Im from Ohio but have lived in Charlotte, North Carolina since May of 2010
I have a cat, Jake, who I rescued from a shelter in Aug of 2010
I've been vegan for almost three years now, and over the course of those three years I have been met with intense inquiry, occasional admiration, and even some harsh opposition. In response to all these things and more, I have decided to express myself in an informative, educational, and inspirational blog.
I would not necessarily consider myself an animal person. Growing up, my sister was always considered the "animal lover". We always had dogs, usually big ones, but they were more of an annoyance to me. I did have a cat (my soulmate in feline form) and at one time I had aquired a goldfish from a class I took at Cosi. My family and I ate dinner together every night, sometimes talking about where our food came from, but mostly not. We did have spurts of vegetarian years interjected throughout my childhood, but mostly we did eat meat, and it was delicious for me.
When I went away to college I struggled with the typical body image and skin problems that teenage girls deal with. My senior year in college I went to visit my sister in Colorado and she introduced me to Skinny Bitch, a book that changed my life.
I went home only half-determined to stick with veganism. I was doing it for the sole reason of losing weight and clearing up my acne. In my opinion, and my opinion only, diets and quick fixes do not work, they instead set yourself up for failure and dissapointment. I was looking for a quick fix, and when I didn't find it, I quickly fell off the wagon and went back to eating animals. I mindlessly ate meat, dairy, and I bought leather, not only because I wasn't aware of the devastation I was contributing to, but because I had a poor self-image and low self esteem. I did not think that what I did mattered, and I was sure that even if I did stop eating meat, the suffering still went on regardless.
After I graduated and was living on my own I decided to give veganism another try. I re-read Skinny Bitch and started to be vegan again, but this time for the sole reason that I wanted to be healthy. As a nurse, I took care of people dying from mass obesity, heart attacks, colon cancer, etc, and to prevent that in my own life I stopped eating animals and animal products. When people asked me why I was vegan, I would reassuredly tell them "it's just to be healthy, don't worry, I'm not one of those PETA freaks!" and we would all have a good laugh. I cared not about the animals or what my contribution to this earth was, I cared only about myself and my health. I cared not about anyone else's happiness, be it a human or animal, I cared only about my own happiness. Looking at dead animals or seeing other people eat dead animals provoked no emotion in me whatsoever. I thought "live and let live" and I even occasionally craved a cheeseburger or milkshake.
Years later I viewed the film Earthlings, which is narrated by Joaquin Phoenix and has all music by Moby. Those two hours and thirty minutes of film changed my life like no other single incident ever has. The film exposed the cruel, exploitive, and inhumane way that we humans treat animals. It was divided into sections and explored the way we use animals (from toys to pets), for food, entertainment, clothing, and research. I literally could not peel my eyes away from it, even when I was moved to tears. Even with a lump in my throat and my stomach in knots, I knew it was something I had to make myself watch. I cried for the kittens, the elephants, the screaming piglets. I cried when I thought of all the animals I'd hurt in my past and I was angry at my ignorance and the ignorance of my species. The movie forced me to radically rethink my life: if I wasn't contributing to stopping the insanity that I saw in the movie, what was the point in being vegan? I vowed that I would find a way to help stop the suffering I saw in the movie. But how? Thus the birth of this blog, because talking can sometimes provoke emotional arguments and like I said before, intense opposition. Therefor I will express myself in a blog and it will be up the reader to decide if they want to read or not. Whereas before I was afraid of being viewed as an "animal rights freak", now I view myself as an activist, and that's not something I'm afraid of. Activists are people who want to stimulate a change in the world. We all know that pointing fingers and accusing others is an endless job, and our efforts usually end in frustration. In the past, I had felt helpless; Now I see that if I want to change what I don't like in the world, I must change it in myself. This is an action I can handle and one which will actually succeed.
In addition to being vegan and eating vegan food, this blog is about my life: the choices I make and the things I do. You might be surprised to find out that vegans are regular people just like everyone else, and I hope this blog accurately portrays that.
I believe that choosing to be vegan is one of the most selfless things you can do for yourself, the planet, and mankind.
I encourage you to read this blog with an open mind. Be informed, be educated, be inspired, and in turn, inspire others. There are lots of courageous acts and lots of changes going on all around us. We can't stop it, so we might as well join in! :)