I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have been brought up in a household that, though not entirely vegetarian, treated kale, broccoli, and spinach as main courses, and things like millet and quinoa as daily food staples. In fact, I owe much of my extraordinary physical, spiritual, mental and emotional well being to the dietary patterns I developed early on in my childhood. But I did not realize how important of a role my food paradigm would be until my freshman year in college.

As a student of philosophy, both then and now, I commit myself to an undying search for a conception of truth; and where truth is relative to beliefs, I seek to understand the systems, both spiritual and social, that validate ideas and ways of life as truths. When I started college and began my studies, I lost a lot of the control I had at home over what I ate. As a result, my diet was based on what options the school provided, and though its menu was vastly superior to other schools of its kind, I still found myself relying on burgers, pizza, and Mexican food. A few months later, I discovered John Robbins’ Diet For a New America and learned of all the major arguments against the consumption of animal products, as well as how deeply what we eat affects the rest of the world. Environmental, socio-economical, humanitarian, nutritional, and ethical ideas flurried around my head before slapping me in the face with the resolution that I was not meant to ingest things that were harming my body, my fellow beings, and the world at large. I immediately phased about 90% of all animal products out of my diet, save a cheese pizza now and then. A year and a half later, after reading a few more books on the subject, it was time to become pure vegan in order to solidify my newfound physical and mental clarity with a higher spiritual connection and congeal my lifelong commitment to a better way of life.

It might sound strange, but I found neither my first transition into vegetarianism, nor my switch to veganism difficult in the least bit. After learning the conditions under which the consumption of animals was and still is happening and seeing how clearly it connected to forms of social conditioning, negative karmic energy, and the overall corruption of the mind, I knew my actions needed to defend my ideals for a better world. So when people ask me why I am vegan, two years later, I maintain a holistic response: because of everything. I live vegan to defend my body from unwarranted nutritional devastation, to rid the environment of the toxic abuse that animal harvesting causes, to stand up for widespread truthful knowledge about how each and every decision that we make on a daily basis, right down to the things we put in our mouths, affects every living being on this planet and symbolizes how we see ourselves fitting within the grand scheme. I made the switch for my own well being just as much as I did for yours, for my future children, and for every being that suffers unnecessarily from severely antiquated and morally unjust patterns of consumption. And I have never felt better.
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