My Life Journey Begins…When I Heard My Voiceless Friends

The following is an article by Carol Pan, a Singaporean vegan. Carol shares with us her life story as a vegan and how was it like surviving as a vegan in Singapore.

I had officially started my life journey as a vegetarian since 1999. In fact before that I’d tried once not having any meat consumption for a week. But I did it because of my religion as a Buddhist. That one week to me seems one year, as I was too young and was not guided on how I should start off, so I took plain biscuits for my meals. On the third day of the week I started feeling weak, worst of all I started vomiting, having diarrhoea and fever.

I consulted a doctor and was thus diagnosed with dengue fever. For the rest of that one week I totally lost my appetite till I started recovering after three days of good rest. Then guess what? I find myself too pathetic starving so I decided to give up. The first thing I did was to dial for KFC delivery and I enjoyed a chicken feast!

One fine day in 1999, my mum casually passed me a DVD from one of the Buddhist temple of how farm animals are slaughtered for food. I was so terribly shocked after watching. I wasn’t aware that cruelties are injected to the poor animals such as being enclosed in small cages; pigs got electrocuted, their ears nipped off without any anesthetics during the process. I cried while finishing the whole movie. I can remember that’s the moment when I swore I’ll never eat them again!  All the more I couldn’t bring myself to hurt any animals whom are of the same kind like my pet dog.

Nevertheless, I still eat eggs and dairy products since I thought they don’t have to die for them. My family wasn’t vegetarians but they do respect me for being one. So usually we’ll visit different vegetarian restaurants for any festive celebrations. I don’t force them to think like me, but I never stop educating them all these while.

Most typical people always think that meat is very essential for our health wellness and it’s hard to change them since eating meat has like been a tradition for the Chinese. I was very firm and never have the urge to consume any meat at all throughout these years. It wasn’t at all difficult when we find ourselves very good reasons why we shouldn’t! That’s why my second attempt lasted for more than ten over years.

Fortunately, there are many good vegetarian restaurants around in Singapore. So I don’t find any difficulties having delicious meals outside at all! The other benefit about being a non meat-eater, I look so much younger than my actual age. I was also very often complimented for my good complexion too.

Several months back I began to visit the vegetarian and vegan pages in Facebook, that’s where I found myself many vegetarian/vegan friends all over the world. The truth of the meat industries became more visually exposed to me. I realize that eggs and dairy products were produced through the animals’ sufferings too! Even those of our daily essential needs such as fur wears, cosmetics or beauty products also support animals’ cruelty.

That’s when my final or complete stage of being a vegetarian had reached its peak.

I switched to a vegan by stopping eggs, dairy products, honey and I buy eco friendly products for daily essential usage, and somehow it automatically shoo me away when I saw leather products too during shopping. I ensure I watch out for the ingredients contained on every choices of food I’d chosen to be fed into my stomach.

Now I ate lots of fruits and veggies. It makes me feel wonderful. I felt lighter, healthier and most importantly enjoy a more complete guilt-free lifestyle. I don’t contribute sufferings to the other sentient beings. I’m more clear-headed on what I want in life. I hope to fight for the voiceless, as long as I’m still breathing in my remaining life. Just my strength alone can be too weak and I know very well it’s beyond my ability to change the entire world. But I won’t stop, even if at the end of the day I might only change one person’s view, I will pass on without regrets.

There’s a favourite quote of mine I’d like to share with all of you:

‘I won’t die if I don’t eat meat, but they definitely will if I did.’

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Author: amandateng

I blog about Healthy Living in Singapore.

26 thoughts on “My Life Journey Begins…When I Heard My Voiceless Friends”

