For 200 days, I’ve been Vegan. In that time, 200 lives have been saved. In that time, I’ve discovered countless ways of eating plant based and cruelty-free. Many questions with heavy implications have been asked of me: “How long will you be vegan?” “How much weight have you lost?” “Why would you give up meat?” “How will you get your protein?”, and many more. I’m not annoyed by the questions or comments. I actually embrace them and take advantage of the teaching opportunities. Most don’t understand my decision, and that is fine by me. I’m not here to tell others what to do. I’m here to lead by example.
My dad, grandpa, and great grandpa were all butchers. I grew up in slaughter houses and butcher shops. I knew no other options. I also knew that unless my dad cooked the meat I was eating, I would not eat it. I never really liked eating animals. Unfortunately, I felt that I didn’t have any other options.
Once I became a part of AAW and was taught very briefly about vegan lifestyle, I was intrigued. I did my research and learned all kinds of ways to live your life without hurting animals. During one ritual we did, while reciting the Wiccan Rede, the mantra “Do no Harm,” really hit me. I had this tightness in my stomach and I just was not able to shake it. I woke up the next morning and said “This is it, no more harm!”. On Sunday December 4th, 2019 I told myself that I would do no harm. From that point on I made sure that with every walk, with every thought, with every word, and with every meal I would do everything in my power to harm none. 37 years old and I have managed to break a life long habit.
With that said, here are the answers to the questions. “How long will I be vegan?”, I will always be vegan. “How much weight have you lost?”, I have lost the weight of 200 animals that are still able to live and breathe because of my choice. “Why would you give up meat?”, I don’t feel like I’m giving up anything. I’m giving animal lives an opportunity to breathe. “How will you get your protein?”, “I will get my protein from plants and eating a variety of plant based meals.”
I love all and live to protect all. Just because animals can not communicate with us clearly does not give us license to harm them. They still feel, they cry, they scream, and they deserve to live.
Written by Janine Portillo https://linktr.ee/Janineportillo