Many of us who become vegan do so after a lifetime of meat-eating. Suddenly, unexpectedly, we have an "a-ha!" moment, a personal epiphany that changes our destiny in a split second.
This is exactly what happened to Portia de Rossi, the beautiful actress and wife of comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. Early one morning, her life changed and she could never eat meat again.
In an interview with O, The Oprah Magazine, an excerpt of which can be found here, Portia talks about how veganism took her by surprise.
She had just moved with Ellen DeGeneres to a California farm where the couple, who at the time were not yet married, raised four cows and two calves and subsequently bought a horse.
Early one morning, Portia went to check on the new members of the family out in the pasture, and lo and behold there she viewed a scene she describes as "extraordinary." Portia says she saw the cows and their calves walking single file past the horse, each one touching noses with their new friend. Then they all played together as one happy family, like little children.
Portia broke down in tears and made the decision there and then that she couldn't possibly keep eating animals.
Does this scene sound familiar to you? For me, Portia's moment of discovery resonates so strongly with my own. I became vegetarian after witnessing pigs in a transport truck being hauled off to slaughter. I saw their little pink noses sticking out of the tractor trailer and I felt as if Moses had just come down the mountain a second time, just for me, to tell me never to harm another animal again by eating its meat.
I went vegan shortly thereafter, when I met a little white duck living in a big city park. His great spirit, playfulness and love of life taught me to value all animals even more than I had been doing.
Animals teach us so much. All we have to do is open our eyes. Our hearts will follow.
Photo credit: cc: flickr.com/photos/cdelriccio