Because I Must

Written by Daria Zeoli
New Jersey, USA

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I’m a writer. I write because I must. I’ve done so since I was a child; thirty years of putting words to paper (real or virtual), of extracting thoughts from the nooks and crannies of my brain, of short stories, bad poetry, a first draft of a novel, and record reviews, of essays and blog posts, of think-pieces and simple sentences.

I’m a vegan. I’m vegan because I must be. I’ve been on this path since the end of my twenties, when something finally clicked and I realized my goal of doing the least harm possible logically meant ceasing the exploitation and use of animals. I’ve been vegan for almost six years of consuming countless books, documentaries, podcasts and blogs, of visiting farm sanctuaries and vegfests, of eating vegan meals at home and in my travels.

I’m a vegan writer. Most of the writing I do these days is informed by my veganism. My editorials allow me to wield my vegan voice in a way that I simply cannot do out loud. Public speaking terrifies me, but furious typing ignites me. I thought I would be a journalist when I went to college almost twenty years ago. I took a different path, but I am in some way, in fact, a part of the press. I am the part of the press who wants to end animal exploitation.

Writing gives me confidence, and ethical veganism is something that I am confident I was meant to ascribe to. These two facets of who I am come together in a way I’d never have expected; they complement each other. I could no more picture myself as a non-vegan than I could picture myself putting down my pen.

It’s a privilege to be able to speak for the voiceless billions of animals we raise, eat, test on, skin, cage, and force to perform. I only wish I had made the connection sooner. I only hope that my voice will reach far and wide.

I am grateful for other vegan writers, speakers, and activists. Raise your voice. Someone needs to hear it. Tell your story. Someone will relate to it. Pose your question. We’re in this together, and we will find an answer.

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