I have been vegetarian for two years now. I originally cut meat out of my diet for health purposes (to lower my blood pressure, to lose weight, etc.), but I found that before long, I was rediscovering compassion buried deep within me, compassion that I had suppressed for so long because this is what our culture teaches us to do.
Now, two years into my new lifestyle, I can’t imagine ever returning to my meat-eating ways, and in fact I have been thinking more and more seriously about going entirely vegan. Having listened to every one of your podcasts available on iTunes, I feel I am finally ready to do it. I had never fully considered how my consumption of cheese and eggs was contributing to cruelty in much the same way a meat eater’s habits contribute to cruelty, but as you say, if we are going to purchase and consume such products, we have a responsibility to know the origins of those products. Thank you again for your wonderful work.
To quote you, I feel every day that I am living my truth. While I have yet to become involved in activism, I still feel that veganism is itself a small form of activism, and I remind myself regularly that my choice to eat a vegan diet is saving a small number of animals (small in comparison to the total number slaughtered annually). I feel that the connection I have with my own animal companions is stronger than ever before. I literally feel as though my eyes are open after a long period of sleepwalking.
It saddens (but also motivates me) to witness others’ ignorance of or indifference to animal suffering. I try to educate (without preaching to) my family and friends, and I’m happy to tell you that both of my parents (previously staunch omnivores) have changed their eating habits because of me, and they continue to do so. While they are certainly not vegans (or even vegetarians), they have begun incorporating more plant-based foods (including items that they use to replace animal foods) into their diets, and I constantly encourage them both to continue making these changes. It makes me hopeful to see two older adults make changes like this!
Again, I love your podcast. It is by far the best of its kind. You are so articulate and thoughtful. Beyond the information you convey, the way in which you convey it, in my opinion, is a major step toward shattering stereotypes about vegans. Please keep up the excellent work.
~Peter in New York