Resources from my vegan journey
I first started switching onto veganism in 2013. Unfortunately, I didn’t really know that veganism was an option. I didn’t know any vegans. Nobody had ever told me I could be one.
I already avoided meat because that’s a no-brainer and I was growing increasingly intolerant of dairy so was experimenting with lactose free, goat and soy milks. But I was still completely oblivious to the violence inherent in the dairy and egg industries, and the use of unnecessary animal ingredients in a variety of common foods and products. I didn’t realise how insanely unnatural consuming animal excretions was nor how terrible it was for my body.
To help you along the journey of uncovering what’s really going on, here are the best resources that helped me over the past 3 years. I hope for you the “journey” is a lot quicker, and with some guidance you can arrive there straight away without the long detour I took.
Gary Yourofsky, The Best Speech You Will Ever Hear
There are a few variations of this speech on Youtube, so the version you watch may slightly differ from what others have seen. However, it’s a fantastic look at the ridiculous double standards and selective compassion we have for certain animals, and our cognitive dissonance that disconnects us from the damage we cause by eating animal products.
Melanie Joy – Carnism: The Psychology of Eating Meat
Melanie Joy is a social psychologist that coined the term carnism (the invisible belief system, or ideology, that conditions people to eat certain animals). She talks about analysing why we choose to eat animals and becoming a more active agent in making our own decisions about whether it is moral or not, rather than just leaving ourselves subject to social conditioning. I strongly also recommend reading her book ‘Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows.’ This tears down your defences over why it’s OK to treat a cow in a way you’d never dare treat a dog.
A vegan educational staple. Pack your tissues, and be prepared to look away from the most graphic scenes. But watch it. Educate yourself. Try to understand what the animals in our food system go through to make it to your plate. This is an important step in uncovering your compassion. You need to understand what’s happening. You’ll cry, but use that emotion to fortify yourself against carnist criticism. You’re making the most compassionate and rational choice.
Forks Over Knives
An important health documentary that highlights how animal products are not only unnecessary for human health, but the negative effects far outweigh any supposed benefits. If you don’t yet know much about nutrition other than the (heavily debunked) food pyramid, this is a must-watch. Great to share with anybody in your family that is living with poor health.
This doco looks at the deeply ingrained corruption along all steps in the American food chain, and why our governments’ nutritional guidelines are in contravention of basic human nutritional needs. The nutrition we’re taught is commercial advertising, it’s not scientific. It also explains how unnatural Western food production has become and talks about the impacts on our environment, health, economy and workers’ rights.
There are plenty more resources out there such as Cowspiracy, but by the end of these 5 resources I was vegan. And since making the change I’ve cured my asthma, almost completely eliminated chronic fatigue syndrome, generated a more youthful complexion, kept my weight down, and have had fantastic iron and B12 levels. All the while increasing my junk food intake, because dairy free treats aren’t as bad for you!
Every year vegans save around 185 animals lives. How many have you saved this year?