Alright, so here's the story.
When I was younger, I loved to fish. Ice fishing, boat fishing, casting off the rocks in Sudbury with David Winsa. I loved to fish. However, one day, sitting in the boat with my dad, I just saw a fish, lying in the bottom of the boat, and felt, this is wrong.
Cut to my first year of college (1993/94) and I was living in Toronto with Aaron Thompson. Riding my bike like a bat out of hell, spitting on cars in anger over their drivers' irresponsibility towards the world and environment. I had decided to become a vegetarian to try and make the world better. And it was good. But when I moved back home with my parents, I gave up vegetarianism because meal planning was difficult.
As I got older, I became more mellow, even as I saw with greater clarity, the injustices which occur in the world. I had become more comfortable with my place in the world, and I felt that for the most part I had found an uneasy peace with things. My depression has come and gone, and come again, and I've dealt with it best I can, with and without medication (although medication makes it a lot more tolerable).
But lately, since I've left the store, and have had more time to research things and think about the world and my place in it, along with my Buddhist belief in non-violence, I've just come to realize that the meat industry is just that--an industry. And animals, which I love, are but commodities in that industry. The treatment of most modern industrial animals is deplorable, and a cause of great suffering.
So, no longer am I willing to be complicit in the cruelty inflicted on animals though the consumption of meat products. Further, because I am against violence, I do not wish to partake in anything that exhibits violence against any other living, feeling, creature. Thus, I have decided to go completely vegan, absorbing, and avoiding the use of any animal-derived product whatsoever.
Further, according to the UN, the meat industry is a greater emitter of greenhouse gases than transportation, so going vegan also greatly reduces my carbon footprint. It's a nice added benefit. Regardless of where the rest of the world is going, I can at least feel confident that I'm taking my own steps to actively pursue a better world, and let my conscience rest with my place in the world.