatment and cruelty and it still wasn’t sinking in … until that 16th month.
I was on Facebook (which I am known to do from time to time) and a post came across my newsfeed for a “Bacon Festival” being held in Buffalo. I clicked the poster out of curiosity and the headline across the top read: NOW WITH MORE PIG!
Something about that headline triggered a reaction in my very soul. Those four words, for me, made the connection. The festival coordinators and pretty much anyone attending this event probably got a charge out of that headline. It’s so funny, after all. But I got an emotional reaction. Didn’t they read what they were writing? Pigs are intelligent, sentient beings with feelings. Watch one video of pigs being slaughtered and you’ll literally see the fear in their faces and hear them crying out for help.
At that moment, being truly vegan came into clear focus.
I had made the connection. There is no such thing as a humane way to kill any animal. There are no benefits of free-range or cage-free, or whatever, when the end result is an animal being cornered into a pen, yanked by their back legs, and having their throat slit. This, by the way, is the humane way to do it. Omnivores choose to ignore this or simply look the other way. Or, not care.
I had already made a lifelong decision to never eat another animal (or animal product) and at that point in being vegan, I was never more sure of this decision and, today, I am creating recipes and foods that blow away anything I used to eat. Savory and satisfying with no meat, dairy, or eggs. The level of culinary enjoyment I get in developing foods without these ingredients, knowing that no animals are being harmed … is life-changing.
Animals have as much right to life on this planet as we do and there is no reason, NO reason whatsoever, to ever eat an animal. None.