Welcome to The Joyful Vegan: Stories of Transformation. As the founder and director of Compassionate Cooks, through which I teach vegan cooking classes; sell my cooking DVD, cookbook, and recipes; write extensively; and produce a podcast, I have the privilege of hearing from countless people who have become awakened to their own values of compassion for animals and who recognize that being vegan is a powerful means for preventing animal suffering and cruelty. Most everyone who learns about the unspeakable cruelty perpetuated against animals on our behalf often experiences denial, then anger. But what most don’t realize – and can’t until you go through this experience yourself – is that what comes next is beyond what anyone could have prepared you for. The sense of freedom, of empowerment, of joy that comes with knowing that you are no longer part of that violence is indescribable.
Once the lens through which you see the world changes, nothing is ever the same again, and I believe that in order to stay humble, we need to remember our story. We need to remember where we were and how we got to where we are now. At the same time, in order to feel supported, respected, and understood, I believe that we need to connect with other like-minded folks, as we navigate through a world that champions animal cruelty as a social norm and looks with suspicion and derision upon those who reject cruelty and violence.
Sharing our story with each other validates our own experiences and helps us see that we’re not alone – that many others go through the same feelings of pain, disbelief, anger, joy, relief, and frustration.
This blog is for all of you. I invite you to submit your stories of transformation: what your tipping point was, how you made the decision to become vegan, and what the experience has been like since you made the change. Your stories of transformation will inspire others to find their own voices and to recognize themselves through your stories.
For the animals, both human and non-human, I thank you for participating in this project.
Founder and Director