Moving to a different city and meeting new people has again opened up the dialogue of why I’m vegan. Since I first began answering that question – over a year and a half ago now – I’ve changed my response just a tad. I explained to someone this past week that I became vegan for very different reasons than why I’ve remained vegan. I then went on to tell this person that I initially tried out veganism for health reasons, but stayed vegan because of the animal rights issues.
I’ve learned from brilliant people in the field like Dr. Melanie Joy that by telling your story, people won’t become as defensive as when you try to preach to them about what you think they should and should not do. So, I decided that it’s important to tell my story on how watching documentaries on various topics really helped me understand what’s going on with our food and it launched me into animal rights advocacy. Otherwise, I’ve found that there is a lot of confusion about me being vegan for dietary reasons, and if there is one word that I despise in the movement, it’s diet. Being vegan is so much more to me, which is why I feel it’s critical to mention animal rights, if given the opportunity.
I found this picture online last week that sums up how I feel about being vegan. I’m vegan because I’ve stopped and listened to the animals and their cries for help.
I also can’t shake this video from my head, which was produced by Mercy For Animals. It’s not graphic and it’s very well done – definitely worth watching. I wish I could show this video to anyone who asks about the animal rights part of me being vegan.
I can’t remember where I heard this from (possibly the Animal Activist’s Handbook), but it helped me understand how to be a better advocate for the animals…as a vegan, you may be tired of the thousands of times that people have asked you questions like, “Why are you vegan?” or “Where do you get your protein?” however this may be the first time this person is asking the question and could be genuinely interested in understanding veganism.
I’m actually pretty excited about this opportunity to tell people about being vegan. I’m welcoming the chance to possibly shed some light on this amazing lifestyle.