Disclaimer: This is a personal opinion blog, not a scientific journal. Please comment accordingly.
Yours Truly, the occasional blog-writer. I have no intention of feeding my cats a vegan diet, although there are plenty of Vegans that do. I otherwise live alone, so don’t have to worry about feeding non-vegans in my household, or keep tempting dairy products lying around. If you come over and want to eat, you will eat vegan.
As far as trying to convert people, or educate people, or the extent to which I become an activist for the cause… TBD. But you’re reading this, aren’t you? *
*You can always skip ahead to the cute cat picture at the end.
My own personal version of Veganism. I don’t like Wiki’s definition (Veganism), so as far as I’m concerned, there is Dietary Vegan and Lifestyle Vegan (aka Strict Vegan).
Dietary would mean following a Vegan Diet (no consumption of animal and animal-derived products, all day, every day), where Lifestyle Vegans also would not purchase or use any animal products or by-product that caused harm to animals (ie any product that used animal testing – which is a lot of stuff – plus wool, silk, fur, leather, most of the shoes in my closet, etc). Right now I’m just focusing on Diet (everything is subject to change).
I’m transitioning to Dietary Vegan. I am a Transitioner, not a Cold Turkey type. I don’t know how long it will take, and I don’t have any goals. I’m also not really hard-core about anything. So, I may never be 100% Vegan, which really means I’m not Vegan at all. Can there be such a thing as a Moderate Vegan? Mostly Vegan? Not really. Can you be Vegan at home, but Vegetarian (adding dairy products and eggs) when you go out or at social functions? Um, no. But people do.
We just do the best we can, every day.
My life is now broken into 2 time periods: B.C. and A.C. (Before Cowspiracy, and After Cowspiracy). Really, you must see this movie. On October 16, 2014, I walked out of a theater and said “Ok, I’m going to be Vegan”.
Some background: I have been “Mostly Vegetarian” for a long time anyway. Never in my life have I been a big meat eater (or really a big eater of junk food, soda, processed foods, etc). Then I was forced to watch Food Inc during lunch one day at work (thank God I was eating salad), somewhere circa 2009. So, being a person that cannot un-see things, I became more conscious of my meat consumption since then. I didn’t like shopping for it or handling it or cooking it, but would eat it going out (which was not often).
Then, right after I saw Cowspiracy, I read “Salt Sugar Fat“. Boy did this piss me off. My big takeaway was that I am in control of what I eat. I am a smart person (sometimes), not to be out-witted by big advertising, big food processing corporations, big government (which is essentially owned by said big food corporations), and big money. Screw them.
So, bingo. I bought 2 or 3 cookbooks, finished off the dairy products in my house, gave away the rest, and was on my way.
I live in Denver. There are several Vegan Meetup groups here (although I haven’t actually participated in any events or met anyone yet) and a few nice Vegan (or vegan-option) restaurants (like Watercourse, City o City, Sputnik). I also have a Sprouts nearby and my local King Soopers has more and more “alternate” food stuffs available every day (I don’t shop at Whole Foods, too pricey).
The point is, I’ve got options here.
The trifecta of Veganism: 1) personal health 2) the planet 3) the animals.
1) I want to lose at least 10 lbs by February. And, I believe (based on my most recent research), that a well-balanced, well-planned plant-based diet is the healthiest way to eat. I’m all about minimizing my long-term health costs.
2) This guy. or Gaia. If we screw this up, we’re hosed. Right? We’re going to see this in our lifetime, folks.
3) These guys (and girls)
So, seriously, there is no way I’m going to google images for “industrial animal agriculture” and “slaughterhouse”. I have zero tolerance for those visuals. I saw them ONCE (through the gaps in my fingers that covered my face) and changed my habits. The reality is, even those organic-free-range-certified-cruelty-free eggs that you buy come from an industry that is nothing but suffering and cruelty. If you are consuming animal products, you are contributing to and participating in an industry of suffering. You don’t need to eat meat to survive; you have a choice.
All animals should be this lucky.