FEATURE: Keja Bussey

Hey my name is Keja, and I began to make my transition to veganism in December 2015. My little 14 year old cousins told me previously in the summer of 2015 that they were going vegetarians. Initially, like many people, I felt that they were out of their right minds. Soon after, they showed me the documentary, Earthlings, and I was instantly turned off by the animal industry and their lack of care for the animals' pain and suffering. It also informed me of just how unhealthy it was to eat animals that could potentially be carrying diseases. If those animals were feeling bad throughout their lifetime, and I were to put that in my body, not only would I feel bad just like the sick animal that I ate, it would also be unhealthy for my digestive tract.

Truthfully, it is accurate to say that my conversion to veganism was both frightening because I felt that the people around me would not find my efforts to better the world relevant. I eventually just came to my senses and began to tell people that I was now a vegan and that was that because the decision that I was making would not only benefit my health, the poor animals being unnecessarily slaughtered in the factory farming system, but also the people around me because my imprint on the Earth would be less significant than someone who did consume diary, animal flesh, and animal byproducts.

My advice to other black vegans would be to not give into the consensus of your peers. There are not many vegans in the world, however, one person does make a difference. Remember why you are even being an advocate for Veganism and stay strong in the fact that what you are doing has positive outcomes for you and those around you. I continually preach this to my family because they often forget that what I’m doing is again benefitting my body, the earth, and animals. The experience of being a vegan is very uplifting. I feel that since December of 2015, I have made significant strides both spiritually and physically. Fruit on!