Musings from a Vegan

Sorry, no vegan meal prep tips today.  Today is about our journey as vegans and how it can be pretty tough sometimes to deal with other people who just don’t get it.  Most people are respectful and curious about your choice.  Some take your influence to heart and make small changes in their own lives. And some are just assholes. I have been dealing with some of the asshole varieties lately and it can be super annoying!

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Everyone has a different experience going vegan, just like everyone has different reasons for being vegan.  I went vegetarian for health reasons and vegan for ethical reasons.  I can pinpoint the exact second that I went vegan.  It was such a profound, instantaneous enlightenment that I could practically hear the flip switching somewhere in my body.  Before I wasn’t vegan and after I was.  That moment destroyed me. I was completely shattered and it was only the journey into veganism that put me back together.  The person that was created from all those shattered pieces was a kinder, healthier (body and soul), better person and I will be forever grateful for that pivotal experience.

What non vegans often don’t understand is how painful it can be for you once that flip has been switched.  All of a sudden your entire perspective is changed.  Now when you see a glass of milk, all you can see is the terrible suffering behind it and it is heartbreaking every single time. People think that it is funny to make jokes about the vegan or make a big show of eating meat in front of you and since nobody wants to be the crazy preachy vegan, we often just let it go.  But you know what? It hurts.  It hurts to have the deepest and best parts of you made into a joke.  It hurts to see people that you care about contributing to a business that tortures, kills, exploits and destroys and then they make jokes about you and you are supposed to just suck it up. When you go vegan you have to develop thick skin.

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Whenever it feels too overwhelming or you are suffering from compassion burnout (This is a great article on that), remind yourself of why you are living this life.  Think of all the lives you have saved.  The standard estimate is that vegans save 198 animals per year.  ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY EIGHT ANIMALS!!! You are making a huge impact every single day and you should be proud! Stand tall and be proud of the commitment that you made to be a more informed, kind, compassionate earthling.  You are awesome.

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One of my favorite poems is called Steady Yourself by Jewel from her book A Night Without Armor.  It feels especially fitting for our journey. Keep up the good fight friends.

Steady Yourself

Steady yourself, love,

steady yourself

for victory is near

Shut out the world

with its tyranny

of noise

  none of this matters now

Draw strength from

the vision the deepest

folds of your soul

so longs for

For it is a song we all sing

Steady yourself, love,

upon my gaze

in this corridor

& waver not in the face

of the battle cry

We will not be beaten!

Lose not your faith now

for I need it to strengthen my own

and should your steps

falter, mine would

grow lonely in this

world of coal and roses

We are the living

and the living

must love the world

It is our duty

to fill our hearts

with all the anguish and joy

of our brothers and sisters

Steady yourself, love,

be strong beside me

and know that our

unrelenting gives them

dis-ease, and that

the clearer your mouth

raises itself in

songs of freedom

the more others will come to

warm themselves around

the flag of your faith

For our numbers grow

and soon will outweigh

their tattered armies

and I want your heart

to rejoice in its

inevitable victory

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