Let’s start with why I didn’t go vegan.
I didn’t go vegan for the animals. This doesn’t make sense considering veganism is an animal liberation movement, but, like many so-called vegans, I thought veganism was more of a diet than a lifestyle. I didn’t understand the true meaning of veganism until my research began.
Here are the not-so-vegan factors that drew me to what eventually became true veganism.
I didn’t want diabetes
Type II Diabetes is incredibly common in the black community. My maternal grandfather died in June of 2015 after complications from diabetes. My paternal grandfather had his leg amputated and died before I was born, and his son (my father) has diabetes now. My grandmother has it, my uncle has it, and I can’t even count the extended family members that have it.
I think a combination of financial, educational, and cultural factors go into “catching” a lifestyle disease, so I vowed to keep all these area intact to decrease the chances of developing it myself. Vegetarianism was cool, but low-sugar veganism seemed even more effective.
I started studying Buddhism
I practice a form of insight meditation called Vipassana. When you begin a Vipassana retreat, you agree to 5 precepts: no lying, no stealing, no killing, no sexual misconduct (rape), and no intoxicants. In keeping with the “no kill” agreement, every Vipassana center is vegetarian.
The diet worked in the early days of Vipassana because vegetarianism probably did mean no killing. But since I know male chicks are ground up in egg production, baby cows are slaughtered in milk production, and animals lose their lives every day in the name of fashion, I had to go vegan to completely fulfill my agreement.
I wanted to demonstrate integrity
My final reason for going vegan was to make a promise to myself that I would finally keep. I wanted to live my truth and I wanted my truth to be something that impacted more than just myself.
So that’s my story! Did anyone else get into veganism through an alternative route?