I’ve become a vegan and I’m loving it. Why did I decide to take the plunge? It started with one main reason and the reasons only grew from there. My desire to improve how I felt physically was the gateway to this new way of eating and the many shifts that took place in my consciousness even shortly afterwards has kept me inspired and on track, as did the lure of the deliciousness and beauty of the bright, colourful, and vibrant food to be had. I perceive Life differently now, and the zest and aliveness that has arisen within me has made me fall in love – in love with myself, others, all animals, the earth…. Life! So yes, its true, I went vegan and I’m loving every minute of it!
I have tried every manner of eating starting with the basic North American diet. From there I moved to a vegetarian diet, then to raw, then back to meat, eggs, and dairy, and back to vegetarianism again, including eggs and dairy. There were so many studies out there espousing the benefits of this way or that way of eating, so I kept going back and forth. Getting older, I was starting to feel stiffness in my joints, my mother even noticed my hands were showing early signs of arthritis. I had read that eliminating dairy would rid joints of inflammation, so I decided to try the vegan way of eating and it worked. Being off the dairy, my whole body felt less stiff. Slowly, however, dairy started inching its way back into my routine – a coffee with triple cream here, a latte there, what could it hurt? Its only once in a while, I would justify; I could deal with the bit of stiffness if need be. Then eggs started to creep back in – because I love my french toast brunches!
My first attempt at veganism, however, had opened my heart to include more far reaching reasons to be vegan than my own physical well being. Now, caring for the animals became important to me. I had become conscious of the day upon day of suffering that cows and chickens endure in factory farms so that I could enjoy my dairy and eggs. Also, I was coming to understood the connection between the factory farming industry and environmental degradation, as well as its connection to the starvation of so many people around the world whose countries’ land is allocated to growing crops, not to feed themselves, but to feed the massive amount of livestock bred around the world for meat and dairy. So, it goes without saying, I didn’t love that I was letting my old conditioned habits of eating make their way back in. Its a process, though, and attempt by attempt, desire upon desire, educating myself on all the scrumptious food that would be available to me, seeking out others who share in this new way of being and eating …. then one day I was there.
The final blow to my old ways of eating came by way of one specific scene in a documentary called, H.O.P.E. What You Eat Matters. It was a scene in which a cow was being stunned by an electric prod to the head, (a routine practice done before slaughtering), which had to be repeated because the first attempt didn’t get the desired result. After the initial shock and as she was falling, this cow looked up, her eyes reaching out conveying an expression equivalent to a person reaching out with their hands if drowning; it was so haunting. When I saw that, I was done and I mean really done. No more meat or dairy for me, any and all temptation evaporated. For me, there was just no more willingness to be complicit in the suffering of another being, another consciousness – no more.
If my first attempt at veganism opened my heart and broadened my consciousness, my commitment to my new way of eating has cracked them wide open! As I embrace this new way of being in the world, my truest of natures seems to spring forth naturally; I feel more aligned with Life and receptive to the adventurous and loving new directions it leads me in. I feel its love, joy, and magnanimity moving through me, giving me a satisfaction that I’ve never known. My consciousness feels in constant expansion and mergence with an ever evolving collective consciousness and within this fresh and ever growing consciousness, the problems and injustices of the world that once felt so complex, life depleting, and impossible to overcome, those that rob us all – animals and environment included – of our dignity, freedom, and true capacity for spiritual and physical abundance and progression, they unravel and bare their secrets, thus; revealing their roots and means for transformation.
As consciousness expands and evolves, the roots of the world’s most crucial problems become more apparent. There is recognition that much of the crisis of our world, (the speciesism, sexism, racism, poverty, violence, environmental chaos), originates in and seek their evolution through an ideology of dominion. Built into this ideology is the authority and the right of humans to exploit or commodify any aspect of Life that may provide usefulness, gain, or pleasure. When we live as if the world and its inhabitants are there for our use or even for our personal evolution then we have been culturalized by this ideal.
In our patriarchal sliver of history, religion is one of the means used to legitimize and place above dispute an objective of dominion. Whether we are religious or not, the roots of religion within all of our cultures runs profoundly deep keeping this ideal intact while enshrouding the true power of our spirits. The ideology of dominion enslaves the majority of humanity/the earth/ all other sentient beings to a tiny aspect of its population. It sets humanity above and apart, leaving us feeling separate from and foreign to each other and to the world in which we live; it separates us from our natural place in an ecosystem that we are crucial aspects of, not masters over. This, our ecosystem summons us away from exploitation and oppression and offers us back our rightful place within itself. It is eager to witness and celebrate the flourishing that will take place as we inhabit our true position. All of Life confidentially and joyfully, anticipates our return and the transformation of life on earth that this will affect.
I am glad that I took the plunge into veganism, I truly am loving it. My body has been revived and my consciousness expanded. By exhibiting values inherent to Life, veganism has also freed my spirit and returned to me my Life given right to peace and dignity. A vegan ethic and lifestyle has filled me with love and respect for myself and all of Life. With my heart wide open, no more content to steal from the life of another Being, I respond to the gentle summoning that inspires me back to a position reserved just for me within an ecosystem that celebrates my triumphant return! I also celebrate it as I cheer, “I went vegan and I’m loving every minute of it!!”
“I believe animals should be respected as citizens of this earth. They should have the right to their own freedom, their own families, and their own life.” – John Feldmann