|When I Went Vegan—and Why|
|Tuesday, 24 July 2012 00:00 | Written by Tonya Kay | Blog Entry|
I remember clear as day the moment I went vegan. I was in my late teens performing on tour with Kenny Rogers. I was the girl on the tour bus who was always awake, since the situation of driving and being around seven other cast mates while in my swaying bunk bed speeding down the highway at 70 miles per hour was too stimulating for a light sleeper like me. At about 2 a.m., the driver pulled up to a quiet truck stop somewhere in nowhere Tennessee. Just the driver and I were awake. I crept into the sundries store out of sheer boredom and somehow saw all the neon-colored packages and shelf after shelf of product for what it was. I thought to myself, "Why does any of this exist?" And I decided to go vegan.
It wasn't necessarily an animal-compassion epiphany that urged my personal transition from a decade-long vegetarian to a vegan. It was the desire to eat real food. How painfully ironic that all I wanted was an insomniac's snack at the truck stop that night, and out of an entire convenience store, 0% of what was being sold constituted food to me. I saw it. I got it. And I rebelled against it.
It took me about a month to truly make that transition. I got off tour, went back to my Indiana residence at the time, and began my education. My first step consisted of reading the label of every single food in my home and if it had meat, milk, egg or any associated products as an ingredient, I just never replaced it. By the way, yes, fish are meat—you are not a vegetarian if you eat fish. That's not a judgment, but a fact. I encourage people to draw the line where they see fit and continue to grow from there, but people who eat fish are not vegetarians by definition.
So began my move toward the deep desire to stop being lied to and empowering myself to choose real food. I wanted to eat food, not products—and my transition to vegan was born of a desire for that freedom.
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