Without a shadow of doubt in my mind, I can confidently say that making the decision to adopt veganism was the single most significant decision I have made in life.
After losing my first proper job in late 2013, despondency and demotivation enveloped my whole psyche. My days were generally spent idly watching television and scrolling aimlessly through my social media feeds. In this period though, I was put onto veganism after discovering an Instagram account belonging to the prominent London based vegan chef “King Cookdaily”. At the time I started following him, he was posting videos on a daily basis of the gorgeous elaborate smoothies he was creating. I was inspired! With a new lease of life, I would wake up early in the morning, go to my local supermarket to spend what little money I had on fruit and return home to make smoothies myself and my mother, all the while applying for work as aggressively as possible.
My interest in veganism as a movement was further piqued when I watched a documentary on Netflix, a film by the name “Vegucated”, which spoke not just of the benefits of a vegan diet for personal health and wellbeing, but also the severity of the suffering farmed animals are made to endure and exactly how damaging modern animal agriculture is for Earth’s environment. It took one watch for me to be moved to action; by the end of that film, I knew that I had to make a marked change to how I “undertook eating” and I immediately stopped eating chicken, beef and pork, dropped fish and seafood some months later and over the course of the next year, began to abstain from dairy, eggs and honey.
Having made this decision to take a firm stance against animal oppression has definitely aided the galvanization of my entire belief system, purely because it incurs the criticism of so many people I interact with. I’ve been called all manner of homophobic and misogynistic slurs by supposed “friends” and had my racial identity questioned on countless occasions by both fellow blacks and non-blacks, simply because I refuse to consume meat. As a young black man, becoming vegan has given me a very effective means of ascertaining who around me is clinging to bigoted viewpoints, particularly relating to white perceptions of the black male’s sexuality. Not only have I been able to refine my social circle by weeding out those with regressive ideologies about social issues, but I have also had my powers of debating in virtually all things cultivated, as my values are constantly being challenged by others around me.
In addition to all this, with my self-discipline, motivation and creative abilities at an all-time high, I have been weaving my views about rejecting animal derived food into the lyrics of the music I make, using my voice as a means of expressing myself. Considering all this, I wouldn’t go back to the way I lived and ate before if I was paid.