Between 2003 and 2009, I was a “vegetarian for the animals.” Shhhhhh, vegans, quit laughing. Seriously though, I had NO CLUE about the atrocities of the dairy industry until I read the book “Skinny Bitch.” I had heard it was sort of veggie friendly and funny.
So I’m taking a hot bath one evening and reading in the tub when I get to the dairy chapter. It started out super funny! I laughed out loud. And then… well, the truth came out and… I cried… hard… I realized my mistake. I felt horrible for having unknowingly and needlessly inflicted not just pain but agonizing life-long torture on other sentient beings. As much as I loved my cats and dogs, how could I do this to other intelligent and loving animals just like them? Just like us.
See, I believed in the fantasy of the green grass farm and happy smiling organic free-range dairy cows gladly giving their milk to us. But now the illusion was unraveling… eggs, cheese, butter, etc… it all fell apart at once with a splash as I hit the surface of the bath water in anger.
I felt horribly guilty. Almost unbearably so. I allowed myself to believe in a lie because it helped me to feel better about my choices justified by “alternative facts” nutrition. I tried calculating my collective sins in my mind… it was just too much. I realized they weren’t just numbers… they were SOMEONEs. I saw their eyes… terrified… knowing… aware… Suddenly, I was awake now too. Aware. Distraught. Betrayed. Angry. Compassion and love realized. I went vegan in that bathtub and haven’t looked back.