When people ask me, “why vegan?” I always give the same response: Because I watched the movie Earthlings narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, and something changed in me, as if a light switch in my brain had turned on and could never again be turned off. Instead, that light in my head kept growing, and will continue to grow each day, as I keep walking this path.
About one year after I first went vegan, I was thinking to myself, “Wow, this last year I have felt a happiness I had never felt, a sense of peace inside that was never there before.” The more I learned, the more excited I became, because I now knew I was able to make a difference. I had been fortunate enough to come out of my ignorance. I was able to see other people change before my eyes, not because I forced them to, but because they saw the light in me, and they wanted to be a part of it.
Veganism is not a label or a hip trend that you only follow because it seems like it’s the cool thing to do (even though it totally is). Being vegan is not strictly about what you eat. Being vegan is a way of life. Yes, changing your diet is where veganism generally begins, but it also awakens your soul and makes you more in tune with every aspect of this earth.
Isn’t being vegan hard? What about protein? Where do you get your calcium? What about cage-free eggs? Why not dairy, they don’t hurt the cow. How do you eat out? What if you were stranded on an island and had to kill an animal to survive? Doesn’t peanut butter have butter in it? What about fish, you can eat that right? Do you ever miss or crave anything? We have been eating animals since we were cavemen, you know? We’re at the top of the food chain. What about plants, they have feelings too. What does vegan really mean anyway?
The list could go on forever about all of the questions I get in my everyday life. But honestly, when people ask if being vegan is hard, I say no, because nothing feels hard about doing the right thing.
We humans like to live in denial and we wonder why so many people suffer and can’t find happiness or peace within. If we keep lying to ourselves, we can never be set free. If we keep putting into our bodies tortured souls who only knew stress, fear and anxiety, we are going to keep feeling stressed, scared and anxious.
I could write hundreds of pages of why veganism is fun, or how the animals are treated or how you can get all of your nutrients from a plant-based diet, but that’s not what this paper is about. Veganism changed my life’s path, and showed me the light that we all have burning inside us. My journey does not stop there; every day I learn something new. Every day I work on something I can do to better myself, so I can better help the people around me. 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.
Open your eyes and see what is really going on in our world today, not just with animals, but with every lie we have been told. Your light will shine brightly, and you will be radiating that light outward to everyone who may cross your path. I want every person in my life to feel how I do. Truth is not about proving people right or wrong. Truth is about finding out what you believe, and practicing that every single day, hoping the people around you will slowly start to see what you see.