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Shibo
12-15-2008, 11:17 PM
I grew up eating like an Iowa farm boy and tirelessly advocating better treatment of our pets. When my sister was very young she had difficulty seeing kittens as anything but toys, and I could not stand seeing our dog tied up in the yard. I would become nearly enraged when my father would say things like, "It's only a dog." The dog was clearly very lonely and frustrated alone in the yard. It doesn't take a neurologist to tell us that animals have the same feelings that we do.

I had toyed with the thought of going vegetarian many, many times since the age of fourteen, but it never amounted to much more than eating less meat when I did and choosing a vegetarian option here or there. Eating meat was perfectly natural, I felt, and necessary for adequate nutrition. My vegetarian cousin had gotten sick and was forced to start eating meat again. I well understood that the rapid development of our brains the past several dozen thousand years was due to a significant change in diet - eating more meat.

I had been handed animal rights literature several times the past few years, but would always rationalize, thinking, "If we're to eat meat, it isn't going to be pretty. That's just how it is." I well understood and appreciated that life just sucks sometimes. I never allowed myself to read the entire pamphlet, and would quickly put the entire subject out of my mind.

I was, two years ago, blessed with a rather severe case of lactose intolerance. I gave up all dairy, and allowed myself to think about all of the milking some cow didn't have to go through. I felt pretty good about that. Still, however, I felt that animal rights activists had just watched Bambi a few too many times.

It wasn't until this past summer that I ran into a friend working a booth for Mercy for Animals. I picked up some literature and forced myself to read every bit of it and provide all of the various reasons why it was incorrect. I wanted to shoot it down like any other load of crap I might come across, but found that I couldn't. I had nothing. I wasn't well educated on nutrition, but the fact that this very healthy person had been vegan for more than two decades was obvious testament to the fact that eating meat wasn't absolutely necessary.

I then found out about the environmental effects of animal agriculture. That I should cut back on all animal products became obvious. The cutting back phase lasted maybe two weeks, until I had cleaned my refrigerator of everything that was left, except for the eggs, which wound up disgusting me so much that I had to throw them away with my mayonnaise when I read about the conditions chickens are kept in. That tentative period ended all at once one morning when I woke up terribly hungover, dwelling on that last piece of grilled chicken. I was done. Done altogether with meat, alcohol, and cigarettes.

The moral issue instantly became unavoidable, and the nutrition argument ridiculous. "Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you." Also, "Treat your inferiors as you'd have your superiors treat you."

Were I to be a pig, I'd rather be playing in the grass than have my tender bits chopped off without anesthetic. Were I to be a chicken, I'd like to be able to spread my wings. Were I to be a cucumber plant, I might like a little sun, but, mostly, I don't think I'd be able to care either way.

We don't have to eat animals. Why should we? Animal agriculture destroys the planet. How hard is it to do without? How often are we told to eat more fruits and veggies? Eating meat may have given us an evolutionary advantage (so did living in trees, before that), but that doesn't mean we need to keep doing it (and to such an extent).

I devoured every scrap of information I could find on veganism and animal rights, and every insufficient argument against. I now devote as much time as I can spare to volunteering for Mercy For Animals, and, sometimes... I still cry at night thinking about the chickens in their cages....

It makes me sick to think I had ever supported any part of factory farming.

downwithapathy
12-16-2008, 12:59 AM
So pleased to meet you! :)

Miso Vegan
12-16-2008, 01:27 AM
Terrific vegan story, Shibo. Welcome to VRF! :sunny:

Provoked
12-16-2008, 02:09 AM
"Treat your inferiors as you'd have your superiors treat you."
Very wise indeed...


I still cry at night thinking about the chickens in their cages....

It makes me sick to think I had ever supported any part of factory farming.
Oh {{{{{Shibo}}}}} don't beat yourself up... We've all been duped and have come to terms in our own way and time. The important thing is that you figured it out and you're here now. Welcome! :daisy:

sitting_vegan
12-16-2008, 07:35 AM
Welcome!

VegeTexan
12-16-2008, 10:09 AM
Welcome to VR, Shibo.

shananigans
12-16-2008, 11:21 AM
Welcome! :)

La Végétalienne
12-16-2008, 01:58 PM
Welcome!

Still, however, I felt that animal rights activists had just watched Bambi a few too many times.
:laugh: Whenever people asked me why I was vegetarian, I would to say "I dunno, I guess I just watched Bambi too many times as a kid." (But as a vegan, I now have a much more compelling argument, or so I'd like to think. ;))

bluedawg
12-17-2008, 01:37 AM
welcome to VRF, Shibo! :sunny:

Chijou_no_seiza
12-17-2008, 01:43 AM
I loved your story. Welcome! :)

vegankitty
12-17-2008, 08:20 AM
Welcome . Shibo ! :cool:

topperarnold
12-17-2008, 08:43 PM
welcome!

Jessica?
12-17-2008, 11:04 PM
beautiful story, and welcome to VFR
how long have you been vegan so far?

Decomprose
12-17-2008, 11:20 PM
Very cool story Shibo! The ag industry and our culture do a very good job of keeping the truth away from us. That's very cool that you persevered and have stood up for what's right! Welcome to Vegan Represent!

Shibo
12-19-2008, 12:26 AM
beautiful story, and welcome to VFR
how long have you been vegan so far?
July 24 2008 was my first day vegan.

phloxy
12-19-2008, 03:26 PM
Great story, shibo! Welcome!

robbie707
12-22-2008, 03:03 PM
Hey Shibo...

a moving story ... love and peace to your spirit :)

Robbie