It was one day in March 2007, when I decided I was no longer going to participate in the exploitation of nonhuman animals.
I had always been a compassionate and caring child. I loved animals, and often felt bad about eating meat. I tried not to think about it though. It's just what we eat, I thought. That all changed the day I went on a trip to a goat farm.
To actually see these gentle, peaceful animals being reduced to nothing more than "machines". To hear the farmers talk happily about how they kill them. The babies, crammed into small pens, without their mothers. It was too much for me, and I burst into tears. I couldn't believe how anyone could be so cruel. On the way home, I told my mother that I wanted to go vegetarian, and so, after "accidentally" eating a hamburger a few days later, I stopped eating meat.
I can't remember what did it, but a few months later everything just 'clicked' and I realised that I had to be vegan if I really cared about other animals. No matter what they're used for, they're all slaves, they all get murdered in the end and they all suffer. So after doing research to show my Mum that I wasn't going to get any deficiencies by being vegan, I gave up all animal products overnight. I decided I wasn't going to participate in violence towards nonhuman animals any longer. At 13 years old, I went vegan. And it was the best decision I have ever made.
From the months of being vegetarian, my family had gradually gone off eating meat, since it was easier to make a vegetarian meal for the whole family instead of two separate meals. When I went vegan, my sister Tasha, 11 at the time, decided to go vegan as well. Then Alana, 9, went vegan a few months after that. My parents took a while, but they finally went of milk and onto almond milk a couple of years later. The last two to change were Janina and Eddy, the two youngest. They did want to go vegan, but my parents believed that they were too young and they needed the calcium in milk for growing bones. But then, after reading The China Study, my parents took them off milk and they were allowed to go vegan too.
For one or two years I was a member of PETA to learn about animal rights and how I could be a voice for animals. But at times they confused me. After learning about the Abolitionist Approach to Animal Rights, I decided I wasn't going to support PETA or any other welfarist organisations anymore. Right from the start, I have always believed that we need to be promoting veganism and nothing less in order to help animals.
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If you're not vegan, please go vegan - it's extremely easy! If you are vegan, please promote veganism unequivocally!