The V Word by T.P.

VeganBlog_Banner_Opt1

I’d asked a good vegan friend of mine (who’d like to remain anonymous & will) to write an article about why people should become vegans. It’s a hot topic among people & she hemmed & hawed about writing it, understandably, because #1, Vegans are passionate & #2, Meateaters are passionate. So, when the two collide, it’s never pretty. I thought she’d silently bowed out. But…what she wrote is 110% SPOT ON! Her reasonings are some of the same (main) reasons I’ve been considering becoming vegan myself. Read on and see what T. P. has to say about veganism in The V Word.

THE V WORD by T.P.

When my friend Dean first asked me to write a blog about “Why Vegan,” I said no. I’ve been vegan for 13 years and have endured all sorts of criticism, rude comments, judgment, and false assumptions, and I wasn’t about to put my sensitive self out there on the internet like a target. Plus, I was looking at it as though I was supposed to write an article to somehow persuade the reader into going vegan, which, as you know, doesn’t really work that way. So, instead, I decided to write about my vegan story, which can’t be debated.

Thirteen years ago I had a phone conversation with my mother. She told me about how she just got off the phone with her ex-boyfriend and when she asked him how his cats were he told her that one of them had died. He then nonchalantly told her that his kitty was breathing funny, so he put him in a shoebox, covered him with plastic, went out to the store, and when he returned home his cat was dead. My head exploded, and continued to explode when I had to try to explain to my mom why suffocation is not a “humane” way of dying. I was livid and went on the internet to find out what the animal cruelty statute laws were in NJ, and quickly found out it is illegal to kill your own domestic animal. I contacted the NJSPCA who went out to his house to confront him, however because it was second-hand information they were unable to pursue it legally.

In my search for what is considered cruel treatment towards domestic animals, I came across industry standards for livestock that read like a horrific nightmare: chicken’s beaks cut off without anesthesia, female pigs trapped in gestation crates for their entire lives unable to move, veal calves not allowed to stand up or see the sun, thousands of baby chicks ground up alive, cows attached to automatic milking machines that rip and tear at the skin and cause abscesses, and animals artificially impregnated by a human inserting their gloved arm all the way up into her vagina.

How did this become industry standard against living, breathing, loving creatures?

After reading webpage after webpage in horror, sobbing uncontrollably, I looked up from my computer screen and that’s when the guilt set in and I knew that nothing would ever be the same for me. I felt horrible for not knowing where my food came from, because if I knew I would never have voluntarily participated in that. From that point on I went completely vegan, eliminating all animal products from my plate, as well as donating all my animal product clothes and accessories to charity (wool coats, leather shoes, leather belts, etc). I just couldn’t in good conscience be a part of something so unnecessary and cruel. As I continued to research, I found more reasons to stick with this, such as it’s better for my body and better for the environment.

A lot has changed in 13 years in the vegan community. There are amazing dairy substitutes (two words: cashew cheese!), many milk substitute options in convenience stores, Ben & Jerry’s came out with a vegan ice cream, more restaurants are giving vegan options, and way more people are at least aware of what the term vegan means. That doesn’t, however, stop the comments, judgments, and inappropriate jokes. I’m vegan because I’m satisfied with knowing nothing has to die or suffer in order to fill my pie hole, it’s gentler on the environment, it’s kinder to the animals and my own body, and, most importantly, it’s the one constant in my life that, even when the sadness of the world threatens to overtake me, comforts my soul. Some days it’s all I have.

Signed T.P.

So? What did you think? Pretty impactful, no? We’d LOVE to hear what you have to say in the comments below. Any stories of veganism horrors that you’d like to share. Or, if you’re looking for more information I’ll be happy to pass along the requests. I know that I, for one, am definitely moved towards the direction of veganism, after reading this excellent, heart-wrenching piece. It would do us all a bit of good & the animals a WORLD of good if we all chose to not support the cruel meatpacking industry. I’ll never be able to eat another chicken without thinking about the inhumane way in which it was “processed.”

5 comments

  1. Alexander · · Reply

    I’ve done it in two steps and not at once.

    I first became vegetarian a long time ago and the story of that actually isn’t as dramatically at all.

