For me? The journey to veganism started early. I was 7 years old, innocent and knew almost nothing about the suffering of animals, yet one night at the dinner table I asked my father... "Daddy why are we eating baby sheep?"
Lamb chops was our meal. He replied with “It’s because we need meat to stay healthy!” I took that as an answer I felt was sufficient, and grew up for the next couple of years believing we actually needed meat to be healthy. I’m 13 now, and it wasn’t until early 2014 where once again I questioned eating meat. But this time instead of asking my father, I did my own research. This was when I was first introduced into the world of Animal Rights.
I came across the typical organisations promoting veganism – the images of the dairy cows suffering, all for that ice-cream you so dearly wanted! It wasn’t until late February when I decided I had done enough research to make a switch; first to vegetarianism, then to veganism. I told my parents about my choice, and as you would expect they tried to talk me out of it. However I stayed firm to my beliefs and showed them I wasn’t up for negotiating. This was my choice, this was not only for my own health, but also to help stop the suffering of thousands of innocent creatures every day. I wasn’t going to give up!
Now, like many teenagers, I then had to announce this new change to my peers at school, which wasn’t easy… I attend a school with many students who come from cattle properties and have strong connections with animal agriculture. I have to admit that there were arguments, in fact, one girl reacted like I was personally attacking her. At the beginning though, I must admit, I was a very ‘in-your-face vego’,but that was because I felt so passionate about giving rights to those who deserve them but have very few – the animals. Now I’ve calmed down in my approach quite a bit, and people have started to realise that we’re allowed our own opinions and beliefs.
When I first heard about Veganuary I saw it as an opportunity to turn into a fully-fledged vegan! My birthday also happens to be in January and going vegan would be the best birthday present I would ever be able to give to myself! I’m currently semi-vegan, however each day I try my hardest to make as much effort as possible to try and keep animal products out of my body. That usually isn’t hard, until I’m in a situation with very little choice. My aim is to help reduce the suffering of animals by going fully vegan, and advocating against animal cruelty.
We can all try our hardest to do the same. If you believe that animal cruelty is wrong, and feel disgusted about what goes on behind the closed doors of animal enterprises, then you should try going vegan for January. Not only will it help you to feel healthier, but it will also help the millions of animals who I’m sure will be very grateful!