Nowadays being vegan is a matter of saving the world. If you have ever listened to a vegan speak, assisted to a vegan conference or seen a vegan documentary, you most likely know this: If you are vegan you are saving the world. Veganism is told to be about the animals, deforestations, greenhouse gases and ourselves. However, the prior statement is only half true like most of the “truths” we receive in our daily lives. I am vegan, but just like in any other areas of my life, I’m a weird one. I came to veganism thanks to all of the current arguments that are in its favor, but further upon my path I figured that there was a lot more to veganism and that its understanding required more than what I initially thought. In order to be in peace with myself and others I couldn’t maintain the type of mindset that I initially had when I became a vegan. If veganism is bringing you rage, insatisfaction, a feeling of guilt, a feeling that you are carrying the burden of the world that nobody else is, then I’m sorry to tell you, you’re doing it wrong.
Animals are living beings. This is completely true and I agree that is something that has been rather ignored for hundreds of years. We still see many types of animal torture in circuses, meat factories, farms, zoos, in the streets or even in the house right in front of ours. It is a fact that the realization that other life forms inhabit our world should be an eye opening issue that compromises us to live in harmony with them. But do we need to take it against ourselves if not everybody knows this yet? Do we gain anything from feeling hate and disgust towards anyone that doesn’t care to respect other’s lives? We can nothing but spread the message, create awareness and let each individual go through their own path of evolution. Some people may be filled with infinite hate from experiences we completely ignore, some others may be entirely unaware of the harm that they are doing. Yet just like everything else in life, nobody is going to take a decision for them but themselves. Nobody is going to change them but themselves.
Take into account that plants, just like animals and ourselves have a life. If we are meant to love and respect all life on earth aren’t we meant to love and respect their life as well? Are we going to die of hunger just because I did this former statement? No. We deserve to live as much as any other living being on this planet. If we came to this point then we would be arguing that “hurting” or “dying” was in fact “wrong”. And the following may come surprising to many but: no, it isn’t wrong. It is all part of life and life may sometimes seem wrong even though it isn’t. Sometimes we need to get hurt in order to improve or we need to fall in order to rise. The universe takes care that we receive our most needed experiences every day of our lives and it does it with love.
So why am I a vegan anyways? Once I realized that all of the above was true I came to a crisis within myself. Was I being vegan based on a big fat lie that only brought me to a further separation to everything else around me? Had I fallen into hate when really I was looking for love?
The answer was: yes I was and no I wasn’t.
In order to find true love in veganism, in my lifestyle and in my diet I had to forgive myself and others. I really and truly had to come to peace with myself and with my unmeasured desire of wanting everything to be “right”, to be as it “should be”. I had to realize that there was a sense of perfectness as well in every “mistake” or “thing gone wrong with the world”. I’m not denying that there’s a need for people to step up, be their true-selves, believe in the true magic they carry, recognize their power, use it… But just as in any other aspect of our lives we have to learn to love our present in order to manifest the future that we want. One of the most powerful magnetic forces in life is gratitude. And gosh do I feel grateful for the world we live in. Secondly, and consequently I had to love myself. I mean love myself completely and fully. I was no longer eating in order to satiate an unmindful impulse that came from my physical instinctive body. I was no longer starving in the hope of not killing anyone in the process. That love had to come forward and expand from within and unfold towards others. If I don’t live in a world where every other person had my same believe system am I going to reject them or disqualify them? No. I was coming to love and if one of my ways of coming to it was to be vegan, then I would but I would do it in peace.
Have I ever missed eating meat, chicken, fish or pork’s flesh? No I haven’t, not for a second. Have I missed other animal products? In the beginning I did. I missed dairy and therefore I had an occasional cheese. Gradually the “need” faded and I realized how my body felt in different levels when consuming these kind of products. However, I can tell you is not necessarily an easy process. Is like a change of habits. Becoming vegan or vegetarian may require a change of mindset in very different levels of your existence. Obviously if you no longer want to crave something that you ate daily then you have to pack yourself with true rational and “higher vibrational” reasons for it. For this, do your research and come to know yourself. Medical based articles I’ve find the most astonishing and convincing, but look up for whatever topic you feel interest. Is like quitting coke or cigarettes. Your body will ask for it but now you will no longer want it because it no longer serves you. Like any other change in life it may require a process. One where you accept that sometimes you go off the rail track and you fall into the old patterns. If this happens, forgive yourself, love yourself. You and your body may need this. Attachment towards food is not only about good taste, there are also memories, feelings of satisfaction, reward, warmth… Open yourself to the possibility of experiencing new foods, find wonder in mixing new flavors and creating that which you crave not only on a physical level. There are thousands of foods left to try in this world. Find love in your kitchen not only towards yourself but also towards EVERY other living being that surrounds you (including other humans). Remember that all that society is used to eating has its own additives and craving these foods is a, to say the least, very easy task.
Is it veganism for everyone? I don’t know. We all come from different backgrounds. Yes, today’s nutritional science has shown that veganism may decrease and prevent some of the most deathly diseases. Yes, there have been various carcinogenic substances related to animal products. Yet, I give to you the choice that you have always had: Come to know yourself. You may not become vegan now or ever… Maybe it wasn’t meant for you. Ok, then go ahead and give yourself a chance to discover yourself through every choice and action you make, even your food. How does the food you eat make you feel about yourself? How is your relationship with food and others? Who knows, maybe one day you’ll stop craving meat, maybe you won’t. Either way, may your decision be filled with love in the way that best suits your earthly experience. Don’t feel shame of being you, that’s the only thing you came here to do.