Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Rachel Jewell and I was born and raised in good ol' Akron. I won't disclose my age. A lady never discloses her age! Let's just say I remember South Plaza over on Waterloo Road before it burned down. I also remember the Lynn Theater before that was torn down. And let's not forget back when Sparkle Market and Lawson's were over on South Main Street.
Hmm...where to begin. Well, let us get back to the title, "Who Invited The Herbivore?!" If you haven't guessed yet, I am a vegan. About a week ago I saw a post on a Facebook page that I follow, Akron Vegetarians and Vegans (it's one of those Meetup groups one can join), asking if anyone would be interested in blogging about their vegetarian/vegan lifestyle. I thought to myself, what a wonderful opportunity to allow people a glimpse into what it is like to be a vegan in our meat and dairy consuming society. Oh the questions, the criticisms, the looks, the jokes I have endured over the past, ...oh wait, I haven't told you how long I have been a vegetarian/vegan. Well, let me put that out there right now! I have been a vegetarian for ... wait for it ... 16 years. I just recently embraced the vegan lifestyle at the start of this year.
When I decided to become a vegetarian it had very little do with wanting to eat more fruits and veggies. Growing up I had a love hate relationship with vegetables. As a kid, finding vegetables on my dinner plate just meant that I had to find a very creative way to dispose of them without my parents noticing. I tried hiding those wretched vegetables underneath my plate — thinking that they would magically disappear. Needless to say my parents always discovered them. I even went so far as to wrapping them up in my napkin, excusing myself to the bathroom and sending those veggies to a watery grave! Yes, my love of animals did contribute to my decision to become a vegetarian, but I was young at the time and I just thought it would be a cool thing to do. However, as time passed my vegetarian lifestyle developed into more than just something to do, something to set myself apart from others.
I always told myself that I would never become a vegan, it was too extreme. And I liked cheese! Cheese! Cheese! Cheese! Oh that gooey melty goodness on pizzas and the creaminess of cream cheese! Let's not forget cheese puffs! Yum. You're probably asking yourself, "So why did she become a vegan if she enjoyed cheese. Why give up something you like?" It all started when I befriended several people who lived the vegan lifestyle. My conversations with them and their stories about why they went vegan prompted me to look into the lifestyle. The information I found out about factory farming, the pictures I saw, the videos I watched were a major determining factor in my deciding to become a vegan. Another determining factor was the information I came across about the health issues a meat and dairy lifestyle can contribute to or cause. For me there was no other choice but to became a vegan.
I look forward to responding to your questions and comments regarding this blog and future blogs. But most of all I appreciate the opportunity to share with all of you little glimpses into my life.
P.S. Please ignore any and all grammatical errors. I thank you in advance!