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  • Writer's pictureToni

Introducing Toni - Our Teenage Writer

Updated: Nov 5, 2023

Meet our new teenage writer - a younger perspective

Hey there people 🌱✨ I'm Toni, your friendly neighbourhood teenage vegan, and I'm really excited to be working with The Young Vegan and finally spill the plant-based beans about myself, my journey into the wonderful world of veganism and my views on the world in general.

So, picture this: I'm just your typical teenager, I'm dealing with high school, social drama, and making plans for college, but I'm also in love with all things vegan. It all started when I was around 14. I was scrolling through Instagram and got to post about a rescued pig. Some protesters had broken into a pig farm and taken a piglet that was sick. They said that it was just going to be left to die so it was better that they took it and helped it. The piglet survived, they cleaned it up, fed it, they were snuggling this tiny little pig in baby blankets. I gave up pork on the spot and started to follow them. The things that they were doing opened my eyes to the harsh realities of animal agriculture and the impact of our food choices on the environment. It was like a lightning bolt of awareness struck me right in the heart.

I mean, seriously, I didn't know that the meat and dairy industry is a major contributor to climate change. And the way that the animals are treated? That was a total game-changer for me. I couldn't unsee the images of those sweet, innocent beings suffering, and I decided that I wanted no part in it. So, I went vegan, and it's been one epic adventure ever since. I've explored new foods, tried cooking (I'm getting better, promise!), and I discovered a whole community of people who care about animals, the planet, and their own health as much as I do. Going to vegan festivals has been the coolest, I was expecting hippies sitting on blankets doing yoga and eating tofu. Nope, they were dancing to house music and eating animal free hotdogs and cheesy fries.

person walking
You've got to walk the walk, talking doesn't go anything without action

Here's the kicker: being a teenage vegan isn't always a walk in the park. Trust me, I've faced my fair share of challenges. From dealing with bullies, the "But where do you get your protein?" questions, to navigating school lunches that seem to have a conspiracy against plant-based options, it's been a journey filled with highs and lows. But you know what? It's all worth it. Every day I'm reminded that I'm making a difference, no matter how small, in the lives of animals and in the fight against climate change. Plus, the food is so good, I swear I never enjoyed food so much when I was eating meat and you can eat loads and not get that horrible, I'm too full feeling. Or feel sleepy after a meal, I feel so full of energy it's amazing.

So, let's get real. I've been on this vegan journey for a while now, and I don't get why some folks are still stuck in the dark ages of animal agriculture and destructive diets. It's like we're living in this sci-fi movie where everyone is in denial while the alien eats their friends in front of them.

First off, the planet is literally screaming for help. Climate change is no joke, and animal agriculture is a massive contributor to this colossal mess. It's not just cow farts (although those are a problem too) — it's deforestation, pollution, and the stupid amount of water wasted on raising animals for meat and dairy. But, people are still dragging their feet when it comes to ditching animal products!

Now let's talk about the animals themselves. Cows, pigs, chickens, and all the others deserve better than a life of suffering, cramped cages, and eventual slaughter. There's wool, with animals growing really heavy fleeces that hurt their skin, did you know that feathers come from birds that have them ripped out while they're alive? Do you want someone ripping your hair out to make wigs then leaving you to grow more so that they can do it again? We're talking about sentient beings here, not just commodities for your dinner plate. It's heart-wrenching that we're still treating them like products instead of animals, like us, with feelings.

And don't even get me started on our health! Do you know what animal products do to your body? Heart disease, cancer, acne... A plant-based diet can do wonders for your body, it's like a golden ticket to better health, but people are clinging to their processed junk food like it's their lifeline.

So why, oh why, are some folks still resisting the vegan movement? Maybe it's fear of change or the comfort of old habits. But let me tell you, there's nothing more freeing than knowing that your choices are aligned with your values. It's like having a weight lifted off your shoulders! I'm here to spread the message of compassion, sustainability, and a better future for all of us. It's time to wake up, people! The vegan revolution is here, and it's not going anywhere. Let's make choices that reflect our compassion for animals, our commitment to the planet, and our desire for a healthier future. 💚🌱 ✌️


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