I grew up as a meat and three veg girl in Australia and I’d always have meat for dinner - every night. Lunch would always involve either a chicken salad sandwich or a ham salad sandwich.
Only recently, I was asked by my mother-in-law to choose a horse to bet on for Melbourne cup 2014 as she would place the bet for me. So I decided I’d look into the Geelong cup to see what horses raced and how they placed in order to make an educated bet. Whilst looking at the results from the Geelong cup, I noticed that a particular horse “Ominous” on their website said “failed to finish”. I was quite intrigued by this and wanted to find out why Ominous did not finish the race. After researching, I found out that Ominous fractured his pelvis nearing the home turn and was euthanized. I was horrified as I’ve never been involved in animal racing of any kind apart from the occasional office sweep for the Melbourne Cup.
This then led me on to an Animals Australia’s video called ‘wastage‘. I couldn’t help but cry as I honestly had no idea how wrong it was to race animals. So this year, instead of betting on the Melbourne cup, I donated my money to the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses. After finding out this information, I looked into other mistreatment of animals and made the choice to never consume, wear or use products at the expense of any animal.
I must admit, the first two weeks were quite difficult adjusting. I have always had milk every morning in my smoothie or cup of tea and moving to soy milk was hard, but my taste buds have now adjusted. It was also difficult with all of the tempting food that is on offer so I decided I needed to remind myself why I was doing this.
So I watched a documentary called ‘Earthlings‘ with my partner. We had to pause it after the first 10 minutes as we were both in tears and couldn’t watch any more. But we decided that we had to; we had to be aware of how all sorts of animals are treated on a daily basis, whether it be for food, dairy, clothing, pet stores, or animal testing. So we sat through the whole 95 minutes and 26 seconds of it. And I am glad we did. Now, every time I see something with any form of animal product in it, whether it be meat, dairy, clothing, cleaning products, beauty products, I see the faces of those poor innocent animals being treated in a way that no ‘earthling’ should be treated and bred purely for our benefit. I couldn’t imagine only coming into this world to be killed for someone else’s pleasure.
I had a work Christmas lunch coming up at Fraser Island, so the next day I emailed the organiser and requested a vegan meal, something I had never done before in my life. I must admit, I was disappointed with their meal, but I was happy with myself that I did not contribute to the mistreatment of animals.
We are clearing out all of our household products which have been tested on animals or contain some strange part of an animal and are moving to cruelty free, natural, vegan products. There are long lists available online of products that are and aren’t vegan. There are also discussions and contradictions being for and against whether a product is in fact vegan. This makes it difficult. For example, The Body Shop, who were always proudly outspoken about their cruelty free products, were purchased by Loreal in 2006 – a huge corporation who test on animals.
The strange thing is that the easiest part about being vegan, is making the decision to be vegan. The hard part is swimming through the mixed reviews on whether products are actually cruelty free or not. Eating vegan is easy with the abundance of fresh vegetables and fruit (and recipes) we have available here, however finding all of the other every day products proves to be quite difficult. I wish that one day ALL products will be vegan therefore no one will have an excuse or the ability to purchase products that have been tested on animals or contain animal products.
The more you look into it, the more corrupt you realise the whole world is. I know I have a difficult road ahead of me, but I am so glad I have made the decision and actually feel as though I have a purpose in this life. Something which I hope one day everyone on this earth will be aware of and choose to follow. By just my household of two adults becoming vegan, we will save 396 animals per year by not consuming, wearing, or buying animal tested products. I am pretty proud of that. And Ominous, the poor racing horse that died, did not die in vain as he changed my life and saved a whole heap of other animals in the process.
“With veganism you give nothing up, you just stop taking that which is not yours.” – Jamison Scala