Do No Harm

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We as people are many parts.

How would you introduce yourself to a perfect stranger if you only had a few short sentences and limited time? What sums up exactly who you are, and what makes you, well, you?

I’ll start.

Hi. I am Jackie. I am a writer. I’m a little on the socially anxious side, and something one other thing that you’ll figure out over time or someone else will tell you before I even get the chance to open my mouth.

I am a vegan.

For those unaware of the term, calling one’s self a vegan basically means you do not eat or utilize anything that came from or involves the use of an animal.  People abstain from animal products for a wide variety of reasons like health or belief in ending animal cruelty.  Why did I go vegan? I won’t go into a long winded story, but basically I started for health reasons and, after a few documentaries and videos, moved towards the animal activism.

No worries. I’m not here to preach about animal cruelty or anything like that. I won’t show you any grotesque pictures or videos to scare you into the lifestyle or start throwing statistics at you. I don’t believe in that kind of activism. I know some do, but I just can’t. I prefer to lead by a kind example.

You catch more flies with agave, not honey because that’s not vegan,  than you do with vinegar.

I will, however, share a little about how it shaped me as a person.

Obviously, the benefits of my choices is great for the animals. Just by choosing the kinder option, I’d like to think I’ve reduced the amount of products involved in animal cruelty and thus, reduced animal cruelty itself.

As selfish as it may sound, I feel like my life has been made better by my choices.

I’m definitely a better person because of my vegan lifestyle, not a better person than anyone else, but when I think about the one key thing I’ve learned from my avoidance of any products that harm living things, I remember one thing in particular that I have learned.

I’ve learned kindness.

Adopting a plant-based diet and a vegan lifestyle taught me to recognize that I do not exist in this world alone. We should be looking into how our lives will impact those lives of others. My actions and choices can and will affect the lives of others. Will the purchase of this t-shirt help perpetuate sweat shops or worker exploitation in a foreign country? Does this company test their products on unwilling animals? Is this a company that is trying to do more than just make money?

It may sound like hippy nonsense, but it’s the absolute truth.

I’m not saying that eating or utilizing animal products makes you a bad person, but I’d like to think it’s helped me look at the world a little differently. We too often look at the world in terms of how situations will affect us and our lives, but we forget that we are not alone in this world. What we do will affect others.

I ask you all to remember this one idea, whether you choose veganism or not.

Hope for better. Look for better. Choose to do better.

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