As most people who know me can attest to, I’m pretty low key about most things. This is not something I feel like being low key about:
I can no longer, in good conscience, continue to
consume food or buy products derived from animals.
For me, it is strictly for ethical reasons with the potential for other positive side effects.
I’ve been struggling internally with this for a while now. Whenever I would eat meat or think about the process by which animal-sourced products were created, I felt responsible for exploiting and harming a living animal by proxy. Since I started progressively moving toward this lifestyle, a tremendous amount of guilt has been lifted from me and I feel better about myself. I may go into more detail on this in a later post.
From a nutritional standpoint, this is not difficult for me to do. In fact, it’s very easy. I already eat a simple and healthy diet that is mostly vegetarian and I do not particularly enjoy eating food in general. I view eating from a largly nutritional perspective before a taste or pleasure one. So as long as whatever I am eating has the nutrients I need to intake, the source does not matter. Since the source does not matter, I, as someone who feels compassion toward animals, have no logical reason to selfishly choose to take advantage of an animal over other readily available sources.
It is not about being perfect in this goal, but about simply having a heightened awareness of everything I consume and striving to not support the use of animals to my advantage or convenience.
These are a few of the things currently in my life which are problematic and run contrary to this lifestyle:
- replaced with Dynomighty Mini Mighty Wallet
burt's bees chap stick (bees wax)
- replaced with The Merry Hempsters Vegan Lip Balm
glucosamine supplement for my knees (shellfish)
- replaced with VegLife 750mg Glucosamine
smartwool socks (sheep wool)
- replaced with Swiftwick Aspire
The damage is unfortunately already done with these items, but, while I do feel bad about it, it would be wasteful to throw these things away. When the time comes to replace these and other things, I will happily choose replacements which do not exploit animals.
I’d love it if everyone else joined me in this lifestyle and while I feel I have a moral obligation to at least try to convince people to make steps toward it, I’ll try to not be annoying about it.
For more information about the vegan lifestyle, Wikipedia’s article on veganism is a good source. I’ll also happily answer any questions!
Finally, I’d like to take the time to thank my good friend Michael Ahlers for inspiring me to strive for this lifestyle.