I began my life as a vegan when I started college back in 1992. Before then I was a vegetarian, a lifestyle choice I made when I was sixteen. When I was in elementary school I gave up red meat, a choice I made when I considered how pretty and soulful a cow's eyes can be.
I love animals. Always have. My affection for my own pets and the fact that I have never met an animal I didn't like (yes, even the creepy crawlies are delightful to me!)make vegetarianism/veganism an easy choice. We live near the Farm Sanctuary in Upstate New York. Occasional visits there steel my resolve and revivify my commitments. While I find it nearly impossible to avoid a food for my own sake, I find that I can easily reject the yummiest temptation when I think of the suffering I might cause another creature.
As my veganism evolved, I learned many more reasons to avoid eating animal products. Veganism is the best diet for a healthy planet. It promotes social justice. It encourages good personal health. It is difficult not to be a mindful eater when you are vegan. My veganism has been a gateway to knowledge about natural health and to a deeper appreciation of the plant world that sustains me.
My diet has recently been more complicated as I have dropped almost all wheat gluten from my diet and am now avoiding tomatoes and tomato products except those grown here in the New York with fair labor practices. I am working toward keeping my purchases local and organic. I also try to avoid foods that are over processed and over packaged. I am not perfect here but I'm working on it and enjoying the challenges in the process.