Seeing Animals For the First Time
Below, enjoy a beautiful excerpt from Vegan’s Daily Companion by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, who just so happens to be one of my personal activist heroes. I am in love with this book, and the passage below clearly shows why. One of my favorite parts in Vegan’s Daily Companion is when Colleen shares stories about people all over the world who have gone vegan for a variety of reasons. Below is the story of a man named Ian from Dubbo, Australia. If you haven’t already, please pick up this or any of Colleen’s kiss-worthy books about vegan living and cooking.
Seeing Animals for the First Time
"I had been a meat-eater most of the my life, but for the last ten years, I had been really into fitness and a healthy lifestyle. This has made me look at vegetarian options and the benefits of being a vegetarian from a purely nutritional standpoint.
Recently, a vegan friend from college asked me why, if I believe "compassion" was so important, I ate "innocent animals." Something clicked. Just a few days earlier one of our dogs, Gidget, had passed away having been bitten by a black snake. I'm sure this, combined with my friend's question, somehow awakened my mind. Now I had both health and ethics to consider. That night, I typed "compassion" and "vegetarian" into Google and found the Food for Thought podcast, and I watched a video on slaughter. I literally "woke up."
I do not handle blood and gore very well, but I forced myself to watch the whole video. I had, and still have, that horrible feeling I think all vegans can identify with - where you just see the enormity of the problem and feel brain-washed by the media and the food lobbyists. I felt helpless but absolutely compelled to act.
The problem was telling my wife. She grew up with her family breeding "stud cattle." About six months ago, I told her I wanted to go vegetarian and was met with firm protests about how restrictive it would be. I did not follow through with it as a result, but this time I told her I was going vegetarian and that I was going to try and not have dairy. I then broke it to her the next day that I was adopting a vegan lifestyle. Because of my joy and conviction this time around, it went surprisingly well.
In addition to our remaining dogs and cats, we have horses, chickens, sheep, and a steer, whom we love as our companions. Wearing my new vegan cap, I feel like I am seeing these animals for the first time. The joy I now feel as a vegan is amazing. It is easily the best decision I have ever made."
To learn more about The Vegan's Daily Companion, visit