I turned to veganism when I had some health issues that stalled my active lifestyle. I learned about the chemicals and antibiotics in meat and dairy. I was disgusted but wanted to know more. I ventured on to learn more about the industries producing animal products. How they do it versus how I thought they did it. What I found I could not unlearn.
I learned how smart these animals are, smarter than children in some cases. I learned animals I used to consume have the intelligence to mourn their dead. I learned that my culture greatly influences which animals are deemed acceptable to consume. I learned that my culture purposely encourages ignorance of slaughter houses and dairy farms. I learned about the lies. I learned about anti-whistleblower laws and ag-gag bills. I learned the difference between correlation and causation. I learned about diseases that are preventable and ones that are reversible, diseases that have taken family members from me. I had a doctor, my family and friends tell me to eat meat and dairy in moderation. I learned abstaining from eating these foods offended people. I learned if you disagree with the ‘American norm’ you will be criticized. I learned animal cruelty extends past meat and dairy. I learned which companies to avoid and which to support. I learned my heart could only handle so much information. I learned I have different reactions to news stories than the company around me. I learned I had to protect myself.
I acquired a new perspective on life. I acquired a new appreciation for my dog companions. I acquired a new level of morality. I acquired a deeper sense of compassion. I started to hold my fellow man to a higher standard. I started to see the choices others made. I started to see the selfishness. I started to get angry. I realized I am only one person. I realized that one person can make a difference. I realized my choices had great effects on the world around me. I realized I was proud of my choices, of my life.
I realized I was forever changed.