Why I Will ALWAYS Be Vegan

Beautiful scene of light streaming onto a path winding through a stand of trees


Now that I am awake, I cannot go back to sleep. Awakened from a culturally induced slumber, I have made a pledge to myself—but, more important, I have taken an oath for other animals. I am now their caregiver, witness…
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Unlearning Speciesism

It’s simple, really—once you respect the rights of others, how do you stop respecting them? Just like almost everyone else, my potential for compassion was hobbled at a young age. I grew up on a mountain, around hunting, and went…
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A little girl playing with animals on a farm in the sunshine

There is Hope

I grew up as a “normal” child. I used to like other animals just like the people around me. They were cute and fun to play with. During the summer holidays, which I would spend at a cottage with my…
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It’s the Golden Rule Thing to Do

I will always be vegan because “it’s the Golden Rule thing to do.” This moral and ethical precept teaches us that we should behave toward others as we would have others behave toward us. Non-vegans conveniently take the word “others”…
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Two white sheep on a green foggy meadow

To Make Life Truly Just

I was born into a fog. That hazy, dreary, fog surrounded me. Everyone around me was part of that same dark haze. So normal and right it seemed to be. I never questioned, never pondered, a non-murky life. I thought life was good, and fair, and just.
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An emaciated macaque at a monkey breeding facility.

A Life Without Violence

Have you ever dreamed of freedom, justice and, overall, a life without violence, discrimination and hatred? This has been a question I have constantly asked myself from a very young age. As a woman born into a male dominant, misogynistic society, I always thought of myself as being a victim of unequal treatment...
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The Destruction of Other Lives

Have you heard of the term cognitive dissonance? It is the mental discomfort you experience when your actions do not reflect your beliefs or values; it is the deep-seated feeling when one seeks justification, some sort of rationalization, for why…
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The setting sun casts a golden halo on a plant in the foreground

An Obvious Force for Good

There is, for better or worse, a righteousness associated with being vegan. Four years ago when I told people—good friends, even—that I had decided to become vegan, some replied with a shocking bitterness that bordered on resentment. “Well, I guess…
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Four mink crowded in wire cage

I Will Never Forget

Veganism is not about our health but theirs; it is about ethics, not food; about animal rights, not cupcakes. Since I became vegan I have seen many more animals suffer and die than ever before; not in videos or in…
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Three baby calves with ear tags, looking at the camera

Once I Knew, I Couldn’t Not Know

Growing up, I spent a few weeks during the summer at my family’s cottage in upstate New York. Nearby, there was an open dairy farm and petting zoo that I loved visiting. My favorite parts were feeding the goats and…
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Two puppies comfort each other inside a steel cage

My Biggest Passion

It was practically since the day I was born that I knew there were other species on this planet. Not that I had a concept of it, but I understood that there was a being, different from me, living in…
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Close-up of horse's eye

One of the Greatest Sins of all Time

The history of mankind is peppered with horrendous acts once deemed normal: slavery, child labor, and even cannibalism. Oftentimes, these atrocities were said to be essential for a functioning society. With the advent of science and consequent evolution of morality,…
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A bull in the field during sunset

They Can Count On Me

This is the first irrefutable truth I discovered in my life; that eating and using animals is, no matter how you look at it, an act of abject cruelty. When we eat or use animals, we are hiring the butcher…
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A spotted brown deer in the jungle

The Foundation of our Higher Selves

In the heat of the summer of 1966, revolution was in the air. Black people were revolting against the injustice of whites, women against the domination of men, and young people everywhere were expanding their minds beyond the restrictive perceptions…
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A beautiful sunset over a golden grain field with a rainbow in the sky behind

A Better World for Us All

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…
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Many cows grazing in the green meadow with a river nearby

A New Awareness

The following submission for Why I Will Always be Vegan was contributed by Salwa Maddad, Al-Sweida, As-Suwayda, from Syria.
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A crystal ball showing a reverse image of an upside-down landscape with the sunset

A Moment of Awakening

It was New Year’s Day, 2013, a month after my 53rd birthday. On a whim, I made a resolution to go vegan, or so I thought; I now know it was merely a resolution to try a plant-based diet. (I…
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A forest path with shades and lights beaming through

No Going Back

I was brought up in a very carnivorous environment in Brazil. My father strictly made sure my brother and I ate all kinds of foods. I remember my brother crying, looking at his food on the table, saying that the…
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A cow grazing during sunrise

A Light Inside

I will always live vegan because, ever since the moment my eyes were opened to the horrors and atrocities of the culture of animal exploitation pervasive throughout our current global community, I refuse to participate in, support or encourage the…
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Silhouette of a woman sitting in front of an orange sunset and lake

