Why Vegan?

This post, by its very nature, will probably be more controversial than my trauma posts.  People seem to have more trouble hearing about veganism than trauma sometimes.  So, to start– I am not judging vegetarians or even omnivores.  I’m simply writing about my experience in case it helps others along the way.

I went vegetarian all the way back in 2009.  A friend of mine worked in what’s referred to around here as a chicken barn.  It’s actually a large, windowless metal building where chickens and chicks are caught, debeaked, often have their wings broken, and killed sometimes in gruesome ways.  My friend laughingly told me stories about how some of the chickens died.  I was horrified, and no piece of chicken has ever touched my mouth since.

That experience got me thinking about other animals who are used for food.  What made them less than a chicken?  Why was I okay to eat those but disgusted by chicken?  I didn’t look up anything about the animal food industry, but I did decide to stop eating animals one by one.  First went other poultry, then fish, then finally beef (I didn’t eat pork anyway).  By the end of that year, I decided to try one more cheeseburger just to make sure.  Literally could not keep one bite down.  It felt disgusting on my tongue and had no taste at all.  So that was vegetarianism.  All from the story of chickens in a barn.

Veganism was harder for me.  I went on and off of it many times.  Learning about the dairy industry was enough to make me detest dairy, but I still slipped up.  When I feel tempted now– and I still do sometimes– I just remind myself that that calf’s life is more important than my desire for cheese.

I am vegan because I believe it is the only way to truly respect all life.  I believe it is the most kind way of living and that it leaves a lighter carbon footprint.  It’s best for the animals, best for the planet, and best for my mind and soul.  From one tiny little chicken in a barn came a whole new lifestyle.

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I highly recommend Alicia Silverstone’s ‘The Kind Life’ to anyone interested in vegetarianism and veganism.  Interesting facts and some tasty recipes, too!

Happy World Vegetarian Day!

1 October is World Vegetarian Day!!  Throughout the month, vegetarians will be working to raise awareness of the benefits of being vegetarian, as well as supporting fellow herbivores and sharing tasty tips.

You can celebrate by cooking a vegetarian meal for friends and family, printing and displaying the World Vegetarian Day and awareness poster from NAVS, or doing anything you’d like to do to raise your voice!  If you’re not a vegetarian and would like to celebrate, why not go veg for one day?  Try something new.  Have a bit of fun!

World Vegetarian Day was founded by the North American Vegetarian Society in 1977.  To read more about them, click here.

Happy Eating!  🙂

Positive Changes

Saturday I made up my mind to at least *pretend* to be happy.  As is frequently the case, the pretence eventually became an actual feeling.  No, it wasn’t pure and cloudless happiness.  It was much better than anything else I’ve felt lately, though, and it stuck around through Sunday.  I know it’s not the end of the storm, but at least the rain has stopped for now.

Starting the new blog has already been helpful.  It lends a time and place for grief, and that has somehow helped me feel a bit less confined.  It’s also a great outlet.

I’ve also made some changes to improve my physical health.  After checking with my neurologist due to a tricky little condition I have, I returned to my vegetarian semi-roots.  For several years before moving to America, I had been vegetarian.  For whatever reason, I started eating meat again soon after coming here.  For me, the decision doesn’t involve a sense of morality, and I certainly don’t have a problem with other people eating meat.  It’s a personal choice.  I simply feel better physically when I eliminate meat from my diet.  Mairead, who had taken to asking me if I was enjoying cooked flesh, is happy as well.  Alters.  🙂

Here’s a link for information on vegetarian diets.  As with any major changes to your physical lifestyle, it’s best to ask a doctor first.

And finally, I’ve managed to start organising things a bit better.  Since I’m thinking a bit clearer these days, I’ve been able to put my bills in order just slightly.  There still isn’t enough money for me to *pay* every bill every month, but at least I know what I’m facing.  Perhaps the never-ending job search, which is also much more focused these days, will end in decent employment soon.  Working from odd job to odd job gets old after a very short while.

On Thursday, we meet the new therapist for the very first time.  I’m really trying to stay active and positive this week.  Hopefully, that will transfer straight on to the therapy session as well.

Here’s to positive changes.