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“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow, is if we change. The only way that we can learn, is if we are exposed. And, the only way that we can become exposed, is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”
- C. JoyBell C.
Since it is June, I wanted to create a blog post about this beautiful lifestyle that I live. June 4th was a very special life-changing day for me that I will never forget. That date is still very special and dear to me because of my lifestyle change.
On June 4, 2010, I became vegan overnight. I completely changed the way I ate and what products I put on my body for starters. It was the best and easiest decision I ever made in my life. On June 3, 2010, I ate a cowburger and fries from Burger King. That was the last animal I ever ate. Months before that, I began feeling sick every time I ate animals and dairy for some reason that I did not know after recovering from a stomach infection, but am incredibly thankful for to this day. I fully understand now. I really had no clue. I really was unaware. I am awake now, I am aware now, and I am not just living – I am thriving. I didn’t have any health problems, but I did not want to feel unhealthy anymore. I began to think. I educated myself. I read Skinny Bitch, The Ethics of What We Eat, and The China Study. Many, many more books and also documentaries were to follow. I would continue to learn, but not just from books and documentaries – but, from everything.
Veganism is not just about animals. Veganism is not just about food. It’s about health, life, love, equality, peace, kindness, compassion, and freedom. Veganism is a movement, a message, and a lifestyle. A permanent lifestyle for me. I feel alive, free, amazing, healthy, and strong. I love being healthy. I love being strong. I love educating. I love learning. I love life. I love love. I love helping. I love animals. I love people. I love smiling. I love eating plants. I love changing lives. What’s the most significant change that stands out for me? I feel that I am living a life of meaning and purpose. I never felt that before, much less even knew what that meant.
I never try to make anyone become vegan. I make it my intention to never, ever be pushy, judgmental, or forceful. These will not help people, animals, or the environment in any way. I tend to make an impacting difference through leading by example. I don’t expect everyone to follow.
I want to make two things clear: 1.) Someone may eat vegan, but that alone, does not make them vegan. Along with not eating animals, animal by-products (gelatin, carmine, honey, etc.), and dairy, we do not wear animals, we do not use products that contain animal by-products, we do not use products that were tested on animals, we do not support circuses that use animals, water amusement parks and resorts that use animals, amusement parks and resorts that use animals, breeders, puppy mills, pet stores, zoos, hunting, fishing, animal racing, horse carriages, rodeos, bull fighting, fur farms, and laboratories that test on animals. We support animal sanctuaries. We live by kindness and compassion. 2.) There is the misconception that all vegans are healthy. This is absolutely not true. There are many unhealthy processed vegan foods. My health is my first obligation. I believe in the power of fruits and vegetables.
I opened my eyes. I opened my heart. I am an animal lover, rescuer, defender, and helper. I don’t stand by and stay quiet if there is something going on that I know is wrong. We share the earth with animals. Why not respect that? I firmly believe that they have just as much of a right to live a pleasant life as we. I view all animals equally, and not as property, or objects, but as living beings – as someone. I know that not everyone is vegan or even intends to be, but if even just one person is inspired by this, that is great!! Why not wake up, stand up for what you believe in, and thrive?
“When I look into the eyes of an animal, I do not see an animal. I see a living being. I see a friend. I feel a soul.”
- Anthony Douglas Williams
I send a very special ***THANK YOU*** to all vegans living this lifestyle with me! We live with kindness and compassion as a priority, a driving force, and as an inspiration. Let’s continue to help make the world a more compassionate and kinder place for all lives. This is my story. I invite you to share yours! When I think of the saying, “Treat others the way you want to be treated,” I immediately include animals and even the environment. Earth is the only place we have to live on. Our bodies are the only place we have to live in. There are endless ways and recipes to eat whole, healthy plant foods. There are body care products that are clean, healthy, chemical free, and cruelty free. I challenge you to open your eyes, to open your mind, and to open your heart to be the absolute best You that you can possibly be!