Earth to Belle: Living Kindly

Belle Zhao

“Vegans are so annoying. They think that they live a superior lifestyle and they think they’re better than everyone else. Vegans, leave us alone!”

Wouldn’t you agree?

Hey all, my name’s Belle and I love this planet. As you might have guessed, I also identify as a vegan.

How did that make you feel?

I feel like whenever I tell people I’m a vegan, they formulate premature judgements about me based on misinformed assumptions and stereotypes they may have about the “vegan lifestyle.” They assume that my sole purpose in life is to shove my beliefs down their throats and convert meat eaters into frugal hippies. But that’s not what I’m about… who has the time?

A photo posted by Belle Zhao (@bellesux) on

As for me, I like good hair days, daydreaming about what I’m going to eat when I get home from school, and making Spotify playlists at three in the morning.

I’ve also been vegan for quite some time now. I started out as vegetarian back in 2013, and over the years, I’ve slowly transitioned to veganism. To be honest, I actually don’t remember what exactly pushed me to stop consuming meat. I wish I had an inspirational or compelling story to tell about my journey, but I don’t. The change wasn’t even that difficult. I honestly just wanted to treat my body better and practice humility. Growing up, I didn’t necessarily have the most self-love or the best body image. I had a hard time showing myself appreciation, but over time, I realized that the first step to feeling good was to start fueling good. I mean, after all, you are what you eat, so I made the choice to start caring. I started to think twice about my everyday actions. I started to think twice about the impact I have on this planet. I started to think twice about how I affect others. And through these changes… I started to change my life. Now, I’m here today because I want to share this with you.

Like many, I grew up loving meat. It was almost like my very being repelled vegetables. You could give me a giant plate of fried rice, and I probably would’ve meticulously picked out all the peas and diced carrots with my chopsticks, and finish the task in record speed. As a kid, there was nothing I loved more than slurping a big bowl of my dad’s fragrant lamb noodle soup after a long day of elementary school. And now, oddly enough, the mere thought of biting into a steak makes my stomach turn. It’s bizarre, it really is, but I feel like I’ve truly made the better choice for my personal self by removing animal products from my daily lifestyle.

I believe that veganism is the most ethical way to live in our modern day society, and as an environmentalist, I believe it is also the most eco-friendly way to live. Even if you don’t agree, I just hope you proceed with an open heart. There is just so much to learn about the food we put into our bodies, and the side effects of the little things most of us do every day without thinking much about it. Fortunately, there are some life-changing resources, books, videos, and documentaries out there that explain veganism much better than I can. If you’re interested, I’ve included links below.

Some Eye-Opening Links:

Life-Changing Documentaries:

Comprehensive Texts:

  • The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. and Thomas M. Campbell II, MD  (arguably the most comprehensive study on nutrition ever done)
  • The Food Revolution by John Robbins

Cheers ? || 1 orange, 2 frozen bananas, pineapple, & coconut water #vegan

A photo posted by Belle Zhao (@bellesbites) on

“[Veganism is not] just a diet or lifestyle. It is a basic prerequisite for anyone who wishes to start caring seriously about animals, including humans. It is a moral and political commitment to nonviolence.” – Ken Hopes (September 1, 2009)

It’s a popular misconception that all vegans think they’re better than everyone else. Although I can’t attest for every single vegan on the planet, I know that most of us choose veganism because we don’t think we’re better than anyone else—including animals. So why eat them? We are people of the humankind, and I believe it’s important to be both: human and kind.

Animals Slaughtered Since You Opened This Page:

The numbers below only include land animals slaughtered for food for which records were taken. They do not include the billions of marine animals killed each year. They do not include the millions of animals killed in laboratories, fur farms, animal shelters, zoos, marine parks, or circuses either. Nor do they include the animals killed by human negligence, blood sports, abuse, or extermination attempts.

Animals Slaughtered:

0 marine animals
0 chickens
0 ducks
0 pigs
0 rabbits
0 turkeys
0 geese
0 sheep
0 goats
0 cows and calves
0 rodents
0 pigeons and other birds
0 buffaloes
0 dogs
0 cats
0 horses
0 donkeys and mules
0 camels and other camelids

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