I don’t like to be a preachy, activist type of vegan and believe that preaching at people really is no way to reach them or make any change in our world, but some things need to be made known and spread around so that people can be made aware. The documentary Earthlings is what I can thank for making me the vegan that I am today and so I have felt the need to share it with the world on my blog.
I first saw this documentary at my brothers apartment back in 2007. He had opened it up on his computer and was showing it to my dad and I as we were wincing in horror. We never watched the whole thing because it was too hard to. I will always remember that day because something inside of me was touched by what I saw and I felt deep down inside the same way I felt as a child when I was beginning to make the connection between the meat on my plate and the cute little farm animals.
It was a feeling of deep sadness and a yearning for change. I didn’t want to be apart of abuse, torture and killing and I understood that even though I wasn’t the ones in the video actually taking my hands to and abusing those animals, my purchasing and consumption of meat, dairy and eggs, is what gave those people the corrupting job of confining, abusing and killing animals each and every single day.
At the time, I was just 18 and after a while of justifying things in my mind and convincing myself that it couldn’t actually be that bad (plus having no idea how to even go vegetarian) I tried to forget about the video and pretend as though I never saw those disturbing images. The problem was that as much as I tried, I couldn’t forget. A few weeks later, I googled the documentary again and tried to watch it online one night with Craig, hiding my face in my hands for most of the first 20 minutes. I couldn’t watch it and neither could Craig. We turned it off and had a talk about the possibility of going vegetarian.
If you have been reading this blog for a while or you know me at all (Hi mom!), you know that I am a very determined person and maybe just a bit of a perfectionist as well. When I set my mind to something I don’t just give it 100%, I give 110%. I wanted so badly to go vegetarian and so I tried to go completely vegetarian overnight.
Well, since I had never even ate healthy before, rarely cooked and relied so heavily on fast food and convenience foods, I of course failed miserably and was back to eating meat within two weeks. I never even bothered to research anything about vegetarian nutrition or how to cook and even though I still felt in my heart like I wanted to give up meat, I figured that it was impossible and that we must just be meant to just eat this way.
Fast forward two years later. I am very much into spirituality and am taking many bible studies and am pondering the bigger picture of life. Craig and I were going to church and I was very interested in living an unselfish, loving and more sacrificial life. I had been praying a lot to God and asking him to help me be less selfish. We were sitting outside on our deck one evening, having a meal of shake n bake chicken breast, rice and corn on the cob when I stared down at my plate and I saw it. Selfishness existed in every meal that I consumed. My eating of animals was one thing that I was doing everyday that led me further away from the peaceful and loving life that I desired for myself, others and our planet.
Going to church, listening to sermons on love and then being a part of this abuse and cruelty every day just didn’t seem to make any sense at all. I realized that I had a long way to go to call myself a true Christian and decided to take my own spiritual path, living and learning. I realized that everything and everyone around me was my teacher and that God was not just in a church building. I devoted my life to finding more ways I could truly be a better person and began living in a way that helps inspire others to want to be more loving and less selfish as well.
I remembered the documentary Earthlings and decided to look it up again. This time I made myself watch it all the way through, even though it was difficult. I knew that because it was so difficult to watch it was speaking to my spirit and that I had to let this compassion and love that I had inside of me finally come out. I went vegan (another drastic decision) overnight but this time I never looked back. I did my research and bought some vegan books and cookbooks, the first being The World Peace Diet and The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes. I also delved into a world of foods that I had never heard of in my life, like quinoa, miso and nutritional yeast. A lot of the time I just made many of my non-vegan meals meatless, like spaghetti with veggies instead of meat, or meatless stir-frys and soups. I also lived off of a lot of peanut butter sandwiches, bowls of cereal with soy milk, fresh fruits and vegetables.
I have had a few slip ups in the last year and 8 months, but I have always come back to veganism. It is what I have found to be best for my physical, spiritual and emotional health and something that I am so grateful to have discovered. I also feel so much more free now that I have awakened to my selfishness and have allowed the compassionate and loving nature that I was born with to emerge and take precedence in my life. I am not ashamed to be a vegan and to share the journey of our vegan family with the world because I know in my heart this is how we were meant to live.
I have learned to cook and bake delicious vegan foods and am learning more and more everyday. This is a definite passion of mine and what I like to think of as my gift to the world. Ever since I was a little girl I used to love taking out my mom’s recipe books and spending time in the kitchen seeing what I could create even if it was just taking cookie cutters to cheese slices and making cheese cookies. I have come a long way since then and now I make some pretty awesome sugar-free vegan treats. A lot better than those processed cheese slice cookies!
Being vegan you do not have to feel deprived. You can meet all of your nutritional needs on a vegan diet and feel many more health benefits, including mental and spiritual benefits as well. Going vegan was the best decision that I have ever made and that is the truth!
Here is the documentary that changed my life forever. If you find it difficult to watch, then I suggest that it is even more important that you do. If you feel like you want to make the decision to go vegetarian or vegan, do not be hard on yourself if you slip up from time to time but do some research before jumping right in. Gather some recipes, purchase some new foods and remember your reasons for making this life-altering change. Just take it one day and one delicious recipe at a time and you will no doubt see changes for the better.
Have you seen the documentary Earthlings? What is your story behind becoming vegetarian or vegan? Please share it in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you! 🙂