Veganism Is Not A “Phase”
It’s a way of life.
We were having a discussion with family about a new grocery store that moved into are area. Discussion isn’t the right word. They were raving about it. “They have fresh rotisserie chicken and you can place an order for ribs or pork when you walk in, and pick it up after you’re finished shopping! Dinner is all taken care of!” Being the smart-mouthed vegan I am, I couldn’t help myself: “Well you know that is a huge draw for me!” I said. They started laughing and then said, “When this veganism phase is over…” I stopped listening after that.
The word “phase” caught me totally off guard. This isn’t deciding to dye your hair, or dress differently like a 15 year old who is still finding out who they are. I know who I am and I want my lifestyle to reflect my beliefs, and I believe it does. I think what hit me so hard about it is that my veganism is so deeply rooted in me that I wouldn’t even question “giving it up” or “going back.” So I started to think about it more, and came up with reasons why.
My veganism is not a phase because at the very basic level, I am not comfortable with causing unnecessary harm to any sentient being. It was Leo Tolstoy who said, “A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral.” So if that is immoral, then what does it mean to support the dairy and egg industries? Both of which imprison animals and turn them into machines and cause immeasurable suffering. Then when they’re not useful anymore, they are turned over to the meat industry.
My veganism is not a phase because of how I feel. My health has improved since becoming a vegan. I don’t get acne. My eczema has cleared up. I used to get a cold every season, but now I go years without one. I physically feel lighter and I look better than I ever have. I don’t miss that overly full/heavy feeling after overindulging in a meal. I realize that not everyone feels this way after becoming vegan, however this reinforces that I am making good decisions for my health and well being.
My veganism is not a phase because being a vegan is more than just what you eat. It’s more than a diet; it’s a lifestyle. I am not contributing to the deforestation of the rain forests to make room for cattle. I am not contributing to the “feed the world” mono-culture myth that is really just for feeding the animals in the meat/dairy/egg industries. I am actually saving the planet instead of abusing the planet, just by my every day lifestyle. According to raisevegan.com, by one person not eating meat, dairy, or eggs, an estimated 1,100 gallons of water are saved each day, along with 90 square feet of forested land, and one life.
My veganism is not a phase because it is important to leave the planet in better condition than I found it. I believe I am contributing to a better planet for future generations so they can enjoy the same beauty I can.
Compassion is not a phase. Health is not a phase. Saving the environment is not a phase. Bettering the world is not a phase. You can say all these things are important but the choices we make define the person we are. I want to be a role model for my son by my actions, not just by preaching “do as I say, not as I do.”
My lifestyle is in line with my beliefs and ethics. And that, my dear friends, is why my veganism is not a phase.
“Doin’ right ain’t got no end” – The Outlaw Josey Wales
Tags: Animal rights, Animal welfare, are vegans healthy, ethics, vegan lifestyle, veganism, what do vegans eat, Why Vegan