Bizarre Foods Bring Change
By: Jeremy Moore
Growing up I was passionate about animals, sports, and eating and let those things define who and what I was. I believed I was sensitive to the suffering of others but never really looked at what I was eating. In my travels I’ve eaten many bizarre foods most notably, dog meat. At 14 years old I couldn’t bring myself to eat dog meat anymore and decided to give it up, but had no qualms about eating other animals.
My love for animals in my free time was largely given to gaining experience through my hoard of lizards, snakes and turtles with the future intention of working in a zoo or breeding reptiles for a living. Upon graduation, I basically gave all those animals away to anyone that would take them since I was going to leave the state for school. I didn’t really vet anyone, I just got rid of them as quickly as I could in my own “loving way”.
Transitioning away from home as a student-athlete, I had to be on campus a good month before the rest of the students. I lined up this really cool gig at the Philadelphia Zoo Reptile and Birds of Prey exhibits. That job lasted about 1 week. The conditions there were despicable and they really didn’t want to hear complaints from an 18 year old kid. Zoos already gave me a bit of a bad taste in my mouth but I thought maybe things would be different there. They obviously weren’t.
I managed to get a wonderful volunteer position as the PSPCA(Philadelphia SPCA) where I volunteered close to 30 hours a week for two years. This job changed me forever. I fell so in love with so many of these creatures and was really heartbroken whenever one of my buddies “didn’t make it” out of the shelter in time. After a few weeks of working there, I was roaming around a back room and saw where all those magnificent animals that “didn’t make it” were being kept. There was literally a head high pile of dogs and cats. That very moment reminded me that I used to actually eat dog and I had vowed to never do it again. I then realized that all other animals I had been eating were really no different. They all deserve better. Whatever meat I consumed for breakfast on that October morning was the last.
I quickly learned of the suffering that occurs from the animals that are subject to the dairy and egg industry. There was no real transition, I found out about it and couldn’t do it any longer. Basically, I went from eating over 10,000 calories of food a day(including a lot of animals), to life completely free of animal suffering in a 2 week window. That was in the middle of October 2001. My track coach was not supportive of me going vegan and feared I’d dwindle away. In reality, I got much stronger, very quickly and managed to be the Rookie Conference Athlete of the Week two times in a row. Unfortunately, week three gifted me with a career ending hand injury that I never really came back from.
I left school, had surgery, tried to come back, reevaluated and picked up cycling. I had to lose a good 100+ pounds to be taken seriously and accomplished that in one year. Two years later, I was winning races on the velodrome as well as time trial courses.
In 2009, I managed to get on the Philippine National Cycling Team and stayed there a bit before picking up speed skating. I’ve had a few hiccups with a car accident but I’m on my way back and have hopes on being a World Cup and Olympic Speed Skater. My goal is to use these competitive avenues as a means of bringing light to the suffering of animals in the Philippines.