Connect with vegetarian and vegan friends from all over the world.
I am Nathan, currently 19 and avegetarian. Throughout my life I have always been influenced by others, especially my family. They are my role models and I wouldn't ever do anything to harm them. However, At every attempt to become vegan or vegetarian it was always..... That's a stupid idea, what will you eat? Its so much more expensive,vegetarians are frail and weak, what happens in America doesn't happen in Australia, How will you get the protein? How do you get iron?
I had watched Earthlings, Food Inc.,Foodmatters and almost every other healthy eating documentary I could lay my hands on, yet I still continued to eat meat. I increased myvegetable intake, and started eating more organics and health foods, and moved out of home and started a veggie patch which started off okay. Then one day I ran into a best mate at the snow. We got talking and some how came across the topic of vegetarianism, raw food diet and the future idea of becoming vegan. To me I thought it was going to be a very hard challenge, but I decided to go all out. He described to me the process of plants absorbing all the nutrients they need to survive through the soil. Soil is full of life and nutrients, hence when you eat a vegetable or a fruit you are eating something full of life, receiving these essential vitamins and minerals. When you are eating meat, you are eating dead animal flesh. Which in most cases is fed Gm corn, antibiotics, growth hormone etc. Not only is the term dead animal flesh unappealing, but the process's I once paid for to get this meat on my dinner plate are inhuman. The meat industry is a joke, it even sounds like dooms day prediction, yet people eat it off their plates everyday, like the lies they use to cover up the black walls of these mass slaughter houses and animal holding pens.
I returned home from the snow and did some more research and came across a guy called Gary Yourofsky. I was engaged by this man within the first 1 minute of listening to one of his lectures online. I think the thing that got me was the short clip of a man beating a cow up with his bare fists. A cow is a helpless animal, which has been domesticated and modified through unnatural processes to satisfy our human demands of beef, milk, cheese and many other products. If assaulting a person on a street is a criminal offence, why isn't assaulting a cow? We don't own them. They are in no way a possession to humans and should never be. They are an animal, and should exist in a mutual relationship with humans if in any relationship at all. From this point I gave up every meat product on the market, even my favorite chorizo. It wasn't actually hard at all. Not when you consider animal welfare, environmental issues, poverty issues and the impact being a vegetarian has on your health!
I then came across the documentary 'Hungry for Change', and everything just clicked. Humans aren't meant to eat meat. We are not designed for it. Well, not every day of the week anyway. We have sliding jaws, an alkaline stomach and a large intestinal tract. We share all the characteristics of herbivores. It seems only natural that we adopt a plant/tree based diet. However, 70 percent of people just don't understand this and probably never will.
My friend I met up with on that snow trip told me a quote his mother once said to him, I don't think I will ever forget it. He said 'In life there are always going to be people who disagree with you. You have to rise above them and lead the path. Through courage, bravery and compassion other people will follow'.
In the last 19 years of my life I have never ever heard truer words been spoken. So just like that I was on a mission, to make as many people as I can be vegetarian or better yet, vegan. Not everyone listens, but those who do are amazed and so intrigued, they look at you like you have discovered a cure for cancer. And quite literally you have. Once you open a door to something new all you want to do is find out more and more. Knowledge is contagious, and the satisfaction you get from informing a friend about how leading a meat free diet actually changes the world is ecstatic.
I am young, and one individual in a world of billions. I am pretty insignificant really. However, I am an earthling. I have parents, brothers, sisters and friends just like any other animal on this planet. If one minor change in my diet can save up to 100 animals per year, reduce my impact on the environment, and make me a healthier, better person. I guarantee it can do the same in millions of others. This journey has been amazing so far and I hope it continues as long as i live.
In life there are always going to be people who disagree with you. You have to rise above them and lead the path. Through courage, bravery and compassion other people will follow!
PS. If every one of us inspired ONE person to go meatless imagine the difference we could make in ten years time. I am going to collect inspirational vegetarian/vegan stories to share with everyone. If you think your story will inspire others, please share with me by sending it to email@example.com. I will post your stories to www.veglov.com blog. I believe everyone has his/her own story, I think it must be great when we can share our stories and inspire others. Let’s make the world a better place. ~ Xiao Kang.