Staying vegan is an important part of every day life. While some claim it is a diet or lifestyle there are some who adopt it as their religion. Unintentional slip ups occur but I consider those ‘lessons learned’. I do feel I have a lot more control over how I present myself as a vegan. My decision came early on in my transition with my vegan diet.
My families’ diet choices are encompassing to not only us but those I meet along the way. Using a vegan diet we successfully improve my husband’s health. On his last examination his clots in his heart arteries minimized and in some cases disappeared. Actually the doctor contributed this success to his diet. Eating a vegan diet is helping our overall health and seeing the improvements helps us mentally as well.
Participating with other like minded individuals I soon realize this is just not about us and our zest for long life by changing our diet. I am just a ripple in the pond and my movement towards veganism affects so many lives other than just my own. Some argue that being a vegan is not a lifestyle. However the definition of lifestyle is
‘the way in which a person or group lives.’ When one takes pause to consider what they eat and how it affects others, both humans and animals, then it is a lifestyle. Early on in my transition I made note to never forget the following points so my lifetyle brought good and not harm:
- May I never forget the path I use to travel so my understanding to those still walking it yields brotherly love and not judgement.
- Let me inspire through my actions rather than my words.
- Never let others see a hardship or sacrifice of meat and dairy but the experience of creativity and a new path on a new adventure to wonderful taste bud experiences.
- Allow my life to be authentic, not perfect, so the lasting impression to others is someone that corrects my mistakes instead of denies them.
- Finally, let other accept my choices without offense as I accept theirs. By doing so I do not weaken my stance or passions.
Born into a Midwest family what once was acceptable now becomes questionable to me.
- Livestock rearing for food is the normal way of life
- Meat is the staples to any table
- The ease of wearing blinders to the treatment of animals killed for consumers.
I often question my walk on this vegan path to achieve balance. Always may I continue to practice tolerance as the first step rather than condemnation of other’ choices. I prefer to see someone choose to be vegan by choice rather than from guilt or fear of condemnation.
Is vegan also a religion? For some it is as I hear them quote the bible to back up their vegan values.
If vegan is a religion then let it be one focusing on love and not crusades. Using words as a sword causes divide. Raised voices never are an ingredient to an intelligent conversation. Those using shouting and bullying techniques are fighting for the crusade of Ego and needing to be right over advancement to their belief.
Empathizing with someone who, for example, believes that eating meat is an all American tradition to be kept, doesn’t mean that I’m suddenly going to drop everything, grab my purse and head to a steak house for supper, right? It means that I’m acknowledging their humanity of those who think the exact opposite from me.
Vegans attacking other vegans doubting the other’s commitment is totally unnecessary as it fosters divide instead of unity. We need to walk together to solve the problems we now face with our climate change and water decrease.
Being a voice for animals
Cruelty and inhumane conditions exist for animals and I admire those who protest lawfully against animal abuse. I fully support opposition to companies causing suffering of animals for their own gain. I never support violence but do support exposure of those practices and using lobbying to change laws.
Reading Don Quixote, in middle school, proves to consistently remind me to ask the following question, “Is this a windmill or a true cause?” Lessons from this book lingers in my thoughts to be wise by looking at the overall picture before deciding action that needs to be taken.
I love this photo I found and it inspires me to be receptive.
May I always be the type of vegan I wish I had met who would have inspired me to be a vegan much earlier.