I am a vegan. A very committed vegan. A fairly new vegan. Some will hate me. Some will tell me it is a fad and will pass. Some will think I am crazy. So be it. On this journey of self discovery and learning to be true to myself and honor the spirit within me I finally realized that I can no longer deny my love of animals and my disgust with myself when I eat them. We have all been brainwashed to think that is just “the way it is”, that brutally slaughtering billions of animals a year is normal behavior for humans and nothing to be concerned about. You know what? That is wrong. And I believe that far too many people are killing a part of their own soul when they consume meat. They just aren’t in touch with their inner spirit enough to know it, or are unwilling and unable to acknowledge it. We have brainwashed our society into thinking it is perfectly okay to treat other living beings as products, or food, instead of the loving, trusting, souls they are. As children we love all animals, we loved to go to petting zoos and pet the goats and chickens and pigs. Suddenly we grow up and are supposed to be okay with eating them? Really? Where did we go so wrong? Why are we okay with eating some animals but not others? There is no real difference between pets and farm animals except the societal conditioning we have all been subjected to. Then there are the people who say they can never give up their steak or burger or whatever meat. In today’s world there are plenty of meat alternatives that can offer the same taste and texture of meat but are plant based alternatives. Meat in itself does not have a lot of taste. It is whatever you season it with. I have had veggie burgers that were better than meat burgers. I am not going to start telling horror stories of how the animals are raised, how they are treated, the unbelievable pain and suffering they go through not only when they are slaughtered but the horrible lives they live. I don’t want to scare everyone away because then no one would listen to what I have to say. This is too important. We must stop the madness! We have to start creating a kinder, gentler world where all living creatures are honored, loved and given basic rights. Yes, there are human rights issues that are horrific and must be addressed. I am not taking anything away from those causes. But the one that is nearest to my heart and causes my soul the most pain is the atrocities carried out on animals in the meat and dairy industries. I started this journey for health reasons, after watching Forks Over Knives and PlantPure Nation. There is plenty of scientific evidence that eating a plant based, whole foods diet can prevent, or even cure, a large percentage of the health issues facing our nation today. Heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, even cancer. My cholesterol is down, my blood pressure is down and I have lost 20 pounds, all within 10 weeks. So if you won’t do it for the animals, do it for you. And the animals will benefit. Remember that every hamburger starts with an animal screaming for it’s life. And every burger or steak you don’t eat is one more precious life saved.