  1. Hello,
    If you truly care about animal rights and their welfare I strongly suggest that you refrain from eating eggs and dairy products (cheese & milk) as well as buying these products is actually supporting the egg and dairy industry.
    Lets start with new born chicks… the girls are separated from the boys as the girls will be allowed to live horrendous lives of egg producing machines. The newly hatched boys in the millions are massacred, they are either ground up or tied up in big plastic bags so they all suffocate to death since they are of no use to man and considered waste products. The female chicks are raised and they grow up to be hens are kept in battery cages about 10 of them per cage. These hens never know the feel of walking on land, flapping their wings or breathing fresh air. They live (all ten of them) in 2′ x3′ cages and they will peck on each other, trample on each other because of irritation and lack of space to move. They cant even flap their wings, that is why their beaks are cut so that they cannot hurt each other. Some of them will accidentally get their feet or necks entangled in the dirty wire cages so they die a slow agonizing death and they are left there to rot together with the other still living hens.
    And how about dairy cows…. they are also confined in small quarters and are constantly impregnated so they will keep on producing milk. But the milk is not enough so they are injected with RBGH (hormones) in order to triple milk production which will be good for the industry but not for the dairy cows as these hormones will cause deformities in the cows. Because of the drug/hormones they will produce overwhelming amounts of milk which is good for the industry but bad for the dairy cows as this will eventually cause them to have mastitis ( an infection of the mammary glands). Puss and blood comes out with the milk, so in order to control this they are regularly injected with antibiotics. After only a couple or several years the dairy cow is spent and exhausted and they can hardly walk because of the swelling of their mammary glands and the severe calcium depletion. Then they are crippled and when this happens they will just collapse and unable to stand any longer, these in the industry are called “downers’, so because they are already spent and useless to the industry they are cruelly dragged and hauled in to the slaughter houses.
    That is just the story of the dairy cow, now lets see at all the calves she has delivered. Almost instantly… the born calf even if it has not yet learned to stand on its own is separated from the mother by force. Just imagine the anguish of the mother cow seeing her new born calf being taken away from her. Then the calf is sent to another place to produce veal meat. The calf is fed not her mothers milk that is valuable to his health but a special iron deficient preparation designed to make his muscles pale. He is confined in a cage where he cannot turn or move at all so that his muscles will never develop thus making his meat pale and soft which human veal eaters find desirable. He lives in his cage not being able to move bathing in his own manure and urine and this ordeal lasts for 3 to 4 months… that will be his entire life span as after these 3 -4 months he will be slaughtered already to be consumed by humans as expensive veal meat.
    This is the whole picture of the dairy industry. This is where your eggs, cheese and milk comes from. If you don’t believe it go check in the internet or better still watch “Earthlings”.
    I hope this will help in anyway to make you realize that the dairy industry is even more cruel than the meat industry. I hope you find this informative.

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    1. Hello Rodney, thanks for sharing. 🙂 Carol, Kat and myself are vegans as we understand what is happening in the industry.

      Cheers,
      Amanda

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      1. You’re welcome. I was just explaining to someone here who refrains from eating meat… but eats egg, cheese and milk and thinks that no animal is abused or killed since these are just by products of animals, not knowing the ordeal of these animals from where they get these products from.

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    2. Hi Rodney,

      Great that you’d know such plenty of knowledge! You are awesome.:-)

      Thanks for sharing. Anyway the 3 of us jolly well know and we WON’T love one but eat the others. In fact you’d missed out the animals cruelty parts such as fur,leather,feathers,or any other products that was tested on animals like shampoo,bathing soap,cosmetic or beauty products. And never support circus, usage of palm oil, most medications as they all contribute sufferings to animals!

      Therefore i’d like to say is avoid things where you HAVE a choice not to. And we all can make this planet a better place for everyone(that include the animals and humans). 😉

      Carol Pan

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      1. Thanks Carol,
        I do know the things that I missed out on…Like I said I was just pertaining and referring to the comment shared above by someone earlier on this thread that he/she was not eating all sorts of meat but was only eating dairy products like eggs, milk & cheese since she/he thought that it was OK because these dairy products were all “LIFE-LESS”.
        I was just sharing something she/he might not know about “DAIRY PRODUCTS”… the horror and abuse behind it. I wanted him/her to know that behind dairy products is a story which is far more horrible than the story behind the animals being slaughtered for the meat industry.
        Because the animals behind dairy products get to be abused more as they are milked their whole entire lives PLUS they also get slaughtered for their meat when they are already spent and useless to man. So to me… generally dairy animals suffer more.
        So if one thinks that you’re not supporting animal cruelty since you’re not directly eating meat because it’s just dairy you consume then you must think again…
        Rodney

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      2. Hello Rodney, thanks for being so passionate especially on behalf of the dairy animals. Its good to have someone pointing such facts out for us. I understand it is not easy to make the switch from an omnivore to vegetarian. And for myself too, to make the switch from vegetarian to vegan is not easy either. Hence, I always admire anyone who is able to make the switch. Likewise, we (Carol, Kat and myself) will always to available to answer any queries on how to go veg*an. Anyone is free to drop us a mail at sgvegan.wordpress@gmail.com

        A step is taken, no matter how small. Lets try to give our support to everyone out there who is interested to embark on a vegetarian or vegan diet, whether it is for health, environmental or animal concern reasons. 🙂

        Cheers,
        Amanda

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  2. Agree with you totally!!!

    Hmmm…Not many ppl at our age have such view……
    Hmmm… Add me on facebook if you don mind, k? 🙂

    Nice to know you and the ppl who care for animal on this forum…

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    1. Dear Oscar,

      Sure! You’d like to add me instead? At least you know how I look like and you won’t get the wrong person.

