It’s been almost a year since Kevin and I went vegan and it’s been the most fulfilling time in our lives – out of many reasons. But nothing comes easy and so we (especially I) struggled a bit with my emotions and my new committed mindset. Not because of my beliefs, or out of food options – not at all, because that was easy all along out of our strong beliefs – but of outer influences towards my/our new lifestyle and ‘how it is affecting others’.
I was suddenly facing situations I thought I never would, well, probably I knew it would be an issue at a certain point, which gave me a very tough time. Especially my relationships with non-vegans.
Side by side, we fight for animal rights.
OUR HISTORY WITH VEGETARIANISM AND VEGANISM
Our journey started basically overnight in late December in 2017. I (Kerstin) have been a vegetarian for 8 years – 8 years too long if you ask me now. Kevin has been eating a vegetarian diet for approximately that long too, but went back to eating meat out of convenience concerning his work out, and lack of knowledge thinking there’s no way around, but went back to a vegetarian diet in summer 2017 for the animals. When I first met Kevin 7.5 years ago though, he was a vegan, but as he says today ‘definitely out of the wrong intentions and not strong enough reasons – because I was young and didn’t know better’. It didn’t go with education on the animal industry, and that was why we didn’t go vegan earlier.
By eating a vegetarian diet, I’ve always thought I’m doing the right thing in order to be kind and loving towards animals. We both thought we would save the animals but have never questioned what truly lies behind the milk industry – how much suffering and death it actually causes to feeling, breathing living beings. We also never thought about what milk contains, from a health point of view – estrogen hormones, pus, feces, blood, too much calcium for a human being beside absurd and unnecessary cruelty, loss and death. But by knowing our weaknesses and lack of knowledge, we use it actively to educate others and show others the truth.
WHEN REALITY AND TRUTH HIT US HARD
Last year in December Kevin and I were supposed to visit friends in Germany but didn’t make the flight. Instead, we stayed home and got to take some time for ourselves. It was an emotional time in general and we both came from different directions towards a vegan life. Kevin was doing his personal coach education at that time and was highly inspired by Patrick Baboumian being vegan. I honestly have no idea what specifically triggered it in me. I was thinking on how much we already lived off a plant-based diet and strive for a vegan lifestyle through our moral beliefs, but the chocolate was the only non-vegan thing at home. Super stupid and super unnecessary, if I look back at it now.
Kevin and I already were committed to veganism because of the animals, but I remember choosing to watch the documentary ‘What the Health’ on Netflix (Trailer linked to the documentary) and that what truly intensified our commitment. It went deep and strongly straight into our hearts. It made us think even more and gave us the space to put things together and in perspective. It made us reflect and it was frustrating at first because a lot of things were new to us in a way that we never thought about it. For both of us, all walls broke down and we could see what we’ve been blind to all the years: an animal holocaust happening right in front of our eyes, behind industry walls, nicely wrapped and presented to society as necessary and ‘healthy’ through advertisement methods of happy and healthy cows, chickens and pigs smiling from billboards and out of magazines.
I realized that my morals didn’t match my actions anymore. It hit me hard.
I realized that I have been lied to all my life. I realized that I was a puppet to society beliefs based on lies of the animal agriculture industry – to capitalism over dead animal corpses. I realized my convenience coupled with my lack of knowledge and the belief through what is commonly stated as a healthy diet, made me stick to vegetarianism – for 8 long years. I thought I was not harming any animals, instead, I was supporting their exploitation and killing. I realized that the influence of my diet wasn’t any different than meat eaters one. With my money, I directly supported the industry and therefore the killing of animals. I realized I was still putting the animals in slaughterhouses through my life choices. I realized that vegetarianism is a diet to make people believe they’re doing something good for the animals, but are no harm to the animal industry because they still fund animal exploitation. And all of a sudden I realized that my morals didn’t match my actions anymore. It hit me. It hit me hard. And it hit me good.
We made an unspoken promise to each other: to never go back to any other way of thinking and living our lives. There is no going back anymore, just moving forward.
Therefore we decided to get active not only within our social environment but also towards anybody, who comes into our lives. We both started to be active on twitter, facebook and instagram stories and posts in order to educate our surroundings and making the public aware of the cruelty and unnecessary killing they’re part of and sponsoring by spending their money on animal products. We started offering help to talk about veganism and still do to that day. We got involved with the non-violent street activism movement ‘Anonymous for the Voiceless’ and educate people face-to-face on the animal industry.
When we first separately confronted us with the vegan topic and separately watched content which helped us understand individually, we had no idea how much of a change it would bring. How much change it would bring within us, to each other and of course to people around us. Positive change as well as not so positive one, concerning a few relationships to people.
We had no idea how much it would bring us more together and fight together and be active together out of the same values we both carry within our hearts, to do the only right thing: to be kind, compassionate and actively making a change for the animals – day by day.
We both want to inspire and motivate others to think about their actions and morals as well and choose an honest, pure and kind, compassionate and loving lifestyle as well. Where ever we can help someone else to do so – for the animals – we’ll do so.
Please note: All definitions of words and/or stated facts are based on the correct terminology and are carefully research and the sources taken are linked here or directly in the blog post. This blog post is also stating a personal opinion and views on certain topics.
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Photos by Herzflimmern