My Only Certainty

They say that the only things that are certain in this life are death and taxes. My imagination begs to disagree. The philosopher in me has debated death—the form of death; the beyond of death; the fear of death—from every…
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Cows grazing on green field in front of Mount Fuji in Japan

Living a Lie

I can say with conviction and without any hesitation that I will always be a vegan. I still remember very clearly when I became free from the brainwashing we are all subjected to about the necessity of eating other animals.…
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Kazakhstan ocean landscape with mountains and cane grass, blue sky with clouds

Enrichment Rather Than Sacrifice

When thinking of Kazakhstan, most people probably associate it with wide landscapes, horse-riding nomads and yurts in a remote countryside. This is what it used to be hundreds of years ago. The roaming nomad lifestyle did not allow people to…
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Two cows touching their noses through bars of a cage

The Least I Can Do

Since I was a little child, I have always loved animals—well, I thought I loved “all animals”, but in reality I only loved and respected dogs and cats. I ate meat, dairy and other products of animal exploitation. I didn’t…
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Woman's hands freeing a bird with sunset background

The Ultimate Freedom

Merriam-Webster defines the word ‘soul’ as the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life. The actuating cause of an individual life—what is veganism if not that which moves us to the core of our being? Today,…
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A silhouette of a woman outside in sunset

This Is Who I Am

I once believed I was an animal lover, yet I had no idea what love really was. I never saw the cruelty I inflicted by what I ate, used or wore; causing so much suffering without a thought. I followed…
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A hen laying eggs with two eggs beside it


There was a time when a girl, with her family, raised chickens. She trapped one or two to sell for money or dinner. She wove coconut leaves and made them into chicken nests. Some of the eggs were for breakfast…
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A top view of hands holding two brown chicks over a cloth

My Way Home

I grew up in South Africa and experienced a number of transformative, life-changing events at an early receptive age, like trying to bargain with a female witch doctor who worked for my parents when she wanted to slaughter some chickens…
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Clock on a dry beach with bleak golden light.

Not a Second to Lose

I was raised to eat animals, just like most children in our society. I spent 58 years condemning sentient beings to lives of ruthless exploitation that would end in brutal death. For a few years I was vegetarian and then…
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two rabbits on grass

I Knew Something Wasn’t Right

For 25 years I had been living my life like most other people in my culture and society, consuming the flesh from other animals, their milk, their eggs, their honey, wearing their skin, wearing hair taken from their bodies, using…
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A small Kamchatka brown bear cub gnaws on cage

Pushing Through to Freedom

I will always be vegan: Because of the bear trapped in a tiny cage, continuously drained of the bile so prized by humans. The elephant whose family was shot so she could be used in a circus. The lobster who…
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Dark brown background with flaming fire

The Only Way to Exist

There was a time when I was unconscious, wrapped up in superficial wants. My mind was fixed on my materialistic needs. I existed purely in a little bubble of simple self, warm in the comfort of my easy ignorance and…
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Close up on the eyes and face of a pig looking through a fence

To Restore the Promise of Life

Have you ever looked into the eyes of a sow? She is not the “mere animal” you think you know. She senses and smells your presence. She can see your silhouette cast against the light. She advances, timidly, and seeks your eyes. Her orbs measure you, depose your shield of solid convictions and seek the empathic spark that is dormant within you.
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Young woman looking at horizon from mountain edge

Humanity’s Next Step

I’ve been vegan for 36 years, therefore it is safe to say I will always be vegan. I committed to vegan living before any health benefits of the vegan diet were known. I stopped eating animals at age 12 when…
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Abstract blur of supermarket aisles

Dark Alleys, Bright Aisles

Not all abuse happens in dark alleys. Much unspeakable cruelty takes place in the brightly lit aisles where we purchase the flesh of animals, their eggs, their milk, their skin, their wool, their feathers, and their fur.
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My Biggest Wish in Life

My journey into my love and fight for other animals started even before I was born, in a small town called Murska Sobota, Slovenia. For some reason, when my mom became pregnant with me, eating meat made her sick. Despite…
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A Stand for Justice

One day in March 2007, when I was 13 years old, I decided to go vegan, simply because I knew it was the right thing to do. Why should I participate in horrible violence towards other animals when there was…
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A Natural Progression

As a man of logic and reasoning, it was an obvious choice for me to go into the sciences. I moved towards the fields of medicine. It seemed natural to watch someone be cut open to have body parts removed,…
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