When beginning on the adventure of animal rights and the quest for equality for all sentient beings, it is common for people to believe that people need to be encouraged to take baby steps. Often when they say this, they are referring to encouraging people to go vegetarian first and hoping they will go vegan later.
I understand this thought process for two reasons. Firstly, I understand that telling people they need to go vegan to stop animal suffering is no easy task. But when I consider the alternative for the animals, I force myself to think very careful about what information and options I present to others. This brings me to my second reason and that is, I was a vegetarian for 12 years before I finally went vegan. So, when I first think about the idea of vegetarian first, vegan second, the idea makes sense. But when I think about it again I realize that the one thing, the one thing, that made me go vegan was very simply just being given the information. Information: BOOM! I was vegan! That was it! End of story! End of me saying, “I’m just vegetarian, but I could never be vegan!” I use to say that! And so I say with love, respect, empathy, and knowledge that while I understand where all you, “Go Veg!” people are coming from, I think you couldn’t be more wrong. Yes, people should make baby steps but the first step should be veganism.
~ Amy U. Shafer (September 28, 2011)