Road to Veganism – New Hampshire to Hawaii and All in Between…

People are quick to accuse vegans and vegetarians of having a superior attitude. There is a certain stereotype that exists, which paints vegans and vegetarians as being arrogantly passionate, judgmental, and self-righteous. It is an unfair representation and must be emphasized as such, for it breeds misinformation and resistance, thereby making meat and dairy consumers less apt to simply consider a different diet and lifestyle option. The truth of the matter is that meat and dairy consumers are equally, if not more, judgmental and adamant that their view is the correct one. This is what I came to discover whenever mentioning to my family and friends my thoughts to transition into becoming a vegan.

I was met with varying reactions, almost all of them negative in nature. Although primarily based out of concern and worry for my health, there was little support to be received. Ranging from lectures, debate, and doubts that I could go through with it. Complete with shaking heads, eye rolls, and sighs thrown in or at the very least, an eyebrow raise with a polite, pessimistic sentiment. A far cry from the open mind, acceptance, and respect the very same people claimed vegans and vegetarians lacked. The pendulum most certainly swings both ways.

I believe the image of the health-conscience, passionate vegan and vegetarian intimidates people in a particular way, which in turn may deter them from choosing that kind of lifestyle. From my own experience, the common thought that would cross my mind is that a vegan/vegetarian is surely going to tell me everything that I’m doing wrong and shame me and judge me for what I eat.   And within that mind- frame, produced avoidance. People don’t want to be preached at or chided. They worry about the guilt that might ensue after a conversation. They dread appearing foolish, clueless, and ignorant. They simply don’t want to know the dirty details, rather being blissfully unaware of, quite literally, “how the sausage gets made”. Most people simply fear the unfamiliar and unknown.

It is important to recognize that people regard food in vastly different ways. It can be a taste-oriented comfort, a delicious and creative art, substances that your spouse or parent prepares and selects that’s placed in front of you, nutrients to feed your body-is-a-temple mantra, to mere fuel for the body and everything in between. Food can be savored slowly or devoured quickly, with differing degrees of apathy and distraction or deep purpose and intention. Diet is closely interwoven with lifestyle and becomes a sensitive topic for some, connecting on a deep, personal level, who they are and possibly sparking body or self-image issues. Having an open mind, tolerance of others’ opinions, and kind-hearted discussion and knowledge to offer is key to breaking this paradigm of casting vegans and vegetarians in this negative light. Not to say that the stereotype is vegans and vegetarians fault to fix, but it’s about time that reputation was proven false with respectful, calm debate on both sides of the aisle.

Thus, in order to stimulate knowledge and motivation in others, in the process of building to expand veganism and vegetarianism, I believe what would help in an impactful way, is for vegans and vegetarians to utilize a tactful approach when discussing diet and health to others. Personally, I was so relieved and thankful for my boyfriend’s fact-based and understanding method surrounding the subject with zero pressure and shaming involved. I’m so appreciative now, as well, for his advice and sympathy as I’m going through strong meat and dairy cravings presently.        I know I would have been more reluctant to tackle this challenge and eventually make the decision to become vegan, if he hadn’t created such a kind and straightforward atmosphere. I understand the frustration vegans and vegetarians must feel about the sluggish pace of worldwide awareness and change, as well as the prejudice, exclusion, and judgment that they must face at times. The zeal you possess for your healthy vegan/vegetarian lifestyle is something you should be proud of and never apologize for. My advice, as a very recent converter to veganism, is to help educate others with compassion and tact if you wish to inspire and meaningfully change minds.

