Back in April of this year, my anatomy class performed a fetal pig dissection as a part of a lab. At this point in my life, I ate meat almost every day. I loved it all, from pork to beef to poultry. I had never seriously considered going vegetarian. But as I sat there hacking into the body of this tiny unborn animal, something changed. Questions began to flood my mind. How did my school acquire this? Had a pig been impregnated, just to have her baby ripped away from her too soon, purely so that my class could do this experiment? What happened to the mother?
Then I realized that this wasn't any different from the pigs I was eating on a regular basis. Pigs raised simply for the purpose of being killed. In theory, I could have eaten an animal from the same farm that supplied the pig for this experiment. Something clicked in my mind, and that night when my mother served grilled ham and cheese for dinner, I just couldn't bring myself to eat it. I kept picturing the gray, lifeless body of that tiny animal in front of me. I imagined how cute and intelligent the little piggy would have been if it been allowed to live and be free. I have been vegetarian since that day.
But that wasn't enough for me. Over the next month, as I did more research into the meat industry and became a part of the vegetarian community, my eyes were opened to the horrors of the egg and dairy industries as well. I have always been lactose-intolerant so for me, the decision to cut out dairy was an easy one. If I could do my part to prevent more babies being separated from their mothers, while feeling better, I would. Plus, who really wants to consume milk once they realize that it's literally just calf growth fluid? Gross. Eggs were the next to go. By June I was fully vegan.
People always ask me if it's hard, and I can honestly say no. There are so many amazing and accessible alternatives to animal products out there that the only thing I ever really miss is cheese. And I have hope that I'll find a good substitute for that as well. After all, its only been three months. Being vegan makes me feel good physically and mentally. I still get all of my daily nutrients (yes… even protein) without feeling like I have to compromise my morals. For anybody who is considering cutting out meat or other animal products, I highly recommend it. Even if you start small, you can still make a difference for yourself and for the animals. If you read this whole article and think I sound ridiculous, then I encourage you to watch "Cowspiracy" on Netflix and see what you think!