Early in 2012 I started reaching out to vegan friends on twitter to ask them to share their testimonials. My hope was that by getting vegans to share their stories we could educate and inspire others and give people first hand accounts to replace perceptions or stereotypes. I’m incredibly grateful to those that have participated. Their stories speak for themselves! If you enjoy the series please let us know!
When I was 15 years old I was given a DVD at school. I went home and watched it. It was a factory farm DVD. I watched entire film. Felt sick to my stomach to where I couldn’t even eat a piece a lettuce the rest of the night. The next day I did my research, reached out to my high school friends who were vegetarian. I gave up meat slowly. The last meat given up that was difficult for me at the time was fish. In a matter of time I gave up all meat completely. I was vegetarian up until I was 20 years old.
One day my husband and I went to the warped tour in Jacksonville, Florida. There was a PETA booth there. I spoke with one of the volunteers. He gave me leaflets, plus gave me his own opinion and knowledge on the dairy industry. I listened to what he had to say, went home that night and looked at the horrific photos. I didn’t realize at the time about the lives of calves, how it is related. Calves were taken away from their mothers to be placed in a box, chained by the neck, not able to turn around for days, then slaughtered. After their calves are taken from them, mother cows are hooked up, several times a day, to milking machines. Using genetic manipulation, powerful hormones, and intensive milking, factory farmers force cows to produce about 10 times as much milk as they would naturally. I did my research again for a few months.
I wasn’t going to classify myself as a vegan to everyone until I knew I could stick with it. I did. I’ve been vegan now for 7 years. It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. I love animals. I feel it’s a personal choice. Being vegan has made me feel healthier. I feel happier and have more energy.
You can follow Marissa on twitter @veganmarissa
If you’re feeling inspired and want to submit your own vegan testimonial please read this post. You can also read the interview Kasey Minnis (@veggiemightee) did with me about this project on This Dish is Veg.