I’ve recently passed my first year anniversary of eating a strictly vegan diet.

I was vegetarian on and off many times in my life, starting at age 16 while traveling in Africa and seeing so many amazing animals there. Unfortunately I was never able to be completely vegetarian for long and gave up trying for most of my life. I think I’ve been able to eat vegan for this long due to my increased knowledge on the subject, the increased number of vegan food options and supplements options available and the fact that being vegan as opposed to vegetarian eliminates the use and potential over use of dairy on a vegetarian diet. I feel the supplements I take now have been critical for me remaining vegan for the last 14+ months.

My main reason for being vegan is that I don’t want to be responsible for any animal suffering or death and I want to do what I can to reduce the negative impact that animal ranching has on all creatures, the earth’s environment and the planet as a whole. A bonus of being vegan is the food is so much cleaner, healthier and more flavorful. I’ve always been disgusted by having raw meats in my kitchen, the smell, bacteria and diseases of meat make cleaning so much more difficult and time consuming.

I now take a B12 supplement which has helped even though I try to take a multiple vitamin everyday. I also think my use of vegan Algae oil DHA/EPA has been very helpful and is one reason I’ve eliminated any cravings and the fatigue I’d experienced before when trying to be vegetarian. I also take Calcium and D3 daily when I remember.

I enjoy meeting other vegans because I feel that ethical vegans are some of the most sincerely compassionate humans on the planet. I know there are many caring people in the world who have not yet learned of and accepted the truth of all the horrors that animal agriculture causes so of course I’d love to meet them as well and hope that someday they will accept the truth and adopt a vegan diet as well. Most of the population has been conditioned to think that eating meat and dairy is normal and necessary, but I feel it’s very abnormal and not at all necessary. I feel at an early point in human evolution, we may have needed to eat meat to survive, but that is no longer the case. We now have so many other food choices, all we have to do is walk into any grocery store and buy vegan food. I post pics of vegan food and recipes and other animal/human rights related things on instagram @fellowcreature. I have a website with links and info on plant-based eating, veganism and animal/human rights etc… called fellowcreatures.com.

If you think food animals are treated humanely, please visit @anonymousforthevoiceless on instagram. Watch some of the videos there and you will see proof that they are not.

There are many great vegan recipes and food ideas on the web and on instagram.  Two popular accounts on instagram for vegan food are @forksoverknives and @bosh.tv.

I haven’t actually watched this film (I want to but am worried there might be disturbing footage and since I’m already vegan, I’ve been putting it off) but I know it’s made a huge impact on many people. Check out Cowspiracy.

Eating a vegan diet isn’t just about helping cows, chickens, pigs and fish either. Animal agriculture is destructive to the entire planet, it’s a major cause of global warming and deforestation which has led to the near extinction of many animals including one of human’s closest relative, the orangutan. The orangutan could soon be extinct due to rain forest destruction to make room for cattle ranches and palm oil production (which is another subject). To some people eating fish may seem less inhumane than eating beef for example, but fish also want to live, AND wild fish populations are depleted, so there’s less for endangered wild sea animals to eat AND commercial fishing causes a great deal of harm to all sea creatures. For example the Right Whale is extremely close to extinction. The North Pacific Right Whale population is now approximately only around 300, down from over 20,000 before commercial whaling nearly killed them all. The Right whale is now a protected species but they are still in great danger of becoming extinct due to commercial fishing gear entanglement, right whales can become entangled in fishing gear and marine debris, either swimming off with the gear attached or becoming anchored. The Right Whales are also killed by vessel strikes, ocean noise pollution, biotoxins and climate change.

Please consider adopting a vegan diet if you haven’t already done so, or at least commit to reducing the amount of animal products in your diet.

Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I can’t yet claim to being absolutely 100% vegan because although I’m trying to eliminate leather and even faux leather from my wardrobe, I did recently have to buy footwear with leather accents for back and knee problems I was having and I did buy an inexpensive multi vitamin at Target with gelatin in the ingredients. I don’t like to take too much iron or iodine (a personal preference due to thyroid issues) in my supplements and the vegan options with no iron or iodine cost at least 10x as much….. I do alternate the cheap multi from Target with the inexpensive vegan Deva multi-vitamin (which has iodine). I’ve been donating all my old leather clothing and accessories to thrift stores but then I did buy a couple of wool rugs at the thrift store without thinking about it. I’m keeping the wool rugs for now, but won’t be buying any more.