Q: What is an animal?

What changed me? It wasn’t a movie, something on Youtube or a book in particular that changed my entire view on the world – it was one single thought that led to many others. The thought just hit me, I don’t remember when exactly, probably while talking to my father. So, what was this life changing thought then?

I am just human; an animal.

That’s right, animal. What is the definition of ‘animal’ really? What I’m about to say is my view on this topic, it’s what I think and how I react to this. It’s not the ‘only right opinion’, it’s just a daydreamers thought.

Animal = living creature that isn’t a plant.

So, I know many people think humans are more valuable than (other) animals. I know that, I’ve been there, done that. But then I started questioning it, why are they animals and I’m not? What’s the difference between us? Is it because humans have a more complex language, that we can combine things (like rock with stick + wire = weapon) or because we’re so many? Well, there are more ants than humans so probably not that. But, still, why aren’t we animals?

How did this change our value so much? I get it, we can do things other species can’t but aren’t all humans worth the same even if everyone can’t do everything that others can? We’d never say that, so why do we think so about other animals?

Why is my life worth more than a pigs? Than hundreds of pigs?

Animals can be very different, some are large, others are small, some eat other animals, other eat plants. Why don’t we fit in in any of these categories?

While walking yesterday I found a stone on the ground, I picked it up and started playing with it. Several times it fell down on the ground again. That’s when I thought about this topic again. We like to think that we’re gods or something, but we’re not and I’m happy that isn’t the case. Being supposed to rule the entire world? Seeing everything as yours? I’m glad I’m not a god. I’m glad because I can’t throw that stone up and down without sometimes failing.

We’re not the only ones on this planet. We have to see and remember that.

I left many questions unanswered here for you to think on your own, what your thoughts and opinions on this are.

Plant-based? But how?

After watching vegan documentaries, visiting websites that write about climate change and when you’re starting to see the other side of it, it’s natural to panic a little. Believe me, I’ve been there. I don’t remember exactly when I started to feel guilty after eating meat and questioning my choices, I don’t remember what made me do that either. But I do know after that feeling started growing inside me, there was no going back.

I think that’s what frightens people; being trapped. You want to do something because your heart tells you what’s happening is wrong, but what? What can I, as only one person, do to change? Here are some advice for changing the diet:

  • Try plant-based a couple of times a week, cook your own food and try different kinds of plant-based.
  • Try plant-based with someone, like a parent, sibling or a friend. It can be really helpful.
  • Don’t rush! Let your decisions take time and think them through. I’m not saying you should try to find reasons to keep up the meat eating, I’m saying that if being vegan/vegetarian/pescetarian is going to work then you need to make a plan. There are many websites that can help you plan your diet (just google ‘plant-based diet meal plan’).
  • Information! Google nutrients that are in meat (or whatever you want to replace) and find new sources in plant-based food. Google recipes to cook, find something that sounds delicious and try it out.
  • Take it easy on yourself! Going vegan/vegetarian overnight is hard, let it take time and don’t hate yourself for accidentaly eating animal products. It happens to everyone sometimes, for some more than others.
  • Find a motivation! Going plant-based is getting easier but it’s still a process. Let animal rights, the environment or your health be your light when it gets hard. What will keep you going? Find it!
  • Explore the community! There are so many vegans and vegetarians in the world who shares their stories and how they live their lives on social media. It’s a great source of inspiration!

If being vegan or vegetarian isn’t possible for you at the moment or the step simply feels too big, then my tip for is to try Meatless Monday, take a plant-based burger instead or use plant milk when cooking. It’s a good start and when you go slow the steps won’t feel too big.

Everyone can do something.