By choosing to join the military people give up many freedoms civilians have, and take for granted every day. In the military you don’t choose where you live. You go wherever the military needs you at that moment. You don’t get to have tattoos wherever you want of whatever you want. Especially in the Marine Corps where you can only have 5 visible tattoos that have to be smaller than your hand. Only ear piercings as a female and none as a male. Only natural hair color, conservative makeup, certain haircuts. You can not attend political rally’s or post your opinion on Facebook regarding your feelings on leadership or other countries. To travel it has to get approved, and forget going to certain countries, that won’t ever get approved. You can’t see your family whenever you want or get to come home for holidays every year. Being in the military definitely comes with sacrifice.
With that being said, is it possible to be in the military, and not compromise your moral beliefs and partake in the consumption of cruelty? Yes! Is it hard? Most definitely. Many people don’t know that I have been in the U.S. Air Force since the end of 2016 as a member of the TX Air National Guard. The entire process I was vegan and was not willing to change that. During my time at Lackland Air Force Base for basic training was hard. There were times that I was not able to eat, I’d choose to skip some meals that had nothing I could eat and sometimes there would be a whole day that I wouldn’t be able to eat. Especially during field training days when the only thing available for people to eat is MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat). It wasn’t the most fun, but it was only temporary! After you graduate from basic training you have full control of where you go to eat and what you want to eat.
Basic training was really the only time that it was difficult to maintain my veganism. For some people like special forces or infantry, it would be much more difficult because they go into the field for months and survive off of MRE’s, but for your every day military member being vegan and being in the military after you graduate from your basic training is just like a vegan in the civilian world! In fact I ship out to Officer Candidate School for the Marine Corps in June and my plan is the same! It will be difficult, but I know I can do it, and I know it is only for a season in my life. Vegan is possible in the military!