Saturday is International Earth Day and I’m celebrating it big this year!
This year’s theme is: “Environmental & Climate Literacy”. Earth Day will be celebrated more than any other Earth Day in the past, partly because of the lack of support of the new Trump administration, but also because we need to do more to help save our beloved Mother. She is sick!
The official March for Science in Washington DC — as well as smaller marches around the world — are taking place on Earth Day to spread awareness of how important science is to saving our planet. Please take a moment and look for an event nearest you.
I’m not marching this time because I have other nature-related plans, but I’ve got something to announce! It’s official, I have (finally) made the transition from vegetarianism to veganism!
I’ve been working up to this moment, both emotionally and physically, for a few years now, but after talking with a few amazing women and receiving more information about the dairy industry, the last straw was drawn yesterday and I didn’t even get to eat my Easter veggie lasagne leftovers.
Dear Cheese. I’m sorry, but we’re done. Cheese was the only thing holding me back from living a vegan lifestyle. And believe me, I honestly was addicted to cheese, regardless if science proved otherwise.
Although my decision really has nothing to do with Earth Day, there is a strong connection with turning vegan and my love and respect for Mother Nature and everything she offers. I feel her presence every time I go on a walk with my dog, sit down to pick the weeds, plant a new tree or harvest a hokkaido pumpkin or rhubarb stalk in my garden.
When I’m outside, either digging in the dirt or walking in the woods, I’m most happy. I was basically raised in the woods and as a family, we camped a lot. My mom was also the one who taught me to respect all living creatures, big and small, weak and strong. May she rest in peace.
Now, it’s time to give something back to Mother Nature. Even if it’s just a little drop in a huge ocean, every drop is important when decreasing the demand for an industry that is severely doing harm to animals. And a little less methane in the air can’t hurt either.
Why I made this decision:
1: It Breaks My Heart
I don’t know about you, but when I watch films and a human dies, I honestly don’t care or shed one tear, but euthanize Marley and I lose it! I was raised in a world full of animals. We had a dogs, cats, birds, fish, a guinea pig and many rescue wild animals along the way. I always had a heart for animals.
ALL animals have feelings. They are able to communicate and show respect and love. They feel pain and they can get depressed. It breaks my heart when I see any kind of animal abuse, whether it be putting a lion in a cage at a zoo, or a bird in a cage in your house or taming an elephant for a tourist to ride or for a circus stunt.
So if this stuff bothers me, how can I live with myself when male chicks get shredded, cow udders get infected or their tails cut off without anesthesia and of course when farmed animals spend more time inside than out? Answer is: I can’t. I’ve been living with this guilt for a long time and although I feel guilty for not taking this step earlier, I have to forgive myself and welcome the transition now.
2: The Animal Food Industry is Unnatural
Baby calves are taken away from their mothers shortly after birth. We’re told because it poses a threat for the baby since their survival rate is low, so it’s better to separate them early and feed them with a bottle. Hhmm, what’s wrong with this picture? Female mammals are physically equipped to feed their baby. Period.
And, I guarantee that if you just had one cow mama and her baby in a field and provided them with freedom, shelter, food and water, they would thrive like you wouldn’t believe.
3: I Have Trust Issues
I do not trust the food industry. With all the chemicals, gmos, antibiotics, steroids and processing that is done to food, no wonder so many people are getting sick. It really scares me and I certainly don’t want to eat poison.
Thank goodness for the internet and social media because now, we are able to do our own research. However, we’ll never know the whole story because many things will always be hidden from us. So, with veganism, I at least know I’m decreasing the poison just a little. yay!
btw: I’m a Marketer, Not a Judge
I am 100% for personal choice. I’m the only vegan in my family. Sure, I do make faces when they talk about preparing their meat dishes in front of me and yes, I do have to walk away from the table when my husband eats a chicken neck. What the??? But, I don’t try to change my family, nor anyone else and they certainly know they’re never gonna change me. I even have good friends who are dairy farmers and I wrote on my private FB page that I still love them, but I just can’t eat dairy at their house anymore. It’s all good.
I would, however, love to see more vegan and cruelty-free companies thrive and become a standard, not a novelty.
Originally published at jesslohmann.com on April 20, 2017.