Who Am I
My name is Chris. I was born in Haiti, and I grew up there until the age of 16. Haiti is known to be one of the poorest countries on earth, I could indeed witness a very great misery on a daily basis. Faced with such misery, my childhood dream was to one day be able to end world hunger, and especially injustice, inequality, and violence. As with many, I was born into a family where the consumption of meat, dairy products, and other animal by-products was "normal" practice.
Oddly, very early on, I knew what a vegetarian was, and what a vegan was. I already knew about these choices of diet and lifestyles, and clearly distinguished the difference there was. But that did not encourage me to question my habits so far. So I was one of the people who ate what was put on his plate because it "tastes good". With my friends, we would list our favorite preparations for such and such meat. I do not recall having eaten it at first because it was good for my health and that it was a source of protein. No. I just ate it because I thought it was good and everyone around me was doing the same anyway. In addition to that, I ate almost all kinds of flesh, and almost every piece of animals: liver, wings, steaks, testicles, oysters, shellfish, pig feet, chicken feet, beef tongue, ribs, etc. The only thing that repelled me was the brain. There I said stop. Why? No idea.
Besides that, like many, I considered myself the best friend of animals. I watched the whelping of my dogs, I was careful that their puppies were fed fairly, etc ... In the courtyard of the house, we had all kinds of animals with which I gladly played: rabbits, turtles, hamsters, turkey, turtledoves, hens, cats ... And for the holidays, my parents would buy the hens, guinea fowl and turkeys, with which I played at first, and when the time came for the cook to cut off their heads, I stood in the front row. I still thought it was the "normal" thing to do.
Moving To France
At the age of 16, I decided to go live in France to follow one of my childhood dreams: Becoming a professional soccer player. Well, your guess is right: It didn't work out. But, having remained a true sports fan, I started to hang out at the gym at the age of 18. Tadaaa! And from there, the idea of eating meat to fill up on protein to gain muscle and progress became my primary concern. I also added to this, of course, all the dietary supplements that the seller of the store and gym buddies would advise me.
The Wake-Up Call
So I ate meat and consumed everything that came from animals until I reached 25. The quarter-century wake-up! It was on this morning of December 22nd, 2013, that after watching a short film, I decided to stop consuming meat. This short film is made by Maxime Ginolin, and stares his artistic character, MagicJack, in the context of a lawsuit against a notorious "carnist".
The arguments of this short film acted like a bomb in my head. Ethics, Health and Environment, everything is covered. It's in French, but you can enable the closed-caption.
As a great follower of justice and freedom, this masterpiece, in my opinion, made me realize that my lifestyle was in total contradiction with my aspirations. How could I want to stop world hunger and end injustice if I myself consumed violence, which was one of the major causes of famine in the world?
When I got to think about how it happened, I realized that when I would meet a vegetarian, it never occurred to me that he suffered from a deficiency. The remarks I dealt with when becoming vegetarian, then vegan, at no time crossed my mind before this. If a vegetarian was standing in front of me, he certainly was in good shape. I deeply respected and admired his choice not to eat the animals. I had also started to reduce my consumption of meat because I had learned that in a Chinese village, the secret of the inhabitants to live longer was to reduce the consumption of meat. I even happened to feel a certain disgust when starring a burger advertisement under a bus shelter. Except that none of this had pushed me to operate the change.
Being Vegetarian, then Vegan
At first, I went fully vegetarian. No longer having meat to organize the preparation of my meals, my diet was reduced to pasta and fries. I ate a lot of vegetables outside without knowing their names, but at home, I hardly bought any because I did not know how to cook them. Besides lettuce and tomato for salads, I didn't know much about vegetables. I started off by saying to myself: "Ok, let's see what it will be like. If you get sick, you can just go back to eating like before". Except that I never backed down, because the more I learned, the more the information proved me right.
However, I was still speciesist because I had sometimes eaten fish or seafood outside, when what was offered to me apart from that seemed too light. I did not consider that the taste justified the fact of eating it, but that it was not necessary either to "starve". Then, came the viewing of Gary Yourofsky's speech. And from that moment, I was done with fish, seafood, egg and dairy for good. I no longer had any excuses. If I didn't have enough to eat, I would fill my hunger when I got home.
Besides that, I continued going to the gym, but my entourage considered that the muscle mass that I managed to maintain, was there only thanks to the meat that I ate before.
From there I stopped weight training completely for almost 3 years. From 78 kilos, I dropped down to 68. No more muscle was noticeable on my body. After these 3 years, I, therefore, decided to put the stereotypes on veganism to the test. At that time, I had no knowledge of bodybuilders who were Vegans. Armed with all the techniques I acquired in previous years, in the space of just a few weeks, I went from 68 to 80 kilos. The clothes were starting to get too tight. I had suits adjusted to my size, and in which, I looked ridiculous. The buttons on my shirts were suffering. I had to redo a whole part of my wardrobe. It gave me a great reminder: Vegans can build muscles! But I still had the feeling that this was not enough.
Launching The Vegan Prophets
Seeing the results I was getting, I naively thought that it would at least make people stop with their stupid remarks. Not at all! I was still entitled to the same questions that you all know. I had shown vegan bodybuilders, athletes, etc ... nothing helped. And even when I managed to nail down the fact that a vegan does not automatically suffer from a deficiency, they felt that my case was necessarily an exception. Even my girlfriend and my son being Vegan also, and in good shape, were also exceptions! Argh!
So I felt like my person was probably not legitimate enough in their eyes. But I knew that great scientists and intellectuals who are recognized by all for their genius, were concerned about what humans were doing to animals. I was aware of their quotes, which for me today resonate like "prophecies".
And since these quotes didn't have the word "vegan" in them, and non-vegans tend to block their brains as soon as they see or hear the word "vegan", I thought it would be efficient to illustrate these messages, and broadcast them as widely as possible. And one of the best ways to do so, is to simply wear them.
This is how the concept of The Vegan Prophets emerged: Wear subliminal animal rights quotes from historical individuals who's legitimacy would be hard to contest (Buddha, Da Vinci, Pythagoras, Hippocrates and so on).
I consider these individuals to be some kinds of "prophets" since their words are being put into practice by more and more of people nowadays. But "prophets" only because of the dimension of wisdom, justice, and equality that a prophet can have, and in no case for his posture of the savior of the world. Some may not approve the choice of word, but I think that it is the most appropriate to define the vision :).
So since non-vegans are often not willing to listen, let's be messengers, vegan prophets, and give them a little bit of reading in an attempt to free their mind from speciesism.
“May all that have life be delivered from suffering.” -Buddha
If you've gone this far, I would like to thank you for your attention and hope you appreciated my story :).