I didn’t grow up vegan. In fact, I was never an animal lover.
You see, I grew up in a home with blind parents so I never had the opportunity to spend time with animals.
My only experience with anyone of another species was living with my father’s Seeing Eye Dog, and unfortunately, my sisters and I were unable to interact much with them as they were “working dogs.”
When I was 3 years old, I was jumped by a German Shepherd who was tied up in front of his house, which caused me to be extremely afraid of dogs going forward.
So no. I did not grow up loving animals.
In fact, although I didn’t dislike them per se, I was quite indifferent towards them, if not scared to death!
It wasn’t until I was a little over 30 years old, when I had a pleasant experience with a Boxer, that I started to have second thoughts. I thought that perhaps all dogs were not “bad” and out to attack me- could it be?
Soon after, I found my Mocha.. a Chocolate Lab who became my child in a matter of two seconds.
My heart quickly developed such tremendous love for this being. I never felt anything like that in my life!
A couple of years later, I started volunteering at an Animal Shelter in Jersey City: The Liberty Humane Society. It brought me so much joy to walk these dogs to the park, show them affection, and socialize them a little bit. I spent every Saturday there for months.
As I became more involved in volunteer work, I met individuals in the rescue world. They were extremely kind and compassionate and would do anything for a dog or cat.
I became friends with these rescuers on social media and shared the many animals in need on my personal page, in hopes that I could help them find loving forever homes.
It was during this period of my life that my world was turned upside down.
I remember coming across some horrifying footage while online one evening.
Without divulging too many details, the live footage involved animals, used for fur, being skinned alive. I was shocked and horrified to put it lightly. I could not believe my eyes and cried a river that night. How could anyone do something so cruel to a living creature who was so similar to my own fur baby?
That was only the beginning as I was then confronted with information about farmed animals.
Little by little, the world I knew faded into oblivion and I had to make some real life altering decisions. And I did.
I did not become vegan overnight, regrettably.
However, I became vegetarian until I gained more and more information and then became vegan.
How could I not?
To learn about such atrocities taking place against sentient beings for completely unnecessary reasons, it was the very least I could do.
From the moment I made the conscious decision to take all animal “products” out of my diet- and life- the ONLY regret I have is not doing it sooner.
Had I known.. had someone taken me by the hand, sat me down and showed me what was happening to animals for food, clothing, products and entertainment, being the empath that I am, I truly believe I would have become vegan long, long ago.
I tell you my story as we live in an age where we have so much information at our fingertips.
All we need is to do a quick Google Search or go on You Tube and we are inundated with all of the answers to any question we could possibly imagine.
The situation the animals are in is DIRE.
Their plight is one of desperation, fear, suffering, despair, anxiety, depression and more.
They are literally living a nightmare. A life we would not wish upon anyone, including our worst enemy.
Most people would consider themselves animal lovers.
Or at the very least, are vehemently against animal abuse and cruelty.
And yet over 97% of people support it several times a day, without a thought.
I truly feel that if most people had the awareness, or permitted themselves to consider the fact that what they have been taught, may not be reality.. the world would change for animals.
Please take a little time and watch this video on You Tube by Ed Winters- AKA- Earthling Ed.
It is titled “You Will Never Look at Your Life in the Same Way Again.”
Let the information sink in.
Do some of your own research.
And please make the decision to live vegan.