Building Your Identity Through Veganism by Angy Shavit, Israel

Growing up, I ate meat three times a day. I couldn’t stop having it. I loved meat… who am I kidding I LOVE MEAT. But 10 months ago, something changed. These past few years, I began to care more and more about my health. I started eating meat once a week and slowly but surely, I stopped eating meat. Within a few months of being a vegetarian I became a vegan. This time, health was important to me, my body was significant to me, and a healthy lifestyle was crucial to me.

But this time, it was because I loved something more than my body. I always loved animals. I’ll let anyone’s dog come lick my face, I didn’t mind it when a cow sniffed my arm, and I smiled when a goat tried to eat my hair. It wasn’t hard to become a vegan.

My grandma after a few months sat me down and explained that, “women need to get pregnant you know… Isn’t it going to be unhealthy for you since you don’t eat meat?” That was the nice part. The best chunk was when she made me chicken and said, “but it’s not meat! It’s chicken!” And then came the patties that she made with eggs and said, “wait, I’m confused now.”

I woke up one morning and realized I didn’t like what I was doing. I didn’t like that I ‘giving in’ to the factories that treated animals harshly. I didn’t like that something died in order for me to have a good taste in my mouth or make me ‘feel full.’ I didn’t like knowing that something suffered for my dinner. So I changed it. I began to cook incredible vegan foods that even my friends who are meat eaters like. I started to care about my body and the beings around me. Not just humans, but also animals. Not just dogs, but all animals. Because there is no difference between me and a friend over the border just like there is no difference between a dog and a cow. We all feel the same things and we all deserve to live. Together. This changed who I am and my perspective on life. I can’t meet someone and not talk to them about veganism. Even when I try, the conversation always ends up coming up. Sometimes it takes an hour and sometimes it takes 2 months, but the conversation always comes up. And I’m not sure I mind it. I hope that if people don’t understand that sometimes they think, feel, and want exactly what their enemies want, maybe they will be able to understand this through animals. They think, feel and want what we want. To be loved and live together.

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