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Vegan Month of Food, Day 18: My Island Kitties, the Four Earthlings Who Inspire my Veganism.
I’ve been vegetarian for about 16 years, a decision that was made by my innate and passionate love for animals, and inspired on my first trip to my family’s ancestral home, Iceland, where the animals killed for food are not hidden behind distant slaughterhouse doors. I attempted to go and stay vegan beginning in about 2010, but I will admit freely that I initially struggled with abandoning being an “easygoing vegetarian,” which allowed me could find a meal even at a steakhouse, to more overtly removing myself from many aspects of American - particularly American Southern - food culture… Being “difficult.” I had known for a long time that the animals involved in dairy and egg production suffer, and yes, even “happy cows” on more “humane” farms suffer when they are separated from their young (so that humans may drink their milk), and even “happy chickens” come from a sick hatchery system where “surplus” male chicks are killed in grinders en masse, but I am ashamed to admit that I ultimately, initially failed to step up.
Since I got my four Island Kitties, animal welfare has been on my mind, and I cannot ignore it for the sake of my own convenience. Watching my kittens play, snuggle, eat, and purr every day, and caring for them so deeply, it saddens and infuriates me that all animals of similar sentience do not have this basic quality of life.
Thank you, my sweet Island Kitties, for inspiring my vegan journey, for giving me the necessary “push” to take the widespread cruelty to animals seriously enough to be an advocate. Thank you for forcing me to realize that I cannot truly be against animal cruelty if I pay for it to happen. Of course, I realize that being vegan does not make me some sort of “perfect citizen,” but if I can thrive without exploiting animals… Why wouldn’t I?