by Josh Racho
For me, the transition to a plant-based diet was neither sudden nor intentional. I grew up never really liking meat and feeling sick after eating dairy products. That said, as young boys do, in my teens I developed an urge to consume everything in sight and was able to drink milk like it was going out of style. But by the time I was sixteen I lost the desire to eat red meat. A year later I started to feel the same about chicken and then at the recommendation of a doctor I cut out dairy. I felt markedly better than I ever had before.
People began to ask if I was vegan or vegetarian. I had no clue what either really meant. I did some research, reading peer-reviewed articles online, and realized that fish and eggs—the only animal products I still ate—had their own nutritional pitfalls. I proceeded to drop both from my diet.
By this point I noticed changes in my mindset, which transformed a simple dietary choice into an entire lifestyle overhaul. Upon watching documentaries like Earthlings, a 2005 documentary about humanity’s use of other animals, I realized how rarely we acknowledge this characteristic of our race. I rooted myself deeper into my beliefs, becoming my conscious of everything I consumed.
I have been without animal products for over two years. I can’t imagine going back to eating animals. I strive to not exploit animals in any manner whatsoever. (And that goes for humans too!) Beetroot burgers and fair-trade clothing will forever satisfy me.