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I Wish I'd Gone Vegan Sooner

Feeling regrets for not going vegan earlier


When I went vegan isn't wasn't for the animals, as it has been said, "they come for the health, they stay for the animals". I can't remember who said that, but it stuck with me because, in my case, it was true. I had already reduced the amount of meat that I ate before I went vegan, I had lost the desire to eat it and apart from cheese I didn't consume dairy, milk always made me feel sick. Going to dairy farms during my studies just made that worse. The thing was, my health wasn't great and I couldn't take it anymore, the pills didn't always work and everything comes with side effects. I'd tried a lot of different things before, supplements, saunas, exercise, no exercise, yoga, pilates, nothing worked, but there had to be something else, something that I hadn't tried.


A sad girl on a sofa
It's easy to get stuck thinking about the past and forget all of the good that you're doing every day

Making The Change

The initial change, going from eating meat, dairy, eggs and fish to not eating them at all was easy for me. I didn't miss them, I was focused on what I was doing for myself, the biggest problem was getting used to identifying the animal based ingredients in things. Part of the transition was finding out more about veganism, I watched Forks Over Knives, What The Health, it was making sense, it was coming together. Then I watched Land Of Hope And Glory, Earthlings, Dominion and my perspective changed, this wasn't about me and the sadness hit me like a truck. I was a part of this, I paid for this, I bought these "products". I took them home, cooked them and ate them.


But


At the same time there had always been a part of me that loved the animals that I ate, I appreciated them and I thanked them before I ate them, sounds nuts, I know. But I believed that we had to eat meat, that my health would be worse if I didn't. Doctors told me to drink milk for my bones, I was told to eat red meat for iron, fish for omega oils, it went on, but I was aware that it/they had been an animal and I really was an animal lover. As a child I would pick up snails and worms that had crossed onto the pavement when it rained so that thy wouldn't get stepped on. I was scared of spiders, so I'd just avoid them, stay out a room that they'd gone into when they came into the house, I wouldn't kill them. There was a part of me that had always been vegan.


Regrets

Watching these films, vegan documentaries, doing research, checking the guidelines and regulations for farming, I couldn't distance myself from what I was seeing. I couldn't tell myself that this is what they did in other countries, "that doesn't happen here, I never paid for that", but it does and I did. I had nightmares of walking in the dark surrounded by the screams of pigs in distress, I couldn't go down the meat aisle in the supermarket. It was such a weight to walk around with. I was upset with myself, I was smart enough to have known better, it was selfish to eat the animals because I liked how their flesh tasted. It was ignorant to believe the rubbish that I heard on the television. I had thought that cows just make milk. Then one day I forgave myself, it genuinely wasn't my fault. I grew up in a family that ate meat, I was weaned on it as a baby. At school we were given milk everyday and it was what the doctors told me, articles in magazines and, obviously, that supermarkets loved to tell you how great their meat was, including how high their welfare standards were, what a joke.


Going vegan was freeing. I felt better, I had more energy, people told me that I was aging in reverse, I felt a part of nature, like I had a connection to the earth beneath my feet and The Earth. It all came together. What I was doing in that moment, and going forwards, was going to be good. I was going to eat and live vegan. I was going to tell people the truth about how animals are treated for their flesh to be farmed. But, I was also gong to educate myself about how and why we don't need to do any of it, we have a choice to be better.


But


Having eaten meats, eggs, fish and dairy, having believed the lies and paid for the suffering, I knew what it was like, I could relate to people who still lived in that way. As Long as people are opened minded we can have a conversation, this means that I need to be armed with the facts, I have to be able to answer the questions, rebut the beliefs that people have. Not just this though, I have to thrive and be a walking example of the beauty of veganism, the positivity and vitality. For this, I have no regrets and neither should you.


Notice - none of my regrets were about missing out on anything, I don't miss the way I used to live


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