In this article I want to share with you my personal story about how I got into the vegan lifestyle in 2008. The first experience I made when I was 4 years old, the second in 2006 at a farm that belongs to one of my uncles and the last at the beginning of 2008 in a fast food restaurant in Berlin.
In the sandbox
My Mother went with me to a playground next to the flat were we lived at that time. It was a beautiful day with blue sky and a lot of sunshine. I sat in the sandbox and played with my little cars. My mother sat somewhere on the edge. She read something and from time to time she watched me playing. Also the animals and for the most the insects enjoyed the nice weather. My mother showed me a few ladybugs that were crawling along. I took one of the ladybugs and placed it inside one of my cars. Then I filled the interior of the car with sand and closed all doors. After a few minutes I opened the doors. The sand fell out and also the dead ladybug. It suffocated inside the car. As my mother saw the dead bug she asked me what I have done. I told her and with shock in her voice she replied: “You shouldn’t kill animals.” I write about this experience, because it rooted the value of not harming animals deep inside me, even if it took many more years for me to become vegetarian.
A rabbit died
In autumn 2006 I visited one of my uncles. He still lives on a big farm and keeps different non-human animals. I walked around the property with my camera as my uncle and another uncle grabbed a rabbit out of its prison. They put the rabbit onto a trailer. One held the rabbit firmly while the other hit it with a wooden stick to make it numb. Then one of my uncles took a knife and cut its throat. The blood ran out of its body and I could hear the lasts breaths.
After this tragedy I did a lot of research in the web about vegetarianism and decided to go vegetarian with the 1st of January 2007.
From vegetarian to vegan was only a small step
In September 2007 I moved to Berlin in a shared flat. In spring 2008 I started a volunteer program at the BUNDjugend Berlin (a NGO that helps to raise ecological consciousness). There I was introduced to a good friend named Esther. One day Esther and I went to a nearby fast food restaurant to have lunch together. I took Haloumi, which is fried cheese and she took Falafel with only hot dressing, because this was vegan. Then I told her that I was thinking to go vegan the last days and she replied: “If you are already thinking about it, just do it. The change from vegetarian to vegan is not as big.” After that meeting I told my flatmate that he could use all of my non-vegan leftovers. Since that time I am living a lifestyle that is to 99.9% vegan. I write 99.9% because, in one winter I had a few times raw cheese, and I guess that I might ate a worm with wild fruits once in a while and I still use second hand clothing and other stuff that’s not totally vegan.
Now you know why I became vegetarian and vegan.
Since when do you live vegetarian/vegan and what has moved you to change your diet?