In less than a month, I will have been vegan for 3 years. While it’s gone by in a flash, I’m also shocked at the idea that three years ago today, I would have happily eaten an animal, without thinking twice.
When my eyes finally opened, they opened wide. As I scroll through my phone’s Notes app, Im amazed to see the myriad of lengthy comments I would formulate – in a furious frenzy -, with the distinct and overwhelming belief that my words would be read. Time and time again the answer I’d receive to my essay-length comment would be “I stopped reading after the first sentence cause I don’t want none of your vegan propaganda!”. But still, whenever I would see an ignorant comment on Facebook or Youtube (my most common destinations), I would feel the insatiable urge to enlighten the stranger and share the newly-discovered truths that had changed my views on the world so drastically.
Almost 3 years later, I no longer bother with such long-winded replies to those commenters who I now know are too far on the fringe to be open to ‘another self-righteous vegan’ – like myself. Instead, I now use my vegan zest by contributing to vegan startup where I’m currently employed, offering ultra-convenient meals to help individuals take a first step toward a more compassionate life. A more pragmatic approach, if I may say so myself.
And now, from where I stand on my pragmatic and self-righteous mountain top, I look back at my overzealous past self, and marvel at the enthusiasm that so furiously coursed through my veins.
Have a gander at one of these overzealous comments I once shared so enthusiastically – yes, much of what I wrote is less-than-accurate, and no, I have no regrets:
I myself was a meat-eater for 23 years and have only become vegan less than 7 months ago. I had never asked myself where and how animal products came from and whether we even needed them to survive. I just assumed that we do, and thereby that whatever means we use to obtain these products is not even worthy of reflection.
Yes, it is true that as an animal, humans were able to transition into meat-eating during the ice age (which began 2.4 million years ago and lasted until 11,500 years ago) when some humans were no longer able to solely abide by our herbivorous instincts, eating only vegetables. With that in mind, our species has evolved for 25 million years (over 23 million years of which we were strictly… wait for it… vegan), and even during the ice age we were able to largely feed ourselves with vegetables by migrating to warmer parts of the planet.
This is why, despite common knowledge and counter to most of our beliefs, we are in fact herbivores and not omnivores. While we are semi-able to process meat, we do so at the cost of our health; another truth which has been covered up through tradition and the invisible belief system that has grown over the past 10,000 years, since humans began herding animals. Animal protein is too acidic for our bodies, which find ways to fight back by compromising our health.
It seems so odd that so few people realize that the longest and healthiest living populations are mostly vegan. Not to mention the nearly null occurrence of heart disease, cancer, and other fun things like erectile dysfunction (look it up, 95 year old vegans having sex with the same fervor and libido as 19 year olds). The truth about the health impacts, and the shockingly dyer ethical implications and the overwhelming environmental impact produced by the meat and dairy industry (more than the sum of all transportation worldwide) are all a mouse-click away, but this invisible system – named carnism – that tells us to eat certain animals, keeps us from ever questioning why we eat some animals and not others – and thereby the ‘nature’ of it all. I agree that as humans our ‘nature’ is to progress.
Did you know that for the first time in recorded history this new generation of Americans is predicted to have a shorter life span than its parents? 610,000 Americans die from heart disease every year. Did you know that a genuine meat-eater, whose body is designed to process, has a far shorter intestinal tract, in order to expel the decaying meat quicker and not absorb all the saturated fats, trans-fats and cholesterol that are exclusively found in animal products. Thereby it is literally impossible for a genuine meat-eater to have a heart disease. If our nature is to progress, and we are killing ourselves by eating an inverted diet, meant for a different specie entirely (no, we don’t have the same physiology as lions…) it doesn’t seem all that progressive, eh?
To avoid going on too long I STRONGLY recommend this amazing ted talk that is only 18 minutes long and will truly open your eyes. The speaker is a Harvard Psychology doctor who did her PhD on the psychology of meat-eating and has studied the topic for over 20 years. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0VrZPBskpg Check it out. You will thank yourself for the rest of your life if you do. I also strongly recommend “The Best Speech You’ll Ever Hear” by Gary Yourofsky https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es6U00LMmC4.
While the truth is daunting and admitting one is wrong is almost worst, there is no experience more gratifying and spiritually enriching than becoming truly aware and thereby authentically reconquering one’s free will.