My Journey, My Vegan Story

I procrastinated writing my vegan story.

I wanted to share my vegan story for a long time but I couldn’t get it out of my head and into the world. It was driving me a bit crazy.I finally know why it’s been such a hard story to write. It’s because I don’t know the ‘why’! Why did it take me so long to become vegan? I don’t have a good answer for that and that bothered me. The story just isn’t nice and linear and rational. This realization helped me finally put it on paper and here it is in all its human nature glory.

It was never a lack of compassion for animals that stopped me from being a vegan.

I remember being six or seven years old and finding a bee on the sidewalk. Poor bee! I ran to get a container and scooped up that bee. I put clover and grass all in the container for the bee. Someone told me the bee was going to die, that it had stung someone and lost its stinger, but I didn’t care. Oh, actually I cared a lot and the news devastated
me. But I loved the bee anyway and I brought him home. He died, of course.

There are plenty of stories like that one from my childhood.

Running outside to stand in the yard with my cat when mom had a kitchen fire. Fighting with my little boyfriend for throwing rocks at some birds. Threatening the old lady who lived in the trailer at the end of the street because she threatened my dog. General animal obsessions like making up lists of chores so that I could earn the nickels and dimes to buy myself a horse. Riding the air force base scouring for fencing so that I could get a dog once my mom convinced me I couldn’t have a horse. Petting a chick in the middle of the state fair, just me and that chick in the middle of chaos, I rubbed that baby until he fell asleep in my palm, my heart both healed and destroyed by that
sweetness. Hot tears at the beautiful blue-ribbon cow with the McDonald’s banner displayed over her pen.
Nurturing the sick ones when I worked at that pet store. Loving my job cleaning stalls.

No, it was never a problem of love or compassion.

Was it a lack of knowledge? Of understanding the connection? Everyone asks me that. I don’t know. I was
not ignorant, I wish I could claim it. I don’t know, okay! I’m sad and guilty but I don’t know. I can’t answer the
question even though I could make up a great answer and you wouldn’t know the truth. Only me. But I can’t.

Okay, the story.

I remember first going vegetarian when I was seventeen, thirty years ago, and in my first year of college at Stephens very far from home. I existed on mostly baked potatoes, cheese pizzas, Reese’s peanut butter cups, Cokes, cigarettes and pitchers of beer for $4 (the good stuff). Perhaps needless to say, my body craved some nutrition and I actually dreamt about hamburgers. I didn’t know anything about nutrition except for calorie counting and so I thought I really needed that burger. After that, I think I was vegetarian two more times for ethical reasons and then once trying to fix health problems. Raw vegan for that summer trying to fix myself. Always back to meat eating. I feel awful even typing that – heck, I must have said a hundred times

“If I had to hunt my own food I would be vegetarian.”

Then about two and half years ago my husband comes home from his high school reunion and announces he wants to be vegan. Cool! And then I asked him, “baby, do you know what it means to eat vegan?” Yeah, he really didn’t. This may sound weird but I discouraged us going vegan as I had some knowledge of this man and his record about changing his eating ways. I suggested we go vegetarian first. So we did! For about ten minutes! And then we were pescatarian. Only ate fish when we went out to eat but we went out quite a lot. Within a few months, my husband also started having turkey for work and emergency surf session lunches.

What changed my life

What happened to change my life forever was a Facebook post by a friend of ours who has become a vegan since I met him. We’d seen him appear to be mor

e healthy physically and way, way more peaceful.
He actually rather glows. What he posted was a list of three movies to watch that will make you be vegan. I
can’t remember what the other two are (I had already seen them years ago) but one I remember. The one
that did it.

I watched Earthlings.

It saved me. My soul is no longer in cognitive dissonance with my life and I am vegan forever. And it’s the easiest thing I’ve ever done.

To learn more about Robin’s journey, please visit her blog at vegantly.com.

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