While this statement may come off as the seemingly innocuous opening to the beginning of a classic horror flic or at the very least a psychological thriller, it is in fact the beginning of my veganism which is still thundering along some 6 and a half years now.
There I was, confused and wondering what to do, I had just separated ways with my former patron/employer in Hawaii and had no clue of where to go or what to do and the 2 weeks I managed to wrangle for myself was coming to an end. I was spending a lot of time in Hilo, the East Side of Hawaii, super lush and a bit more to do as it had the University there and Pahoa and Puna were super close by.
My birthday was coming and I decided to get a guitar, you know, learn something that would grow into a lover and a best friend, kick around the globe just me n my guee-tar…
Boy oh boy, I called up from an ad I saw posted on the wall of the organic shop in the Hilo shopping center and talked with a guy named Birds. In our talk I told him that if i was gonna drive for 3 hours to get take a look at this guitar, it had better be something special… little did I know what was in store!
I found the house within the myriad of Hawaiiana directions including taking a left after such and such a house, or a right after the yellow children crossing sign and of course, let us not forget to drive by the big grove of pine trees. True directions that you can really sink your teeth into… Hawaiian style!
When I arrived in my used Toyota 4Runner, which a bit of back story will help for the scene set up as I had been having transmission troubles and losing fluid…
As I was saying… When I arrived I noticed that some people, plural, gathered round to check me out and in so doing were not looking at me so much as at the ground beneath my truck.
When I got out and introduced myself, I quickly asked a multitude of questions to try and figure out what kind of setting I was now finding myself as I was now semi surrounded by 5 people and no one knew of my guitar.
Who are you guys, does anyone know of a “Birds”, whats the name of this area, is that your farm, why do so many of you live in the house and, why are you all looking at the ground?
To which the eldest gentleman replied, you are at GentleWorld, we’re a vegan community, yes this is all ours including the farm, Birds is down at the garden [farm], and you’re truck is leakin’ all the way down our driveway, looks like you aren’t going to be able to get very far… well, you can stay here, but you have to eat what we eat.”
“What do you eat” I asked with no small amount of trepidation.
“We’re Vegan”, he replied, he being Light, the main founder at the Gentle World Community.
On that day, my life was forever transformed, my first meal of the day was scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon and homefreis with butter, toast with butter and coffee. My next meal would be a giant salad, seitan with some sort of gravy and steamed kale and swiss chard. I would never turn back to my original way of eating.
Thus began a three month training in which I not only learned farming and how to replace a Toyota Transmission seal, which, if you have never had the joy of said work, imagine taking two months of 3 to 4 hours a day disassembling the entire drive train from a vehicle only to realize the part you are replacing is a 7 dollar ‘o’ ring, that would usually cost 1500 in labor to install [By doing ‘impossible’ tasks, you demystify your world and let in room for real magic]! What horses ass is responsible for auto design is beyond me.
But I digress from why you are hear… I learned how to be vegan, which is a bit more complex than simply ditching meat and diary in exchange for fruits, nuts and veggies.
One of the biggest set backs for people aspiring to make the change, is precisely to much of a headstrong charge, almost as though they are worried that they may change their minds. Next thing they are at the grocery store buying up anything and everything that does not include eggs, milk or meat [this includes fish, yes I have been asked it that many times that I need to reinforce this fact – HEAVILY=]. Upon returning home you look at your assorted groceries on the table, floor, refrig and wonder to yourself…WTF?
As with anything, go into it with eyes wide open and as the story relates, give it some time… give any change in your life some time. Anything worth having takes time.
You are going to have to learn some basics about what your body needs to survive and since you are doing this for your overall health to feel better, you want to know what your body needs to thrive. Big difference between the two. One is stoked to be alive the other is trying to figure out how best to stay that way.
I was most fortunate to find, or perhaps to be found by Gentleworld as one of the biggest surprises to me came about the 2nd to 3rd month in where I began to heavily detox. You must first get a clear understanding of the food you are eating when you eat animal products. There is a lot of saturated fat, in this saturated fat is all manner of chemicals and antibiotics and anything else that was going on/in/or around the animals world. it is now in you. Further, when you eat animal products you “trap” fragments of your world as well. I do believe at one point I nearly fell out during a particularly hard days work with what i can only describe as a coke flashback!
Again, being with this group allowed me to understand what was happening and to make it through this portion of the experience where i would come to learn many people assume the diet is making them sick, when in fact, the exact opposite is happening and they are finally breaking through to a level of health as yet unexperienced by them! It literally pays to have guidance from such a solid grounded source like the Gentleworld Community!
Thats the story of how I became vegan. In the next article Im gong to pen my musings to this electronic sheet and do my best to make a pain free as possible transition to a healthier way of eating which will be plant based and dairy free. Aloha!