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Veganism Finally Getting Some Respect

Story ID:11039
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:various various usa
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If you remember Roger Dangerfield- then you remember his famous lament- I get
no respect. Well, I believe the early vegans could probably have said the same
thing re their new diet lifestyle which said no to all animal products. But today,
they and all of us who have adopted this compassionate lifestyle realize that
hopefully this diet is finally getting the respect it deserves.

My family had thought when I became vegetarian in 1976 because I so loved
Peaches, my adorable Sheltie mix, that I was making a huge mistake and was
probably jeopardizing my health. Little did they know that it was probably they
who would be the worse off health wise because of their heavily meat and dairy
diet which also perpetuates the cruel raising and killing of farm animals.

Of course, Peaches was probably not too happy when she realized that our Saturday
breakfast of bacon and eggs would disappear because of my vegetarianism, but
she got over it. And then even I would soon have to eliminate a favorite sandwich
which I often prepared for my job downtown at the City of Cleveland. I was fortunate
that my job enabled me to attend daily liturgy at the Cathedral and then I would still
have time to eat a simple sandwich which I almost prepared daily. Made with a slice
of cheese, a sweet pepper slice, and mayo, it was evident that my tastes were not
gourmet, but I certainly could care less and found the sandwich delicious and satisfying.

But then in April 1983 on the way to the Madison, Wisconsin Primate Center to protest
animal cruelty there, I got into a conversation with a young man re what we ate. He
asked me if I ate cheese. And then he asked me if I knew that many cheeses were made
with an enzyme from the stomachs of pigs or calves.

Shocked, I became vegan on the spot, and I have never looked back these 33 years later.
How grateful I am to that young man whose name I donít even remember. How grateful I
am to God for giving me a compassionate heart. How grateful I am that it didnít take a lot
of thought before I became vegan- because for me it was a no-brainer. My cheese sandwich
caused pain to an innocent farm animal. It was that simple. And then no one should ever
feel deprived because health food stores carry so many similar products basically made
from soy.

And today I read Natalie Limaís post where she asks 3 Animal Right Investigators to share what
their reasons were for doing their undercover work. Mike Wolf said he became an undercover
investigator after his dog died. He then started becoming more aware of things and began
seeing how animals were treated. In a few weeks he became vegetarian and wanted to help

T.J. Tumasse said it only took reading 2 chapters of Peter Singerís ĎAnimal Liberationí before
he decided to become vegan and fight for animals. In his first job at a Tyson slaughterhouse
in Georgia he thought he had been prepared- but now admits that the reality was much different.
Being there he said that a part of him never left, and he will never get that part of himself back.
It changes who you are.

And then I liked Nelson P.ís paragraph in the comment section which pretty well encapsulates
the need for veganism:

ďThis information about animal rights is certainly an eye-opener. It is time Americans seriously
opted for veganism. This nation is not blessed for one reason that it does not treat Godís creatures
with respect. People must realize that animals are not food. But, with generations of Americans
brought up on a heavy meat-based diet, most will find it difficult to switch to veganism. Cruelty
will endure so long as we eat the flesh of animals. But cruelty will also endure more so because
of human greed. These factory farms have only one thing in mind and that is how to exploit these
living creatures and maximize profits. Whatever one may say, at the end of the day Americans are
as cruel as the Chinese, Indonesians, Africans or an any other race in the world...Ē