Having been meat free all of my life I can’t easily empathise with people who struggle to make the change to veganism in adulthood. People often say it’s difficult to make the switch which I can only put down to the fact that eating meat, eggs and dairy was something they had accepted as normal and natural for a long time and is at the core of what they were taught by the people they trusted the most, their family. As I’ve said before, core beliefs are hard to break.
What I can do and what I try to do it to show people what amazing place veganism is. The food is truly magnificent once you properly discover it and the health benefits are almost unimaginable unless you experience them yourself. And because at our core none of us want to complicit in the harm inflicted on animals raised for food or to the environmental destruction that it contributes to, you know in your heart that you are doing the right thing.
It changes you in other ways too. You get the gift of compassion; you become a better version of yourself. You’ll feel like a new person and like a drug, want more of it. Through kindness, friendship and generosity, both given and received, you can find the person that deep down you’ve always known was there. The soul you kept hidden away in case showing that side of yourself was seen as a sign of weakness.
I can only compare it, for the sake of this piece, to people who feel close to their god. I don’t have a religious bone in my body and I don’t believe we need to worship idols and as many do. I believe religion, in the way it’s generally understood, has been the root cause of the majority of conflicts throughout history. Personally I believe religion should come from within and is an individual moral standard to which we should hold ourselves.
Our planet cannot sustain our current lifestyles, this fact is undeniable. The Earth is warming and one million new people are born every four days. We struggle to feed the seven billion we have today, one billion people currently don’t get enough to eat each day and it’s predicted that there will be nine billion of us by 2050. To pass this planet on to GLOBAL NEWS generations in anything like the condition we found it, there will have to be changes, sacrifices.
Alone you can’t influence the fossil fuel companies to change their practises. You can’t tell the 300 million Indians who live without electricity that they shouldn’t strive for the lifestyle that we’ve enjoyed for 100 years. Sure you can drive less, take shorter showers and turn lights off but realistically we’ve past that point.
What you can do is to change your diet. I’m not talking about Meatless Mondays because all that means is that you’re only contributing to the destruction of lives and the environment six days a week. You have to go the whole way and become vegan.
This probably sounds tough, but as I said in the beginning, I can’t see that. For me it’s the easiest, most natural, in fact the only way to live. What I can do though is offer you an amazing support network made up of the most amazing people, people who will be there for you any hour of the day or night. You will be welcomed with open arms into the fastest growing social justice movement on the planet. You will get all the help you need along with wonderful recipes and ideas on places to eat out.
I’ll encourage you to come to events where you will hear truly inspirational people speak, to go to lectures and hear the leading doctors explain exactly why we should all be living this way. We’ll see cookery demonstrations that will literally blow you away. I’ll encourage you to take part in protests and demonstrations and to stand in front of trucks heading for a slaughterhouse. I’ll encourage you to find your voice, to talk to and encourage others. Then after a time you‘ll find your own path.
You’ll find a new family, not to replace your old one, but to compliment it and you’ll find a new you. The compassionate soul that’s been quiet for so long will find its voice and its heart. You will be proud of who you’ve become and your only regret will be that you didn’t do it sooner.
And you never know, one day you might even become as annoying as me.