The Push…


big-pushIt takes a push to get a human to do something beyond what they feel they are capable of…. You know this from first hand experience, in fact, simply that you are alive and have made it this far is due to “pushes”, some of them you undertook willingly, others were petrifying to your very core, they made your bones go cold and your blood freeze in your veins… and yet…. Once you finally surrender to the “universal push” it brings you to a point of near supreme being status, so much so that for a moment you become gods amongst men, you remember how you felt when you did something for the first time, right?  That feeling of elation, of victory over your own limitations…  For some, the limitations they overcome allows them to become part of our global history, they become what makes our people as a whole.
Now suppose, if it takes a push, a crippling injury to make a woman a profound well of inspiration, when her arm is taken by a shark, or a disease that leads a body to a path far beyond what most of us will ever endure, brings out a mind of such startling brilliance it changes our ideas of the world, god and everything we know… Stephen Hawking.
And supposing we prescribe to the idea of oneness, that Humans are all one, slowly this is becoming a scientific fact, very slowly.  Let us assume that we are all interconnected in some way.
We are all feeling a push.  You, me, everyone.  Unless you live in a cave in the middle of nowhere and are in contact with no one, then you are definitely at this point feeling a push, you may say you are not, but that is only due to the incredible amount of training you have had in your life to make yourself purposefully ignorant of the real world around you.  This is especially true if you are an American.
My point in all of this is the following, at what point do you answer the call of the push?  Do you answer when it is a very weak nudge or do you answer when it is the full fury of the heavens in some case taking you apart?
Looking at it this way, what are we setting ourselves up for by continually ignoring what is happening, now, in our very backyard?
Another way of looking at this would be through the Chinese medicine system.  When we look at the statement, It is always darkest before the dawn, I immediately conjure in my mind my teacher telling me that wherever there is too much yang, spontaneous yin arises and vice versa.  So if there is too much of something, the opposite will spontaneously arise to counter the “inequity” (i love that word).
Now that I am able to look into this a bit deeper, I have to then decide what I believe about all of this, are things going well or are they not.  If not, I will have to seriously work on my frame of mind, as if they are not going in a happy state and it always gets darkest before the dawn, then I do not want to imagine how dark it could truly get, how big the push will be to get ALL the humans working together, not thinking and acting as a one, but thinking and acting as one.  In my world the push would be epic.  It involves beings from outer space if we are lucky, if we are less fortunate perhaps some military plague unleashed and turns us into zombies, and why not, the technology is there, perhaps a nuclear war…  At what point will we heed the call…   And I haven’t even begun to speak of the natural disasters that could arise from what we are doing in regard to mother nature, do you know that governments actually try to control nature?!? If you don’t believe me on this then simply look at what China did for the Olympics, you can start by researching there, as they really put it into the open.
So what do we do.  We may write the whole thing off as….?
At what point will all of us actually change our lives, what would it take for you to change the life you currently find yourself living in to one that is in tune with a planet and nature?  Will you only change your diet after you get Diabetes, or after you bypass surgery?  To what degree will you push the envelope you know to be unwise simply because it is comfortable for you?
I’m guessing it would take a lot.
Even when we look at history, we see how much it takes to change and make change, how big the push must be, and usually at what cost the push big_push_79arrives to us in, World Wars, Holocausts and Mass race genocide.
Further we see it in incidents like Hurricane Katrina, where the disaster was nearly pale in comparison to the events that followed once the relief work began, then it became a hell on earth.
It is all following along paths that we know and understand.  Unfortunately many of us have not even the slightest inkling as to the history of our species, nor do we have access to many of those secrets, which were then common knowledge: such as planting food, raising animals and living in harmony with them, finding water, surviving outdoors, surviving outdoors in different climates.  Through a lack of history, you are less capable as a human to ensure your own survival.  in essence you are not only becoming weak, you are becoming dependent upon unseen forces.  when was the last time you took a look at ANY FARM where your food comes from, or do you not even know where the food in the grocery store you shop at comes from?  I think that would be a good place to start teaching yourself.  Learn where the stuff you put in the hole in your face to keep you a busy little worker bee COMES FROM.  Good idea, no?
Much of this is due to what you were taught, usually from a very early age you are indoctrinated in what is considered important.  This leads us to the question we must learn to ask at the earliest age possible, WHO is this teaching me what is considered important.  WHY is this considered important.  Who else considers this to be important.  Why do they consider it to be important.  How do those that have the power and influence to consider this important to the point that they are having it taught to me, well, what do they think of me.  Do they respect me and my voice?  Dig deep, you can see what you are thought of by the state of the nation you live in, and if you turn on any reliable source of information these days, humans are being though of less and less in more and more countries.
