The absolutely true story of how veganism chose me
I’m always asked why did I become a vegan. The question pops up randomly, and everytime, I answer shortly by saying there are three main reasons: ethics, environment, and health. Although that’s true to some extent, the decision came about because of a YouTube video. Somehow, in the world of the internet, I stumbled upon a talk by Gary Yourofsky. The lecture was eye-opening. He made a connection between animal agriculture and the Holocaust, stating if the animals in slaughterhouses were replaced by people, then it would seem to be a Holocaust, and there would be an uproar in society. However, due to brainwashing advertisements that created the distance between animals and humans, it’s alright to put innocent beings through this suffering for food and clothes. As a human being with any sense of morality, the idea of unnecessary harm was outrageous. I continued to watch the 48 minute video with a genuine sense of curiosity. Yourofsky spoke passionately about how illogical it is to eat animals. Next, Yourofsky showed footage of animal slaughter. I told myself at this point that I was going to watch the murder no matter what. Yourofsky then stated that if the video was not good enough for your eyes, then why would it be good enough for your stomach. The video was absolutely horrific. It began with a chicken laying an egg covered with pus and blood. The video ended with a decapitated cow. The details are unnecessary, though it was deeply disturbing. I immediately knew I did not want any part of animal agriculture. The rest of Yourofsky’s talk was supplemental, convincing me to make this change. He shifted from the ethical, logical side of veganism to the environmental reasons for the lifestyle. He mentioned that half of the land used for growing crops are fed to livestock. He related this to world hunger, stating that every two to three seconds a person dies from hunger, but we do have enough food to feed the whole planet. Instead of feeding the world, we feed the animals that are soon to be on our dinner plate. He also mentions that animal agriculture is the worst contributor to air pollution, water pollution, and deforestation. Yourofsky discusses briefly about the foods a person should eat. He suggests that people should eat food that comes from the Earth, and humans can receive all the nutrients they need from whole plant foods. At this point, I was convinced. Not only was I disgusted of the idea of eating meat, but I resonated with the logic behind veganism. Every aspect felt right to me whether it be to avoid unnecessary harm, to save the environment, or to eat food grown from the earth. All of it made sense to me. From there, I made my way through a couple more videos on YouTube. Most of them focused on the benefits of a whole food plant based diet. Those were extremely helpful in debunking myths around veganism, which left no excuse but to try the new lifestyle.