Author: Suzanne Sisomphone
Hi, my name is Suzanne and I’m going to share a story with you about how and why I went vegan. First, let me start off by saying that I was raised to believe that meat had to be part of almost every meal and/or dish. So,majority of my life I was eating meat. I remember the first time seeing a cow being slaughtered in front of me when I was a kid. I had originally thought my family was taking me and my siblings to enjoy a nice day at the farm.Unfortunately, it was a backyard slaughter house. It was a very cruel image, but at that time I didn’t understand what I was witnessing because I didn’t see any kind of sad emotions on the faces of my family members; it was a normal practice for them. Once I entered my early 30’s, I started to experience health problems such as depression, I was overweight, I started noticing skin issues, I was diagnosed as prediabetic and in all reality I was just living a poor unhealthy lifestyle. The doctor insisted I make a change or else things would continue to worsen. So, I decided to make a change and although it took some time,I knew I was headed in the right direction. I joined the gym, dedicated my time to health & fitness, quit smoking cigarettes, prepped & cooked all my vegan meals remaining focused on my plant based/vegan journey that eventually just became a lifestyle. Truth! I first started because of my health and in time, I learned more and more by reading, researching and watching Youtube videos.
During my diet I was already feeling disgusted with how meat and poultry tasted. Majority of the time I ate fruits and vegetables. Beef, chicken, and pork just didn’t taste the same or right to me anymore. Each bite I took, left me feeling unhappy and miserable. After switching to a plant-based lifestyle I noticed I was dropping tons of weight, but I was experiencing nutrient deficiency. I would feel tired, weak, hungry, and moody so I decided to educate myself by learning more about natural proteins, and what to eat so I can properly transition safely into a vegan lifestyle. I started to dig deeper into my research, watched food documentaries such as “Cowspiracy” & “Sustainable”. I read into a variety of different stories about the benefits of going vegan and started following the vegan community so that I could be more involved and educated. That’s when I learned about Farm Animal Refuge, but I’ll get into that later. From there, I decided to make a difference, not only for my health, but for the environment and animals. I don’t advocate, but I do share information and try to inspire others with compassion.
2016 is when I decided to go full vegan. Becoming vegan was now part of my fitness journey. Tell you the truth I didn’t struggle too much transitioning because it was something I wanted to do. It was the right thing to do! 2 years later and I am still vegan. Before I was vegan, I weighed a little over 200lbs. After my transition, I lost about 70 lbs. and I feel great with so much energy! I feel alive! I feel healthy! I feel woke! I feel strong! I also feel like I didn’t make this change for myself, but it was that feeling of saving animals and helping to protect the planet. I’m an animal lover and a nature girl. I spend a lot of my time outdoors being grounded with nature so It’s important to me that I help voice the issues of the environmental impact on animal agriculture, and teach others about the truth behind farm factories. As I mentioned before, with compassion.
Overall, being vegan has been amazing. In the beginning, I wanted to be more involved, so after observing Farm Animal Refuge on social media and their website for a few months I realized they were just an hour away from San Diego, and I needed to visit. I never knew about sanctuaries, but after learning more about them and what they do I had to experience it for myself. Being at the farm is a blessing! The interaction with the animals was very therapeutic for me, and I’m sure for the animals too. Spending time with them teaches you about understanding, being calm, how to be gentle, patience, and love.
Thank you to Farm Animal Refuge for continuing to educate the community and also giving me the opportunity to experience the farm life and for allowing me to share my story with the vegan community. I’ll continue to share my journey down the line.
You can also checkout my vegan cooking page @ohveganway for creative vegan cooking ideas.
Thanks for reading!