NOTE: I became a vegan seven months ago after being a lifelong omnivore. This post was prompted by a discussion on Facebook and a note I wrote to a relative following that discussion.
I just wanted to say a bit more (off Facebook) about my intentions with today’s posts. Yes, some members of our family lived into their 90s. And had cancer and heart trouble, too. The incidence of cancer is extremely high in our family, and only some of that (according to doctors) is directly traceable to genetics. Much of it is directly linked to diet.
Add to that the fact that my kids’ mother, father and grandfather have all struggled with weight issues, and their other grandfather is dead from heart trouble, and I really started to think about how we’re living and how we could live better.
Plus the plain truth is that eating meat is destroying our planet. According to the UN, the environmental harm caused by factory farming is greater than that caused by all the transportation networks in the world combined.
And — and this is the argument I always had to ignore for myself all those years I ate meat — animals are sentient beings with feelings and families and a desire to not be in pain. We don’t need to eat them. We are harmed physically by eating them and drinking or otherwise using their byproducts. So we have to say, “I think it’s justifiable to kill and eat these creatures or use them in other ways so that I can have pleasure, regardless of the consequences for myself or the world around me.” What pushed me over to being vegan was that I could no longer keep saying that.
I’m definitely preaching like a new convert, but that’s not because I just figured this stuff out. I just finally had the courage to do it. And I really care about the people in my life and want them to be healthier, too. And I think if we as progressives are going to keep talking about the environment and corporate control and health care, this is a simple step we can take to walk that walk.