My Vegan Story

Being a nanny is quite an experience. You never know what is going to happen when you walk through the door of another family’s house. I essentially view my job as becoming a part of the family and I get to be along for the ride, including all of the ups, downs, and corkscrews. There was one particular nannying experience in 2016 that changed my life forever.

Flash back to the week before Easter 2016. There was not a single day that went by when I did not have meat, cheese, eggs, and/or other animal products. That was the way things had been my entire life. I had no idea. It was the way I was raised and I did not know otherwise. I went to work like any other day (probably after a bowl of cereal covered in cow’s milk). Like I said, with nannying, you never knew exactly what you were going to get. That day, the experience included two chicks that the parents got as an Easter gift for the girls.

I distinctly remember that one was dyed blue and one was dyed red. The girls named them Bluejay and Nugget, respectively. At first, I thought the name Nugget was a little funny. Hey, after all, fried chicken was my go-to meal most nights of the week. However, after caring for those chicks and playing with them with the girls for a few weeks, I connected with those chicks. I saw them as beings with wants and needs. Very suddenly, I could no longer stomach chicken. I had this queasy ache in my stomach every time I tried to eat chicken because I could no longer eat that meat without attaching the faces of Bluejay and Nugget to my meal. It absolutely broke my heart. Very soon after, I couldn’t stomach any meat whatsoever. The food on my plate and the faces of real, living animals were connected and I couldn’t disconnect them, no matter how hard I tried. I will admit that I did try. I tried to brush it off and forget what I had learned and seen. I was stubborn and did not want to change my ways or feel like I was sacrificing, so I kept trying. I just couldn’t do it though. I had learned the truth.

I decided I would try vegetarian.

That switch was easy. I could still eat dairy, eggs, and honey. As long as I wasn’t eating flesh, it was vegetarian. Eliminating meat from my diet was way easier than I had anticipated, but something still seemed wrong. Something was off. I decided to research veganism and I am thankful every day that I did. I quickly learned about “rape racks” and chick grinding. It was then that I had enough. I became passionate about finding as much information I could find on reasons to go vegan and the horrors of animal agriculture. I wanted answers. I felt like I was waking up for the first time.

During my research, I stumbled upon a documentary called Cowspiracy. If you have not seen this documentary and you are interested, stop what you are doing, head over to my contact page, and send me an email saying that you would like to see it. I will pay the $5 for anybody wanting to watch this. As of right now, it is on Netflix, so that is also a possible option.

Anyway, I found Cowspiracy (or it found me, maybe). I asked my husband if he would be willing to watch it with me. He had not completely understood my obsession, but he did want more information on what I was getting into and why. We hit play and approximately an hour and a half later, my husband turned to me and said, “Well, it looks like I’m going vegan too” and that was that.

This was approximately late April 2016 and we were getting married May 21st. Our wedding was already mostly planned (including food and cake and whatnot) and we had already booked a non-refundable, all-inclusive beach resort honeymoon. We decided that we needed no extra stress for the month of May, so we decided to use May to research veganism and to use up any food we had that contained animal products.

On June 1st, 2016, we took the plunge and we have never looked back. Our eyes have been opened and we now feel so connected to the world around us. We may have slipped here and there, mostly unintentionally, but we have never regretted making this decision that has changed our lives for the better.


“WHY VEGAN?”

It’s a question I have heard time and time again since I first went vegan back in June of 2016. “Why in the world would somebody choose to be vegan?” The longer I’m vegan, the longer I have to wonder why on earth anybody would choose not to be. The reasons to go vegan are numerous, but these four reasons are at the top of my list. ​
For the animals: There is no difference between the animals in your home and the animals on your plate. Animals are my number one reason for living and advocating for a vegan lifestyle. Farms are far from the ideas we were given as children of Old McDonald and his smiling cows and piglets. The reality is that the animals that are raised for slaughter, regardless of how “humane” packaging may tell you it is, live sad lives in horrible circumstances. Tears stream down my face when I think of rape racks, chick culling, leather, animal transportation, cramped spaces, testing for beauty and hygiene products, babies torn from their mothers, and so much more. Many of the animals are slaughtered while they are still babies. It breaks me. These animals are the reason I refuse to be silent.

Vegan Action puts it more eloquently than I ever could. 
For the planet: Veganism is literally a change for a better world. While many people go vegan for the animals, many others go vegan for the planet (my husband included). Deforestation, soil depletion, and increased air and water pollution are all direct results of animal agriculture. Going vegan can literally save the planet.
(Source: Science Mag)
For others: Of all the reasons to go vegan, this one shocked me the most. If you do not choose to go vegan for the animals or for the planet, how about for other humans? 70 percent of the grain grown in the US feeds livestock. That is the hard truth. It is also estimated that 700 million tons of food that could be consumed by humans goes to livestock each year (Source: Global Citizen). There is more than enough food to feed all of the humans on the planet and then some. However, by choosing to use so much of our crops to feed livestock so that they can then be murdered to become somebody’s meal, we are cutting the available food we have significantly. People are literally starving to death while humans feed their crops to animals so that they can have a steak dinner and some ice cream.
For myself: I am thriving on a vegan diet and lifestyle. My body has never felt more energized. Being mindful of what goes in and on my body has made me the healthiest I have been in my life. Take a look at The China Study or watch Forks Over Knives if you don’t believe me. I do not have a nutrition degree, nor have I attended medical school, so I can only speak of what I have experienced. I am now feeling more alive than when I adhered to an omnivore diet/lifestyle.

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