Although I didn’t appreciate it, for the first 36 years of my life bravado, and probably social conditioning, dictated my behaviour and attitude to most subjects.
I was not an animal lover and in fact, had never even had a pet; animals were living objects that were here for me to eat or wear. I ate rare steaks and mixed grills when dining out, and was on first name terms with the staff at our local KFC. During all of that time, I would have felt that I had as much in common with a vegan as I would with a Martian!
Having never been racist or homophobic, I genuinely believed that I was truly open-minded. Then, for the purpose of quitting smoking, I went through a process that really did allow me to open my mind and see how social conditioning had affected my life – Hallelujah!! For the very first time I could listen to an argument and decide my position, only after hearing the entire case, and not before the case had actually been presented!
Not long before my 37th birthday in October 2011, the topic of enjoying a (traditional) vegan diet for the purposes of my own health and well-being was presented to me and I got it straight away; and let me tell you, the results were fantastic! Weight loss and improved fitness yes, but also a sharper focus and a generally better all-round feeling. Result!
Then in May 2012, a friend sent me a link to the Earthlings film; watching it was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. The pain and suffering were horrifically awful, but at least as powerful for me was the realisation that animals are not objects – they are living, sentient beings that have as much right to be on this planet as I do. I could never have personally hurt an animal in the past, but now I won’t have it done in my name behind the doors of a slaughter house or farm.
Becoming vegan has been the most positive change I have ever made to the way I live my life. I’m happier now than I’ve ever been. I used to get a bit of ribbing from my pals when we dined out together, but now they are very supportive and most people are at least interested. My wife and children haven’t yet joined me in becoming vegan, but my wife, Tricia, has been absolutely fantastic and supports me in lots of different ways. I’m proud that my Mum has become pescetarian and a work friend is now vegetarian after hearing about my experiences.
Improve your health and happiness whilst doing the same for thousands of other sentient beings – GO VEGAN!
Greg Kane is the Managing Director of Conservatory Outlet, a UK supplier of windows, doors and conservatories.