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Veganism Was the Next Step

by Caroline Lupardo
(New York)

I decided, completely on my own, that I wanted to be a vegetarian when I was 5 years old. Now I am almost 16, and have recently been learning more in depth the unnecessary cruelty of dairy farming, and how it supports the veal and meat industry.

I have always had a belief that every animal was important, and that human superiority over other species was wrong. We have an unfair advantage over other species. The reverence for all life is something I feel strongly about.

By going vegan, I am not supporting or accepting something I don't believe in. Also, I am making sure no other living thing suffers because of me. Since going vegan, I have eaten healthier, and in turn, felt better. I may have lost a little weight but, I haven't really kept track. Though health benefits such as this, as well as many others, are a plus, they are virtually irrelevant to me. They point you to the most obvious and morally sound dietary choice, but had no effect on my initial decision to go vegan.

For me it is all about listening to my conscience, and helping those who need it most. It has been difficult at times, convincing my parents and friends. But, it is worth it because I am taking the next step towards peace and happiness of all species.

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What a coincidence!
by: Anonymous

I had more or less the same experience!!! When I was 5, I decided to become vegetarian of my own accord, and didn't question anything else for a while. Then, when I was 13, I heard some awful rumors about dairy and egg farms, and as soon as I verified them I went vegan. (I'm 17 now).

Like you, I know there are a lot of other benefits to going vegan, but the only important one for me is fighting the way humans mistreat animals. I don't have any problem with getting milk, eggs, etc. from animals, because it is indeed natural; it's the way we do it that I see as wrong and inhumane.

I actually recently started eating eggs again because my family is friends with a family who raises chickens as pets, the way most raise dogs or cats, and who treats them just as humanely as they would a cat or dog. The chickens die of natural causes and are never slaughtered or used for their meat. To me, these eggs are vegan in that they uphold the principles of veganism.

The hardest part for me hasn't been the food, thanks to a very supportive mother, but rather everything else- all of the cosmetics, medicines, etc. The more I research, the more I discover I can no longer use. It's okay for soap, shampoo, deodorant and the like, but it gets especially tricky when it comes to doctor/dentist visits. I still haven't found a vegan painkiller. On that note, if you are looking to get or give any knowledge about products that are or aren't vegan, I'd be happy to share with and/or listen to you!

I also make t-shirts with funny pro-animal, anti-meat designs, if anyone is interested in seeing a picture of those. All of the money goes to PETA and ASPCA. Got to fight the system in any way we can!!!! :)

World Peace one vegan at a time
by: Susie B.

You are a conscientious and loving human, and should be very proud of your decision. Your family should be too, and they will eventually be influenced by all the yummy foods you introduce to the family menu.
If more people would give up the harvest-hogging habit of meat, there would be more food available for more people around the world. There would be less fighting,suffering and hunger. The world would become a more peaceable planet. May your influence be felt over the years. Best of luck!

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