Sunday, 10 June 2012

My Vegan Story ~ by Mike

By Mike, Vegan Pledge Volunteer & longterm vegan

Growing up in the middle of England in the 1960s, veganism was not a word that was common currency in the environment that kids of my age inhabited. Those of a sensitive nature, who were moved by the mournful faces squinting through the cold, corrugated prisons of the steel cattle trucks that formed grim lines at the cattle market, might well abstain from eating flesh.

But veganism? Milk, cheese and eggs were dietary options that were systematically drilled and subsequently absorbed into our collective dietary consciousness. To not partake of these so-called “food stuffs” was considered akin to announcing one’s intention of giving up inhaling oxygen.

After adopting a vegetarian diet, and adamantly refusing to continue feasting on the massacre of animals transported from livestock markets to the nearby slaughter house, my vegan lifestyle quickly followed. I stopped pouring the milk of cows, intended for calves, into my tea. After weaning myself from that particular addiction, cheese and eggs were soon replaced with tofu and plant protein. Finding alternatives to leather to wrap around one’s feet and body used to be challenging at times, but today the range of animal-free clothing is ubiquitous and impressive.

I genuinely did not find the path from vegetarianism to veganism a difficult one to take, because I see veganism as encompassing all the core ethical, health and environmental concerns of vegetarianism. It is a path that, in the modern world, is clearly signposted by the advice of a number of nutritionists, doctors, ecologists and anthropologists, who understand and promote this route of reasonableness. I wish you well on your vegan journey and trust you will walk it proudly and resolutely, even when confronted with the extremists who might try to suggest that your compassionate lifestyle is the extreme choice.

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