Veganism

Why I’m Choosing Activism

I never wanted to be that person who held up the posters at Rodeos. Or that person who went to slaughterhouses to film the appalling conditions of the animals.

I always wanted to be the quiet vegan, the one that shared their knowledge with those close to them in the hopes of helping them to make the change.

I would share what I had learned and hope they joined me, comfortable with the fact that I had helped a little.

They would then share their knowledge and it would spread, quietly and efficiently across the globe. Word of mouth works right? Also, I can just lead by example, right??

This view has now changed after an enlightening conversation with an activist friend.

She was talking to another friend of hers about activism and trying to understand why her friend wasn’t an activist. Her friend answered basically the same as I would: I don’t want to be one of those pushy vegans. She too was quite happy just doing her own thing, confident in the knowledge that she was part for change.

Then my friend said something that would change my mind. Quite simply and lovingly, and for that I love her.

Her argument went something like this: if it wasn’t for all of those women getting out of their lounge rooms and fighting for what they believed in, we wouldn’t have the opportunities we have today.

The truth of this statement struck me, like a mallet to the chest.

In the past, I have connected with this energy, the collective of strong women who came before me, and it’s real and still exists inside of us today. I have had moments of intense gratitude for the women who came before, who fought for their rights so I could enjoy mine.

I just know my friend is right – if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have what I have. If they had all sat on their bums in the safety of their own happy marriages, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

And the dichotomy is real. I have one grandmother who was treated with respect and love, allowed to do what she wanted when she wanted, who had control of the money and the house, who was effectively the boss of her home. I also have another grandmother who was raped and beaten on a regular basis by a drunken husband and had to watch as her kids were beaten as well. This grandmother is now completely deaf in one ear because of the abuse she suffered. I know all too well the extremes of the patriarchy.

If it wasn’t for the women who had the courage to stand up, I probably would not be here today, as at least one grandparent could have been beaten to death. If she didn’t have the courage to fight for her own right to be safe and those of her children, to stand up for her beliefs, my life would be totally different.

So I made a choice. If not for the animals themselves, then for all of the activists that came before me, for women’s rights, against racism, to end Apartheid, against slavery. If these people didn’t stand up for what they believed in and had the courage and strength to make this world what they believed it should be, our world would be much different and I have nothing but respect and gratitude for them.

I believe we do not need animal products to be healthy.

I believe that to subjugate and exploit any being, to do things to them without consent and against their clearly visible will is wrong.

I believe that we need to stop animal abuse, because for me, all life is sacred.

So I’m going to start on my activist path. I’m not one to jump right in the deep end, I’m going to test the waters of some groups and see which one is the best fit. I’m going to give my time the best way I know how to promoting Veganism and helping to end animal abuse. This might mean simply volunteering at vegan events or it might mean holding banners outside of rodeos, who knows?

I am going to devote more time to being active in what I believe in.

For the animals and in the memory of all of those people who came before me and helped shape the world we live in.

I am also thinking I will include women’s rights to this list, but I’ll see what the universe sends my way. 😁

Veganism

Happy Veganniversary: what I’ve learnt about the world

Today marks my first anniversary of deciding to commit to ‘this vegan thing’.

I’d done Veganuary and felt confident that I was on the right track. My reasons started out based on health, but over January 2017 had evolved into ethical and environmental ones.

My eyes were open and there was no going back.

Little did I realise that the next 12 months would be some of the most challenging of my entire life. They would also be some of the most rewarding.

To mark my 1st Veganniversary I thought I’d share my new found truths.

