I feel happy knowing I have taken a step to help prevent animal cruelty

Profile of a new vegan: Kyall Shanks is a dancer from Melbourne. Here is his vegan story.

My name is Kyall Shanks, I am a 22 year old Contemporary Dancer based in Melbourne. I graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts at the end of 2015 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Contemporary Dance.

Roughly 7 months ago I became vegan; before that I'd been vegetarian for about a year and a half. I had always been raised as a big meat eater but I went vegetarian because I like challenging myself and seeing what I am able to do.

In order to get more recipes popping up on my news feed I liked multiple Facebook pages with vegetarian themes or titles. What I didn't expect, though, was all the information and images about how animals are being mistreated by humans. I always try to be the most morally upright person I can and as I became aware of the animal abuse, I realized that I needed to make the transition to vegan.

My dance course at university was incredibly demanding, with up to 50 contact hours a week. As a result I began to eat like a bottomless pit, at one point I was eating up to 40 eggs a week. I see now how terrible that was, and I was incredibly surprised at how easy it was to make the transition to vegan.

I don't feel like I have given anything up. I buy faux meat and alternative food products that allow me to still eat all of my favorite foods, just without the animal products.

I feel a lot healthier for it, both physically and spiritually. I feel at ease and happy knowing I have taken a step to help prevent animal cruelty, and protect and sustain our earth.

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