My First Day As A Vegan
by Jessie H.
I'm 21, and I've been an ovo-lacto vegetarian for the past five years. My initial reasons for giving up the animals was for ethical reasons; I first gave up chicken when I was 11 years old, because I had pet chickens which I loved. I considered them to be my friends, and just could not eat them anymore.
As the years went on, and the more I learned about the cruelty that pigs, cattle, and fish endure, I just could not justify eating them. This was hard at first, because my whole family had raised me to be an animal-eater, and did not support my decision. Yet I knew I was doing the right thing, and I never once strayed from my vegetarian diet.
During this time, I also would not attend events that exploited animals, such as the horse races and zoos, did not wear leather, and would only use products which were not tested on animals.
Over this past year, the idea of veganism became more and more appealing to me. I did a lot of research on the benefits of a vegan diet, in terms of health, ethics, and the environment. I knew, deep down, that veganism would be the right thing for me in every possible way, yet I was a little hesitant to begin.
For the past month or so, I have been transitioning to a vegan diet. It was only yesterday that I decided that today, December 27th 2012, I would make it official. (I wanted to wait until after Christmas!) I'll admit that there have been times when I would eat a piece of non-vegan chocolate or a cheesestik, and think "Is it really THAT bad that I'm eating this? Could I actually give this up?", but I know that once I get into the swing of things that I simply won't want to eat either anymore.
The reason why I went vegetarian was because I could not support the animal cruelty, with the health and ecological benefits being a bonus. The reason I went vegan was probably half-ethics, half-health, with the ecological benefits being the bonus.
So yes, I can proudly say that this is my first day of being a vegan, and I already feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders! I know this will be a bit challenging for a start, (as was becoming vegetarian), but the more research I do, the more recipes I cook, and as time goes on, veganism will become second nature. I'm looking forward to being able to just sit back and soak up the benefits!