How I decided to start eating vegan:
Okay, I know what you're thinking... Easy for you to go vegan (I used to think that about people all the time). No, it's not easy. Not to me, at least. Satisfying and rewarding, yes. But easy, no. I was a vegetarian for four years and have been an omnivore for three years since. No real reason why I started eating meat again, but needless to say, I did. It's funny, all the while, I was eating meat for those three years, I still considered myself to be a vegetarian. I didn't tell people I was, but every time I ran into a vegetarian, I felt like I was one of them. The only problem was that I wasn't. I wasn't making any sacrifice of my own to help better the planet we live in. I didn't believe in the way factory farming was taking over the food industry, I didn't love that the meat industry is responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions and is essentially killing the planet, nor did I believe in the way they treat the animals- hormones, branding, abuse, etcetera (if you don't know what I'm talking about, educate yourself! There's plenty of information out there about what goes on in dairy and meat farms; my favourite is the movie 'Vegucated'). So, what was holding me back? Why hadn't I taken action on something I felt passionate about? One. I was obsessed with chicken souvlaki- okay, I still am, I just don't eat it anymore. Two. I hate the term 'vegan.' I know, this sounds silly, but I hate it- still do. I couldn't bare telling people, "oh, I'm vegan." Maybe it reflects deep down into me not feeling good enough. Or that I felt I needed to impress people. Truth is, there's nothing cool about trying to impress people. Three. I'm in love with an omnivore who also loves his meat. Which is a challenge. I understand that not everyone is interested in dating someone who doesn't eat meat, eggs, or dairy. It can certainly create problems in relationships. However, I figured that if he loved me as much as he says he does- he'd be okay with it. And if he wasn't okay with it- maybe we weren't right for each other. There's no sense hiding a part of who you are to keep your partner jolly. Don't worry, we're still happily dating lol. You have to do what feels right to you in order to be happy; and you can't be in a healthy relationship if you aren't happy first. I made a choice to eat vegan (still hating the word lol, but I also have a thing against labels) because I love animals. It breaks my heart to see abuse towards them and chicken and cows are no different than cats and dogs. I made the choice so I can mean it every time I say "may there be peace individually, collectively, and universally. May all being be happy, healthy, and free"- Buddha. I made the choice so I could do my part in protecting our winters. I made the choice so I could feel as though I am living in harmony with nature; not working against it and all other beings. Take the time to educate yourself about what you're eating and how what you're eating is affecting the environment and other beings. If you're okay with the consequences, then continue your life as it was. If not, maybe it's time to consider living your beliefs. So find out what feels true to you. Maybe none of it interests you and that's okay too. Listen to your heart. Act from there.
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.