Once Upon a Vegan ~ 1st Podcast ~ My Story

>>  Wednesday, July 15, 2009




Powered by Podbean.com

Here is my Vegan Story which has needed official telling for quite sometime. I do so in response to episode one - NZ Vegan podcast - Where Elizabeth Collins (aka Knuckles) sends out the word from down under that talking about our vegan experiences and telling of our journey with one another is therapeutic. Certainly she is right.

Although I blog as Provoked, it's become clear that is not sufficient to "heal" my injured soul. I need to speak of more personal experiences... and not always with anger, but many times with sadness and introspection for what I was blind to before becoming vegan... when I was a "nice vegetarian".

I know I am not the first to say this, but the scenario is much like the tale of The Emperor and His New Clothes.

And ever since I've realized this dual, hidden culture, I've been attempting to reclaim my "inner child", and the purity of the respect I was taught to have for animals; those I was taught were my "friends". And as Will Tuttle reveals it is an odd world they set us in... the myths and fantasies all meant to block critical thought... especially regarding our horrific and unnecessary mistreatment to animals. It's heartbreaking to discover these truths.

Part of my vegan story includes the attempt to go back to "the beginning". I want to identify the deviations regarding how our mistreatment to animals occurs. In essence I'm very curious, (from an emotional and intellectual level) how I was duped! What did I not see that I should have? What did I avoid in the way of seeking and embracing truth? I'm very interested in the cultural indoctrination to which we are all born into. I want to examine why and how our beliefs came to be. This starts with the children as we know.

So I also mention the programs that are now attempting to teach kids empathy and compassion. These educational programs help teach the young to stay connected to their ideals of kindness and fairness. Here are some such programs: Humane Education & Kind Teach.

I don't believe that any of us had "bad parenting" in the sense that we were taught to be cruel to animals - But we are taught to accept, disregard and ignore our treatment to (some) of them... And because we are raised to think and believe we are "compassionate" we just assume we are. Certainly I did... I was a "nice" vegetarian! How could I have known about the treatment to egg laying hens and milk "giving" cows? But one video changed all that.
Then I became a vegan, an Animal Rights vegan, an Abolitionist Animal Rights vegan. But after this point too, in community and social gatherings, I also became the "absent reference" mentioned in Carol Adams in "Living Among Meateaters".

I mention an essay by Roger Yates: On Human-Nonhuman Relations 3 Years Young. I think we are on much firmer footing with the principles set forth by Gary Francione's Abolitionist Approach... Furthermore, I believe that today's communication enables the movement to increases awareness and encourages activism. Information moves so fast now, that we are sure to pick up speed regarding the concepts of animal rights and veganism.

I hope on this blog and in future podcasts, to explore these discoveries. And to share more insights that I have as it relates to the divulged world I now find myself in. In a sense I want to restore an innocence which has been stolen from me... My desire is that this blog will document the process...

For now... I will end this first post with a request to anyone listening or reading, to please send me your vegan story so that I may add it to the others listed on the sidebar. I think it's important that we share our stories... It's a great comfort to me hearing how others navigate their journey... hopefully it will help another on their path as well.

My Podcast Alley feed! {pca-c75365827baf7e6f1707bc40d8cbc3bf}

8 comments :

Bea Elliott July 16, 2009 at 3:52 PM  

From Gina... a facebook friend:

"BEA,
THANKS SO MUCH FOR SHATING THAT LIKNK WITH ME. hAVE YOU TOLDCAMILLE ABOUT IT, I KNOW SHE`D LOVE IT!

ACTUALLY BEA, MY STORY IS VERY SHORT.
I AM 47 TEARS OLD.
ABOUT 2 YEARS AGO. I WAS WATCHING HBO & SAW A DOCUMENTARY CALLED "I AM AN ANIMAL, THE INGRID NEWKIRK STORY" THIS DOCUMANTARY SHOWED ME HORRORS I HAD NEVER SEEN; A COW BEEING BOLTED IN IT`S HEAD & SKINNED ALIVE ( IT CONTINUED TO MOVE), A WOLF HAVING IT`S HEAD JUMPED ON, THEN SLICED OPEN FROM IT`S RECTUM TO IT`S THROAT, WHILE WRITHING & FEELING EVERY BIT OF THE PAIN, A RACOON DOG BEING SKINNED ALIVE & THROWN TO THE SIDE LIKE GARBAGE, DIEING A SLOW EXCRUTIATING DEATH, LIONS BEING BEATEN OVER THIER HEADS FOR NOT BEHAVING

I HAD THOUGHT ABOUT THE ANIMALS I WAS EATING FOR SOME TIME & IT NEVER SAT QUITE RIGHT WITH ME, BUT AS REDICULOUS AS IT SOUNDS, I COULDN`T BE SURE WHY.
BUT FROM THE SECOND I SAW THE DOCUMANTARY, I CRIED MY EYES OUT UNCONTROLABLY & NEVER ATE ANOTHER ANIMAL.
IT TOOK ME ANOTHER 4-5 MONTHS TO UNDERSTAND VEGANISM.
I DIDN`T REALIZE WHAT CHICKENS WENT THROUGH TO GIVE US EGGS, OR COWS TO GIVE US DAIRY PRODUCTS, BUT AFTER LOTS MORE TEARS AND SO MUCH SHAME, I WENT VEGAN
HERE I AM TODAY

