a vegan story is like a journey down a long and winding road. most of us don't pop out of the womb as vegans. in fact the first thing we consume is milk, either from our mothers or from cows. i'm not going to pretend that i was one of those children who was repulsed by eating meat. to be honest, i loved it. whenever someone gives me some tired excuse about how they could never give up eating meat because they love it soooo much, i hold myself up as the poster child for "if i can do it, anybody can". i first started getting repulsed by meat when i moved away from home and had to start handling raw meat myself. it always seemed dirty and contaminated, as i imagined the germs swimming around in the blood.
as i became more educated about animal cruelty concerns, i always saw myself on the verge of becoming a vegetarian, but never actually doing it. the catalyst for me was reading a book called "my year of meats" by ruth ozeki. this book had such an emotional resonance for me, it literally transformed my life. in grand fashion, i announced to my partner that i was going to become a vegetarian, and he replied "i give it three weeks" (he's familiar with my work). i'm glad he did, because it gave me the impetus i needed (just to prove him wrong, right?). that was may 23, 1999. becoming a vegetarian was the only thing in my life that i never questioned. it NEVER seemed like the wrong thing to do.
although i didn't become a vegan until february 2004, i knew that i would eventually. gradually, my partner's path and mine intertwingled (i made that word up) and we both made a decision to embrace veganism 100%. that way, you never have to worry that there might be some cheese in the refrigerator.
many people assume that being a vegan is "hard", and there are undeniable challenges. to me, however, it feels like the easiest, most natural thing in the world. it's important to be tolerant of everybody, even the most die-hard meat eaters. you never know what's going to turn them around.