‘Why are you vegan?’
“Why are you vegan?” I’ve been asked this countless times and will continue receiving and answering this question. There is so much I want to say when I respond to this, as it deserves a well-thought-out and composed response.
I’m vegan because I strive to be compassionate. Compassion begins when you eliminate the unnecessary harm from your life, and being vegan ensures that I’m in the process of doing just that.
I’m vegan to end violence. We don’t have the inherent desire to kill animals and eat their flesh. I wouldn’t slaughter an innocent being for the sake of my plate, so I don’t plan on paying someone else to either. Instead of actively contributing to the violence, I choose to take a step back and make choices that aren’t causing violence to anyone or anything.
I’m vegan because I want my body to be the healthiest it can be. Our bodies simply don’t need animal products to flourish. We are not equipped with the tools other carnivorous animals are born with. It’s easy to see how our teeth and digestive systems differ from those designed to consume flesh. Meat and dairy cause critical health conditions. Plant foods are healing by nature. Your body craves what it needs, and it’s amazing how it responds when you listen to it.
I’m vegan because our planet is on a downward spiral. This is so urgent and needs to be brought out into the light. Baby steps aren’t going to cut it anymore. Yes, small differences are better than nothing, but they’re not going to reverse the mass destruction we’re causing to the beautiful planet we inhabit.
I’m vegan because I love animals. Humans have been taught to love some animals, and eat the flesh of others. We cuddle with puppies but slaughter and eat the meat of cows. When the table is turned — a dog is killed for meat instead of a chicken, and a lion is killed for game instead of fish — chaos breaks loose. Of course, it’s great to see people become enraged over the useless abuse and murder of animals, but then, it’s confusing when we turn around and eat a burger. It’s time to take a look at your traditions and habits and ask why you practice them. I strive to practice what I preach, and when I say I love animals, I love all animals.
I’ve been vegetarian for several years, and I am approaching a year of veganism. I wasn’t sure how easy it would be for me in college, but it is more convenient now than ever. On campus, I am surrounded with options: Azul’s, Subway, Taco Bell, Blu Sushi, Jamba Juice, SoVi Dining and more. Azul’s has a veggie burger option that can replace any menu item. Subway, Taco Bell, Blu Sushi and Jamba Juice all have awesome meat-free options as well. SoVi Dining is the best, with a fully stocked salad bar and several vegetarian and vegan options daily.