Going vegan - a CIS student’s perspective
Whenever someone finds out that I’m vegan, the first question they ask me is why. I usually go with a short and simple “I don’t want to support the livestock industry anymore”.
Typically, I try to avoid this subject altogether since I don’t want to sound like I’m forcing my opinion on other people. However, I feel like veganism has become accepted enough now to make people genuinely curious. That’s why I’m actually going to explain why I went vegan.
The biggest and main reason is obviously for the animals. Some time back, before I went vegan, one of my friends became a vegetarian because people were always asking her why she was still eating meat if she loved animals so much. When I first heard about it, I thought, “well, that’s dumb. Of course you don’t have to be vegetarian to love animals.” However, I kept thinking about it and it slowly began to make more sense.
I then watched part of a YouTube video on the health benefits of being a vegan. At first, I thought it didn’t make any sense and that it was absolute nonsense. It wasn’t until a few months later that I began thinking about it again and actually did some research. One of the things I did was watch a presentation called “101 reasons to go vegan”.
As I watched the video, the point that struck home for me then was this: if you place a basket of strawberries and a pig in the same room with some adults, what do you think would happen? A few people might take a strawberry and eat. They might also look at the pig and say “oh how cute” and pet it. But would they chase, kill, cook and eat it? Probably not. The presenter explained that humans don’t have the same instinct as wild animals like lions, which is to hunt other animals for food.
I decided I would explore this subject a little more so I tried to watch Earthlings, a 2005 American documentary film about humans' total dependence on animals for economic purposes. Unfortunately the documentary was too gruesome so I could only watch the first 10 minutes of it. It was at that point I decided I wouldn’t support animal abuse if it were up to me. I also became really intrigued by the environmental impact of the livestock industry, which is the other reason why I decided to go vegan.
All of this took place almost 3 years ago and I don’t regret it. Would I recommend people to go vegan? Yes, but you should definitely do your research beforehand to see if it’s something for you. For example, you can watch documentaries on Netflix like Cowspiracy, Rotten or Forks Over Knives that discuss the harm that the livestock industry inflicts on the environment and our health. I personally believe that the environmental and ethical benefits far outweigh any “sacrifices” you have to make.