I have been vegan for three months now. I know I am not perfect, I know I have made mistakes, but I have been doing the best that I can.
Veganism has been on my radar since high school when one of my friends started a vegan diet. She claimed she was doing it for health reasons, but I quickly saw just how unhealthy she was while doing it, barely getting any of the nutrients she needed, and I thought she was absolutely crazy for attempting it. Just a few years later, I came to college and I joined the rock climbing team; suddenly, I knew many people that were vegans. These people were nothing like my friend in high school; they were strong and healthy, I frequently saw them eating nuts, fruits, and vegetables while I snacked on potato chips and candy. They weren’t doing the diet for health reasons, they were doing it for environmental and moral reasons. At first, I was incredulous; how could anyone cut all animal products from their diet? That meant no pizza, no cupcakes, no milkshakes! My favorite foods were macaroni and cheese and tacos, and I knew I could never lose those things. I had heard of vegan cheese and other substitutes, but I was wary. Those crazy vegans claimed that their food was just as good, but I knew that couldn’t possibly be true.
Let’s take a moment to think about all the problems the US is facing today. We have wildfires consuming the Pacific Northwest, Montana, and California. Hurricane Harvey is flooding Texas and Hurricane Irma nearing Florida. The whole country either needs water or it has too much, and that’s only in the US. Here in Moscow, where I live, there’s so much smoke in the air that we are now at a hazardous air quality. The world has become a gray haze outside my windows. I can’t enjoy the breeze at night or else I risk waking up in a cloud of smoke and hurting my cat’s lungs.
On January 21, 2017, upwards of 2,600 people from the Moscow/ Pullman area marched in solidarity with the Woman’s march in Washington DC. The march went from Moscow City Hall to East City Park where there were speeches by members of the community and from both U of I and WSU. Both schools had students in attendance. The march was for Woman’s Rights but encompassed issues such as immigration, the environment, and LGBTQ rights. The parking lot in front of City Hall was a sea of pink hats and protest signs.
But this is not all that I would like to talk about. I would like to explain one woman’s reason for marching: mine. I marched for the reasons I listed above, but there was more to it. I marched for other reasons that are not so nicely summed up in a word or two. I marched in protest of an administration that does not represent me or most America’s population. I marched for my rights to my body. I marched for my sisters that are different than me and who now feel uncertain about their place here. I marched because we cannot ignore the facts about climate change anymore. We need to act against this threat. Continue reading “Why I March”→