Patrick-Goodreau is so clear and articulate in speaking about the joy of conscious eating! She reminds us that veganism is not some new and radical trend. It has been around for thousands and thousands of years, often written about in the context of compassion. She states, “it is not about becoming vegan. It is about becoming awake – awake to my own compassion manifest through being a vegan.”
I resonate so deeply with these words…..they reverberate deeply in my heart and soul, and they clearly express why I am making the choice to eat a vegan diet.
When we awaken, we come to understand the ramifications of our food choices, and then act upon that understanding. I don’t know anyone who wakes up in the morning with the thought that they are going to create suffering for other beings. Everyone I know strives to be as loving and compassionate as they can. Those are important values to most people. When we become vegan, we are simply embracing the Truth of who we really are; embracing our values and living in alignment with those values. That, in itself, brings joy and peace to the heart, and the spirit is lifted!
What happens for people, I believe, is what was happening for me before I made the choice to become vegan. I would get “stuck” on the questions of how can I maintain my social habits of eating out and going to friends’ homes for meals? How do I know that I’m getting enough nutrition? How do I deal with my friends’ and family’s judgment and disapproval? How do I find the time to learn how and then to prepare vegan meals? How could I possibly live without cheese?
I am standing here right now to tell you that none of these concerns stands up to the extraordinary benefits realized by becoming vegan. The benefits to one’s physical health, to one’s mental, emotional and spiritual well-being by living in alignment with one’s values, the benefits of not participating in the cruel treatment and killing of other living beings, the benefits to the environment by eating a plant-based diet, all more than compensate for the inconveniences I encounter from time to time. The thing is…..as we lean in to eating a plant-based diet, we begin to feel better and better, and that motivates us. It’s not a challenge or chore…. it’s a joy!
My husband is a good example of this. He has become mostly vegan because I am the main cook in our household, and he eats what I prepare. For a time, he continued to eat meat when we went out to a restaurant, and would buy cheese and occasionally meat to BBQ at home. In January, he decided to stop doing that, and try being vegan for a month. He began to feel better and better, and has continued to this day. Those few pounds he hadn’t been able to drop started falling off. For years, he has taken a medication for high blood pressure, and he stopped taking that medication, and his blood pressure is naturally within a healthy range. For years, he has suffered with constipation, and now he has no problems with that, sometimes having two easy bowel movements a day! (By the way, he did give me permission to tell you that!)
It’s really so simple…. It’s about bettering my life by what I am putting in my mouth, and in the process, I am bettering the lives of other people who are hungry and need the grain now being fed to animals for slaughter, bettering the lives of animals, and bettering the environment. If you want more information on this, take a look at my Did You Know? page.
A question I had to ask myself is, “Why do I deserve life, and these animals don’t?” Who am I to decide that other beings should die so that I can maintain a custom. And, that is what it is. It is not a necessity for good health. In fact, it’s now known that rather than maintaining good health, eating animal products contributes to many of the health problems facing those living on a Standard American Diet. And, isn’t it a blessing that the best diet for my own health is also the best diet for the welfare of animals and the health of the planet!
I was listening to one of these teachers in the Veganpalooza program talking about the cruelty toward animals in the meat and dairy industry. Believe me, I’ve seen enough videos and read enough to fully understand the horrific things we do to these animals for their meat, milk, eggs, and hides, but I was choosing to listen because I do not ever want to forget or become complacent about this problem.
I was listening as I was driving, and I had to pull over in to a parking lot because the sadness was simply overwhelming, and I started to cry. These are living, being, feeling animals, who love their babies and feel pain, just like we do. Why is my life so much more important that I can justify these animals being tortured and killed for my food habit?
I came home feeling so sad and depressed, with feelings of hopelessness about anything I could possibly do to make a difference. The problem just feels so huge. What can my little blog posts do to make any difference in this situation?
That afternoon, I listened in on another speaker in the Veganpalooza event, and felt like she was speaking directly to me. She said not to give up hope that you can make a difference. Don’t be afraid to speak your Truth – the Earth, and all her human and non-human inhabitants need your voice.
So…. I am using this space to speak my Truth even louder. If you are making the CHOICE to eat animal products, at a minimum, learn about the impact your choice is having on the Earth, and how it is contributing to the suffering of animals. Watch the movie, Earthlings, and if you can’t gather the courage to do that, read the book, The World Peace Diet. If you tell yourself, you don’t want to know because if you know you’ll have to change, then welcome to Conscious Eating! Welcome to joining the ranks of joyful eaters! Our numbers are growing because people are waking up!
If you know it’s time, and you need support, watch for the 30-Day Vegan Challenge coming up in my next post! You can also get in touch with me, and I am happy to be a joyful eating coach for you and your family!
The earth and all her beautiful creatures, and your body and spirit thank you. I thank you, too.