Meat Managing

Most people get their personal sense of identity somewhere between the categorizing of middle school and the cliques of high school. In the gap is where I hunted down my own sense of self, among prank calls and hair dye experimentation. That’s where I got the idea of who I wanted to be eventually. I knew the basics, like spunky and smart, obviously, but I didn’t know a whole lot of specifics, like what profession and what purpose. The only specific thing I knew about my future self is that she is a vegan.

As silly as it sounds to attach an identity to certain eating habits, vegan was a term by which I really came to understand myself. If not anything else, I was a vegan. Ever since I’ve known myself as a person, I’ve been a vegan. As I prepare for my work in Ecuador, I find the two hard to separate. In Ecuador, I know in order to fully experience a different culture and to wholly commune with a new family, I must be open to every food, dairy, meat and all. And I know that not being a vegan in Ecuador would be, by my understanding, more ethical than in America.

I’m just hoping that in losing something without veganism, I gain something through experience. But I guess that’s the point of a bridge year, isn’t it?

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