Why did you go vegan?”
And the answer for me is pretty simple. Though I used to be obsessive about food while struggling with an eating disorder, and the “healthy” part of veganism appealed to me back then, the nutrition part of plant-based has truly taken a backseat to the real reason why I know I will be vegan for life: the animals.
I am vegan for the animals.
The simple answer: I am vegan for the animals. I love animals. They are amazing! And there is so much we are still learning about the diverse, beautiful animals on this planet. I can’t really even explain why I have an intense connection to animals – from tiny bugs to large mammals.
True story: I helped a wayward spider escape our trash room this morning. I tiny enclosed space with zero cracks or windows. A spider needs fresh air and sunlight, I thought, and out he went. To most people, that’s nuts. Who cares about a spider? Or the fly in your house. Or squirrels in your backyard. Or butterflies in the garden. I’m not really sure why, but I definitely do. As do most vegans I know.
I went vegetarian at an early age and transitioned to veganism in college. I appreciate the health benefits of eating plant-based, but my main motivation is for defending and protecting animals. Farm animals, but also animals in the wild. The way I help animals is by teaching others ways to eat and thrive that do not include animal products. That small thing I do helps me feel like I am making a difference and have a small role to play as humans move further away from eating animals and more towards a modern, new diet, based more on plants. it has taken me a long time to get here, but I truly believe plants are the future of food. I hope that in 20 years, vegan will not be “niche” at all, but instead animal products will be a “niche” part of our food system.
Where does an intense love of animals come from?
My love of animals: It is just a part of me. I don’t even know when it began. Maybe it is just in my genes, who knows. I loved my pets passionately from an early age. My pet bunny, my pet bird, my many cats. I grew up in the Monterey Bay, attending Science Camps and the Monterey Bay Aquarium special programs and being surrounded by teachers and adults who had unique passions for protecting animals and also eating a different way: vegetarian. I am pretty sure that growing up in Santa Crus influenced me a great deal.
Some of my favorite animals: cats, ducks, octopus, cows, chickens, dolphins, sea turtles, koalas, elephants, big cats and so many more. I believe it is our responsibility as humans to look after the other creatures on this planet. To preserve animal habitats and try our best to decrease our footprints on Earth, this beautiful blue marble we call home.
But what about feeding your cats and non-vegan family members? Life isn’t perfect. I have cats and they eat animals. I have family members who eat animals or animal products. I can only decide what I eat and also help others discover new recipes and meals that are happily plant-based. Veganism is not something you force on anyone. It grows inside of you for a multitude of reasons and influences.
Why are you thinking of going vegan? Or why did you go vegan?