Before I became Vegan I was paleo. This meant that I mainly ONLY ate meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, cheese, fish and honey.
Back then I had progressed through some stages, ethical shopping, wise spending, organic produce, organic meats, reducing waste etc. I also started to live by some of the other elements to Paleo which I enjoyed a lot. Even today I find some of them are important. Being barefoot more often, rolling around in dirt and acting like a kid again, getting adequate sleep and rest and working on your mind, meditating, yoga etc.
After a long time of eating mostly all meat I began to start to feel a little uneasy about what I was eating. I then even started to call myself a ‘considerate meat eater’ whatever that means? It was from then that I started looking for something. I don’t know what but I kept looking and I came across the Earthlings movie.
After watching this I changed overnight. I gutted the entire house out and started all over again as a 100% Vegan. I knew that I could not continue to do the things I was doing. After one day I went from enjoying meats (most of the time) to being absolutely repulsed by he idea of consuming it. I removed all products around the home with animal parts on or in them too.
Then it was so clear and I just didn’t understand how I never saw it before. There’s no such thing as a considerate meat eater. Organic or not. The animal just wants to live and when we kill them to eat them this can never be done humanely because we don’t need to eat animals to survive. In fact we can live much healthier longer lives being vegan.
For a while I began to wonder why everyone couldn’t see it. It was so obvious and I went on a mission trying to force this information onto others. I judged people and told them that they were wrong. I lost a lot of friends through this. Many of them good people. Many of them the same good person I was back then. I was a good person when I was a non Vegan and I’m a good person now I am Vegan. There is no distinction between the two. It’s just that I have been better informed now and taken action on what I have learnt.
I often see people posting extremely negative images and videos on Facebook. They go on to shout at the world of non Vegans and tell them to wake up. They tell them that they are wrong in doing what they are doing. They tell them they are bad people. They call them murderers, rapists, abusers and a whole myriad of negative things.
If anyone would have told me this as a non Vegan I would have pushed them away and not wanted anything to do with them. “how dare they speak to me like that. I am a good person with a good heart. I love animals too. I am not wasteful; I eat all my meat. They provide me with the things professionals tell me I ‘need’ to be healthy”.
I wonder how many people we can help spread our cause to if we use empathy and understanding and love and compassion the same way we do with animals? Since I changed my approach/attitude I have found many more people come into my life. I approach it now with love rather than hate and condemnation. I get more people asking me about Veganism than before.
“You’re always so positive and your Vegan. What made you become Vegan?” They say
“Now isn’t the time to discuss it” I reply
“oh go on”
“Oh very well then if YOU insist. What would YOU like to know exactly about Veganism and I’ll be happy to answer?”
You see how I kept them in control there? It makes them feel important and listened to. It makes them want to engage with you. Then it’s very important to address these issues with love and great care. There’s a need to explain things in simple terms nicely without ever telling them that what they are doing is wrong. Just state the facts and allow them themselves to discuss with themselves in their own heads about what is right and wrong. Often times they will come up with the idea themselves. As soon as you begin to tell them they are wrong directly you will almost immediately lose them and they will become defensive. This is normal it happens to all of us when we feel that we are being attacked. Very few people are good at dealing with these kinds of attacks on their personal choices and beliefs and so it’s best to avoid them. Let them decide for themselves.
For those who believe that animal abusers should be killed why do you believe this? No person is born bad. You can look to any child to notice this. People become a product of the society in which they are born into. Even look at people like Two Gun Crowley who went on a 3 month killing spree in New York 1931. When they finally caught him he had a note inside his jacket saying “Under my coat is a weary heart a kind one-one that would do nobody harm”. People don’t need more hate and anger and condemnation. What they need is love and compassion and empathy and education. We have it wrong at the moment. When someone commits a crime they are put in jail and the key is thrown away and not found again for a very long time. What happens to this person? They are then released back into the same environment that got them there in the first place. The system thinks that if they put people in jail they’ll do their time and not want to go back in jail again and thus not commit another crime? This doesn’t work. They need rehabilitation. They need caring for, they need to get better. They need to learn better coping mechanisms. They need people to love them and support them. We need to expect great things from them not bad things.
I believe everyone has the ability to change. Though to change, a person must be given a chance. Nobody is beyond help if they are shown the right attention to grow into the better person they deserve to be. The better person the world deserves them to be.
On a final note I think it’s important to remember one of those key benefits to why we became Vegan. To show compassion to all living animals. As Vegans we often look to animals and feel nothing but absolute love and compassion for them. You feel it like a light inside your heart. It makes you feel content, at peace and majorly in love. We even do this to animals that eat other animals. Humans are animals too. If we can not extend our love and compassion accordingly how can we truly be vegan? Being Vegan should be much more than just caring for animals and not eating them and supporting change. It should be about spreading love to every single living thing in life. When you do this you find that much change can happen. You’ll find new people coming into your life and more of those in your life looking for answers. Be there for them as a friend. Listen to them attentively with empathy and without judgement.
It’s time to find love and happiness in your lives rather than focusing on all the bad that is happening in the world. If you feel there’s still more you need to know then make a list and research these ASAP and then you must switch off and put aside. Listen to the important things but do not let them affect your positive attitude. Make the choice to live your days in happiness. It is as simple as making the choice. Live it and breath it.
I love you all my dear friends. Stay strong, stay happy.