So many of us grew up eating what was put on the table, accepting it as nourishment for our bodies without asking questions about how these foods came to be. When clothes shopping, all the stories we’d ever been told drew obvious conclusions that leather equaled quality and stuffed down was the right kind of winter coat, and so animal products naturally came to fill our closets.
These narratives began to chip away for me as a teen. Exposed for the first time to footage of animals in factory farms and the heartbreaking slaughters they were led to so that humans could eat and wear them (Alec Baldwin’s deep-set voice forever takes me back to the day), my young mind was confused. How had I not made the connection between “Babe” and my mom’s pork dishes? How hadn’t I realized that the sweet cows I loved to watch graze on the Korean countryside were the same animals my father took pride preparing for us? We’d always joked that steaks were dad’s one and only trick in the kitchen, but the more thought I gave it, the harder it was to find the humor. Making the connection between living, sentient beings and neatly wrapped packages of meat led me to finally contemplate what kind of discomfort and suffering we must be subjecting these animals to in order to consume them in such large numbers. Along with the footage that inspired me to see food in a different way (Meet Your Meat), there are countless documentaries that shed light on the issue of big animal agribusiness and the pain it inflicts on not only animals but our planet and within ourselves: Cowspiracy (available on Netflix), Earthlings, Glass Walls, and Forks Over Knives to start.
These documentaries articulate the reasons for abstaining from animal products more effectively than I can. Please take a moment to watch them and consider what we as a society are inadvertently taking part in — there is a different way and it’s so much better than using animals. Since taking the plunge into veganism the summer of 2013, I’ve grown into a much more honest version of myself and am so grateful to be here every day. With this honesty comes a compassion for all living beings (humans too) and an appreciation and respect for life that I myself am often surprised by. It’s a lifestyle that means making purposeful effort to heal the planet with daily choices (or at least trying our best). Sharing tools and inspiration with as many people as possible in as encouraging a way as possible is my goal and what I hope to convey to you through brave heart habitat.
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Thanks for being here. ❤