Today’s blog post is going to be a bit different then the last few. If you have had a moment to look over at our Get To Know The Townsend’s post or you just know me then you would have learned that I am vegan. So today I thought I would share when and why I choose to become a vegan and how that has looked and changed over the years.
I became a vegetarian at the young age of six. I was born and raised on my grandparents land and they had a farm. In between my house and my grandparents house was a pasture where the cows were kept. My grandparents also had pigs, chickens, etc. So here is how the story goes. I actually don’t remember this since I was so young at the time, but this is how my mom tells it. I was about six years old when one day we were all sitting around the table eating. I had grown very close to a certain animal on the farm and considered that animal my friend. I had noticed that my friend was no longer out on the farm. So at the dinner table I brought up the topic of my friend and asked where they were. This is when my grandfather made a comment to the effect of “you’re eating them”. This traumatized me! For the first time I was learning that the food I put in my mouth three times a day is the same as the animals that I love to play with. Apparently I told my mom shortly after that incident that I no longer wanted to eat animals. My mom of course said ok and didn’t think much of it. She figured that it was just a phase that I was going through and when I got hungry enough, I would eat it and the phase would be over. Little did she know that phase would never end and only grow deeper and stronger.
From the age of six until about the age of twenty I was a vegetarian. My “diet” did change and evolve over time. I started out just your normal vegetarian. This meant that I did not eat meat, but still ate eggs and dairy. My next step in this process was to give up milk. I then gave up eggs, but wasn’t reading ingredients yet so I did still consume packaged items with eggs in them. Then one weekend in January of 2012 I went to visit some friends for a few days. At this point I was a pretty strict vegetarian who didn’t eat meat, eggs, or milk and was really good at reading ingredients and avoiding items that had those things in them. I was still eating cheese though. While at their house for the weekend I ate only vegan as they were both vegan. After that weekend I realized that I didn’t miss cheese as much as I thought and that being fully vegan wasn’t that bad. Once back in Nashville from that trip I chose to continue being vegan and I’ve never looked back.
There are many reasons that I went vegan. Originally as a six year old I gave up meat because for the first time I made the connection of where my food came from and I didn’t want my friends to get hurt. If only the whole world could see animals through the eyes of a child! No child is ever thinking about killing an animal to eat it. As I grew older my reason for being vegetarian and eventually becoming fully vegan was health. Once you read the data and the studies, there really is no going back. I highly recommend everyone picking up the book The China Study and reading it. It was one of the first books that really opened my eyes to the health side of veganism.
Once I made the choice to become vegan, the process grew and developed, just as my choice to be vegetarian did. Once I finally gave up that cheese and got my food choices in order, I started too look at other parts of my lifestyle and making changes there as well. I stopped buying anything that was made out of animals. So I no longer bought leather, wool, fur, etc. I started looking into my beauty, skin care, bath, etc products and switching those over to plant based items.
I am still always open to growing and learning when it comes to this lifestyle. This was not and is not a diet to me. This is a lifestyle.
By Dust To All,