If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies. ~ Author Unknown

Before I was vegan, I was vegetarian. And before I was vegetarian, I consumed animals.  I’ve been thinking about evolution, specifically my vegan evolution.

Photo credit: Li’l Wolf via Flickr

“They’re worms! Bugs! They don’t matter! That’s what’s wrong with those animal-rights extremists, they care about worms more than humans!”  This, from a co-worker upon learning I was going vegetarian. I agreed that it seemed silly to care about worms. I still ate fish and eggs.

Photo credit: Marji Beach via Flickr

“Don’t you think giving up yogurt is a little extreme? I mean, it’s yogurt not a chicken.” This, from a friend upon learning I was going vegan.  I agreed it seemed silly to cut out dairy, it wasn’t as if the cows were killed, right?  I had no knowledge.

But over time, I opened my heart, my mind, and my eyes towards the world around me.  I talked to some people, I read some books, I gained some knowledge.  I evolved, at least that’s how I like to describe it.

Photo credit: gypsy roadhog via Flickr

“Wait, what? You won’t even eat honey?  WTF? Why do you always have to be so militant about things? It’s honey from an insect, they aren’t animals.”  This, from people everywhere upon learning I’m an ethical vegan.

My vegan journey is ever-evolving.  I did things early in my veganism that I wouldn’t do today.  I’ve bought non-vegan products and eaten them (on accident), I’ve bought non-vegan household items and used them to their demise (or still use them today).  I don’t mind telling you that I’ve made mistakes on my journey.  And before that, in my pre-vegan days, I made regretful decisions that cost animals their lives.

I don’t hide these mistakes, I’m not ashamed of them.  I learned from them, I evolved- I became a better me.  I am becoming a better me every day.

These days I can’t imagine thinking any action that I take to spare the life of any animal is absurd.  Defending one animal is as important as defending ten million.  They are all individuals who matter.  I’m far from where I started, yet I’ve come so far.

Where are you in your vegan journey?