Friday, August 7, 2020

Becoming Vegan: Story

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I have a wonderful friend who very recently became Vegan. I know that she’s struggling to see now what is the world around her , and I know that it’s even harder to have this new very profound truth and know what to do with it.

I remember when I first became Vegan. First, I will clarify that I was 100% plant-based before becoming Vegan – I eliminated ALL animal products from my diet for health reasons, and then because of that started to find out about the many other reasons to become Vegan.

It started with a simple realization for me – there was a man who had been charged and sent to prison for animal abuse against his dogs. The story was sick, what he did to those dogs was sick, and in that instant I made the connection, that if I felt that it was wrong of this man to hurt and abuse those dogs, I could now understand being Vegan. An animal, be it a pet or a farm animal is a creature with feelings, they hurt, they feel torture and fear. It seemed so simple. I wasn’t even someone that anyone would consider an “animal person” but it didn’t seem to have a gray area – either a living creature felt pain or it did not, it was either being abused or it was not, it was either being murdered or it was not. I’m not sure if that man abused, tortured, killed his dogs, and then proceeded to use them for food, if people would have been less disgusted and horrified. And then I thought – what if he had someone else do the killing and the torture of these animals – would have it made it better? Of course not.

But, for YEARS I made fun of vegetarians. I thought the entire notion was absurd. I was told of course that eating animals was somehow natural and somehow I completely never made the very logical step between what I considered to be animal abuse and what I considered to be ‘food’. Was I any better than the man who abused his dogs? I paid people to hurt animals for my pleasure – the pleasure I got from consuming them. I’m not sure how that is any better.

Back to my friend though.. So I was thinking about how obvious all of this seems to me, and I was remembering those first few weeks/months of being Vegan. I wanted to yell at people who had dogs at the park with them while they ate a hotdog – didn’t they know that the food they were eating was a direct result of abuse, torture and ultimately death – something they could never even imagine wishing upon their furry friend playing Frisbee with them?

And the more I found out about the undeniable health consequences of eating animal proteins, all of a sudden I felt like I was back in the 1940′s when pregnant women were told to smoke for health reasons. It seemed so outrageous and so insane to me that we were living in this world in which so much proven study has been done, yet so many people were just ignoring it.

For a while, I had a really hard time remembering the time before I was Vegan. I just didn’t get why no one else could see the food on their plate and not understand it’s tragic origin.

Since then, I’ve learned a lot about how our brains work, how addiction works, and how advertising works. I’ve learned that people have to come to all of this on their own, in their own way. I can present the truth, I can make points, I can offer help and suggestions, but ultimately, like I had to do – they have to make the decision for themselves.

It’s a painful position to be in, much like I’m sure it was painful for people to see their friends still smoking and thinking it was healthy, or how it was painful to see women being oppressed  as so many justified that as well.

When we are confronted with what seems like ignorance or hostility, I think the best thing we can do is to remember the time before we became vegan and practice compassion and patience to those who are still struggling with understanding.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Kelly

    I love this!
    Sometimes it’s really hard for me to be tolerant, but since opening my store I have come to realize that if you show people that a vegan lifestyle is easier than it sounds they can leave their bad habits behind them with more courage!

    Thank you for writing this!!!

  2. Nat

    Thanks Kelly 🙂 Thanks for saving the world through a vegan bakery – you are awesome 🙂

  3. Rachel

    Beautifully said Nat. I am currently in the state of mind that I am baffled at why people still eat animal products and I want to lecture on why they are so bad for you; health-wise and cruelty-wise. I do take a breath and remember that only few months ago I was eating that egg and cheese breakfast sandwhich with a coffee full of cream. Living this lifestyle is a huge eye opener and I am learning so much every day! If people ask me questions, I answer them truthfully from the heart but I don’t butt in and preach to people that don’t get it. You’re words are always a breath of fresh air!

  4. Gina

    Best wishes to your friend! It’s difficult for me to remember the time before I was vegan too. For me things were a little different. I initially went vegan as a sort of personal ten-day challenge. And after ten days I found this new energy and clarity, so I thought maybe there was something to this whole vegan thing, so I stuck with it and never went back. I wasn’t even a vegetarian when I started! It was only after meeting and speaking with other vegans that I started to realize all the animal abuse and torture I was previously supporting. It only added to my assurance that being vegan is a great thing and I can’t imagine ever going back.

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Nat
I went on a plant based diet after diabetes almost took my life. Now, almost 2 years later not only have I reduced my type 2 diabetes symptoms, I have lost close to 200 pounds (and still losing). This is a place where I write about my journey as I continue the quest for health, and living a good life for today, and long into the future. Get hold of me on nat@cleanseplan.com

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