Being a vegan has its challenges for sure, here’s a post from Karla, author of blog Vegan La Raza. Here she is in her own words, “I am Mexicana/Salvadoreña and have been a vegan since October 2011. I started this blog because I want to look at my identities as a woman, a person of color-specifically a Latina, and a vegan. Because of these identities, I have experienced oppression in many ways, shapes, and forms during my lifetime. As someone who carries a history of injustice and violence, I choose not to perpetuate violence and exploitation towards other living beings, including human and nonhuman animals. Something has to change and it will begin with me.”
Well said Karla! Please enjoy!
The other day I was taking a shower and began to crave cheese. That’s the thing about being a new vegan, the cravings for certain foods are still there. While I am completely disgusted by the flesh of dead animals, I do crave some dairy products – mostly cheese.
I remember the first time going vegan crossed my mind. I was sitting on my couch reading an article about cows being raped in order to become pregnant and produce milk. I was horrified! I immediately glanced at my fridge and pictured the yellow block of cheddar cheese sitting inside. Calculating the number of things I would no longer be able to eat gave me a headache, so I put down the article and made myself a quesadilla.
I began to read as much as I could about animal rights. Slaughterhouse by Gail A. Eisnitz and The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist Vegetarian Critical Theory by Carol J. Adams were two book that helped me understand more about the subject and really pushed me to adopt a vegan lifestyle. Adams discusses the objectification of women and animals in a male-meat centered culture, while Eisnitz describes the experiences of animals and workers in slaughterhouses.
A few weeks after reading these books, I adopted a vegan lifestyle. It’s important to understand that animals do die as a result of dairy and egg production. Male calves are sent to be killed and sold as ‘veal’ and male chicks are ground up alive. Males are of little use in an industry that exploits females while they’re alive and benefit from their dead flesh once they’re too ‘used up’ to birth babies or lay eggs.
Still, I was in the shower a few weeks ago craving cheese. Sometimes, I imagine how it would feel to buy a bag of hot cheetos and munch away in my apartment. Only I would know, I’d satisfy a craving and go on living a ‘vegan’ lifestyle.
Then, a thought crossed my mind, ‘Wow…being a vegan is like a being a vampire with a soul’ – a vampire like Buffy’s Angel or Sookie’s Bill from True Blood. These vampires crave human blood, but they know it is wrong to bite and drain a human being just to satisfy their desires. These vampires resist their cravings and opt to have another blood source. In True Blood, they drink synthetic blood, packaged in bottles called Tru Blood.
This describes how I feel. I do crave certain dairy products, and sometimes the taste of a boiled egg. Then, I think about a calf being taken away from her/his mother and the mother crying, missing her baby. I think of baby chicks being ground up alive only to end up in cat and/or dog food, of chickens living in confined cages, debeaked and stacked on top of each other laying eggs until they’re sent off for slaughter.
Maybe the cravings will one day go away. Sometimes they’re stronger than others. I hope I am always strong enough to curve them and pick up a compassionate food choice.