Monthly Archives: June 2016

Why I Am Transitioning to Veganism

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I recently decided to become vegan. There were lots of reasons, a few of which I would like to elaborate upon. I don’t wish to offend anyone. I only want to explain my viewpoint.
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I went vegan because in my heart I could not reconcile slaughtering and eating a turkey with adoring and obsessively doting on my cats. How are they different from each other, except how we as a society view these animals (one being food, the other being family)? Many cultures, whether due to tradition or religion or necessity, eat different types of animals than people eating a standard American diet. Some chow down on cats or dogs or grubs or monkeys; others would never dream of eating a cow or a pig as they consider them sacred or unclean.
It hurt my conscience to know that I ate tuna fish from a can yet owned betas and guppies and other types of fish in tanks over the years. I couldn’t justify eating crab after owning and caring for hermit crabs. I’m a very principled person, and I couldn’t stand my own hypocrisy any longer. Just because I love my pets, it doesn’t mean they are in any way more valuable in the world than the cats people eat overseas. All animals are sentient beings who desire to live — they only want what I do, what my cats do, what all of us do: a long, full life, filled with days of no pain and no fear, and a peaceful end.
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I “mother” my cats, making sure they aren’t scared or hurt; why should I pay someone else to kill any other animal, who wasn’t “lucky” enough to be born a human or a purebred, papered, expensive Saint Bernard puppy? Until I became vegan a month and a half ago, I was in an ethical dilemma centering on whether or not I truly loved animals. As silly as it sounds, I cried the day I hit a pheasant while driving to work last year, yet fried chicken was one of my favorite foods for a long time. They were both birds, so I should, theoretically, feel fine about killing both or neither, right? But it wasn’t like that. I felt awful about killing one, and intentionally bought and ate the other. In my head, it made perfect sense, until one day it just didn’t.
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Plants have every vitamin and mineral necessary for a healthy life, without the health risks associated with eating meat (including obesity, Mad Cow disease, and high cholesterol, with its higher rate of heart attacks and strokes). The exception, of course, is Vitamin B-12, but most people don’t get enough of that whether they eat meat or not. Eating a plant-based vegan diet has been scientifically and anecdotally proven to have positive benefits, mentally and physically, for those who follow it.
The decision, for me, amounted to this: eat meat/dairy/eggs, with my family history of stroke, cancer, and other scary stuff, just because it tastes good, or save countless innocent lives and reduce my own health risks in the future by eating a full, well-rounded diet of plants. The choice was easy. I’m no longer emotionally conflicted. As an added bonus, I sleep better knowing I am “the change I wish to see in the world.”
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Peace and love.
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Music You Aren’t Listening To But Should Be: The Dixie Chicks

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This is part of a continuing series. Here’s the first, on Billy Joel, and the second, on Matchbox 20.

Admittedly, country music is not my preferred genre. That being said, I do love a surprising number of country bands and solo artists, both old and young. One such group is the Dixie Chicks. These women are incredibly talented, beautiful, and courageous, and I couldn’t recommend that you check them out more highly.

1.”Wide Open Spaces”: Written as a tribute to growing up and going off on your own, this is one of the first songs the band released after Natalie Maines joined as lead singer. It is a song about experiencing new things, meeting new people — essentially going on an adventure and not being afraid to do so.

 

2.”Not Ready to Make Nice”: This song is one of their more recent hits, and was released after the band received media backlash when, during a concert performance in England, they infamously denounced President George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. While the controversy over their comments swirled, the band wrote this song to express their own anger and sadness at how people were reacting to them. It won three Grammy awards.

 

3.”You Were Mine”: My favorite song from this band, the lyrics describe the common but heart-breaking situation of one partner falling in love with someone new and the other not wanting to let go. It has a haunting melody and genuine emotion behind the lyrics.

 

4.”Landslide”: While originally written and performed by Fleetwood Mac, this song very naturally shifts into a country vibe and fits the Dixie Chicks’ vocal and instrumental abilities perfectly. Furthermore, while this is completely unimportant and superficial, the three ladies each look absolutely stunning in this video. I’m fairly certain they are actual goddesses.

 

5.”Goodbye Earl”: In this song, the band tackles some tough topics: domestic violence and murder. Sadly, it brings to light some of the flaws of our justice system, in that while someone is in theory protected by a restraining order, it is, in actuality, often an ineffective method of defense. All that aside, this song’s set to an upbeat rhythm and makes for an ideal group karaoke tune on girls’ night.

 

It was incredibly hard for me to only choose a few of the many great options from the Dixie Chicks. I may have to do another post on this band in the future. Until then, I also suggest checking out “Without You” and “Cowboy Take Me Away.”

Peace and love.