"I've noticed that quite a lot of people who are prominent in the animal liberation movement are Jews. Maybe we are simply not prepared to see the powerful hurting the weak." --Peter Singer (Author, Animal Liberation)


My Four-Year Vegan Anniversary

Four years ago today, I went vegan. I had already been vegetarian for three-plus years. After attending the national Animal Rights conference the previous summer, I began pondering my consumption of eggs and dairy products more critically. If I was vegetarian because I opposed the way animals were treated in factory farms and slaughterhouses, shouldn't I also oppose the industries that subject animals to comparable if not worse conditions for their milk and eggs? (Those animals will be slaughtered for their flesh eventually, I might add.) I'd like to share a few points about adopting a vegan diet:

* I went vegan the day I returned to college for the spring semester. I had planned everything out: I didn't want to throw out and waste nonvegan food in my refrigerator during the previous semester, so I went vegan when I felt I could have a "fresh start."

* My first meal as a vegan was at a Chinese restaurant that has the wonderful slogan "Think Globally. Act Locally. Eat Noodles."

* January 11, 2003, was also the first time I drank alcohol outside religious contexts. I was at a college party ... yada yada yada. I had considered myself straight-edge up until that point (and I screamed my brains out singing Minor Threat's "Straight Edge" eight days earlier), but for some reason, I felt liberated and chose to drink that night--although it certainly wasn't a lot, and I still don't like to drink too much. One of my friends said going vegan instead of being straight-edge was the best tradeoff I could possibly make, and another joked that I'd wind up on crack if I ever went kosher. (I essentially am kosher "by default," but that's another story for another time.)

* I adhered to a vegan diet strictly for about three months, until late April. For about a year after that, I avoided milk and eggs but ate foods that had those animal products as ingredients. I was embarrassed to admit this to other animal rights activists at the time, but now I see things differently. I highly encourage people to transition to a vegetarian or vegan diet if they think that's how they'll be able to stick with it. After being vegan for a while, I really don't miss animal products, and I think being vegan is easy. If transitioning is what can help get people to that point, then I think it's a good thing.

Need help getting started? Order a free vegetarian starter kit!


  • At 1/24/2007 7:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    likied your vegan blog i am veg not vegan yet what can we do about our jewish festival where chickens are raised abouve the head and swung about wildly maiming and killing them with no regard to their chicken rights. this is a disgusting thing to do. how do we get the brethren to stop??? alicealice

  • At 1/24/2007 8:31 PM, Blogger heebnvegan said…

    Hi Alice,

    Sorry I don't see your contact info, so I'll just post the response here. How to get a tradition to stop? I don't have an answer for that question. Check out my 10/23/05 and 11/12/05 blog posts about this very topic. Send me an e-mail (mcroland@gmail.com) if you want to talk about this more.


  • At 2/10/2007 8:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I agree. Sometimes it is worthwhile to change/stop a tradition, if you are willing to pay the price. Sometimes the price is higher (or too high) to maintain the tradition, especially where it causes pain to self or others.


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