We know that most vegans all said at some point there is no way in hell they would/could ever go vegan; I said that myself multiple times. I am always interested in knowing other people's journey to veganism, what brought them to the point where they decided to stop contributing to animal suffering?
So here is our story, mine and Van's. If you are vegan perhaps it will sound familiar and if you aren't maybe you will recognize some of our previous way of thinking as your own now.
I remember watching a documentary over 10 years ago where it showed helpless cows being pushed around by a bulldozer to their death, I vowed right there to never eat meat again. It lasted about three months and I went back to eating chicken, justifying myself with the thinking that they must be stupid so they didn't know what was happening to them, and slowly I started eating all "meats" again.
I think it was around 4 or 5 years later where the guilt really started to creep in every time I ate meat, I started thanking the animals for their sacrifice so I could eat them. (It is ridiculous of course because they never wanted to die for me, they weren't like here is my life, and I sacrificed it for your taste buds!) So the guilt was turning into heartbreak every time I ate meat.
Then, I came across a pig on some social media platform, she was cute so I started following. She had two dads that had accidentally taken on a "mini" pig that turned out to be a farm pig. They shared pics of Esther the Wonder Pig almost everyday, and because of her they made a connection, that loving her and still eating pigs was hypocritical in the way they would never eat a dog because they had dogs. They realized Esther was smart, loving, caring, had feelings, and wasn't all that different from their dogs, but way smarter! So another connection was made, if Esther is so smart, aren't all animals? And, just like that they went vegan. So, following all of this and seeing this cute pig living her best life impacted me big time, I decided to go vegetarian. I quit all meat, ate way too many eggs still and some dairy.
Van was on board with me being vegetarian, but a little annoyed with me for poking at him for not eating all the meat on his plate. I wanted to go vegan but was intimidated, Where to get my protein? What would I eat? Veggies? Gross, who wants veggies all the time? Then when I brought up going vegan, Van would say no way! We wouldn't be able to eat out together anymore, I would be judging him for his meat eating choices, he actually said if you go vegan we will probably get a divorce. We had that argument on a crowded bus.....
About 5 months into me being vegetarian Van said he would go vegetarian for a month, no meat at all. I was so proud of him, he did it and thought it was not hard whatsoever. About month after that he said why don't we go vegan for a month and see how we feel. We decided to educate ourselves about veganism, and how farm animals are treated. We watched Dominion, Cowspiracy, Forks Over Knives, and a lot of slaughterhouse footage. We cried, and we cried, and we cried a lot more. It was devastating, I really never knew how bad it was. Especially the dairy and egg industry, I was so shocked and knew I could never eat dairy or eggs again. Van said after watching the documentaries he morally and ethically could never eat animal products again either. That was May of 2018 and we have never looked back.
Going vegan was really scary at first. I did a lot of research about vegan food, got some vegan cookbooks, and realized that it isn't about protein, but fibre! I do not know where this protein deficiency rumour started about being vegan but I never actually worried about it, all the plant based foods I was eating had so much more than the animal products I had previously eaten. I was also extremely regular, TMI? I actually have a disease called diverticulosis and I became very sick from it, because I was not so regular in my animal eating days. I couldn't believe the difference in how I felt, and still do.
I remember thinking I would never have a big mac again, and now when I think back to that, I realize what a strange thought to have. In absolute all honesty, I have never enjoyed food as much as I do now. I did not think it would be possible to enjoy vegan food, these were my thoughts as a non vegan, and I am not telling you how much I love vegan food to sell the non vegans on it. I FRACKING love it, didn't know I could appreciate food even more.
So if you are not vegan, it is the perfect month to try it out, we would love to assist you if you need help, advice, and guidance.
Also, I want to give a special shout out to Van! Thank you for being on this journey with me, for your kindness and compassion. For always trying to come up with more ideas on how we can help animals in need. Your drive is inspirational, and I am so thankful for you.
Happy Veganuary friends!