FEATURE: Kevin Black

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I went vegan for ethics. The idea of eating another sentient being never sat well with me. Although I never had a dog, cat, or anything like that and I never grew up on a ranch or near a farm, I loved animals and had an appreciation for all life.

When I became a freshman in high school, I joined a program called F.F.A. (Future Farmers of America). I began to learn much more about agriculture and animals in general. After around nine months of joining, I started becoming really depressed about being in the program. I realized that there was nothing "humane" about any of it. However, they kept labeling all their practices humane, even when you heard the animals crying and screaming.

After my freshman year, my family moved to a new city and I left my high school's F.F.A. program and held that sadness of the "humane" aspect until my sophomore year. I didn't know what to do and being vegetarian sounded too hard for me at the time. When junior year came, I still felt the same way. However, I became mad at myself for not trying to change my food habits. I felt lethargic and had constant heavy breathing problems every day. Due to this, I decided to change my eating habits for the better. Still, my weight problems didn't go away and neither did any health problems that were arising.

When senior year came, I decided it was now or never. That September, I went vegan...for a week. Unfortunately, I genuinely forgot that I went vegan and ate a piece of fried chicken. It was a real low point in my life. Then, four months later in January 2016, I officially went vegetarian. As an avid meat eater and an overweight senior in high school, everyone laughed at the idea of me being vegetarian. However, I was determined - I decided to cut out my favorite meats first so that it would be an easier transition. I removed hamburgers from my diet - my all time favorite food at the time. Then I removed lamb, chicken, and more. I'm already lactose intolerant and hate the taste of cheese, therefore, the milk aspect was easy to overcome. A month and a half later, the last thing I cut out was eggs and I became vegan. Three years later, I am now a happy, more understanding vegan.

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Instagram/Twitter: @ItsKevinBlack/@ItsKevinBlack

Kevin is also the author of a new book titled Dear Mom: A Nursery Rhyme Book for Moms. You can purchase it on Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and anywhere else you shop for books.

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