It’s been nearly 14 years since I had my vegan epiphany and vowed to never again partake of or participate in anything offered by the machine of violence that we call the animal industry. Since that time, my appreciation of veganism has continued to grow and deepen, until it has become such an integral part of my ethics and my values that I can no longer imagine being able to separate from it, and still be able to look at myself in the mirror with a clear conscience.
To no longer be vegan would mean to deny the most obvious truth I have ever learned, and to turn my back on every single animal who is counting on me and others like me to advocate for them in a world where they are seen as disposable objects rather than sentient individuals.
To no longer be vegan would mean to pretend that I do not know what is really going on – on the farms, in the hatcheries, in the slaughterhouses, in the laboratories, in the oceans, and everywhere else on this planet where animals are treated as resources for us to exploit.
To no longer be vegan would mean to deny my true nature as a person who can feel for the pain of others, and who aspires to live as peacefully as she can in this far from peaceful world.
To no longer be vegan would mean to return to a world of darkness, for it would require me to close my eyes to the light of moral progress that illuminates the way forward to a better world for us all. But perhaps an even more saddening thought is that it would require me to extinguish the light of my own integrity, which is the source of my faith in myself, and which I count on to show me my own next steps on my way to a better self.
Special thanks to Butterflies Katz for publishing this as one of 100+ entries in her short essay contest and eBook: Why I Will Always be Vegan.
Image courtesy of Dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net