What I’ve learned along my Veganism Journey

  1. A lot of my general knowledge was actually unsupported assumptions. Surely they just put a cow and a bull in a paddock and let em work it out for themselves? No. A million times no. Artificial insemination makes perfect sense from a business perspective – why leave something so important to chance? But the cows will need to be milked anyway, or they’ll get mastitis, right? No. A trillion times no. No other mammal continues to produce milk after a certain time after birth, why do we think cows are any different?
  2. Free range doesn’t necessarily guarantee humane. In a dark barn with barely enough room to move isn’t the free range they show you on the packets!
  3. Protein is not as important as the meat industry wants us to believe. Most of my sources (books, nutrition courses, websites and documentaries) tell us we only need around 80mg of protein in a day. Anything more than this will be eliminated from our bodies as waste. This we can get through a variety of plant foods, such as beans, almonds and sunflower seeds, in abundance. Plus, we can plan to get exactly what we need, rather than overdosing and using vital energy eliminating the excess from our bodies. Seems like simple math to me!!
  4. No matter what facts you give people, admitting they were mislead is very difficult. And I’ll say ‘mislead’ as opposed to wrong, because wrong would indicate a conscious decision was made. This is rarely the case in society. Maybe it’s a pride thing, who knows! There have been less than a handful of people I’ve spoken to about the impacts of animal agriculture, backed up by statistics, who don’t choose to ignore or forget what they heard and continue to do what they always did. Health of the planet, be damned!
  5. No amount of ‘shorter showers’ will come close to the amount of water I’ve saved. Using the stats given in Cowspiracy, converted to the metric system, for each kilogram of meat I don’t consume, I’m saving over 5000 litres of water. That’s 500 “shorter showers” a week! A WEEK!!! Why doesn’t the Australian Waterboard give us those statistics??
  6. Being vegan doesn’t guarantee compassion. This one breaks my heart. To profess so much compassion for animals and then not show it to your fellow species is not only sad, but hypocritical as well. Under this heading comes tolerance as well, but in the form of a lack of tolerance for people doing their best and living by their rules. Vegans can be among the most judgemental people I have ever come across. I thought indoctrination was only for the religious? Apparently I was wrong.
  7. People think they are being funny when they show you pictures of dead animals. This has really mostly been from teenagers, but I’ve had adults make jokes about me eating their chicken salad for lunch. We don’t go around showing them pictures of things that offend and upset them, like dead babies or decapitated human heads, so why do they do this to us? It’s blatant disrespect and, done enough, bullying and harassment.
  8. Sometimes you are surprised by the least likeliest of people. Some family and friends have been ultra supportive of my choice, even choosing to eat with me when they have other options. I know it is highly unlikely these people will ever become vegan, but I can appreciate when they support my choice and show it with their forks! It’s even better when you can have a decent conversation with them where they listen to your reasons and engage in a positive way!
  9. There is a such thing as a fat vegan and I’m fast becoming one! I am only a little bit sad to say the clincher for my choice was discovering that French Fries were vegan! Oh, happy day!! And this was before So Good and Over the Moo released their dairy free ice cream…
  10. Sometimes it seems animal products are in literally everything! From hot chocolate powder to plastic bags, animal agriculture seems to have its claws in all our commonly used products! Luckily for us, most things can be easily replaced. Equally lucky is that most restaurants always have hot chips on the menu!

I am sure there is plenty more that could and should go on this list, but these are the stand out lessons for me!

Let me know what you’ve learned on your journey and let’s see if we can’t spread the word together!!

And for whenever yours is…

Happy Veganniversary!!

Veganism

Do the animals need more love and light? 

I was talking with some friends the other day and the topic of animals came up. Namely what we are doing to them and their habitats. We all acknowledged that the state of the world’s environments and how we are treating animals is deplorable. I was in a highly emotional mood and ended up in tears about it. Sobbing in fact. What was their solution? To send the planet and the animal kingdom love, light and healing.

Are you kidding me? I got quite angry at this point, realising the hypocracy of it all. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for sending love and healing to the planet, people and situations. I am a reiki master, so I believe (know) it works. Where the hypocracy lies, for me, is in the intention to heal the planet and then continuing to eat animals, the very thing we know is contributing to its destruction. You might as well do your healing while eating a salmon sandwich!

The logical part of my brain kicked in too. Energy cancels out. If you have one negative charge and one positive charge of the same value, add them together and you have zero. It’s the same in maths: 17 + -17 = 0. Always. In either order. So sending positive energy and healing to something then participating in the continuation of the very thing you want to heal? It cancels out! You may as well save your time and energy and just do nothing. The sad truth is that there is more negative energy pouring into this situation by people participating in it, than positive, so what ever positive energy is sent won’t even come close to totally cancelling out, let alone tipping the balance. Sending the positive would be a full time job, but most of us already have those! At some point sending love and light needs to be replaced with action. We need to stop adding to the negative charge. We need to acknowledge the shadow and then do something about it!

I totally understand that people need to come to things in their own time – my day job as a high school teacher taught me all about trying to get people to do things they don’t want to do. And I definitely need to have more compassion for people who have not made the connections I have, because the Gods know there are many much simpler ones I have failed to make, my recent connection about protein tells me that. I am far from perfect and I don’t need a devil’s advocate here, but I am trying.

ghandi

We can send all the love and light we want, and I totally encourage it! But first we need to recognise that our own actions are contributing to the situation in the first place and change our approach. We need to stop adding to the situation by removing ourselves as much as possible from it. It doesn’t even have to be overnight, changes like this are massive and need time. My transition took around 6 months, and half of that I wasn’t even aware I was heading to this point. I just know that this situation isn’t going to change while good people stand by and do nothing.