This is my silly intro post. I hate writing about myself but I always love reading about how people came to animal rights and veganism. So here’s my story…
I just celebrated a silly milestone of a birthday which made me think about life and about veganism. I was brought to this amazing movement through a strong love for animals and the environment. I never really fully enjoyed eating animal “products” as a child and mostly kept to eating super processed meats like hot dogs, hamburgers, and chicken nuggets. I drank cow’s milk once in awhile but only when it was super cold. I absolutely loved cheese. I preferred food that didn’t really resemble an animal. Looking back I can understand why I didn’t want to eat animals. I always had this relationship with animals. I respected them and always felt that human’s relationship with them was strange but I didn’t really know why or what could be done about it.
I was always crusading for animals and the environment. When I was 8 years old I wrote a letter to Carefree gum denouncing them for testing their sugar alternative, aspartame, on animals. I told them it was mean and I would not be buying their gum anymore. It was my first lesson in corporate cluelessness and greed…they sent me coupons for free gum. I remember opening the letter and reading their lame attempt at a response about how animal testing keeps people safe and then being completely confused as to why they would send me coupons. I stopped trusting giant corporations that day and I also threw the coupons away.
It wasn’t until college that I heard the term vegetarian. It just seemed to fit into my own beliefs about animals and I instantly became one. I started researching factory farms, veal crates, animal testing, etc and found that I was completely disgusted with all of it. I couldn’t support it any longer. I bought veggie burgers and veggie cookbooks. I taught myself how to cook awesome vegetarian food and never felt like I was missing out.
It wasn’t until I transferred to SUNY Oswego that I met a vegan. I had never heard the term before and never really connected that dairy and eggs were a part of the system I abhorred. He lent me Sarah Kramer’s How it All Vegan cookbook and I fell in love! I loved the writing, the style and the recipes. He answered some questions I had, but I mostly took it upon myself to research what was cruel about the dairy and egg industries. I didn’t like anything I saw or read. I felt like a hypocrite for saying I loved animals but continuing to take part in their misery. I couldn’t believe the way that humans manipulate animals natural biology for the sake of a “product”. I had no idea that cows only made milk after being “impregnated” (raped) or that egg laying hens were kept in extremely tight cages while overhead lights manipulated the frequency of how often they laid an egg. It sickened me to think that they had to go through that over and over until their bodies were literally “spent”. I knew I couldn’t take part in it anymore. I remember the horrible feeling of knowing about the atrocities and being scared as to what I needed to do.
It was very scary for me to take that step into veganism for some reason. I totally admit it. I stopped consuming dairy and eggs at home but would still eat it when out. I was too scared to just do it because it was so different than what society had told me to do. This went on for a couple of weeks until I realized I was getting sick a lot and was advised by my doctor to stop eating dairy because I was lactose intolerant. It was the push I needed and I became vegan that day. I bought some vegan cookbooks and started reading books about animal rights. My fears were soon alleviated because I realized that being vegan was pretty easy and tasty! Some things were challenging like eating out in a rural area but there were some options if you looked hard enough. I cooked a lot and learned about vegan baking. I baked all the time and ate so many delicious things. I’ve progressed a lot throughout my almost ten years as a vegan, both in my cooking/baking/eating and in my views of animal rights.
I’m hoping to put myself out there a little more by writing blog posts about cooking and baking, but I am also interested in activist repression and how veganism connects to other social movements. I’m sure these topics, as well as others will make it into my writings. I’m looking forward to sharing what I know with all of you.
For the animals,