By Emily Wilson
Yoga Instructor, Health Advocate, Reiki Healer
The first time I had ever heard of the word vegan was about 15 years ago.
I was listening to the radio and they were talking about Alicia Silverstone making the switch and my first thought was literally “she will be dead soon.”
I knew nothing about veganism other than she didn’t eat chicken, steak, or cheese but I also knew I wanted no part of it. At the time my diet consisted of mainly animal flesh and dairy and I thought I was healthy because I wasn’t overweight and most of the people I was around ate the same way.
As my health declined in my early 30s, I began searching for ways to improve my life and general well-being, I read and watched a few documentaries on meat and food related diseases and decided to become a vegetarian. I was fine for a while and my body was feeling better so I started to assume that’s how I would eat the rest of my days.
Side note: I thought because no one was dying for my dinner that I wasn’t hurting anyone. I was terribly wrong.
In 2015 I learned about honey and how even taking local honey causes the death of the bees. Seriously?! They make the honey for themselves and we steal it so if they don’t die from being stuck to the trays they will die from starvation!
Shortly after that, I learned about dairy cows. Which I actually thought was special type of cow who just gave us milk all the time...nope! The cow has to be pregnant or give birth to lactate so the process is extra horrendous because now there is a baby involved. The whole process is something out of a horror film that starts with a rape rack to impregnate her. Once the cows give birth, two things happen. Her calf is immediately taken away and while she is still screaming for her baby she is hooked up to machines to start the milking. The little calf’s fate is determined by its gender; a little girl will be sent off to begin a life just like her mother and a little boy will be killed for veal and leather (the younger the calf, the softer the leather. Remember that when you see an expensive handbag or shoes).
We are all born compassionate beings and for most of us, we can’t even stand the thought of the animal torture that takes place. So why do we continue to argue against veganism and defend our “right” to consume their flesh and bodily secretions?
The government spends over $550 Million each year to persuade us to eat meat and animal products and to hide us from these realities because they know if the slaughter houses had glass walls we would all be vegan.
Ahimsa: the practice of nonviolence toward all living things.