By Lauren Nicole Balaras-Rice
In 2023, the majority of us in the Western world have access to free education and resources now more than ever. Is there really any excuse not to educate oneself on veganism and its benefits anymore?
Non-vegans commonly ask me what made me stop eating dead animals. It feels tiring to me to keep having to explain why I don’t eat animals or animal products, but I feel like I need to channel this energy to educate and inspire.
I remember seeing a quote online that said “self care is also choosing not to over-explain yourself or argue with people who are committed to misunderstanding you.” I’m going to remember this next time the non-vegans come at me in real life. There is certainly a lack of education around veganism. Clearly a major misconception that being vegan somehow means being ‘restrictive’ which actually couldn’t be further from the truth.
I learn a lot via reading. There are statistically over 20,000 edible plants to eat, yet non-vegans are the ones eating the same five dead animals in rotation. That’s much more ‘restrictive’ in my opinion. I’m so glad I converted to veganism because it’s truly something I feel so passionate about. It doesn’t make much sense to me that I’ve been in countless scenarios where I’ve been sat around a dinner table and the non-vegans start on me, when I’m just sitting eating and minding my business, doing no harm to anyone (no pun intended.)
From my experience, these people have tended to be a lot older than me, sometimes (mostly) double my age. Even though I find myself drawn to older people, I absolutely cannot tar everyone under the same brush. It is worth noting that the older generations have more extreme conditioning due to the teachings they experienced growing up. It is more likely that the majority are not as open to change or new ideas.. I love my parents and grandparents, but a high percentage of their generation don’t tend to question anything, they will listen to the news and just believe what they’re told.
In the spring of 1985, tobacco companies began advertising cigarettes as beneficial for pregnant women .… I think we can all collectively agree that is wrong. One of the biggest myths that people still believe to this day is that “milk makes your bones grow stronger.” Harvard proved that there is absolutely no correlation between drinking cow’s milk and strengthening human bones. This was just an advertising ploy and marketing tactic from the dairy industry to sell their product.
Another example of a myth in animal agriculture is that eating meat is manly… I suggest to watch ‘The Game Changers’, it reveals that people have been brainwashed into believing they obtain their protein from eating chicken. This documentary highlights that the chicken is simply the middle man, the protein comes from the chicken eating the plant. So vegans just directly get the protein from eating the plants – without harming and killing an animal in the process.
I just want to add that I wasn’t brought up vegetarian or vegan. I was taught all of the myths growing up and it has taken a lot of unlearning and reparenting myself in order to educate myself properly and live my life cruelty-free the way I do now. It is media and society that heavily influences and controls the way people think and behave. But once you wake up, there is no going back, the future is vegan.
About the Author
Lauren is a certified teacher and trauma-informed spiritual healing coach specialising in coping with stress / depression, anxiety and burnout as well as grief guidance. She works remotely online and has a passion for veganism, travel and conscious living.
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