You must learn to ask questions, especially about your history, for in knowing the history, you can better shape your future, IMPORTANT, beware where you get your history, for many have shaped the history you are taught and taken away important details and have added others that are false simply that they may change the future through you!
Even to this very day we find that what we once knew was wrong and what we know now will be wrong yet again.  So what do we do ?
We must start to feel and trust our senses.  We were given/have evolved, doesn’t really matter either way, I’ll explain, however we got our sense of taste, touch, hearing, sight and smell, it doesn’t matter, what matters is that we have it, it is part of our SENSORY system.  These allow us to interact in the world we live in.  Even IF the world is an illusion in the mind, we have included in this illusion, these senses and ways of sensing, so regardless of what is real, we must first gain mastery of our senses.  In a most basic sense, you must think for yourself and follow your “Gut Instincts”, this is incredibly difficult for many because it is literally bred out of us in teaching us to be good little whatever we are’s in the world.
Be careful what you allow yourself to learn, instead of learning, many times you are simply dumbing down to form some others view of life.
This is not necessary, the world is big enough to support whatever you wish to be, I only direct you to the ANIMAL kingdom…
Literally Teaming with life. All of it has a place.  There is room for everything on this planet as long as simple rules are followed, the rules laid down by the planet, not by man who only LIVES ON the planet.
There is a huge distinction, we inhabit this earth, that is all, we share the space and resources with all, it is due to our losing sight of this that all hell is literally breaking loose on earth.
We discover new species as quickly as we kill them off, and we are now responsible , that’s a big word mind you, for creating new species by putting such a strain on the evolutionary curve, what with all of our messing about in the stew of things by digging here drilling there, pumping and pissing here and there…
I wonder what we will be responsible for creating if we “PUSH” much harder.  Nature always has a way of getting rid of things that have lost their way on this planet, and remember, for all of our power, we are talking about a P L A N E T.  It will always be bigger then us.
Historically when it comes to the human race and its different modes for survival in large groups, the odds are not in our favor.  Rome, Greece, Egypt in the time of the Pyramids, Charles the Great, etc.. every large group where power was centralized at the top, constantly seeking to expand, with a very large base….  THEY ARE ALL GONE NOW, they have all been wiped out.
Time and time again, it is our history.  Based on that, if we do not change what we are doing we can assume that we will be wiped out as they were. You all know the saying, history repeats itself.
That will be the push.  So then it becomes change or die, well, that’s a bleak one and no one wants that, me least of all, I’m having fun in the midst of this madness, and that’s the crux, finding more Joy than sorrow in the midst of it all, while at the same time striving for the very best in everyone so that we may all LIVE HAPPILY.  If we have more joy and make this the function we strive towards, then we will avoid the dark form of the “Spontaneous Rise” of Peace and prosperity for all.  we will instead bring it into existence, not have it be a byproduct of our madness.
If you live by the sword, you will die by the sword – Tao Te Ching.
The meek shall inherit the earth – Bible
You will find sayings alluding to this simple idea in many places, look with your eyes, that’s why they are there, listen to words people say, do not let yourself be blown away when it comes to food, be satisfied with food from the earth, you are a human, you need healthy food, it is very simple.  Those who do not eat healthy food for a long period of time become malnourished, most of the world is malnourished and overfed, the rest are malnourished and underfed and still more are overfed and whew, WHAT IN GODS GREAT NAME ARE WE DOING HERE!
Feel, know your self and your body and do not push yourself in any one direction but that which is to the highest good of your body, your mind and your soul, anything else and you are setting yourself up for a push on a personal level to get you headed back in the right direction, the cancer patient becomes a voice for the oppressed in the medical system once they fight off their cancer by changing their thought patterns and living patterns, until you respond positively, the push will continue.
When you are unable to respond to your individual push positively, you then begin to add to the push of society which we are experiencing now as was mentioned earlier.  Example…You aren’t happy with your health due to the fact you eat fast food at least a few times a week, frozen meals for dinner, donuts and coffee for breakfast and odds and ends in between.  Your health is slowly deteriorating and to make up for the horror you feel inside at your slow ride to death, you spend lots of time shopping for things you don’t need, drinking excessive amounts of booze, smoking cigarettes and watching hours of “happy people” on T.V….  What life is that?  More importantly, what kind of ripples are you sending out to the rest of the planet?  If Aliens came down right now and looked you in the eye and asked if you were a representation of the highest good a human could be, what would you say….?
Be the change you wish to see in the world.  Gandhi
I’m looking at the man in the mirror.  Michael Jackson
Let it begin with me.  Hymn my Mom would always sing at church
This is your one shot, one ride on the carousel, what will you do with it, what story will you have on your death bed when there is no one but you and oblivion, you cant lie to yourself forever, at some point, you will have to look your life in the eyes and you WILL be held accountable.
So make it worth your while.
A little inspiration to help you on your way compliments Mr. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers!