Family Party at the Vegan House

Well, this past weekend was my daughter’s 13th birthday…I now have two teenagers.  Anyway, we had both sides of the family over for a birthday party.  My daughter is not yet vegan, she is a vegetarian, but my son and I are both vegan.  My mom loves to make the birthday cakes and she is amazing at decorating.  She hasn’t come around to trying to make a vegan cake yet, so, she made the cake and everyone but my son and I ate it.  No biggie.  My son made his amazing vegan ranch chip dip, which everyone loved.  My mother-in-law raved about the dip and when I told her my son made it and that it was vegan, she seemed mad and walked away.  Now, she is already mad and in a tizzy because we are vegans and a vegetarian, but the icing on the cake is that my daughter (who just started jr high) decided that she wanted to be home schooled like her brother (11th grade).  My mother-in-law owns a beef cattle farm, thinks animals are a means to an end, and thinks homeschooling is just plain weird and  that my kids are going to be anti-social outcasts, which could not be farther from the truth.  Her neighbors home schooled their kids and those kids were  “different”, but it had nothing to do with home schooling and everything to do with the parents being weird.  So, you can imagine the internal anguish my mother-in-law deals with having a daughter-in-law and grandkids who are animal lovers (we have 9 indoor cats, an indoor rabbit, and a big indoor/outdoor dog-all of which freak her out because, yuck, animals in the house and on the furniture), vegan/vegetarian AND home schooled….the horror of it all!  Bwahahaha, we love every minute of it.  And as a side note, my husband is completely happy with having all the animals in the house and he loves all of them.  I guess I rubbed off on him because he was NOT raised that way.  He also supports home schooling and the vegan/vegetarian part, well, not so much, but as long as I fix him his “food”  he is fine with our choices.  I will keep praying and working on him.

OK, back to the topic.  So, when it was cake and ice cream time (we had vegan and non-vegan ice cream), my sister-in-law (husband’s brother’s wife) asked why we did not eat the ice cream because nothing gets killed in the dairy industry.  When I tried to explain what REALLY happens in the dairy industry, she got all hot an huffy and was like, “well, you are talking to a farmer and I know about farming and I am going to continue to eat my meat!”  and I’m thinking, well, miss fancy pants, no you do not know what really happens, but I am not going to argue this at a party with someone who doesn’t want to know the truth. Also, she did not grow up on a farm, she married a farmer and the farm that they have is not a factory farm, nor is it a dairy farm, so the cows they have live a much different life than a factory cow.  They  have shelter, plenty of food, my brother-in-laws are kind to them. I am definitely not defending them nor the farm.  Do not get me wrong, I am NOT defending them nor the farm, I absolutely hate it. It sickens me to think about what happens to those cows.  The kids and I hate going out to visit the in-laws because seeing the cows in the pastures is unavoidable and it makes the kids and I so sad and brings us to tears knowing that these cows will eventually be sold for meat or for breeding.  I feel gross even typing that, I hate it, I really, really do.  And it has already drove a wedge between myself and my in-laws. My sister-in-law and I used to be very close and now, not so much.  However, I teach my kids to always stand up for what you believe and what you know is right, so that is what we will continue to do.  Next time my sister-in-law starts in about this, I will just tell her to watch Cowspiracy and to read the book Mad Cowboy by Howard Lyman.  The conversation ended with me saying, “Well, in my opinion, if you cannot bear the thought of watching your food being killed then you shouldn’t eat it and I personally do not believe in choosing what animals should be pets and what animals should be eaten.  They are all animals and all living creatures.  And furthermore, I really do not know why it is such a big deal to you all that we are vegan!”  That ended the conversation.  It is yet another example of how the meat eaters once again, got all mad and hateful.  They ask why we do not eat certain things and when I give them the answer, they get MAD.  Seriously?! They cannot handle the truth because they do not want to be forced to look at what they are doing.

So, with this family gathering being such a blazing success, I cannot wait for Thanksgiving, my son’s birthday, and Christmas!  haha  I can only imagine what’s going to happen when I bring a full course meal to Thanksgiving and Christmas for the kids and I.

Side Note:  I am by no means bragging, BUT, on my husband’s side of the family, there are 4 boys thus I have 3 sister-in-laws…..I am the ONLY one who is not on some type of medication (blood pressure, cholesterol, depression)  and I have not been on an antibiotic for over 3 years and rarely get sick (neither do my kids). The others always seem to be sick.   When I do get sick, it does not last long.  I think I am doing just fine being a vegan!

It’s Not Cheating…..

I was at my parent’s house yesterday and sitting on the counter was a box of pizza.  Now, this is a pizza place that I had wanted to go to way back before I was a vegan.  Pizza was my most favorite food in the whole world-plain old cheese & pepperoni pizza.  I miss it so much.  And yes, I have tried several vegan cheeses and I pretty much despise all of them.  So now, I eat my pizzas without cheese but piled high with onions, black olives and banana peppers.  Not as good, but, I’m almost OK with it.  So anyway, I really wanted to try out this pizza crust and sauce, so I opened the box and peeled off the cold cheese and pepperoni.  That is when my mom says, “Oh good grief, just eat the cheese and pepperoni.  Go ahead and cheat a little!”  And that is the statement that sums it all up….if I ate that cheese and pepperoni, it would not be cheating!  I am not on a diet to lose weight!  Cheese and pepperoni are not cheat foods-they are what I call sad foods.  Sad foods are animal products and they are the product of pain and sadness and the thought of eating those makes me sad.  Eating that cheese and pepperoni would be going against everything I believe in and THAT is precisely what my parents (my mom) refuse to see.  My mom likes to pretend I’m on this healthy quest, which I am, but that’s not main reason I am a vegan.  What she does not want to accept is the real reason why I am a vegan.  She is like many others that just want to turn a blind eye to what those poor animals go through because it would force her to face the reality of what she eats.

So, I plopped that pizza into my mouth and it was so good.  I said to my mom, “This pizza crust and sauce would be so amazing piled high with onions, olives and banana peppers.”  And her reply, “Well, that would give me heartburn.”  Yes, I’m sure it would, I’m sure it would.  However, it’s funny that I stopped getting heart burn when I stopped eating dairy and meat…….I can eat the spiciest of peppers and tons of veggies and I never get heart burn.  When I used to pair all of that with cheese or meat, the heart burn was horrible.  Gee, I wonder what the heart burn culprits are…..  After the pizza incident, the mood changed and my mom seemed mad at me.  She also made peanut butter brownies, which had eggs and milk in them.  She made a plate of them for me to take home and said, “Here are some brownies for you guys, well, for your husband, I guess.”  She said it so snotty and like I was putting  her out because my kids and I will not eat them.  I just don’t get why people get so mad at vegans.  Why is it such a big deal what we choose to eat? We are the good guys, we are the ones who struggle going places in this meat/dairy dominant world! Yet, it is the non-vegans who get mad.  I think they are so mad because their bodies are full of sad, dead animals.  No matter, I guess I should be used to this by now, but to have a parent be so hateful about it just hurts.

That Grilling Smell….

So, this past weekend we have been at a motocross track. My 16 year old son is a motocross racer, has been since he was 6. It’s what we do. We load up our toyhauler and head out. In the past 10 years, we have been all over the  country.  But this trip, my son and I noticed something we had never noticed before-the smell of people cooking meat on their grills made us nauseous! I have been vegan for over 6 months. My son has been vegan for 3 months. In that time, so much has changed for us. Any other time, the smell of grilling meat would have been a pleasant smell, now, it was awful. But my son and I were both so happy that it did make us sick! Because it is sick! And that smell did not make us want meat, it made it even more repulsive to us.  It also made us sad because we thought of the animals. We both had to go inside our toyhauler (a camper that had a garage area in the back for the dirt bikes) to escape the smell. 

My son, he is quite the remarkable kid. Not too many kids from the mid-west go vegan at such a young age, especially ones that are in sports. His sport, motocross, is rough. It requires strength, endurance and a bit of craziness. My son did not care that becoming vegan might affect his racing. He just knew he would do whatever it took to protect animals. But here’s the best part-he feels better than ever. He is strong, fast and his endurance is on point. He is racing so well. Actually, he was just about to qualify for the Loretta Lynn Motocross National-however, another rider crashed right in front of him on a big downhill jump and my son had no where to go and hit that rider, flipped a couple of times in the air,hit the ground, rolled some there and landed off the side of the track. He’s beat up, cut up and his wrist is more than likely broken. This isn’t our first go round with stuff like this, so we’ll see the ortho tomorrow (we have him on speed dial). We are thankful he was not seriously hurt, we have seen a lot of awful, heart breaking things in this sport. But he will heal and my plant-powered racer will be back in no time. 

Why are there conditions?

Obviously, everyone by now has heard about the Silver Back Gorilla that was killed at the Cincinnati Zoo.  Such a horrible, sad situation…but I am not going to talk about that.  However, it has made me think about a lot of things.  People are furious, and I mean lynch mob furious about the gorilla being shot and at the parents of the child.  BUT, all those people who are angry, I have to wonder, what did you EAT today or better yet, what did you eat on Memorial Day?  Chances are, it was meat and some type of milk and egg products.  WHY, WHY, WHY are you mad that a gorilla was killed when YOU are EATING an animal that also WANTED TO LIVE but was killed!!!!!  Why is it OK to raise an animal in terrible conditions and then slaughter it for food, but not OK to kill a gorilla where a human life was in jeopardy (although that was due to human error and stupidity, which makes it the situation even worse)? Why is it OK to rape a cow over and over, only to take her babies away so humans can have the milk? And then kill her after her calf bearing days are over?  Why is it OK to big game hunt?   And people are furious about the gorilla…such hypocrisy!  Why are there conditions on what animal is OK to kill and what animal is not OK to kill? All animals feel pain, bond with their young and with other animals and even humans, and all want to live.   People seriously need to look at their lives, their food and what they support. If it’s not OK to kill one animal, it’s not OK to kill another.

I do not like zoos, they make me so sad and my heart hurts for those animals. People use the excuse that zoos are there so they can help rebuild the animal population in species that are struggling-news flash, chances are they would not be struggling if people were not destroying their habitat for animal agriculture.  So I encourage everyone to GO VEGAN!!!!

The Critics

I have seen this topic so many times….no one cares about what you eat UNTIL you go vegan.  Then it becomes everyone’s concern and task to question what you are doing.  This happened to my son today.  My son is 16 years old and a vegan.  He has been for 8 weeks.  In that time, he has lost 10 pounds. Was he overweight, NO. He was fine. Why did he lose weight….. because he is no longer taking a bag of Doritos to his room and eating half a bag while he is on the computer.  He is no longer making a big plate of cheesy nachos at 11:30 at night.  He is no longer eating 3 cheese sticks a day and drinking milk with every meal. He is just not eating junk because a lot of junk has animal products in it.    He is no longer eating like a typical teenage kid.  That is why he has lost weight, not because he is malnourished or not getting enough food, but because he is no longer eating the wrong foods and has replaced it with good food.  My son is motocross racer.  Motocross is a grueling sport that requires strength and endurance.  He has lost neither since going vegan.  He actually says that he feels much better after he eats than he used to.  He told me that the way he eats MAKES HIM HAPPY!  How about that for a “proud mom moment”!

So back to why I’m writing this…today he went out to his private motocross track that is out at the family farm.  Yes, my in-laws are farmers and yes, they think I am absolutely a WEIRDO for being vegan and also think that it’s awful that I have brought my kids to the vegan side (however, it was their choice).  Anyway, my mother-in-law had to comment on my son’s weight loss.  I’m not even sure how she noticed-it’s not that noticeable.  But she did and then she got worried and told him not to lose any more weight. However, she didn’t care when he was eating junk food.  No one cared when he was eating the typical teenage diet.  But everyone seems to care now that he is eating humanely and more healthy.  It’s just frustrating.  No one seems to care that by starting to eat this way now, my son and daughter are securing a much more healthy future for themselves.  And they are also saving animals!  I have to keep telling myself that people do not care about animals the way we do and most people are still living in the dark ages of “meat, dairy and eggs are healthy for you.”  People do not want to change and people do not want to hear that the way they are eating is not good for them and that animals suffer because of it.  They want to pop their cholesterol and blood pressure pills and keep on eating what they are eating.  They want to ignore the animal cruelty.

What they also do not want to hear is that I have done A LOT of research about being vegan.  Do people really think I would lead my kids or myself down an unhealthy path?  Every day while sitting in the pick up line at school (a 45 minute ordeal), I pour over books and articles about plant-based nutrition.  I am so hungry to learn more and more about the benefits of a plant-based diet. I get really excited about what I am learning-PLANTS are amazing!  PLANTS hold the key to so much health! Eating PLANTS does not hurt animals! But no one wants to listen, because it comes back to what I said in my last listening, they would be forced to face that what they are doing and how they are eating is hurting not only themselves but animals and the environment.  Change is a hard thing, I get it.  I hate change, I really do.  Even after I went vegan, I would wake up in the morning and wonder “what in the world am I doing?  How can I keep up with this?”  I no longer wake up feeling like that.  I am secure now in my vegan eating.  However, no one else (except my kids) is secure about our vegan eating.  But let me say this….I cannot remember the last time my kids were on antibiotics….I cannot remember the last time my kids had to go to the doctor because they were sick.  Other than a cold that lasted for a couple of days, I can’t remember the last time my kids were even sick.  The last time I was sick was 3 years ago.  I am 42 years old and I take NO medication.  I have friends who are already on cholesterol medication!  My blood pressure is great. My cholesterol is great and I am healthy.  You would think that my health and my kids health would speak volumes, but, all people see is that we don’t eat meat, eggs and dairy.  And all these people who are unhealthy want to tell me that what I am doing and what my kids are doing isn’t normal or right.  Go figure….

Vegan Comparisons

I often find that while I am doing the normal every day things, my mind begins to wonder and think about this vegan journey that I have taken.  It keeps taking me back to my faith.  I am a Christian.  I believe in God and Jesus and I believe that Jesus gave his life and then rose again that we may have eternal salvation.  And I also believe in the bible.  I believe in ALL OF IT, not just the warm and fuzzy parts, but also the parts that make me uncomfortable because God is pointing out that I have some work to do.  And it is here that I see the similarities.  Meat eaters-when they are faced with the truth about what the meat and dairy industry truly is, they are faced with a decision.  It makes them uncomfortable to see something for what it really is and how cruel it can be.  They will skirt around the truth, avoid it or mock it.  Much like a person who is not a Christian, but has been exposed to God’s word.  They hear the truths, but it makes them uncomfortable because it possibly points out that what they are doing is wrong.  In both cases, the people, after hearing what I call good news (in both cases) usually get mad because how dare anyone tell them that their lifestyle or way of eating is wrong and hurtful.  But in both cases, the good news, is just that.  It is such good news!  If only the people would see that what the bible says, isn’t a bunch of rules to make people’s lives miserable, but it is instructions and advice for people in order to protect them from themselves!  Believe me, I tried my own way for a while, it didn’t pan out so well.  Thankfully, I found my way back to God and thankfully, he is a loving God and took me back.  God loves us and only wants good things for us, that is why he gives us instructions on the way to live.  For the meat eater, it is the same.  If only they could see that being vegan isn’t a miserable lifestyle full of “you can’t eat this or that” but instead a freeing way of living.  Freedom from hurting animals, the environment and OURSELVES!  But in both cases, it goes back to the same thing-people do not like to hear that what they are doing is wrong, or hurtful to others, especially since they probably like living in their sin and their meat and dairy.  But I pray, I pray that people will find Jesus and I pray that people will find veganism.  And for the record, God NEVER intended his earth or his animals to be treated the way that humans treat them.  Proverbs 12:10 says, “The righteous care for the needs for their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.”

I like Billy Graham and I think he is one of the coolest and best preachers of all time.  I came across this article one time on his website pertaining to animals…

“Yes, God made everything that lives on the earth — including the animals. In the beginning, the Bible says, “God said, ‘Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals….’ And it was so” (Genesis 1:24).

And yes, the Bible commands us to take care of the animals under our care. One of the signs of a righteous man, the Bible says, is that he takes care of his animals (see Proverbs 12:10). Even the animal of an enemy was to be treated kindly: “If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to take it back to him” (Exodus 23:4). One reason God commanded His people to rest one day out of seven was so their animals would be refreshed (see Exodus 23:12).

In fact, the Bible says we must never treat any part of God’s creation with contempt. When we do, we are indirectly treating our Creator with contempt. Instead, God calls us to be stewards or trustees of His creation, and the Bible reminds us that we are responsible to Him for the way we treat it. We’ve often forgotten this — but it’s still true, and when we ignore it we not only hurt God’s creation but we also hurt ourselves.”

And before someone blasts me and says that they ate meat in the bible, I will say this, yes, yes they did.  But they also ate a lot of grains and veggies and fruits.  Not every one was wealthy enough to have livestock to eat.  And they also were not factory farming their animals and abusing them as people do now.  These animals lived on the wide open land and grazed.  They were not locked up and forced to stand in their own poop.  When the people did  kill and eat their animal, they were very thankful because they knew this animal was providing them nourishment.  They were not eating out of gluttony, they were eating out of survival.  And the biggest difference, these people did not have access to grocery stores like we do now or UPS to ship them the latest vegan  salad dressing.  These people were eating to survive the best way they could with what they had.  We, being in the modern era, do not need to eat meat to survive, we have lots of other options.  And we, in the modern era, also treat our animals waaaaayyyy different than the people of bible times did.  So, yeah, those are my currents thoughts…..


Puppy mills aren’t the only bad animal mills

If you have not noticed, people get really really upset about animal cruelty when it comes to cats and dogs.  The puppy mill is one sector that gets a lot of attention.  These mills are disgusting.  The habitat is gross and unfit, most of the dogs are unhealthy and in desperate need of medical attention and the females are bred over and over and over.  This outrages people, and rightfully it should!  However, this happens with other animals as well and people seem to be fine with it.  Factory farming is just another way to say cow mill, pig mill, sheep mill, goat mill, etc…  These animals also live in horrible conditions and are in the same situations as the dogs in puppy mills.  But no one seems to care!  Dairy cows are bred over and over and over.  Their young are taken from them at 2 days old so that humans can have the milk.  They have their utters yanked on by machines daily.  Their utters become infected and horribly sore.  Add to the fact that the mother mourns for her baby.  She calls for the calf and if close by, but in a separate cage, the baby will call back.  Why does this not outrage people??? Oh yeah, it’s because they want something from the cow and feel it is their right to have it no matter the consequence for the animal.  Beef cows are packed in together and if they do get outside to “graze” there really isn’t much space for them.  It is common for them to live and stand in 3 feet of manure.  But, people are ok with this!  If it were a dog, oh help me Jesus, people would lose their minds.  I won’t go into how pigs are treated because I hope that I have painted a clear enough picture.  Basically, ALL ANIMALS MATTER!  One is not more valuable or precious than the other.  They all deserve respect and people should not pick and choose which get it and which do not.

you can’t fight evil with hate

Many people think being vegan is a diet….it’s not, it’s a lifestyle.  People become vegan because they love animals and want animals to be treated kindly and compassionately and not be used for food.  They also do not want to wear animal products.  It’s just not about eating healthy, although, that is one of the benefits of being vegan and eating a plant-based diet.  So we have a group of people loving animals and wanting them to be treated kindly, but sometimes, what I see from the vegan community is hate.

I follow several vegan instagram accounts.  Most are awesome and talk about fabulous recipes and discuss animal rescues….but others, their main goal is to slam people who are not vegan.  They make snarky memes that are just plain rude and more than not, they are riddled with curse words.  I don’t want to read that, and have unfollowed several IG accounts because of it.  But it bothered me.  These vegans talk about equality for all, kindness, compassion, but they do not show it to people. Do I hate animal cruelty, yes.  Does it make me want to throat punch the people and factory farms that do this, yes.  Would it help anything if I did, no.  What I can do, is educate people and live a vegan life that is an example for others.  I can strongly stand my ground and tell the truth without being a jerk.  The truth is, people have been fed a lie their whole lives.  They have been kept in the dark as to what goes on with factory farming and the animals and some just do not know any better. Some do, and just do not care.  But as I have said time and time again, “You cannot argue with stupid!”  You can just keep on keeping on and being a good example of veganism.

where’s the vegan food?

This past winter, we traveled quite a bit because my daughter is a competitive gymnast.  What did I discover….being a vegan is easy when you are home and have the power to make your own food!  Being at the mercy of restaurants here in the mid-west, good luck.  To make it even harder, I was a new vegan, so it was a real downer to go to restaurants and not even be able to order their vegetable platter because, everything was cooked in butter or with animal products (green beans & bacon).  Then add to the fact that I was the only vegan at the table and everyone quietly thinks I’m crazy for going vegan and then I’m struggling to find something to eat….it just got to the point where I dreaded going to a restaurant.  It was awkward and a hassle.  The best restaurants I found, were those that served Italian food.  Plain pasta with marinara sauce became my go to.  And salad, and fries.  Not the healthiest, but it was what I had to work with.  I used to love to go out to dinner, now, not so much.  However, yesterday at the mall (I went to a new mall, one that I usually avoid, but now that I love) and yippee yay, they have a restaurant in the food court that can make things vegan! With real fake chicken and everything!  It would be wonderful if more restaurants would follow suit.

There are just some days I wonder if I can do this.  Making two different meals every night is sometimes hard.  I am fully vegan, my husband is not.  My teenage son has decided to go vegan but does not like veggies and my pre-teen daughter is somewhere in between vegan and not.  Ha Ha, we are a hot mess.  So meal planning is a challenge most nights, but we make it work.  Then there are family gatherings and parties and whatnot.  It would be so easy to just go back, but I won’t.  At the grocery store yesterday they were giving samples of everything, everything that I could not eat.  I will be honest, the small tidbits of steak looked so good, but then again, the living cow that was forced to give up his life looked good too.  It looked good as a living, feeling, being who just wanted to have life and to be treated kindly.  Because, let’s face it, it probably did not have a great life frolicking in the pastures.  It’s too early in the morning to go to that dark place, but no matter, it exists.  Animal cruelty in the food world exists and it is prominent and it is every day.  THAT is why I walked right by that steak sample, for that cow and for the others that are mistreated and killed every day.  People do not know the reality of factory farming and many will choose to never research it because they do not want to know the truth.  They will proudly and usually rude proclaim “I love my meat and cheese and I don’t care about those animals!” To which I wince inside and wonder how they would feel if someone snatched up their dog and decided to kill and eat it.  Or better yet, if they actually went to a factory farm and saw those animals and then followed the journey of that animal from the farm, to the slaughterhouse and then to the grocery store.  They would not be able to handle the truth. They would not be able to handle seeing the fear and panic in the eyes of the animal, or the screams when they were being killed.  Those animals know exactly what is going because they hear the sounds, smell the smells and often they are witness to those being slaughtered before them.  Make no mistake, there is no such thing as “humanely slaughtered” as the animal agriculture groups like to say.  Those two words do not even go together.   How do you humanely slaughter something? They want others to do the dirty work of slaughter and they do not want to see it.  But they sure want to chow down on the dead critter.  There are reasons that kids and families take trips to fruit farms and not meat farms.  If you can’t handle seeing how your food is prepared, then maybe your conscience is telling you something.  My favorite saying these days is, “it’s an inconvenient truth” for people.  It’s an inconvenience for people when they are faced with the reality, because then they have to choose.

Being a new vegan

These are my thoughts on what it is like to spend 42 years eating one way and then drastically changing to embrace a cruelty-free lifestyle and diet.  I have always been an animal lover.  I will rescue anything….yet, I ate meat and dairy.  It never really clicked because that is all I have known and all I’ve been taught-much like everyone else.  But slowly, my eyes were opened and I stopped fighting with  my conscience and I went vegan.  This has been in the works for sometime.  I think it all really started to hit me when I was driving on the highway and I saw a huge truck carrying chickens in cages.  The cages were small and stacked 10 high.  It was cold and raining and the chickens were exposed.  They were cold and they miserable and as I passed the truck, I looked at the chickens, I really looked at them and what I saw was sadness and no hope.  Plain and simple, their life sucked and they had given up and were defeated.  I cried. I drove and cried for a long time. I thanked God that my daughter was asleep and did not see it.  It took a while before I could eat chicken after that, but I did go back to it.  But it haunted me and the look in the chickens’ eyes is something that I can never forget.  My thoughts kept coming back to why do we eat some animals and not others?  Why are we enraged when someone mistreats a dog or cat or when another country has a festival called Yulin where they eat dogs?  Yet we slaughter and eat cows, chickens, lambs, goats and pigs and treat those animals so inhumanely on the factory farms?  People have pigs as pets, yet still eat bacon!  If someone took their pet pig and ate it, they would have a fit!  So why, why do we deem one animal food and one animal a pet?  All are capable of love, of bonding, of feeling pain and sadness…..Fast forward a year and a half, and I no longer eat food that makes my heart hurt, and I am proud of that.

It was not just the chicken incident, it was the videos and the documentaries that I forced myself to watch on animal agriculture and  from where our meat and dairy really comes.  If more people knew the truth about how their meat was treated while alive and the fact that dairy cows are forcibly impregnated, only to have their babies snatched from them at two days old so that the calves’ milk can be taken and given to humans, I think people would think twice about meat and dairy, or maybe not.  Those calves, the females will be bottle fed until they are old enough to impregnate and begin the milk cycle….the males, they will be put into small enclosures and will become veal at only a few months old.  These dairy cows live this way for several years-getting pregnant, having their babies taken, having their utters mechanically jerked on day after day, and then when they are no longer good for milk, it’s off to the slaughter house.  So please do not be fooled by “Our milk comes from happy cows”  there are no happy cows, there are only sad mothers who have lost all of their babies and mourn for their young.  The babies, they yearn and bawl for their moms.  Not such a pretty picture, is it?

So, it all just became too much and BAM, I went vegan!  And I have never felt better!