Tag Archives: Vegan Reasons

Which Resistance Are You In?

I often think back to the night I went vegan. It was a Sunday evening in November of 2013. I was sitting on the bed trying to find something to watch on Netflix, not thinking of much in particular. My husband and I had recently seen friends, all of whom were either vegan or vegetarian (including my husband), and we saw them often. Usually our time was spent playing video or board games, talking and having a laugh.  As was custom when we got together, we usually ordered take-out. In the beginning of our friendship (I had met this group through my husband who had known them all for years), I was the only meat-and-dairy eater in the group and at first, I was the asshole kind: I would order a meat dish just to prove some point that now seems lost on me. But as time went on, and as I got to know each of them better, I started ordering vegetarian dishes. I had reached a point where I didn’t want to offend their beliefs, even though I still clung tightly to my own.

Here’s the other thing: I genuinely liked them. They were fun, funny, thoughtful, and smart people who embraced me from day one. And without saying a word about their veganism, they were influencing me. They didn’t know it but the more I hung out with them, and the more I saw all their animal-free products and animal rights books and T-shirts, the more I began to see animals and the people who represented them – vegans – differently (spoiler alert: stereotypes are usually bullshit). Continue reading

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Why I Don’t Like the Term “Animal Lover”

I am waaaay late to this New Year’s party but Happy 2017 everyone!  Thanks to all of you who’ve been reading my old posts while I’ve been procrastinating for the past two months.

Over the holidays, I encountered a few scenarios where someone, after finding out I was vegan, referred to me as an “animal lover.”  Though attributing this label to me was not meant to be an insult, I find the term presumptuous, inaccurate, and as I’ve written before, dismissive.  Not only that, but it’s become more of a statement than an expression, the kind I might have printed up on a business card like a Private Detective or Chartered Accountant: “Nicola Sark – Animal Lover.” The term paints me with a very broad stroke, enforces a stereotype, and doesn’t get to the heart of why I choose not to eat or wear animals. Continue reading

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Call Me Vegan

There’s this thing that some people do when they find out I’m vegan but don’t want to ask me directly about it or don’t know how.  They spend extra time telling me about their pets, regaling me with stories of the funny thing their dog did on the weekend or how they just got a cute little kitten and wouldn’t I love to see the pictures?

Um, unless I can show you a picture of a rescued cow or chicken in return then…not really.

I think I understand where the extra effort comes from.  I feel as though on some level they’re trying to show me that they’re not bad people; by going out of their way to demonstrate to me how devoted they are to their pets proves they love animals, e.g., Sure I eat some animals but look how much I love these other ones! Continue reading

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Childish Things

Do you remember when you were a kid and thought Santa Claus was real? In fact, most of us did more than just think he was real, we believed it.  Why?  Likely because our parents and other adults in our lives told us so each year at Christmas.  Our belief in this magical tale was further bolstered with such stories and annual TV specials like, The Night Before Christmas or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

And do you remember when you found out it was bullshit?  Hopefully when you did you were of an age that was old enough not to be insulted nor completely devastated by it either.  I found out when I was nine or ten and it was by accident.  I used to love going through my mom’s jewellery box as a kid, usually while she was getting ready to go out.  I would try on her rings and bracelets and she would tell me the history of some pieces.  One day I opened a tiny box I’d always wondered about and found a bunch of teeth in there.  For some reason – I don’t know why – I thought they belonged to my Nana who had recently passed away.  When I asked about them, it was then that my mother looked sheepishly at me and told me they were mine. Continue reading

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A War Ignored

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada and a deservedly important one.  As I wrote this time last year, I fully believe in taking the time to recognize the people who have dedicated their lives to the service of their country and whose sacrifice has allowed me to live as freely as I do today.

I have never been directly affected by war.  Though I have lost distant relatives to it, they were not people I knew or would have ever known even if they had lived to die of natural causes.  I have never had my house bombed, never been forced to flee my country, never had to live in a refugee camp.  I have never had to ration food, hide my nationality or change my name just to survive.  I have never lost a spouse, sibling or child to war and I don’t even personally know anyone who has.  “Lucky” does not begin to explain how fortunate I am to live the life I do. Continue reading

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Right Here, Right Now

If you’ve been a vegan for any length of time or maybe you’re still exploring what all this animal rights stuff is about, I know you’ve probably heard or thought at one point that’s there’s too much already going on in the world; there are too many issues to consider as it is without having to add animals to the list. Just reading the daily news can feel overwhelming.  I read a book years ago that called it “compassion fatigue” where it’s easy to feel exhausted by all the problems and suffering in the world.

I can remember when I was a new vegan, during the first six weeks in fact when I was “just trying it out,” as I educated myself on how food got to my plate and I read up on factory farming and animal welfare, the thought hit me early on: This is actually something I can change today.  This is something that can make a difference immediately.  When I say that, I was not thinking that I, Nicola Sark, would change the world if I stopped eating meat and dairy that day.  But with all the horrors in the world – the natural disasters, displaced people in refugee camps, war, racism, poverty, worldwide conflicts on both small and epic scales – the crime that was being committed against animals was something I could literally stop contributing to that very second. Continue reading

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