The earth was heavy with moisture and thick with trailing grass roots. Still, with each shovel full of dirt, my resolve to finish what I had started grew. On the ground, next to the hole I was digging, lay a new woolen shawl, a pair of leather shoes, a leather belt and some sleeping tablets made with milk.
It took me some time to fight through the grass roots and waterlogged earth, but with perseverance, the hole grew to a satisfactory size. I picked up the items lying next to me, delicately setting each piece of my history inside the small hole, and then quickly began to bury them.
All forward momentum in our lives is stunted by the emotional, physical and material baggage that tethers us to the past, and my transition to veganism was no different. The small makeshift grave I was now standing above marked the beginning of putting the cruelty in my past to rest.
To internalize the vegan ideal I had to come to terms with my speciesist treatment of animals. I knew that to move forward I could no longer treat certain feeling, breathing, sentient beings as if they existed solely to feed and clothe me while cherishing others as companions and friends.
After I made this decision, the question remained over what to with the animal-based items that lingered in my life. This story began with my final decision to bury them. Since some people may disagree with this choice, I wish to explain my thought process to remove any confusion.