I became a lacto-ovo vegetarian 19 years ago after a “double date” where we watched Faces of Death 1, 2 & 3 all in one night. That did it for me and I have never eaten another morsel of meat again after that and have always tried to avoid animal ingredients in the products I buy, avoid products that have been tested on animals and be a conscious consumer – so I am used to reading the label on each and every item that I purchase. My brother has since also become a “vegetarian” but he continues to occasionally eat FISH! (Fish is not a vegetable… I have to try to get this through his head). We also have at least 5 cousins who are vegetarians so maybe it’s genetic! I was lucky enough to meet my husband who has been vegetarian for about 10 years as well.
We recently watched Earthlings and the DVD from PETA on factory farms and battery hens which both had me bawling as I watched the torturous conditions that these sentient creatures have to contend with and never experience joy in their short lives.
I guess I did KNOW about the suffering of Chickens and Cattle, and the connection of Dairy and the VEAL industry…but somehow I was still able to justify it in my head… now I have finally accepted that I have been irresponsible in thinking it will be “So difficult… to give up CHEESE and Yogurt” and that I just can NOT contribute to the suffering on a personal level any longer. I want to get everyone I know to watch these dvds and think more about what they are eating and the effects it has in the big picture, the circle of life. The conditions these animals endure is reprehensible. I don’t want to be a part of the reason it is allowed to go on anymore. I believe in Karma.
Some books that have helped educate me along the way and finally assist in my decision to go vegan and stop messing around are: Being Vegan, The Vegan Sourcebook and The Uncheese Cookbook all by Jo Stepaniak; Vegan – The New Ethics of Eating by Erik Marcus, Becoming Vegan , Fast Food Nation, Diet for a New America and the Vegan Handbook. I have watched Go Further many times and the constant mention of the blood & puss in milk was an inspiration to avoid dairy, even living in the dairy state where CHEESE is constantly “in your face” at every turn.
My husband and I had tried being Vegan a couple years ago, it lasted about 6 months – with occasional cheating! This time I do not feel as if I am “giving up” something, but starting down a new path with many rewards and true joy. I have my husband joining me on this path, which makes it even easier… however most of our friends are omnis and when I mentioned that we were not going to be eating dairy or eggs any longer they had no comment which kind of made me think they are thinking “oh great, this is going to make our socializing more difficult” or something along those lines.
My husband and I have been listening to all of the Vegetarian Food For Thought, Vegan Freak & Vegan Radio podcasts which were the REAL impetus for our renewed enthusiasm to make the final permanent leap to VEGAN! The gentle and educational tone of Vegetarian Food For Thought podcasts are the perfect balance to the ranting style of the Vegan Freak podcasts and with your help we are not even THINKING of looking back or “cheating” as we have in the past when we were vegan for about 6 months a couple years ago.
-Tonya & Brian