סעלאַברייטינג די טאָג איך געגעבן אַרויף עסן פלייש

הייַנט איז מיין 4 year veggiversary. It was 4 years ago today that I gave up meat (including fish) and became a vegetarian. Within 7 months of this date, I would become a vegan.



Some people think that this date “doesn’t count,” that it is not as important as the day one becomes a vegan. נאָך אַלע, vegetarians who consume dairy, eggs and honey are still complicit in animal suffering. Vegetarians may not eat the dead body parts of animals but they may still wear leather, wool or silk and use products tested on animals. Being a vegetarian means following a diet while being a vegan means living a lifestyle.



אָבער, I believe that the day I became a vegetarian does indeed count. אין פאַקט, it may actually be just as, if not more important, than the day I became a vegan. Let me explain why.



I ate meat for over forty years. I loved meat. My whole life I claimed to love animals while eating meat. I declared how I would love to become a vegetarian but could never give up chicken. But on the very same day that I watched the video “טרעפן דיין פלייש,” I did give up chicken. And beef, כאַזער - פלייש, lamb, fish and all other flesh foods. I didn’t give up meat because I didn’t like it or didn’t think I’d miss it. I gave it up with reluctance because I loved eating meat but I could no longer be a part of the torture I witnessed. I couldn’t unsee what I had seen, I couldn’t unknow what I had learned. Four years ago today, my entire world changed because my walls of denial were torn down and there was no going backwards.



So why didn’t I immediately become a vegan? געזונט, as unbelievable as it may sound to many people, I didn’t know what a vegan was then. I don’t think I had ever heard the word. I didn’t even know any vegetarians, let alone vegans.



Like many people, I didn’t know there were problems with the dairy and egg industries. I didn’t know what dairy cows go through. I thought cows just always had milk to give, that if they didn’t get milked, they would be in pain. It never dawned on me that cows, like humans, only produced milk if they were pregnant. I remember asking as a child if eggs were baby chicks and being told they were unfertilized. Why would I have known about male chicks or battery cages?

I know I’m not alone on this. Maybe it’s being raised in the city, maybe it’s the misconceptions that get passed down from generation to generation, maybe it’s the lies fed to us by the food industries. Whatever the reasons, I didn’t think about cows or hens in my day-to-day world. It was only when I became a vegetarian and began reading books and watching videos that I learned the ugly truth. And once I did, I set about to changing the way I ate yet again.



The more I learned, the more I knew I had even more to learn. Once the floodgates of knowledge opened, the amount of information was astounding. Not just food, but clothing, toiletries, קאָסמעטיקס, cleaning products, jewelry and more. It seems never-ending. Even now, 4 years later when I consider myself a well-informed vegan advocate and activist, I still learn something new almost every day. Palm oil. Deforestation. Vitamins. Faux fur. There is always something new to add to the “We Don’t Use, קויפן, or Support This” list.



My point is that if I had never taken that first step to become a vegetarian, I may never have taken the next steps that led to my becoming a vegan. Do I wish I had become a vegan from Day One? Of course I do. I also wish I had become a vegan decades ago. But that’s not my story. That’s not my journey. Some journeys begin with a single step rather than a giant leap (although for me, giving up meat did feel like a giant leap and still does).



One step leads to another. No steps lead to nowhere. So while I will never be fine with the idea that being a vegetarian is “good enough,” I do believe it is a good start. And I do believe it is better than not starting at all.



אזוי יאָ, I celebrate this day. I look at where I’ve come in just 4 short years – all the knowledge I’ve acquired, the activist I’ve become, the friends I’ve made, the organizations I support, the sanctuaries I’ve visited, the foods I’ve learned to eat, cook and love, די 116 לבס. I’ve lost, the illnesses and medications I’ve gotten rid of, the blog I created and the cookbook I’m writing.



I look at how The “V” Word I had not heard of 4 years ago today is now on my lips dozens of times each day. The whole purpose and direction of my life changed and it all began with that first step 4 יאר צוריק הייַנט. I say that’s very much worth celebrating, wouldn’t you?



Happy 4-Year Veggiversary to Me!!

די “V” וואָרט: זאָגן אים. עסן עס. לעבן אים.

(באזוכט 168 מאל, 1 וויסיץ הייַנט)

, , , ,

11 רעספּאָנסעס צו סעלאַברייטינג די טאָג איך געגעבן אַרויף עסן פלייש

  1. Aimee Dars יולי 24, 2012 בייַ 1:09 PM #

    Congratulations to you!

  2. ריאַ פּאַרסאָנס יולי 23, 2012 בייַ 5:49 בין #

    Thank you veganelder. And thank you for being an inspiration to me.

    Cinderella, I don’t know how you found me but glad you did. Welcome to the V World. I’m here for anything you need.

    דעבי, thank you so much for your kind words. They mean so much 🙂

  3. דעבי יולי 23, 2012 בייַ 4:00 בין #

    קאָנגראַטולאַטיאָנס!! Thank you for sharing your story. It isn’t always easy to find these much needed positive and inspiring vegan stories like yours.

  4. אַנאַנאַמאַס יולי 22, 2012 בייַ 9:40 PM #

    I don’t quite remember how I found your blog but I’m glad I did. I’m reading all your postings and I love your recipes. Thank you for doing this as I’m new to the V world.
    Cinderella

  5. veganelder יולי 22, 2012 בייַ 9:11 PM #

    קאָנגראַץ! And thank you on behalf of our planet and all who live thereon. 🙂

  6. ריאַ פּאַרסאָנס יולי 22, 2012 בייַ 5:25 בין #

    Thanks Quincy, I’m glad to be on the same team too!

    Thank you Karina. I appreciate the kind words.

  7. Karina יולי 22, 2012 בייַ 4:55 בין #

    Congratulations Rhea, that is indeed an accomplishment to celebrate! My story is very similar to yours, and I’m still learning so much every day. Living a vegan lifestyle is one of the things I am most proud of! Here’s also to sticking together and spreading the word on behalf of all animals. Thank you for sharing your story and for sharing your wonderful recipes.
    Karina

  8. quincy יולי 22, 2012 בייַ 4:44 בין #

    Great Points Rhea and Congrats ! I am so happy you are on our team <3

  9. ריאַ פּאַרסאָנס יולי 22, 2012 בייַ 2:50 בין #

    Thank you Iwona and Rosemary!!

  10. Rosemary יולי 21, 2012 בייַ 11:28 PM #

    קאָנגראַטולאַטיאָנס, and Happy V-Day Rhea! Your story is beautiful and touching. Thank you for your wonderful blog and stupendously creative recipes! xo Rosemary

  11. אַנאַנאַמאַס יולי 21, 2012 בייַ 3:05 PM #

    Happy V-Day Rhea.. You are glowing. I have been vegan since February and stories likes yours are inspirational to me and support my own growth. Thank you for sharing. Iwona


שלאָגן קאָונטער צוגעשטעלט דורך מאַראַנץ קאָונטי פאַרמאָג פאַרוואַלטונג