Veganism must be gaining traction throughout our populous, in 2012 I found myself in more and more situations explaining what a vegan is, and why I partake in the lifestyle. For those of you still unsure of what a vegan is, a vegan is a person who does not consume animal products of any kind (including meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, and even honey); nor do vegans partake in purchasing any products made with animal products (leather shoes, belts, jackets, furniture, make-ups, etc...).
'Why?' - is usually the next question, and that's where it gets fuzzy. For me, I never had a taste for any non-vegan foods, will dry heave around the smell of butter, always have. Never could stand the taste or smell of seafood, never could eat any meats not "over-cooked", and never had the stomach for dairy products outside of ice cream and milk chocolate. I guessed I've always just loved the natural taste of vibrant and fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and berries over that of the tastes of dead flesh.
But that is only partly why I became a Vegan, to delve further; I have no right to only participate in the food chain at the end of the line only. I'm all for hunters who hunt what they eat, and use the entirety of the animal, or leave it for the rest of nature to sustain off of. This is a part of the natural order of animals on planet earth, and has worked wonderfully for millions and millions of years.
The human animal has a choice, we have been granted a remarkable consciousness unlike that of any other beings in the animal kingdom. As such, my conscious recognized I am no hunter, nor do I care to be one, especially when I can sustain fabulously on items that require no death, leads to further life, and frees the conscious and subconscious of a murderous lifestyle. That combined with my affection and respect for sentient beings in the Animal Kingdom, also contributed to my vegan lifestyle, which usually leads to the next question, 'what is a sentient being?'
Sentient beings in the Animal Kingdom are any life-forms that can feel and suffer. Sound familiar? That's right; you're a sentient being, your dog or cat, also sentient beings. That cow, pig, or chicken you ate part of the other night for dinner, also a sentient being. Tuna, sharks, dolphins, turtles, yep all sentient beings. Our current industrialized food industry treats a lot of these sentient beings abhorrently, and enslaves them to a life of stress, disease, and suffering, which to me is visibly upsetting, and something I could no longer partake in.
Taking part in these murderous industries via the end of the line, as the consumer, does not absolve one's soul from this suffering, and another reason I am vegan. I could go on, from weight management, to healthy digestive systems, to avoiding all the steroids in meats, non-sustainable farming methods, to the non-labeling of all ingredients in meat, dairy, poultry and fish products; there are plenty of more reasons why I am - and will always be a vegan.
So the next time you ask a vegan 'Why?' It probably won't be a one answer response, which is funny, because when I ask people why they consume animal products, 99% of the time the answer is -"They taste great."