Photo by Sam Carter on Unsplash
So, what is it really like to be Vegan? this blog post is from my personal point of view and bare in mind I have only been Vegan since November 2018.
The weeks leading up to going Vegan felt like I was opening my eyes for the first time, seeing the true horrors of how we enslave, torture and kill animals for food, entertainment, fashion and other products. Feeling that I had been lied to all my life by schools, parents, health professionals, corporations and governments. Some of these did not realise they were passing down lies to the next generation because they too had been conditioned or brainwashed, just like we all have. Eating animals is so entrenched in societies now that people think of vegans as ‘extreme’ or ‘weird’.
For the first 8 weeks or so, once I had made the connection, I cried, I felt (and still do) tormented, angry, uncomfortable, frustrated and isolated in my vegan world. I am ashamed to be human because we cause so much devastation to animals, the planet and other people. Each day is different, one emotion will dominate on certain days than others. I feel I have to watch what I say because I seem to upset people and I am often shocked and surprised at some people’s reactions, mainly defensive, they feel attacked, even though I am just talking of my experiences or saying how I feel, I don’t tell anyone they should stop eating animals. However, maybe I go to far, maybe people’s defences go up, I will give you an example, I said ‘pigs are beautiful’ as I now believe all animals are, I said they are childlike, innocent and like puppy dogs. I got laughed at and told ‘pigs are disgusting’, I responded ‘so disgusting that you eat them’, oh dear I touched a nerve, I was told I have gone ‘weird’ since my dog died.
Pigs are not dirty animals, yes they like to roll in mud but so do elephants, it keeps them cool, so why don’t we call elephants dirty? because we don’t have to lower their moral value to justify eating them. We don’t eat animals we hold in regard, but despite their differences they all feel pain and suffering and for the first time in my life I am seeing all animals as having their own unique personalities.
I have been accused of verbally ‘attacking’ someone, nothing could have been further from the truth, from where I was standing I didn’t throw one insult but I received them. Unfortunately this is common, I hear the word ‘rubbish’, if I quote accepted scientific fact about the effects of animal agriculture on the planet for example. I am often cut off mid sentence, I believe this is because people don’t want to hear the truth because they know their conscience will struggle. This is quite key for me, I believe I went vegan because my mind was ‘completely’ open, not just a little open but completely open, this helped me see things for how they really are. Strangely enough, I am seeing a lot of things for how they are, not just in relation to veganism.
There are times I feel quite alienated from people, I feel like I have nothing in common anymore with a lot of people, I am unable to relate and they don’t understand me because of my new view of the world, a view I would not change for anything. I see it as a forward step, I no longer participate in knowingly harming animals, the planet or people in developing countries. Whilst we all impact in some way on the planet, animals and other people, I am trying my best to minimise my impact.
I did meet up recently with a vegan friend for lunch and she really ‘got’ me, she understood everything I expressed, she has been vegan for a few years now and was vegetarian for 35 years before going vegan. This was the first time, I felt I could express my feelings and she understood me completely, she had been through all I was experiencing now and this made me feel so much better, less alienated.
I view things very differently, for example a trip to the supermarket is now like a trip to a slaughterhouse, I know this sounds crazy but I am extremely uncomfortable walking past the meat aisles, I can’t even look at the meat on the shelves, I no longer see food products, I think of where it came from and the suffering associated with it. It makes me feel sad and repulsed, it is a very strange feeling, why didn’t I see meat this way before? I cannot believe the amount of meat and animal products that are in the supermarket, it is dominated by animal products, why have I not seen this before? Why can’t other people see it? and how can I help them to see in a way that they will come to their own conclusion.
I am glad I am alive now, I would not want to be here in the future after we have destroyed the planet and maybe even each other. Future generations will look back and say ‘why didn’t they do something? the warning signs were there and they selfishly chose to ignore it’. Change doesn’t happen overnight, what we do now will impact on future generations, but, what if that impact happened in 12 months or 6 months time, would we change now? of course we would, but sadly that sense of urgency is not there. Imagine if the selfish actions of past generations left us with a dismal world and future, we would be calling them for everything, but why aren’t we calling us and making changes now. Because all humans seek acceptance and happiness and this capitalist world tells us ‘products’ make us happy, and purchasing these products which coincidently makes the minority rich, again we are being brainwashed, going through life with our mind and subsequently eyes shut, humanity is on the wrong path.
Ask yourself why the truths of animal abuse are covered up, it takes undercover activists to infiltrate to secretly film this abuse, why aren’t these documentaries shown on national television? you just won’t see it. All I ask is that you question the way things are.
You need a strong social movement to change the current situation because it is all to do with financial profits, not people’s health or the planet, in fact animal agriculture damages these. It is wrong on every imaginable level, but it is profitable and as long as it is profitable it will continue. However, if the number of vegans continue to grow, it will become unprofitable, thats when real change will happen. Animals need us, they cannot fend for themselves, because humans don’t fight fair, I am more spiritual than religious, but if judgement day ever comes, god help us!
The physical pain and torture these animals suffer is bad enough, but the psychological damage inflicted on these animals may be even worse. Imagine a life where you are confined to a space where you cannot stretch, you can’t walk or run, don’t see natural daylight or feel the sun, imagine you live like this your whole life? then you are sent to slaughter. Suffering is suffering, it doesn’t matter who it is happening to. Life has enough suffering, but unnecessary suffering is indescribable. If there is a hell, the worse I could imagine is being a laboratory animal, a cow, sheep, chicken, rabbit, or fox, it would be my worse nightmare to be born into a life of torture, slavery, abuse and then meet a violent end.
Remember, governments and corporations will try to demonise animal activists and vegans, just like they have historically others that wanted change for equality and justice. Nelson Mandela was once deemed a terrorist, he served 27 years in prison. He fought against apartheid, as views changed over time, Mandela was no longer deemed a terrorist and went on to become the president of South Africa. Just like Mandela, animal activists are not terrorists and just like South Africa, I believe the world will ‘wake up’ to the truth because once the truth is out there, it’s impossible to deny. If you want to play your part in changing the world, start with seeking out the truth for yourself!