      You can find me under my name: Carol Pan

      Thanks and cheers to our friendship! 😉

      Like

  3. Hmmm…
    Totally agree with your views on eating meat.
    I was a Vegetarian since 7 years old and it go on for the last 20 years.

    My family was Buddhist and it was after one of the Buddhist class i went at 7 year old, that i decided to be a vegetarian then. My mum do not like the idea as she worry abt if that will affect my health as i was still a kid and very very young. However she give in after seeing i am so strong on my views.
    Hey but it does not affect my health at all, i am now 1.81m tall and around 70kg with good skin and good health after 20 yrs of vegetarian… hahaha.

    Even though i seldom go Buddhist lessons these days, i still remain a vegetarian.
    Animal have their rights to be respect and live. Is kind of very cruel and bad to actually kill them and take away their life to satisfy our taste buds. I feel is kind of very mean.
    Don really undertstand why human do that and feel really pity the animals.
    However i don force my views on meat eater cos is also their rights, i just share with them my views and the rest is up to them.

    I just hope that one day, no ppl on the earth will eat meat and no animals will need to suffer because of human taste buds, is kind of sad and cruel to animal.

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    1. Hi Oscar

      Thanks for being kind to the animals as well. I hope more people can hear us,we really NEED NO meat or animals products to stay healthy.

      And YES! All animals have the rights to live,even if anyone doesnt like them,please just kindly leave them alone!

      Hope you can continue to speak up for the voiceless friends. 🙂

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    1. Hi Anon(?),

      It’s a good question here! Of course I don’t. I’m not a celebrity whereby I’ll need botox to keep myself young just for this article.

      Maybe you’d not meet any friends who are vegans/vegetarians(which is a pity of course), but I do have and indeed they don’t require any ‘special treatment’ on their faces.

      Anyway trying is believing. You should try stop eating meats,no dairy and eggs,take more veggies and fruits,do more exercises for a period of three months at least. You’ll automatically have lesser toxic in your body. You will know if you’d need botox by then. 🙂

      Good luck!

      Regards.
      Carol Pan

      Like

    1. Hi Rachel,

      Thanks for supporting Amanda’s blog. Hope you continue to be inspired and not forget to look out for her next article.

      It’s great enough to be a vegetarian. You can progress to a vegan slowly,on your own comfortable pace. 🙂

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    2. Hey Rachel, thanks for your compliment. It won’t have been possible without you! Like what Carol said, its great that you are a vegetarian. Taking the step to being vegan is not easy, so take your time. Slow and steady ok? 😉 If you have any questions you would like to ask myself (or SGVeganGrrrls, Katrina and Carol), please feel free to drop us an email at sgvegan.wordpress@gmail.com We’ll get back to you! 🙂

      Cheers,
      Amanda

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  4. Hi Amanda, I found your blog interesting. Im a pesco-veg though I try to be vegan as much as I can.
    I have put up you link on my blog. Hope to you will find what I write interesting as well.
    I love plants and I love eating them too ahahah
    Hear from you soon

    Like

    1. Hey Hedrick, thank you for your kind words and support. I am really grateful to all my readers & supporters, especially SGVeganGrrrls (Katrina and Carol) as without them, SGVegan will not be thriving. Keep striving towards your goal of being vegan – its not easy and I fully understand. My advice to my friends who are interested would be to try your best, and keep friends who are of positive influence to you near you. That way, half the battle is solved. I’ll have a look at your blog, good to hear you love plants! Hee. 🙂 Have a nice day!

      Cheers,
      Amanda

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  5. Thanks for sharing. I too started being vegetarian because of videos I ‘accidentally’ came across 5 years ago. Last year, reading the book ‘Eating Animals’ by Jonathan Safran Foer reinforced my determination to continue.

    Unfortunately, I still haven’t quite reached the point of being able to switch completely to being a vegan. I truly admire your determination in that. Finally, love the ending quote!

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    1. Dear innocenz,

      Thanks for reading. Yes we can always start off as vegetarian first before switching to a complete vegan. though it isn’t really easy but not that tough either.

      All we need is a good reason why we should and that’s all.

      I’m sure you can do better than me in the near future. Cheers! 🙂

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  6. That’s an inspiring story, and a great quote at the end. So true, that we can be healthy, maybe even healthier, on a vegan diet, and, at the same time, a vegan diet is kinder to our fellow animals and to the eco system. Congratulations, Carol!

    p.s. – please come to the ACRES event this Sat at Chong Pang CC

    Like

    1. Hi George,

      Thank you for your compliment. Actually I’m not a person good at written words. But I just tried my best to come out with one,from the bottom of my heart.
      And yes,we can live better on a vegan diet for sure. 🙂
      I do hope more people are willing to start off their brand new life journey like mine.

      Like

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