Why I Turned Vegan

The Genesis of a Revolution

Jerusha Jose, III Year B. V. A. Fine Arts

With 2 years under my belt in art school, fighting stress, and pushing deadlines; I found the time to catch up with my best friends from school. Just like the old times, we planned a casual meet up at ‘Fruit Shop’, the timeless hangout spot back in the day. After a few awkward minutes of silence, we got the conversation rolling; talking of movies, sports, college and more.

When it was time to order, everyone else assumed the order will be ‘the usual’- 4 chocolate milkshakes. When one of them placed the order, I interrupted and said: “Can I have an orange juice instead?” All of them stared at me as if I had asked for both of their kidneys, for I had broken our tradition. I stared back at them with an air of nonchalance and answered their wordless question, “I am a vegan, been one for almost a year now”

As the server went back with the order for 3 chocolate milkshakes and an orange juice, my friends turned back to me and looked at me in shock as if I had confessed to being a serial killer. The string of questions that followed made me feel like I was being interrogated and, at the same time, as if I was at a Los Angeles Juice Cleanse Convention.

“It’s one of those fads, isn’t it?” “Are you trying to lose weight?” “So no more leather bags?” “Have you lost weight?”“Are your college friends making you do this?” “Are you trying to reinvent yourself in college?” “Don’t you miss chicken?…Paneer?…What about chocolate?” “Are you trying to be like Ariana Grande? Miley Cyrus?”

The answers to all those questions came out in the flow of negativity as I translated my mental notes to verbal pieces. My facial expression and awkward fidgeting made it clear I did not want to pursue the discussion. As they noticed this, they swiftly changed the topic to fashion, very obviously not touching upon leather. The truth was I did want to discuss Veganism but wasn’t sure how to go about it. Well, now I do.

Veganism now popularised by celebrities who want to lose weight or stay fit has misinformed the public that Veganism is a ‘diet’. But it’s not.Veganism is a lifestyle, a choice – made by animal lovers and activists who do not want to exploit God’s creations by shedding their blood. Vegans don’t indulge in the use of any animal product or by-product, such as meat, fish, eggs, milk, and neither in other products derived from animals such as leather, silk etc.

We have been stereotyped and in so many false ways. According to the ill-informed, we either are trying to lose weight or trying to act cool or will shove our opinions down others’ throats or will burst into a sudden picketing or can only eat tasteless meals.

Since Veganism isn’t all ‘raw’ and healthy foods, we don’t do it for the sake of losing weight, we do it for enriching our lives. We aren’t doing this because we think this is ‘cool’, sure the likes of Ellen DeGeneres and Brad Pitt are vegans too, but we are all passionate and have the same goal to liberate animals from being exploited and to return to Edenic perfection.

To all prospective vegans out there, if you truly love animals and understand the rapid rate at which hundreds of animals die every day, stand up for what you believe in. The transition from a non-vegetarian to a vegan can be hard, but if you think of all the abuse these animals go through, whether it be excruciating pain or death, you will realise we believe in a greater cause than our taste buds. So what do you say? See you at the Vegan Fest in February?

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