Once upon a time …
At 28 years old, Katya was the first person I met who I knew was vegan. Of course she told me within an hour of meeting her just like any good vegan would. My first impression: why do you have so many bananas? My second impression: why aren’t you dancing in a circle and growing your leg hair out? These thoughts are naïve and uninformed on my part but that was all I knew about being vegan and everything that I had seen in the media and on TV.
Fast forward 3.5 years.
I now know what a vegan actually is! I can be exactly the same person I have always been, but now I actually give a damn about the animals, the planet, and the health of humans. See, I have always cared about the planet and my human health, but everything I was ever taught pointed me in the opposite direction of veganism. While I had not eaten red meat or diary in 10 years, I had never made the connection that the things I was eating were actual living beings with personalities, thoughts, and families of their own. See, I wasn’t eating red meat because of the animals, but only because it made me physically ill and dairy was something that I just was never interested in, thankfully. Admittedly I was another selfish human with only concern for myself and nothing else other than my friends and family.
To me the greatest change that has come with being vegan is that it completely change the way I look at the world and life. It fills me with compassion for non-human animals as well as for other humans. It has truly been a life changing experience for me. It feels odd to remember a time when I actually thought that eating animals was normal. Now it seems like the most abnormal thing in the world to me.
Vegan Animal Sanctuary
Now that you have a little background you can begin to see why we so proudly call ourselves a vegan animal sanctuary. It feels important that we normalize the word and use it in our everyday speech. By normalizing the word it becomes less fearful for other people and in turn they become more curious. How do you think those fidget spinners gained popularity so quickly?
To Katya, it is something to be proud of. She has been a vegan for nearly 20 years; before we had all the replacement products like cashew milk. She was vegan when it was hard to be vegan and restaurants only served a salad or steamed veggies. Thankfully those days are long gone. One of us has spent a lifetime fighting for this cause and one of us had no idea.
Calling ourselves a vegan animal sanctuary may keep some from supporting our mission and goals, but this is a cause that we will never back down from until every animal is free and safe. We are proud to be a vegan animal sanctuary and are proud to be fighting on the front lines for the animals.
Thank you for your support, your donations, and most of all your kind words.
Learn More about Veganism
Want to learn more about veganism? A wealth of information is available, and to get you started, Heartwood Haven has gathered a selection of resources whether you prefer books, movies, or blogs.