i’ve spent this weekend working for a small company at a vegan food festival in zurich where i got to meet a lot of kind and interesting people and eat heaps of really delicious food. it got me thinking about the food choices we make and what influence they have on us, about the reactions i’ve experienced towards veganism lately and also about writing this blog post, so here it goes…
i’m a vegan, which means that i choose not to consume any foods dervied from animals or foods that involve the exploitation, torture or murder of animals. my belief is that we don’t have the right to take an animal’s life for our palatal plesure, that our consumption of animal products such as meat, dairy and eggs is not only destroying our planet but also ourselves and that something really doesn’t freakin add up when we decide to invest an unbelievable amount of food and money in livestock for us to eat while millions of people are starving around the globe. i’ve done a lot of research, i kept on reading and informing myself about the reality of our food consuption which lead me to the decision to not support this system anymore, to become the change i want to see in the world.
no, i don’t miss eating bacon. no, i don’t eat fish. yes, i really do get more than enough protein and i don’t have any nutrient deficiencies. yes, i eat cake, cookies, ice cream and chocolate, just without all the animal cruelty involved which also makes it better for the environment and for myself. no, i don’t particularly find your jokes about veganism funny because chances are i’ve already heard them a hundred times and somehow, they are not getting any more inventive. so yeah, you can tease me all you want, you can eat your steak in front of me and tell me how this is so worth it and that i shouldn’t be sad for the “poor, poor animals”, you can talk behind my back about how silly you think this whole thing is, but you won’t change my mind. i’m fully aware that being a vegan isn’t socially acceptable yet and that this is probably why you’re acting like that and reasuring me that you just really wouldn’t be able to live without cheese or with a good ol’ piece of meat, but frankly i neither care about all of this nor do i buy any of it.
i used to love eating meat, to indulge in a traditional swiss raclette or to devour half a pint of ben & jerry’s chocolate fudge brownie ice cream in one sitting and to eat heaps of tuna sashimi with my dad on a sunday night. still, about two years later, i’m sitting here writing this as a vegan, so tell me again how you “would just never be able to do that switch”. i’m not saying that it’s easy to go vegan, there are problems you will face, but food definitely isn’t one of them! firstly, there are thousands and thousands of recipes and awesome food blogs out there (let’s just put a link to the young kitchen riiight here); secondly, if you really think you’re gonna miss one particular thing so badly, let me tell you that a vegan alternative of that food already exists, from bacon to camembert to ben & jerry’s chocolate fudge brownie ice cream, you wouldn’t believe all the tasty vegan stuff that’s out there! contrary to popular belief, vegans eat the best damn food that there is, i’ve never felt deprived of anything or like i’m missing out since starting this journey, and that’s coming from one of the biggest foodies out there…
the problems you face as a vegan are of a different kind: they’re social issues with friends and family who keep on making fun of you and not taking you seriously to a point where you’re just left wondering how much they actually care about you. they’re issues that involve you feeling frustrated because in a room of meat eaters it may seem like nothing is ever going to change, issues that at times might feel very real and overwhelming but that are all worth it when you connect with a person who fully understands you and is interested in what you have to say, or simply when you’ve just demolished a bowl of vegan chili and you feel like you could conquer the world. it takes a lot of character strength to stand up for what you believe in, you will face criticism and immature comments, but in the end it’s all worth it. just think about it, do you really feel good about eating something that had to die for you? do you truly believe in that chicken being happy and not feeling any terror when getting killed just because it’s labelled ‘organic’? don’t you think it’s somewhat weird for us to drink milk that was actually intended to nourish a calf that’s supposed to multiply it’s weight in a short amount of time? or that the earth is falling apart while we keep on holding on to our habits like our future really wouldn’t depend on it? open your eyes and i promise you, that you won’t be able to look at your “food” the same way ever again.
you see, i’m part of a generation that is driven by the urge to achieve something, to implement change and to eventually leave this world a better place than when we found it. there are game changers out there who raise awareness for all sorts of issues that deal with injustice and inequality. we all want to make an impact, to feel special because we were able to make a difference but most of us don’t know where to start because we’re only a single person in this huge world of ours. i don’t feel special, but becoming a vegan is my way of contributing something to the bigger picture because change has to start somewhere and just keeping on saying that “there’s nothing we can do” and that “my changing the way i live wouldn’t make a difference anyway”, really isn’t getting us anywhere. i know that it’s considered cool to make fun of people who are different, that it’s always easier to just point fingers and go with the flow instead of taking a look at oneself, but is it really worth being part of the problem while our world is continuing to decay and becoming a more cruel place by the second?
the choice is yours. you can start by watching cowspiracy and getting your mind blown, by getting the vegan option in the cafeteria for lunch tomorrow or by going all in and giving those awesome veggie burgers right here a try. you don’t have to post a picture to instagram, you don’t have to tell anyone about it or you can let all your friends know that you’re trying something new and update your facebook status to “vegan food lover” - whatever floats your boat! you can also just roll your eyes, close this tab and continue procrastinating by binge watching that netflix series, but i mean, you’ve read this entire text and i really put some effort in this whole motivational thing, so the least you could do is click right here or here and just drool for a while over some badass food till you realise that it’s actually vegan.
we can all be game changers because the choices we make on a daily basis are relevant and shape the future of our world and our society. if you’ve been waiting for a sign to get your shit together or to start over, this is it and if you don’t believe in anything i’ve just said then take a look around you, read a newspaper, search the web for terms such as ‘climate change’ or ‘animal cruelty’ and think again. we can be the generation that changed it all, that made an impact. the time is now, let’s not look away anymore.
I first published this post on one of my first blog websites in September of 2016. Apologies for the spelling mistakes and the lack of capitalisation... #2016lea