Why Vegan?

Those of you that know me, you know that I am passionate about being vegan. And most people think I’m crazy and always want to know how I can sacrifice so much. Well, the simple answer to that is I don’t make any sacrifices. None at all.

When you first take the step to veganism, it’s hard. I’ve been a vegetarian for most of my life, and I knew all of the good reasons to go vegan, but I was scared and kept making excuses not to. Then, one day, another vegan challenged me – “Just do it for 30 days,” she said, “What harm could it do?” So, I thought, “30 days?” I can do 30 days. What harm could it do?

She tricked me, and she knew she was tricking me, and she was right. Not only did it not do any harm, it created a miraculous change inside me.

Eliminating all forms of violence from your life, out of your heart and out of your body creates a euphoric experience you can’t understand until you have felt it for yourself. You feel lighter, calmer, your mind just gets…..clearer. You can actually feel your connection to the earth, to your fellow beings, among the people around you and inside your mind. You feel the divine inside of you, you feel your heart open. It’s like your eyes have finally been open, like you are finally awake. You can see and feel your world in a completely different way. That’s the best I can do to describe it, but to feel it -wow- that will take your breath away.

When we pollute our body and mind with the death, destruction and violence of animal foods, it affects us in a very profoundly negative way. We lose our connection with compassion and develop apathy. We become selfish and immune to suffering. It affects our minds by making us lethargic, addicted and cloudy. It affects our bodies by making us sick – heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer….just to name a few.

But we refuse to change. We know the diet we eat is unhealthy, but we rely on a corrupt system of Western medicine to fix us. Have a heart attack? They’ll give me a bypass. Develop diabetes? They’ll give me pills. We are so used to feeling bad, we have no idea how good we can actually feel.

Over the years, I have had many people come to me to help them make the switch to vegan. I taught vegan cooking classes at Whole Foods for years, and I have spent many hours talking to people about what they go through when they make the switch. I always get nostalgic to hear them talk about the changes they’ve experienced – “I feel cleaner.” “I feel healthier.” “I feel a light inside me I never knew was there.” I know, I’ve felt it, and I remember when that feeling was new to me I was overwhelmed with joy. That’s why, if you tell someone, “Go vegan for 30 days.” and they do, they almost never go back. The “sacrifices” you make in terms of dietary restrictions are replaced by something much, much more valuable. You won’t want that feeling to go away. You’ll look at meat and cheese and you won’t think, “Oh yummy”, you’ll think, “This isn’t worth giving up this feeling”. And you will want to share that feeling with everyone around you, but most people, they can’t hear it. Not until they are ready, and most people never will be. Most people will go their whole life not knowing that feeling. But vegans are passionate because they want to share that experience with you, and so when one of them tries to convince you, just know, they are trying to share something very special with you.

I’m a spiritual being with a blessed connection to the world around me, something that veganism has given me. A gift, not a sacrifice.

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3 Responses to Why Vegan?

  1. Shawn says:

    Love reading your stuff.

  2. Evan ODell says:

    So glad to see you take on this brilliant endeavor. Because of you, I have two blocks of tofu misozuke curing in my refrigerator right now. I’m drinking some of the leftover rice wine blended with mango and simple sugar right now.

    I first went vegetarian in 1992. I’m on my fifth year vegan. No one challenged me to do it for 30 days. I came at it because I truly hated my father’s lifestyle of hunting and fishing and because my mother had dated a vegetarian and flirted with it herself. Nothing about hunting made sense to me. Add to that, my father skirted the law multiple ways to make a kill, and even when he didn’t nothing seemed fair about the way he lured animals to die.

    My maternal grandmother was not much of a cook and never made more than a handful of meals. Perhaps that’s why my mother became so adventurous. We were always trying new recipes and new ethnic cuisines in our household. Though my stepfather would kid, we really weren’t trying new recipes since both she and I have a talent for looking at a recipe and seeing ways to improve on or make it more authentic. Adventurous eating is a tradition I’ve carried on. Mom was never afraid to mix it up or make vegetables the star attraction at dinner time and meals didn’t need meat in our house.

    My mother’s initial brush with vegetarianism was brief. While I rebelled initially, I was ready to make the leap a few years later, even if my she no longer ate that way. It soon became clear to me, I was a lot more like my mother in the kitchen than I was my father. At 18, I rejected my father’s violence and have been eating vegetarian ever since.

  3. Reading this post – I get it. I now understand that. I’ve been telling people that – since switching my life to vegan – that I “Just feel great”. Aside from the physical bonus of no chronic pain (chemo side effects that have plagued me for nearly 4 years), I feel more calm. I tell people that it’s like I’ve switched from diesel to wind energy. I just feel more calm. I sleep better. I feel happier every day and more calm and my once awful anxiety is nearly non existent! I just FEEL amazing and you really hit that experience, here. I told a friend, yesterday, that she should try it for 30 days. Just give it a try. It couldn’t hurt. I hope she does.

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