My "vegan anniversary" was apparently just a bit ago. Looking through old journal entries, it seems I went vegan around September/October of 2006. Happy 5 Year Vegan Anniversary to Your Blog Doll!
It surely doesn't feel like half a decade has gone by and in that time, I've never regretted or questioned my decision to go vegan. It has brought so many positive things into my life. Veganism has given me a new set of eyes regarding food production, animal agribusiness and agriculture, health concerns, and moral beliefs. I've also met many wonderful individuals, experienced so much great animal activism with Mercy For Animals and Vegan Outreach, tried all kinds of food I never would have even dreamed of prior to being vegan (and expanded my palette so much), started this blog of mine, and have had the peaceful experience of volunteering at farm animal sanctuaries and interacting with species that probably have more in common with us than humans believe. To me, it is a blessing to wake up everyday knowing I am directly withdrawing myself from such horrible cruelty made by factory farms and being natural and healthy in the process.
The best action one can do is practicing what you preach. Think about your actions and what effect it will have on others, big or small. It gives you a sense of personal accountability that I think people tend to ignore. Veganism is living by my values and appreciating all walks of life.
If it weren't for veganism, I would have never been so moved to help others reach the conclusions I have made regarding factory farming, the environment, and health. I learned so much about myself and my abilities to lead, open up and share, and accept (whether it is confrontation or unbelievable support). It has made me a better, more well-rounded person. For that, I'm entirely grateful. My friend wrote a great article on her website, "The Wrong Kind of Activism", that I urge people to take a look at.
One of the proudest moments in my life was when I won the Youth Activist of the Year award during Mercy For Animals Celebrating Compassion Gala here in Chicago in 2009. I think most of the award winners probably feel as I do. I will leave this entry with the short, but sweet, speech I gave that night that I think signifies the point:
"Thank you to Mercy For Animals. Thank you to everyone that is here tonight. Without your support, Mercy For Animals could not continue their life-saving work. We are the voice for the voiceless. Any of our efforts, big or small, show our collective work for the animals. These acts of kindness are immeasurable in value. Each of you here tonight show that a group of people who believe in one unselfish goal is beautiful and has the power to build a better tomorrow. Because of this, I feel that we are all award-winners. For that, please give yourselves a round of applause. You truly deserve it. Thank you!"
|SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary in Michigan|
So, thank you to those who read this blog. I'm glad that my decision five years ago has helped others try new vegan food and get involved with animal activism. ♥