I just realized that I had my 6th veg-anniversary. In February 2012, I planned to try a vegan diet for one month., but just kept going. Although I am not always perfect, I have remained consistent to the ethics and philosophy. I don’t want to contribute to the horror that is CAFO (factory farming) and how it affects animals, people and the earth. I vote with my money for a more compassionate world. It’s not just about what is humane, it also makes sense in a scientific, factual way based on resources, antibiotics, pollution, carbon and health.
In all honesty, I wasn’t sure I would be able to stick with this. For the first year I wondered if I would just lapse, as is somewhat common. The biggest hurdle has always been the social one for me. It isn’t comfortable to go against the mainstream, and when dining with others have specific requests that are not always simple. In the last 6 years there have been big changes. It has become easier and easier to get good vegan food almost anywhere in Portland (plus, my food drawings have improved). The vegan restaurants are amazing and plentiful. I really appreciate the friends and family who have gone out of their way to make vegan-friendly options.
In the last few years I have become more depressed and hopeless about climate change. It is the most important issue to me because it will impact everything, including the animals. The animals in this case keep me motivated to continue to speak up for them. My socially awkward issues are nothing compared to the torment they endure at our hands. As we approach Easter and Passover, please consider that lambs are innocent baby animals taken from their mothers. And that egg production on a large scale involves killing all the male baby chicks, while crowding the egg-layers in cages. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I try to post positive images, but it’s important to acknowledge the reality, and possibly it will help others think about these animals as more than products.
We have the worst administration to help these issues right now as they care about profit over anything and refuse to acknowledge facts about climate change (despite the rest of the world moving away from fossil fuels). Please know that even as they roll back the small amount of humane laws that existed, you still have some control. You can make sure these companies adhere to higher standards than the law mandates by affecting their bottom line. I know that no one would want the suffering that is happening, which is hidden from the consumers with advertising and lobbyists. I can’t believe I went through decades not knowing what is happening. In fact, even the humane farmers talk about “harvesting” animals to avoid the reality of slaughter.
The good news is that it has never been easier to move away from animal products. There are more and more products in the market every month. There were no vegan yogurts at Fred Meyer 6 years ago, not there are 3 or 4 different brands! The alternative milks is the easiest switch to make, so many delicious choices. Socially, the more people who want a plant-based option, the easier that has become as well. I have found it helpful just to be involved in planning events and volunteering so that I can make sure that there are vegan options available for everyone.
Thanks for following along on the journey!