Friday, June 17, 2016

The First Day of the Rest of My Life: A Letter to Friends and Family

To my friends and family reading this, a lot of you may not know that on April 4th I went Vegetarian and on May 18th I started the 30-Day Vegan Challenge. Yesterday, was the end of the 30-Day Vegan Challenge and today is the first day of the rest of my life.

A couple of months ago I started watching various "what I eat in a day" videos on YouTube and stumbled across some "what I eat in a day vegan videos." I became interested and was determined that upon returning from a Spring Break trip I would go vegan. Well, that didn't exactly happen.

When I returned from Tennessee and Arkansas on this Spring Break trip, I watched the documentary Vegucated. My eyes were instantly opened and I decided that I was definitely going to go vegetarian and maybe later on I would go vegan. I then proceeded to watch Forks Over Knives, Cowspiracy, Plant Pure Nation, etc. It was after watching Plant Pure Nation, that I decided that I was going to take the 30-Day Vegan Challenge that I had seen on Cowspiracy's website. I realized that being vegetarian wasn't enough, and I didn't have any valid excuse to not go vegan.

“Veganism is not a sacrifice. It is a joy.” -Gary L. Francione

Over the past  few months I have become aware of how we're really treating our animals and how it's having devastating impacts on the earth. I've really had a shift of perspective and I've even become a little passionate. I could go into the horrific truths of factory farming, animal cruelty, animal testing, the destruction of forests  and extinction of species due to the meat and dairy industries but I won't. But I would highly recommend and encourage you to watch Vegucated, Cowspiracy, and Forks Over Knives. Or at least watch Vegucated and Cowspiracy (all three are on Netflix and listed on our Links & Resources page).

When I first wanted to go vegan, before I ended up going vegetarian, it was mainly because I thought it was cool and I figured I could lose some weight. To be honest I really didn't know what it meant to be a vegan. And after I found what it meant, I realized I didn't care about losing weight or looking cool. I wanted to go vegan for the animals and for the earth. I'm now living inline with my core values and it feels amazing.

For anyone who has heard about veganism or seen vegans, you may have seen some negativity towards non-vegans. And yes, there are vegans out there who will single you out and make you feel like crap for eating meat and drinking milk. But there are also vegans out there who will inspire you to want to go vegan. They will uplift and encourage you, not tear you down. I hope to become a vegan who encourages and inspires. I say hope to become a vegan, because I don't consider  myself fully vegan yet. I will consider myself vegan when I use my last animal tested product.

I'm sad that I didn't know about this earlier, but I'm glad that I found out about it now. I will most likely make mistakes along the way, but I will not compromise my values to spare someone else's feelings. I cannot wait to get my first vegan t-shirt, go to my first vegan festival, and visit my first animal sanctuary. I truly feel so happy and healthy. And I cannot wait to see where this journey takes me.

All my love,


Copyright 2016 by Dee Dee Wike and Joy Wike. All rights reserved.

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