I have always considered myself a good person but never before going vegan did I really get involved in thinking about or fighting for social justice.
Becoming vegan has opened my mind to thinking about the entire world differently – often from the perspective of the oppressed. I believe it has made me a better person, not only because I’m no longer paying people to be cruel to animals – an act I would never do myself – but also because I am now a much more critical thinker, a more understanding person, and a person who has realized, hey, I’m not always right. For 20-something years, I ate animals without thinking about how it affected anyone – not even me.
Now I think often about how the oppression of animals affects us individually and systemically – and I’ve added to those concerns other issues like racism, sexism, and nationalism. Being vegan has opened my eyes to many injustices, to how interrelated they are, to how similar they are. It has given me confidence and conviction to stand up and be different, to speak out even when it’s hard, and to do my best to model just behavior.
I’m far from perfect. FAR. I still spend too much time on selfish activities – and I’d argue that even the seemingly selfless ones are selfish because they make me feel good – but I’ve come a long way. And I’m never going back.
And I’m never going away.