November 2, 2010

Vegan Mofo - Why I'm Vegan




So this month is the Vegan Month of Food, or Vegan MoFo.  I just decided yesterday to participate, so that means I'll be blogging everyday this month (every weekday that is).  I usually keep my posts to my travel experiences, but this month, to raise awareness of veganism, I'll be posting all kinds of vegan info.  In December, I'll return to my travel-only posts.

To start, I don't think I've ever blogged about why I'm a vegan.  So...it all started when I was three years old.  My dad had allergies and my parents were constantly reading labels and asking questions.  One day, I asked what a cheeseburger was made of...this was the beginning of the end.  When my mom told me it was a cow, I was done.  No more meat, poultry or fish for me.  And I haven't eaten meat (other than by complete accident) since that day.  My parents, neither of them vegetarian at the time, took me to my pediatrician because they were concerned about my health.  Luckily, my doctor was Indian and very familiar with a vegetarian lifestyle.  He told them not to worry, that my instincts were very fine tuned as a child and my body knows what's best for it.  So that was it.  I was a vegetarian.  As far as I know, I was the only vegetarian child in my school (I grew up in a very small town in Ohio).  It was difficult and I was almost ashamed that I was so different.  But that all changed when I got a bit older.  I was extremely proud to be different.  In fact, all four of my best friends also became vegetarian, and three of them still are to this day.  

My journey to veganism was not as absolute!  It took me an extremely long time to give up dairy.  I stopped eating eggs about ten years ago, which was difficult, but not nearly as difficult as giving up cheese.  I didn't do that until this year.  I knew all of the facts, all of the gross things about the dairy industry, but I just couldn't stop myself.  In all honesty, it didn't fully click until I got an email from Chloe Jo Davis of GirlieGirl Army.  I had just started my monthly column with her and she sent me a very friendly email just letting me know all of the awful things about dairy (since my blog was only vegetarian at the time).  After reading everything, I just couldn't deny it anymore.  I had previously just pushed that information out of my head for my convenience, but after that something changed.  

I can't say what exactly it was that changed things for me, I just began to feel so hypocritical for supporting the dairy industry when I was so against how they treat the animals.  And I've always been pretty grossed out that we drink another species' milk.  I mean, come on, that's not natural.  Also, milk is meant for calves...so that they can grow to be as big as a cow.  I don't want to be as big as a cow.  And on top of all of that, as if I needed another reason, livestock accounts for 51% of global warming.  That includes the dairy industry. 

Now when I think about it, it's a no-brainer.  It's definitely difficult at times.  I still crave all the things I ate for so many years.  But now, there are vegan substitutes for EVERYTHING.  And luckily for me, my mom is a vegan chef and my dad is a vegan baker.  Oh, didn't I mention that?  My parents are both vegan now - they own a vegan restaurant in Youngstown Ohio :)

7 comments:

bitt said...

I love this! That you figured out what flesh was when you were so young. Many parents lie to their children and/or force them to eat meat. So cool they are vegan chefs now!

sarah-mai said...

Ah thanks!

The funny thing is...they went vegan even before I did!!!!

Chloé Jo said...

You are wonderful! It's all a journey midear!

Amanda @ Hungry Vegan Traveler said...

I think it's awesome that both of your parents are not only vegan, but vegan chefs! Wonderful!

Brian said...

i love this post, i'm a recent vegan, so i love reading about when and why people turned vegan. i'm still transitioning, i abruptly went all vegan in april, so i'm interested to see how others make the change. your blog i great in general, always in my feed :-)

sarah-mai said...

Thank you all so much!

My parents have owned restaurants since before I was born, but a few years ago they opened their first all vegan restaurant. I have several posts about them...

http://eatpure.blogspot.com/2010/04/elys-to-go.html

http://eatpure.blogspot.com/2010/07/vegan-berry-trifle-from-elys-to-go.html

http://eatpure.blogspot.com/2010/06/one-week-in-vegan-restaurant.html

Kold_Kadavr_flatliner said...
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