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My journey to Vegan

My focus here at Did You Bring the Hummus is to help you go vegan, so, I thought I would share my journey with you.

I had always been curious about and interested in animals. My parents adopted a puppy 6 months before I was born so I grew up witnessing the range of emotions in Ponch, I was no stranger to the fact that dogs had experiences, they were interested in life, could feel pain, joy, sadness, and happiness but I never looked beyond him, I never thought about other animals in the world and how they experienced life.

The first clear moment I have of putting together food and animal suffering was brought about by the below page from a magazine. I believe I was around 10 when I saw this. Because of this picture, even as a person who consumed animals, I never ate veal. I tore this page out of the magazine and hung it on the back of my bedroom door. I haven’t seen it since we moved from that house only a year or 2 later but that page is burned into my mind forever.

While this picture was effective in connecting me to the fact that I didn’t want to eat veal, I kept eating all of the other animals I was accustomed to. When I was faced with the issue of PETA’s Animal Times magazine that simply showed up in my mailbox in July 2001, it all finally clicked. I realized that how I was living was inconsistent with my values. Who I believed I was. I have always loved animals and believed that made me compassionate. However, I quickly realized it is hardly a compassionate thing to love animals but eat so many of them. To be against animal testing but not against consuming them? I had always felt that my top two values were compassion and kindness but had never questioned if I was actually living them out.

And so, I read that magazine cover to cover and was instantly a vegetarian even though I didn’t really like vegetables or know how to cook.

German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche once said:

He who has a why can endure any how.

I had made the connection to who I was eating and in that, I had found my why. I was no longer willing to contribute to, participate in, or pay for the suffering of others. This why was so strong, the how was easy. I slowly learned how to cook, I remained curious about veganism, I read every book I could get my hands on and embraced the learning process. I gave myself the compassion I needed to look at how I had lived and make the changes I needed to in order to move forward and live my values. When we know better, we do better.

I spent many years flip-flopping between veganism and vegetarianism, I had changed everything in my life to be in alignment with veganism, except sometimes I was eating dairy cheese. So, while I wish my story was “neater”, I wish I had gone vegan right away back in 2001, I am so glad I am here now. I finally said goodbye to cheese and the cruelty involved about 6 years ago. I’m never looking back. Kindness and compassion are why I am vegan, I am vegan because for me, it is the kindest, most compassionate way to live.

Finding your why is the key to making any change last. Have you found your why? Whether it’s the why of your whole life, or an aspect of it, I’d love it if you would share with me in the comments below.

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