Practical Issues > Health - Index > Vegan Index
30 Days of Veganism: Total Recap

[The Corsair - opinion]

Thirty days has gone by so quickly. When this experiment began, I thought it would be inconvenient and difficult, and at times it was. But what really caught me off-guard is how much I learned in these past 30 days.

I've learned that food can be really delicious and satisfying sans animal products. I had the best lasagna of my life and I now enjoy almond milk, vegan rice cheese, and meat alternatives. I see these products becoming a part of my everyday life. I've also found that Trader Joe's is an excellent resource for vegan-fare, from reasonably priced meat alternatives to pre-prepared lunches and snacks.

Although the exact definitions of 'vegan' and 'animal-free' still elude me, I learned that being entirely animal-free is nearly impossible, as animal products exist in many of the items we use daily; I struggled with what I called 'Vegan Guilt' when I had a misstep; I spoke with Elisha Valdez from Real Food Daily, who encouraged me to be conscientious of this world and our impact on it, and not beat myself up over slip-ups.
Santa Monica College's David Phillips, Professor of Psychology, taught me about the beef industry and its devastating effect on the environment. I learned that almost 3,000 pounds of fresh water and 18 pounds of grain must be used to raise one pound of beef. I watched videos exposing the atrocities committed on animals. In the documentary 'Behind the Mask,' I learned about the Animal Liberation front and how they liberate animals from unimaginable situations. I learned of Britches, a baby chimp rescued from UC Irvine, who had his eyes sewn shut from birth and was exposed to constant screeching for psychological testing. An undercover field officer for PETA discovered that in one lab when testing household items on animals, it was commonplace to rub the product into abraded skin, into the animal's eyes, or into their rectum or genitals. Ironically, because animal physiology is so different from ours, animal testing is largely inapplicable to humans.

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