Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When someone becomes vegan their whole life begins to change. For most people the first change is just the first of many. One of my favorite things in the world is to watch the “awakening” process that new vegans go through, and their personal transformations that come about as a result. I have a story, case in point.

About a year and a half ago a friend of mine became very sick. Previously pretty healthy, she started having all kinds of aches and pains. Not one to run to medications, she tried all kinds of things to make herself feel better, but nothing was working. She went to her doctor, but didn’t get any definitive answers there – just lots and lots of tests. She couldn’t sleep because of anxiety related to her health condition which made her feel worse. It was a downward spiral…you get the picture.

Then she started thinking about her diet. She started talking to me about becoming vegan, and what was involved in it. I had spoken to her ad nauseum about the benefits of veganism in the past, and I guess that, along with some other research she was doing, started to sink in. She decided to give it a shot. I was overjoyed, and I have to say a little shocked. It goes to show how well I didn’t know her back then.

I remember the day she said to me, “I’m going to try this, but I’m never going to become one of those animal rights people!” I smiled, and nodded (knowing she is a huge animal lover). Then I watched her transformation. We had conversations about food on a daily basis. I leant her books and movies, and she did a tonne of research out there on her own. She started to get better – much better. She was sold on veganism for the health benefits it brought to her.

Then one day she said to me, “I think I’m becoming one of those animal rights people!” That was the beginning of a rant telling me all about her discoveries around various types of animal exploitation. In a matter of months this person, who a couple of years ago I would have said was an unlikely vegan, had not only changed her diet completely (and told EVERYONE she knew about it) – but had become an outspoken critic of factory farming and animal cruelty practices. It was a wonderful and humbling thing to watch, and a good reminder that if caring people are awakened to what is happening to animals in this world, veganism will continue to spread farther, and wider.