vegan awakenings

More Important to me Than Anything

“Parront” is slang for parrot parent. My parronthood is perhaps more important to me than anything. I have cared for many types of animals, and adored them all. However, there’s just something about a parrot. In 1993, my then boyfriend…
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The Temple of Life

This is a story of how one hour changed my destiny.  At 18 years old, I read a pocket-sized book called Arnold Ehret’s Mucusless Diet Healing System. The book explained what animal foods do to the human body, and it convinced…
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Not for Me

With this one decision, the false belief I had been holding on to was replaced by a feeling of such relief, such freedom, and such gratitude for the realization that I had the power to liberate myself from the guilt and confusion that was stopping me from moving forward.
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My Vegan Journey

It was 1972 when I started my vegetarian journey. I was at WelMet summer camp at age 12. (Howard Stern was a counselor and kitchen boy there with his first radio show!) A fellow camper put a fork in a…
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Waking Up

I became vegan at the age of 34. That was 43 years ago, upon meeting Gentle World. Little did I know at the time that this connection was going to change my life forever. I found the organization at a time…
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Industrial pig farming

I Will Not Give Up

I have been vegan for 10 years (and vegetarian for seven years prior to that). I became vegan for the animals as I believe that all animals have a right to live their lives free from fear and intimidation; they…
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Dawn of a New Day

Veganism changed my life’s path, and showed me the light that we all have burning inside us. Every day I think about what I can bring to this world to make it a better place. The root of all of these desires is truly from opening my eyes and making the first step in becoming vegan.
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Because I Must

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,…
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A hen in a cage at a factory farm in Australia


I write as I feel the animal, the not-me, the you. You. Hen. Sitting there in your cage, I sense you in my veins, I see your bars from the inside, I hear your heart beat slowly, like it might…
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Silhouette in the morning light of a hunter at the opening of Victoria's duck hunting season.

A New Way of Thinking and Living

35 years ago I went to see Gentle World when they were based in Florida. I was a full-on carnivore when I arrived with a truck full of guns, fishing gear, and animal skins and hides of every kind. The people at Gentle World gave me the opportunity to make the change fast and painless, and quite frankly I can’t imagine living any other way now.
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The Very Best We Can Be

As we look into the future, impatient and anxious, yet always hoping that emancipation might just be closer than we think, my wish for those of us who call ourselves vegan is that we are able to somehow become even better at reaching out to those who are yet to be convinced.
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Two young lambs in a field marked with red spray paint

No Other Choice

Children are born with compassion, but are often taught to disregard animal suffering by their parents, educators and peers. My mother tells a story where she took 3-year-old me to a neighbor’s house to see some very skittish feral kittens…
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Ocean sunset with silhouette of a man with arms raised

Since Becoming Vegan…

The following testimonials indicate how overwhelmingly positive the transition to veganism can be for the individual. Far from feelings of deprivation or sacrifice!
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go pro 1478810 1920

I’m a Vegan Traveller

Ever since my childhood, when I would sit on my dad’s lap and look through glossy coffee-table books full of photos of faraway places, I’d always wanted to explore the world. Shortly after college graduation, I took off on what…
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Double rainbow in dark, cloudy, rainy sky

I Was Wrong

The following was written by Reddit user Nick Salamone and posted to the r/vegan subreddit. It is reproduced here with kind permission from the author.
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A black and white historical picture showing segregation at a water fountain

The Colored Entrance

Did you stand up for the rights of the enslaved, the oppressed, the massacred? Did you withdraw your support for every single shameful service the exploitation industry provides? Did you speak up on behalf of the billions of innocent victims and plead with the rest of humanity to do the same?
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Leather backpack with flowers

Burying the Past

When we recognize that we are not burying a pair of shoes, but the skin off someone’s back, laying them to rest can help us lay to rest our own past transgressions and misperceptions.
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Vet with stethoscope and tiny puppy

I’m a Vegan Vet

I’m a vegan because I can save more lives and prevent more suffering by simply not supporting the killing of animals for food and fibre, etc., than I ever could simply by being a vet.
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A beautiful close-up portrait of a turkey


As we approach the seasonal massacre of which these magnificent birds have become perversely and paradoxically symbolic, the momentary burst of happiness granted by their calls is interrupted by the painful reminder of who these individuals are considered to be by others of my kind: bodies without souls entitled to not even the most basic of birthrights — life itself.
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Pages of an open bible with rosary beads

I’m a Vegan Catholic

As I continue to work toward understanding and embracing a consistent life ethic, the philosophy behind veganism simply made sense within the context of my faith.
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A beautiful brown hen sits with her eggs in a wooden roost

A Hen’s Relationship with her Eggs

During my time working around chickens, there were a number of experiences that changed my perspective on eggs and opened my heart to the hens that laid them. The first started with making a homemade “farm fresh” omelet out of eggs a friend had collected.
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Big, bright sunflowers in the sunlight, facing the camera with blue sky in the background

Inspiration from a Vegan Nurse

I consider becoming vegan a spiritual journey and I have enormous respect for the sacredness of life. To me, being vegan flows through to respecting and valuing all life and the earth. 
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Black and white full-frontal close up of the eyes and face of a cow

Holding Ourselves Accountable

We may not always be able to cross the fences and save the animals pleading for our help, but the least we can do is hold ourselves accountable for how much or how little we perpetuate an archaic system of violence.
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Close up of a rice plant at sunset

Is It Possible to REALLY Be Vegan?

It is an unfortunate fact that our society operates in such a way as to make it impossible to participate without being implicit in harms against other animals. However, this shouldn't prohibit us from doing what we can to avoid participating in the most grievous harms.
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Close up shot of a country path surrounded by magical wildflowers

It Must Have Been Lovely

43 years after Tom Paxton wrote such poignant lyrics mourning our impending loss, the loveliness of my own garden holds more meaning to me than ever... Will we always have flowers? Will the forest always have trees? Will meadows always be green?
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A man's hand holds a tiny rainbow trout in the water

The Last Fish

I hated eating the fish we caught. Hated their eyes looking up at me from my plate. These and the crabs that we played with and then boiled alive are the only animals I ever watched die before me.
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A woman blindfolded in a black eye mask, with black background

You Can’t Return to Ignorance

On the one hand, the decision seemed pretty easy. On the other hand, my parents own a farm. They raise animals for meat, and my mum milks cows for a living. So, I had a big crisis on my hands about how to bring those alternative points of view in line.
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Silhouette of a woman reaching joyfully overhead on the beach during a golden sunrise

Rewarded for Being Vegan

Over many years of encouraging people to become vegan, Gentle Worlders have had the remarkable privilege of witnessing the wonderful benefits that occur when individuals take advantage of this amazing opportunity.
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Woman's hand holding a white chicken's egg with a basket of eggs to the side

Waking Up: Vegetarian to Vegan

I came to Gentle World’s Vegan Education Center inspired by a friend’s email suggesting it as an interesting place to visit and drawn by the veganic gardening concept. I thought, “what the heck, why not WWOOF for a week and see what happens?”
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