I Am A Vegan Veterinary Student
I am a 21 year old Scottish student who will soon be graduating with a degree in veterinary bioscience. Last month I made the decision to change my life for the better and go vegan and I wish I’d done it sooner.
I started studying at vet school 4 years ago and from the get go was introduced to some very disturbing information about the agricultural industry and the practices involved in the production of animal products which until the I felt was unavailable to me and that its almost hidden from the public eye. I mean I obviously knew animals died to produce meat but this was often overlooked and rarely brought up in conversation. With companies advertisements often having cute cartoons of happy farm animals, it was hard to imagine that these beings lead such tortured lives. Lecturers were quick to defend the cruel practices I learned about, claiming that pain was only felt for a second before death while trying to make justifications for the industry based on the fact that “welfare in the UK is much higher than other parts of the world”. The only lecturer who would brush on how the animals felt in these situations was the animal welfare lecturer who always had to be very diplomatic and made it seem that she was not allowed to strongly voice her beliefs.
Thus, all throughout uni I toyed with the idea of cutting out animal products, first starting with cutting down my meat consumption however, I was always scared out of it by how my friends and family would react. With a meat-loving (now ex-) boyfriend and a lot of close friends from farming backgrounds (due to the nature of my course) I felt I would constantly have to defend criticism of my veganism, which quite frankly, at the time I was not secure enough to handle. One friend told me that by becoming vegan I would destroy the farming economy of where she was from and cause masses of unemployment in young people while another told me of her doctor sister who had to deal with vegans with deficiencies because as a lifestyle it is just “so unhealthy”. One girl I know who is an on-off vegan and a bunch of vets I worked along side would even tell me how impossible it was to become fully vegan and I thought they were supposed to be understanding of the reasoning for the change.
All of this put me off until the ending of a very toxic relationship flipped my world upside down and forced me to get my life back on track and in control. Since then I have never felt mentally healthier or happier. I have finally gotten my sass back and am feeling much more independent and empowered by my choices. From this I decided I would NEVER let anyone control how I live and I would always stick up for what I believed in. My first step in achieving this was becoming vegan. With only a couple of people I know to be vegan, blogs and podcasts like VWPA are my current form of vegan community. Although I haven’t quite plucked up the courage to tell my farm-raised friends about my change, the podcast and the community have really inspired me to be strong and totally own my new lifestyle!
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