Committing to Veganism
I didn't ever plan on becoming vegan. It was never on my 'to do' list. And I guess I'm writing this post for everyone who might be considering it. Or not. But know that these words come from a place of love and compassion and I would never, ever judge another human for their choices (fyi).
I've loved animals my whole life. I have two cats who I would die for. I have also eaten animals my whole life. It was just something I have always done and never really thought about it. I attempted to be a vegetarian a few times throughout my twenties but was still figuring out what my body thrived on and not and it just didn't work. Plus I don't think the intention was there.
And that was it. Consuming animal products was just life.
Something clicked. I woke up. And here's how...
You hear this phrase thrown around the yoga community every day. It probably means nothing to you until you really feel it. The first time I felt this, I was lucid dreaming. It was about 3am and it was right in the middle of some pretty intense teacher training and self study. It lasted for only a few seconds.
Everything was black. But I was everywhere and everything all at once. There was no sound, no smell, no nothing. There was however, this overwhelming sense of absolute peace. And I mean, absolute f*cking peace. Love, trust, deep knowing, joy - it was all there. It was all encompassing. I felt connected with everyone and everything all at the same time.
I woke up straight after thinking 'holy sh*t. That is my natural state.' I honestly think I had returned briefly to where I had come from. It makes me tear up even writing about it.
So finally, after all the 'namaste's' and the 'we are one's', I felt it. I believed it.
Some time after, continuing to heighten my consciousness and study yoga, my best friend (and brilliant writer) becomes Vegan. She started the conversation with me several times but I was dismissive. It seemed like an extreme idea and an impossible feat. "Vegan??? Are you serious???" But after returning from a retreat in Bali where I had been served up incredibly delicious plant based meals, I decided I'd stay a vegetarian. My body and mind felt more Sattvic, so I kept going. But I remember saying, "oh I could just never give up cheese!!!"
Then unexpectedly, on the train into my office job, my life changed.
I listened to probably the best podcast episode ever by Rachel Brathen (Yoga Girl) called From the Heart. This episode featured James Aspey, an Australian Vegan activist who dedicates his life to saving animals. Rachel wasn't vegan at the time as she was also a cheese fanatic. She asked James to explain to her what goes on on a dairy farm and it was the most horrific thing I had ever heard. I was absolutely bawling my eyes out on the train. I felt sick to my stomach. (James, if you ever read this, you have been put on this planet for a very special reason and I am so grateful.)
Then I learnt that we don't even need meat or dairy to survive. What the?!? Here I am believing that we need meat for protein and we need dairy for calcium and we actually don't at all. Like, at all. We as humans, can maintain a completely flourishing, thriving and bountiful diet by living off plants.
So why am I eating these animals then? If it's not for my own survival, then for what? Because I like the f*cking taste? Hang on a second, these animals are being murdered for my TASTEBUDS?!
I committed right there and then, to never (knowingly) consume another animal product ever again. And it was easy. In fact, it was probably the easiest decision I have ever made. It made perfect sense.
Since then, I have educated myself by reading and watching as much as I can to stay informed and motivated. This world is not set up for vegans...yet. Yes, it can be difficult. But I do not value convenience over another sentient being who feels, thinks and values their life like I do. Mate, I can deal with it.
Here are the benefits I have experienced from living off plants:
- no more sinus congestion (and this is something I have lived with for 20 years)
- more energy, no mid afternoon slump
- a genuine, deeper connection to all living things
- less inflammation in the guts and bloating
- excitement about food and overall better balanced diet
- spending less money!
- becoming part of a loving community that have similar core values
- deepening connections with some friends who have also become vegan
I can safely say, I have experienced no negative effects from becoming vegan. It was the best decision I ever made. Of course there are endless environmental, social and ethical benefits which I will save for another day.
This is just my story. Hopefully, it can motivate you on some level to become curious. I will never judge another's decision to consume animals, because I was there. I will however, lead with love, peace and compassion. Veganism is not a sacrifice, it is a joy.
If you have any questions, get in contact.
Some awesome resources:
James Aspey http://www.jamesaspey.com.au/
Rachel Brathen http://rachelbrathen.com/
Earthling Ed https://www.earthlinged.com/
Deliciously Ella https://deliciouslyella.com/category/recipes/
Minimalist Baker https://minimalistbaker.com/
What the Health? http://www.whatthehealthfilm.com/
Forks over Knives https://www.forksoverknives.com/
Challenge 22 https://www.challenge22.com/challenge22/