I had always considered my self an animal lover and said or did something when I witnessed any type of cruelty to animals. I loved watching animals in the wild, interacting with domesticated animals at home, watching movies and documentaries about animals, and yet I still ate farmed animals. I had no idea at the time that I was actually a carnist (where I had the belief to eat one kind of animal but not the other). I even bought into the myth of “humane meat/eggs/slaughter” not realising that those words together are an oxymoron. I bought “free range”, “grass fed” for quite a number of years, actually believing that the animals had a better life, believing the myth.
Mid 2012 our son Jaeger, who was six years old at the time, told us he didn’t want to eat chicken or pork (pig) anymore. We respected his decision but told him he still had to eat beef (cow) and fish because he needed them to be healthy, especially to get his protein and iron, etc. Another myth that we’d bought into. During that whole year I had been active against animal abuse via online petitions and attending several animal rights rallies, mainly to do with: whales, dolphins, seals, supertrawlers, live export, cage hens, sow stalls, puppy mills and exposes on slaughterhouses. I watched many hours of horrific cruelty to animals but I didn’t make the connection of what I was fighting against (selectively) to what I was still putting on my plate or in my cup. On January 13, 2013 I watched Gary Yourofsky’s “The Best Speech You Will Ever Hear” and it changed my life for good. It was the very first time I had heard a vegan (or anyone) speak about the ethics of eating animals and challenge me to critically look at myself and what I was doing and how I was a part of the atrocities to farmed animals; my demand (consumerism) equalled supply (modern farming & slaughterhouse practices). I really acknowledged the individualism of each animal and that they each have their own personality, family, feelings and right to live their life free from harm from humans. It was a massive wake up call as I finally took those blinkers off my eyes and saw the truth to what we are actually doing to animals. At the end of that 50 minutes, or so, I became an ethical vegan!
The next morning I told Pete, my husband, and Jaeger that I was going vegan. Jaeger asked me why and so I explained that I had finally realised that eating animals is morally wrong and that even the so called “humane” or “free range” labels were a complete marketing lie. I explained that all farmed animals still experienced atrocities against them legally because they were bred and farmed as property; they were stolen from their families, females raped for their babies or milk, beaten, locked up, surgical procedures without anaesthetic, branded, electrocuted, and the list went on. I told them that I no longer wanted to be a part of something so horrific and morally wrong, and Jaeger immediately said “I want to be vegan too”. I explained what that meant and he was adament. I told Pete that I felt I couldn’t buy or cook any animal products and that if he wanted them he’d have to do it all for himself; luckily for me he said that he’d try eating vegan at home.
I then had a big learning period ahead of me to find out about nutrition and how I could make sure we were healthy. I didn’t know any other vegans and didn’t realise there was so much support via social media groups at that time; I was completely alone on this journey. After a couple of weeks I then made an appointment with my doctor and she sent me to a nutritionist/dietician to ensure I was eating correctly. I had to keep a food diary of what we ate for one or two weeks and then had my face-to-face appointment. She looked over my food diary and told me that it was pretty good but I just needed to increase my legumes and nuts; easy peasy.
It took Pete approximately 2.5 years to also become vegan. He loved the food at home and finally made his own connection about his role in creating the demand for “animal agriculture” and couldn’t do it anymore. Now our whole household is vegan, and anyone who visits us eats vegan while they are here. I’m also very active on social media about veganism and my business is teaching vegan permaculture; I feel it is my duty to share knowledge on how to live vegan and provide tools and skills in growing our own food and designing our human spaces to cause the least harm as possible.
Since becoming vegan I’ve learned a lot about health and nutrition, the environment and animal rights. This website and my 3 facebook pages are a means to get that information out there to help others. I am now offering courses and workshops as well.
Thank you for visiting and I hope we can help you on your journey to a more peaceful and compassionate life. ~ Reisha xo