Vegan Economics – My Story (Part 2)
This is Part 2 of my journey to becoming vegan and my path to understanding how economics can be used for the good of humans and animals. I strongly recommend that you read Part 1 of my story to understand the context of Part 2. Part 1 is available in the following link: https://steemit.com/economics/@spectrumecons/vegan-economics-my-story-part-1
After completing my Master’s degree at Griffith University, I got a job with Queensland Transport and Main Roads (TMR) as an economist. My job was to evaluate TMR projects using economics. I initially enjoyed applying economics as I believed that my analysis was contributing to the decision making process around which projects should be funded for investment.
I later became frustrated that the results of my analysis was actually having very little impact at all on decision making. Decisions had always been made prior to any analysis; my job was to just provide a sufficient level of work for the economic analysis to be ticked off on the business case checklist. The quality of the analysis was not particularly important. An analysis that indicated the project was economically viable was more important. I stayed employed at TMR for 8 ½ years.
I stayed at TMR because I enjoyed the work. I was able to look past the fact that what I was doing was not making an impact on anything.
I was also involved in research. I was funded by TMR to attend transport conferences. At these conferences I presented papers around improving economic analysis and to a certain extent exposing some of the problems in the existing system. Eventually, TMR stopped funding my attendance at conferences, so I funded myself. My participation in conferences was becoming far less welcome as some of the content I presented was considered controversial and not in the best interest of TMR. It was almost impossible to be a positive influence in a TMR environment where most people seemed brainwashed to just accepting that they were powerless.
In February 2016, I got a job with Building Queensland. The new workplace had a lot more energy than the previous one. People seemed excited about making a difference. Building Queensland was a new statutory authority set up to provide independent advice regarding high capital cost Government investments (projects with capital costs greater than $100M).
It did not take long before disappointment set in. Advice provided was not independent of Government. The role of the organisation was to simply push through preselected Government Initiatives. They wanted to create the impression that proposed investments were being rigorously scrutinised independently to Government interests. At this point, as I will explain in the next paragraph, I was on my journey to becoming vegan. I think becoming vegan had already motivated me to not be a part of something that was clearly unethical.
In March 2017, I left Building Queensland to start my own business, Spectrum Economics. I have embarked on an exciting new journey where I am determined that I can make a difference in the world.
So far I have discussed my passion for economics and my awareness of the manipulation of society but I have not discussed veganism or my journey to becoming vegan. My official path started in 2015 when I watched the documentary ‘Cowspiracy’. I was quite shocked at the facts presented. I checked the sources provided and looked up what I could online and I felt comfortable what was presented was accurate. From that day on I have not consumed any beef.
When my sister, Gemma aka @vegoutt-travel, returned from the cruise ship she worked on. I showed her ‘Cowspiracy’. It impacted her so significantly that she became vegan overnight. I adopted a reduced meat diet, one or two meals a week with chicken or fish. Gemma’s interest in veganism intensified. She got me to watch other documentaries such as ‘Lucent’, ‘Earthlings’, and ‘forks over knives’. I made a commitment in April 2016 to become vegetarian and I have not eaten meat since.
The last step to become vegan seemed difficult. So many products contained dairy, eggs, honey and other non-meat animal products. I had switched from dairy milk to non-dairy alternatives several years earlier. This was for health purposes rather than as a part of veganism. It did not take long for me to realise that there are many alternative products that are non-dairy and do not involve any animal abuse to produce.
Living with my sister also helped as she was introducing me to new vegan alternatives. In June 2016, I made the final step and became vegan. I have not looked back, I feel healthier, I have lost weight, and I feel happier as a person.
My journey does not stop here. I feel with my knowledge and aptitude for economics, my awakening regarding the manipulation of humans, and my passion to end animal abuse in all its forms; I am equipped to contribute to improving the lives of both humans and other animals. I have had the desire to make better use of my time for a long time but I never really had a starting point.
Becoming vegan, for me, is my starting point. By not contributing to animal cruelty through the purchase of food or clothing made from animal products and by not supporting sports that abuse animals or acquiring pets from pet breeding farms I can directly reduce cruelty.
The next steps will be more difficult. I am aiming through my Steemit page, YouTube channel, public presentations and book (work-in-progress) to influence people to make changes in their own lives. I want to help people improve their own lives, the lives of those around them and the lives of all animals. I welcome the support of all those that read my post and my other material and/or contribute in other amazing ways to create awareness of the good we can do in this world together.
Thank you for reading my posts (Parts 1 and 2). I hope my story can help encourage others that are somewhere along their own path of self-discovery. For me it was veganism that really got me on the path to change. For others it could be something different. Whatever the case maybe, I wish you all the best. Be strong, be determined, stay focused, never give up, and keep believing. We all have it in ourselves to get there.