    I barely knew what a vegetarian was from watching the Simpsons and having met one single vegetarian, who was the boyfriend of the daughter of my parents friends. I’ve seen him only once in my life and don’t remember anything about him but that he was vegetarian and had something else for lunch than the rest of us.

    Then I met another vegetarian. Or so I thought. I was at a facility that provided food for all of us and one guy got different food. Vegetarian food.

    Then there was the deciding day: We were served some kind of rolled roast, which was one of my least favorite meat-dishes and I found it looked disgusting with the fat-skirt and simply said: “No meat for me please.” when it was my turn to get it.

    The waiter asked “Why not? Are we vegetarian?”

    And that was pretty much it. It didn’t take more than me realizing: “Wait a minute! There’s this option of being vegetarian!”

    I said down, with my meatless-meal and pondered the pro’s and con’s of it. I actually knew nothing about nutrition back then but I knew it was possible because Lisa Simpson, that ex-boyfriend of my parents friends daughter and this other guy who’s always getting the vegetarian food.
    But I knew that factory-farming was horrible. I just didn’t think of opting out from that before.
    So I decided to give it a try.
    That guy was the first I told about it… His answer was: “Oh, I’m actually not vegetarian. I’m Muslim and because of most of the meat here is pork, I just go with the vegetarian option.”

    The second step happened many, many years later.

    I had thought about becoming vegan before but there’s been all these scare-stories about it: “Being vegetarian is okay, but as a vegan you will get some serious deficiencies in certain nutrients.” Also I was kind of dependent on frozen pizza as my stock for what to eat.

    Eventually I stumbled over an info-graphic: xkcd.org/1338

    I had never imagined such a ratio of Humans:Farm Animals:Wild Animals

    I was totally shocked about it! Cows being the most common species when measured by weight while all wild-mammals together don’t even make 5% of the mass? And that’s just because we like to consume the secretions and flesh of another species?

    That is when I decided to do my research what exactly the “certain nutrients” were, that’ I’d be lacking as a vegan. I really felt like have I have to give it a serious try. I already never bought eggs or milk anyways but I consumed plenty of products made from them.

    Of course I was further informing myself about the topic and learnt so many things I didn’t know yet. Not only was being vegan not dangerous, it actually dramatically lowers the likeliness for tons of diseases! And the horrors of the industry I just vaguely had known about… I now watched footage of it for the first time despite having been vegetarian a long time before that. So disgusting!

    No, I didn’t want to be part of that anymore! After 4 trial-days the decision was made: I’ll stay that way!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jodie · · Reply

    I would love to know if I could become vegan or at least vegetarian. I can only eat 30g carbs a day though and rely heavily on eggs and cheese and some animal protein. I have tried the vegan protein mixes but they have a terrible aftertaste and have quite a grainy texture. Bleh. I had gastric bypass this past August and I wonder if I’d be limited to too few options? I’m sorry you had to endure negative criticism, having chosen to get a gastric bypass I understand how you may feel. Thanks in advance if you’re able to answer my question.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will be the moderator & pass this along to the author of the article as they’d like to remain anonymous. 😉

      Like

    2. My friend was more than happy to answer. Here is the rely with links: Hi Jodie! Yes, you can definitely go vegan! Eggs and cheese are high in protein, but they are also high in cholesterol, and there are studies that show that when the human body processes animal proteins it affects the calcium level, putting women at a higher risk of osteoporosis. The human body doesn’t need as much protein as the American diet makes you think we need. The average sedentary woman needs 46 grams of protein a day, obviously more or less depending on your weight and activity level. There are many egg and cheese substitutes nowadays! Follow Your Heart came out with Veganegg, which I’ve heard is a great egg substitute, although I have yet to try it. There are many good cheese substitutes— Chao, Daiya, and Tofutti—and they come in shredded, slices and blocks. Big supermarkets are getting better and stocking vegan items, however, a trip to a natural food store is best, even if it’s just to get ideas and see all the products. I’ve found some websites for you; I hope this helps!
      Protein: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/vegan-sources-of-protein/
      Egg substitute in baking: http://www.thekitchn.com/5-vegan-substitutes-for-eggs-in-baking-tips-from-the-kitchn-136591
      Cheese substitute recipes: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-recipe/10-vegan-cheeses-that-will-knock-your-socks-off/

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: