I first became aware of the cruel practices of factory farming whilst watching a news show called "Flipside". I was appalled at what I saw; factory workers stomping on live chickens and throwing them against the walls. That was my first taste of the reality of what it means to eat meat. I really delved into this in my first year of Art School at Massey University in Wellington, where I did a project called "The Exploding Self Portrait" We had to put ourselves in a social-political context and I chose animal cruelty on factory farms. I did loads of research and joined discussions on forums about animal cruelty, which is where I first learned about veganism through an alternative site called Vampire Freaks.
I tried out being vegetarian first. The first time I officially tried veganism was back in 2011 as a one month challenge to myself. I ended up being vegan for seven months. During that time I joined The Vegan Society in Wellington and became an active volunteer for SAFE.
Over time, I've flipped back and forth between vegetarianism and being an omnivore again, but this year on the 28th of January I started my Veganuary challenge and I plan on being vegan for the rest of my life. I want to make a positive contribution to the world and to lead by example, and being vegan is the best thing I can do for the animals, the planet, for other people and for myself. "Be free, and be love, won't you be beautiful tonight, be wonderful" -Addison Scott