my guest blog for
Diary of a Vegan
Making the decision to go vegan is a different path for everyone. The reasons behind the choice may range from healthy living to animal rights. Whatever they are, making the decision to be vegan is one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself, animals and the planet.
I was chatting with Be Genki‘s Sam Sample recently. She mentioned she had recently made the transition to veganism, after years of flirting with it. I asked if she would be happy to share her journey in the hope of inspiring others who are thinking about becoming cruelty-free. Here is her story…
There’s a high chance that you may be toying with the idea of choosing to be vegan. The reason for writing this particular article is that you may find that it touches a part of you, just as living it has touched all parts of me, and that it may help inspire you to take the final step. ~ Sam Sample
Last month I finally chose to walk the vegan road. I use the word ‘finally’ because I feel it has been a slow and gradual progression over the last 15 years.
In 1995 I read the book Fit for Life by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond and was introduced to the fact that humans are the only other animal that drink another animal’s milk. This totally grossed me out and my thoughts immediately drifted to how disturbing and incorrect it is for humans to suck on cow teets. Just because someone has packaged it up in a bottle or carton makes no difference. It’s still milk that has been squeezed from a cow, and in my opinion should only be used for one thing … feeding baby cows. So my milk drinking days ended abruptly. For some odd reason though, I didn’t put cheese in the same category. Strange, I know.
Over the next five years my taste for meat declined. Correction, not so much the taste of it, but more so the flesh component. Have you ever bitten in to a piece of meat and visualized biting in to the arm, leg or torso of an animal, and that the chewy bits of meat is too closely associated with chewing your way through the flesh of that animal? Those type of visualizations also grossed me out and ended my meat eating days, with exception to mince meat in lasagna, spaghetti bolognese and carpaccio (the paper thin raw beef), as these styles of meat required no tough chewing and melted in my mouth.
My fascination for food, health and wellbeing led me to study a 3 year Diploma of Nutrition and it was during those classes that I was exposed to the horrifying documentaries about chickens in battery farms, their ghastly diet, abnormally unhealthy living conditions and outrageous cruelty and suffering. Add to that, the accounts of negative health effects that the consumption of these chickens and eggs were having on the human population. I was so appalled by this information that I have never eaten a piece of chicken since, but somehow I remained an egg eater, as long as they were the biodynamic organic free-range variety.
As time went by and my love of food and good nutrition grew, so did my love and respect for mother earth. Each day I was inspired to learn a little more about the “truth” of the type of world we live in, how my choices can have an effect on the future of the world based on the simple fact that every time I buy a product I am saying to that company, ‘keep on doing what you are doing.’ I am supporting everything that company does: every source of raw material, every packaging solution, every environmental standard that they are undertaking, every form of employee relations and every marketing choice.
When creating Be Genki, the range of bath, body and home care products, I was adamant that the brand had to be certifiably “animal cruelty free”, not containing any animal derived ingredients and certainly not allowing any of the products or ingredients to be tested on animals. Yet, I still was consuming eggs, cheese and a portion of meat once every few months. Hmmm… I wasn’t wanting to use animal products in my skincare products but was happy to eat them. Interesting inconsistency don’t you think?!
Being an advocate for holistic health and wellbeing, and possessing the inclination to think about what consequence my choices are having on my life, my loved ones’ lives, the community, the planet, and future beliefs, standards and ideals, choosing vegan seemed like the natural thing to do that would honor everything that I believe in, (that is, to help improve my awareness, consciousness and communion with mother earth.)
The tipping point for making the choice, however, was watching the short clip VEGAN For the People. For the Planet. For the Animals. (see below). Quite simply, the short film clip makes sense. Choosing to be vegan not only nurtures myself, but my loved ones, future generations and the world in which we share. Oh… and I look and feel so much healthier since making the change. Love those extra perks!
Click here to read the version on Diary of a Vegan