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Why I Became a Vegan

botanical-gardenThere was a time that I loved meet, and why wouldn’t you? It tastes pretty great! Though I did eat vegetables, it did not feel like I had a complete meal if I was not able to eat some meat. But things changed one day, it was not that I found the taste of meat unappealing anymore, nor did I think that it was time for a healthier lifestyle. What changed was my view on how the meat was being obtained, how it felt seeing how the animals were being treated, it was so shocking that I was not able to eat meat for a while, and later on at all.

I’ve seen many documentaries before, a lot of them had footage of what I saw in person, but sometimes you just need to see something for yourself to truly feel and know what is going on. I always thought that the documentaries, though they showed the truth, were exaggerating things, but in fact they played it down a bit for the sake of the viewers. It was a visit to a farm and slaughter house that made me feel the way I felt right now, there were poor living conditions for the animals and it looked as if they were pretty much in a miserable state. The whole problem with this is that in the end their life is ended for our consumption, a life ends without ever tasting what it is to really live.

I know that there are farms that give their livestock a happy environment, and had I never seen the conditions of large farms like the ones I went to, I would probably still be eating meat. The fact that the good farms still encouraged the consumption of meat which then encourage the actions of large inhumane farms, made me decide to not eat meat at all.

There are many vegans talking about saving the world, or not taking a life at all, and all other reasons that seems a bit over the top. But my decision was that of a personal moral stance, I do not condemn people for eating meat, but I do share what I experienced. Not as a self – righteous person, but as a person horrified by what he saw. I found that that was a better way to share and gain allies in the endeavor.

Do I miss eating meat? To tell you the truth, yes, it tastes good, and I still find the smell appealing. But every time I see whatever wonderful meal was served with meat, I see all those horrible things I witnessed again, flashing in my mind. It is not some sort of crusade against meat eaters, I just feel wrong when eating something that died and lived pretty miserably.

On a side note, I have heard of lab grown meat where no animal was ever really alive to suffer for the production of. If I ever get the chance to see and try it personally, I might give it a shot and see if those images still pop up in my head.

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Barbara Thomas