I ALSO LIVE IN A "LONELY VEGAN USA" TOWN.
I FIND OTHER VEGANS THROUGH NOTICES OF DEMOS I MAY PUT OUT ON LINE, & LIKE YOU, MY BIGGEST SOURCE IS FACEBOOK. THE SUPPORT HERE IS GREAT & IS PART OF WHAT KEEPS ME GOING.
LIKE YOU SAID, "SUPPORT IS VERY IMPORTANT", BUT OF COURSE, MY BIGGEST DRIVER IS ALL THE VIDEOS I SEE OF ANIMALS BEING TORCHERED. I`LL NEVER UNDERSTAND & I FEEL SO ALIEN TO THE PERSON I WAS SUCH A SHORT TIME AGO. I DON`T THINK I`LL EVER FIGURE IT OUT. I NORMALLY FEEL THAT ALL THINGS HAPPEN AS THEY SHOULD, BUT I CAN`T IMAGINE THE PURPOSE FOR THE CRUEL TREATMENT & DEATH OF SO MANY INNOCENT ANIMALS, BUT AGAIN...
HERE "WE" ARE!

WITH MUCH LOVE
YOUR FRIEND,
GINA"

Thanks Gina... sounds like you did go through a terrible time. But everything I read from you now is so enthusiastic and inspiring! It's painful to learn what we do to animals, but I really don't think any (but a few) would rather not know...

Elizabeth Collins July 17, 2009 at 12:37 AM  

Hi Bea
firstly, thank you so much for sharing your story, and promoting veganism. I loved listening to you, and I can't wait to hear more from you, and please come on my show now that you have gotten over your microphone shyness - let's see if we can find you some more vegan neighbours to exchange recipes with and have dinner parties with and just to talk to.
Big vegan hugs to you. :-)

Ana August 10, 2009 at 8:26 PM  

Hi Bea!

Thanks for the podcast! A few reactions.

1. I absolutely agree with you about the loneliness of being an animal rights advocate. Things that are so clear to me and so unquestionable are not shared by those who are supposedly the closest to me. I feel like the only one who has taken the "red pill."

2. I agree absolutely that the root of all of this is human greed. There needs to be a radical reconfiguring of the economic structure in order to change the way living things are viewed and treated.

3. I was curious about where you got the number for pharmaceuticals supplying the high percentage of animal antibiotics. I was just talking to someone about that the other day, but I didn't know the number was so high.

4. You should put out a reading list. I was curious about the livestock book or paper you briefly mentioned.

Thanks for everything!

Bea Elliott August 12, 2009 at 11:18 PM  

Hi Ana! Yes, absolutely - "red pill/blue pill" - nothing is ever the same once you know. It certainly changes us all forever...

About human greed... sure I think that's a great part of it - how we make everything a "commodity"... and the hierarchal system of values - It's great if your talking about car performance... or ipods. But with exploiting living beings (and the earth) based on lesser positions of power, that's down right wrong.

Here's the link to Scientific America for the pharmacutical info:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=most-us-antibiotics-fed-t

And Union for Concerned Scientists:
http://www.commondreams.org/news2001/0108-01.htm

What's scary is the recent antibiotic resistant Salmonella outbreak... We just don't have drugs that work effectively anymore and that's dangerous.

And I think you're asking about "Livestock's Long Shadow"(?)
the report the UN put out a few years ago:
http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/a0701e/a0701e00.HTM

Anyway... thanks for listening in to my awkward story. I admire those people who seem to have gone into their journey with much more grace than I!

I'm recovering from a recent yardsale - and am anxious to talk about the rollercoaster experience... Having 500 or so folks at my home gave me an opportunity to discuss animal rights and veganism. Hope you tune in next time too :)

dreamer January 8, 2011 at 7:15 AM  

Hi Bea,

Thank you so much for your story - truly inspirational. Sadly, I feel I must describe myself as a "nice vegetarian." Although I am vegan and believe in animal rights, I have found it difficult to share my views with others. However, Gary Francione's views of abolition has really opened my eyes and has shown me that to be vegan is not something to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.

I suppose part of my hesitation of expressing my opinions comes from how a number of times I had tried to eat a vegan diet only to go back to a meat-eating diet. It took a little tweaking and the lessons I learned from others who wrote about how to well on a vegan diet that I found I could be much happier and healthier without any animal products. In fact, by eating animal products, I was just working against my own body. Now, I am working with my body.

So, thanks again for being so brave and putting yourself out there. I admire you!

Bea Elliott January 25, 2011 at 10:45 PM  

Hi Dreamer... I hope I didn't give the impression that "overnight" vegan was easy, or even possible. I think most of us during the initial transition don't do things perfectly. There's many instances of little mistakes or errors in product knowledge. As you know - animal ingredients, use, testing, etc. are hidden in so many things. I think the point is to just do our honest best. And if there is a slip or two now and then to just use that as a springboard to more resolve.

Your heart and mind are obviously aimed for the just course and honest journey. The admiration is mutual! Thanks for dropping by. :)

Anonymous November 3, 2011 at 10:09 PM  

Your website seems unbelievable - fulfilled with first-rate contents.. as precisely as so on. I believe you could acquire yet even superior info by including selected drawings in addition to pictures. How do you feel on this?. Even though I've bookmarked it. Thank you.

In conclusion , permit me thank you for your tolerance with my English as (I'm persuaded you have figured this at this time ,), English is not my primary language so I am using Google Translate to shape out what to note down what I actually have in mind to state.

Bea Elliott November 5, 2011 at 7:56 PM  

Hi... I might be a bit confused as to what you exactly have in mind regrading "photos or drawings"...

In any case - Thanks for your visit.