FEATURE: Toto Wanje

I ate meat for 28 years of my life and became a vegan last year 2015 after being a vegetarian for a year and a half. For a long time I was blinded by society and by my upbringing. I had been stolen of both my eyes and my heart. I wasn’t able to see that animals have a soul just like we do and that they deserve to live and not be killed and eaten by us humans.

I was a vegetarian for year and a half then became a vegan. It started on my Facebook newsfeed. I had a friend who always posted animal rights posts and vegan and vegetarian posts. Back then I was very unaware of my own ignorance as most people are, so I used to joke a lot on her posts about animal rights and about veganism and vegetarianism just like many non-vegans do today. I made fun of vegans and vegetarians and was mean with my jokes because I didn’t understand veganism. I was basically just like how most non-vegans are and couldn’t understand why anyone would want to live without meat. I thought that animals were meant to be eaten by humans. I thought I loved meat and often said to friends and other people that I would never ever in my life stop eating meat.

After seeing my friends' posts every day I started to sympathize with the suffering animal posts she was sharing and deep down inside I started to realize that she was right. Seeing the suffering animals being slaughtered for food, and the conditions they were living in and being kept in was getting to me. My heart was slowly opening up. I was being filled with guilt for paying for animals to be killed just so that I could have food. I was waking up. When cooking, I started to see flesh as disgusting and started to question why I ate meat, so I started doing my own simple research on google and YouTube. At first I didn’t even know the difference between veganisim and vegetarianism. I had no idea. I thought vegans were weak, crazy people and I thought that the movement and lifestyle was for hippies.

After opening my mind a little bit and discussing veganism and vegetarianisim with others on my Facebook who were either vegans or vegetarians, I was sent a video of Earthlings by a friend. She told me to watch it and get back to her with my thoughts and views. I watched the whole movie straight through because I wanted to understand veganism and half way into the movie I decided that I would never eat meat ever again in my life. I was so hurt and so disgusted and almost in tears when I saw how animals were being treated and how they are suffering. My heart had opened. That same day I quit eating meat.

I became a vegetarian. I didn’t become a vegan straight away because I was still uncertain of whether I could even make it as a vegan because everything I bought in shops had either cheese, eggs, milk or dairy in it. Most products I wanted to buy had animal products in them. I thought in the beginning, "well at least I’m not eating animals," but as time went by and I watched movies like Vegucated and Cowspiracy and other vegan videos on Youtube and whilst I did more research I started to understand why I should go vegan. One day somehow like a moment of faith or fate I stumbled across Gary Yourofskys - The Best Speech You Will Ever Hear, on YouTube and watched the whole entire speech because his voice immediately captivated me and the way he spoke really got to me and I became so inspired and educated that I decided never ever again to eat any dairy products. I became a vegan.

At first I didn’t know if I would even survive. I barely knew where I would get protein. I knew I would lose weight. I knew I would have a hard time adapting to living without both meat and dairy products but I was determined to make it. So, I started filling my cupboards and fridge with all the vegan proteins and foods I could find. In the beginning, I admit, it was tough. I felt like I was hungry all the time. I felt like I always had to eat because my body was now adapting to living without meat.

 I lost more than 10 kilos and also lost muscle mass and became so skinny I thought I would never ever be able to gain back my weight back, but at the same time I understood that this was a transition I had to go through. I had been misled and miseducated my whole life so I knew that I was on the right path and would make it and be able to live a healthy lifestyle without meat. I knew that one day I would still be able to train and work out hard as a vegan and that the tough period was just my body adapting to living without meat and dairy products. My heart and eyes had been opened and I couldn’t go back to eating meat.

It was a tough transition but I’m overjoyed and so happy that I made it. I’m glad I woke up to the realities of life and to the realities of what’s going on here on our planet. I can never go back to eating meat. I’m thankful to everyone who has inspired me. Some people will never know how much they contributed to my transition and how much they educated me and helped me with my awakening, but I hope the universe gives them love and an awesome life and thanks them for waking me up to the realities of meat and dairy. I thank them for helping me open my eyes and my heart to our friends and companions in this spiritual world - The Animals.

When I was losing weight in my transition period, I weighed 76 kilos at the least. I always work out hard. Before I became a vegetarian I weighed around 85-87 kilos when I used to eat meat. Over the years of my transition I haven't trained exactly every single day. Ive had several periods and weeks of resting and not training but I lost a total of ten kilos and weighed 76 kilos a few months ago which is the least I’ve ever weighed in my adult age. Today October, 28,2016 I weigh 82 kilos and rising. Many believe that building muscles on a vegan diet is impossible and that it cant be done and say that you have to eat meat but as you can see it's truly and fully possible. The meat for protein is like a myth. The objective of my whole transformation is to show others that we can all train and work out without meat. I want to continue training on a vegan diet and to inspire others to go vegan and to open their hearts, their eyes and minds.

Social Media

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