I’ve been vegetarian for about seven months, and Vegan for two(ish).
To say that I’ve been excited and proud of making the switch would be an understatement. I’ve shared recipes with friends, cooked for family, spouted off condescending slurs towards omnivores, and just generally felt great about being Vegan. I’ve shared videos exposing the cruelty of factory farms, sang the praises of Veganism and all the benefits of not consuming animals.
And then I realized something.
As much as I believe in everything I’ve preached over the last many months, I enjoy eating without stress.
Let me try to explain what I mean in that statement; I enjoy eating without stress. Being Vegan has brought many challenges to the dinner table. At home, creating Vegan meals isn’t always the most convenient. Since we live in a small town, finding certain ingredients can be challenging, if not impossible. Still, I’ve fumbled my way through and have managed to get by. I’ve done quite a bit of experimenting in my diet, creating many dishes I’d never heard of before. Most of them were delicious.
But it isn’t eating at home that’s the source of stress.
I travel, a lot. And when I travel, it’s been nearly impossible to go out to eat without being limited to a $15 salad that I’ve had to ask that most the ingredients be removed. No chicken, no cheese, no eggs, no Caesar dressing…and it still costs $15 when the bill comes, despite being what amounts to a pile of lettuce on my plate. It really pisses me off.
When we went to Europe a few months ago, I wasn’t Vegan, but found that I was only eating pasta and pizza. By the end of the trip, I felt like shit. I wasn’t able to properly nourish my body while trying to navigate around a continent. I can only imagine what that trip would have been like if I’d have been Vegan.
On our road trip to Florida a couple weeks ago, I practically starved for the first couple of days, refusing to break my Vegan diet. I had my Larabars, damn it! I wasn’t eating cheese! Until I ran out of Larabars and hadn’t eaten for twelve hours. I gave in and ate a cheese pizza. Great choice, huh?
So I’ve been questioning my choice to be a Vegan. Why did I decide to become Vegan? Is it because I think meat is disgusting? No. I don’t think meat is gross. I’ve killed my own food in the past. I’ve slaughtered my kill. I grew up on a beef farm, and watched the cows be slaughtered. I’ve never been repulsed by the process of killing an animal, or slaughtering it. Not until I learned what happens behind the walls of factory farms. There is no compassion for the animals, and that’s the reason why I wanted to become Vegan. I didn’t want to contribute to the brutality perpetrated against animals raised and slaughtered under these conditions.
I believe animals deserve a life that is enjoyable and a death that is humane.
And what I found is that there is no humanity in factory farming. If you’re interested in knowing what happens behind those walls, please take the time to watch the documentary Earthlings. It might change how you feel about the food on your plate.
I made the transition to Vegan over the course of five months, and have been (mostly) successful in keeping a Vegan diet for the past two. But as I mentioned before, I’ve struggled while traveling, and began to question my thoughts on Veganism and even whether or not I found it practical to be vegetarian. Afterall, it wasn’t the meat that I was repulsed by, but the system.
I’ve been thinking about this for a couple weeks, and have made the decision that I’m not Vegan. I’m an omnivore. I think being Vegan is an honorable choice, and I encourage everyone to make an honest attempt at going for some time without eating animal products. Learn about the food that’s on your dinner table, and where it comes from. Take the time to research the benefits of Veganism from a health-based perspective. Look through the misinformation campaign being waged by the meat and dairy industries. Question everything you’ve ever known to be true about food.
I feel I’ve done that research, and I know that while I may not consider myself Vegan any longer, my diet will be forever changed, and I won’t look at food the same way again.
The fisherman of Taiji have been hard at work trying to keep the Cove Guardians from broadcasting their dirty work to the world. On the days when they aren’t out to sea hunting for dolphins, they’re busy hanging tarps and stringing fishing nets in the trees around the Cove. They’re doing this because they don’t want the world to know what is happening there. They don’t want you to see. What happens there is a “secret” they’re desperate to keep even as the Cove Guardians continue to expose the atrocities taking place each day. By hiding, the fisherman of Taiji hope the world will forget.
Out of sight, out of mind.
While the fisherman in Taiji work fervently to keep their killing hidden, it is up to us to spread the message to anyone who will listen. The Cove Guardians are there to report and keep those at home informed so that they might use that information to raise awareness. It’s our duty to use the daily reports as a springboard for action. Those actions might be phone calls, emails, a Facebook status update or link to an article. The articles are not just there for us to read and forget. Knowledge is power but only so long as you use that knowledge as a catalyst for change.
The fisherman of Taiji wish for nothing more than for the Cove Guardians to leave and go home so that they are able to go about their business without scrutiny from the outside world. Unfortunately, that reality is all too likely in the not so distant future. If you’re financially able, please consider spending a week or two in Taiji as a Cove Guardian. We cannot let the fisherman kill dolphins without the cameras there to capture each moment. If you’re interested in becoming a future Cove Guardian, please send an email to email@example.com. If you are unable to travel to Taiji, please continue making phone calls, sending emails and informing people of what is happening, even when the cameras stop filming. Just because you can’t see what is happening doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.
Keep fighting the good fight and I’ll see you in Japan!
What can you do to help stop the dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan?
Send a letter, e-mail, and/or fax to the Prime Minister of Japan, the Minister of Fisheries, your local embassy or consulate and other Japanese officials to let them know that this barbaric slaughter is unacceptable.
PRIME MINISTER OF JAPAN
Prime Minister Naoto Kan
Cabinet Office, Government of Japan
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. 100-8914 JAPAN
Online comment form #1: https://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/forms/comment_ssl.html
Online comment form #2: https://form.cao.go.jp/kokusai/en_opinion-0001.html
MINISTER OF FISHERIES
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. 100-8950 JAPAN
Contact form: https://www.contact.maff.go.jp/maff/form/114e.html
EMBASSY OF JAPAN IN WASHINGTON D.C.
Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki
2520 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.
Washington D.C. 20008-2869
Tel: (202) 238-6700
Fax: (202) 328-2187