You guys!!!! Today marks one year VEGAN! I can easily and honestly say that going vegan is the best decision I’ve ever made and that I have never experienced as much peace and joy as I have during my first year living a vegan lifestyle. Now, I want to share with you some of the details of this past year 🙂
So, in case you haven’t read my post on how/why I went vegan, I’ll catch you up briefly. I went vegan cold tofurkey. I was never vegetarian but I never liked ham, steak, dark meat chicken or turkey, or anything that actually reminded me of or resembled the animal that it was. I credit the cause of my epiphany or tapping into a higher level of consciousness to, drum roll please . . . Seeking Truth. The whole mind shift I had lasted about three days. Basically, I decided to finally acknowledge the fact that I felt guilty and unspiritual every time I ingested something I didn’t make myself. I was ingesting and essentially making apart of myself, things that I had no clue about. I decided I would look into where ALL of my food came from rather than just some of it. I instantly thought of meats and cheeses and decided to drop those. Then, while at work, I listened to a woman I knew talk about animals as they are in her beliefs, “below us and for us.” At that moment I asked myself, “If you disagree with this person, why are you living out the same practices and lifestyle as her?” If I truly loved and respected animals, I would stop supporting what I now know as the animal holocaust and that day, I did. That day was June 6th 2016.
One of the first signs that I was thinking at a higher level of consciousness happened first thing in the morning as I was waking up. I opened my eyes to see my two cats, Paco and Boo sleeping at the foot of my bed. I thought to myself and sort of told them telepathically, “I’m not going to eat you anymore.” For the first time in my life I saw ALL animals alike. I was no longer going to favor some and disregard the feelings and well being of others. It was a matter of, can they feel pain?
For the first 2 months I literally felt on top of the world. I was floating through life in the best way possible. I was so happy and easygoing, and uplifted that I felt like I was physically being carried through life. I’m laughing as I’m typing this because I remember this feeling so vividly and there’s no other way to describe it. I found this picture from my birthday earlier this year. It somewhat depicts the feeling I’m talking about. Only this was me 24/7 for a while there . . .
In the midst of this natural high, there were also awkward moments. The awkwardness came in attempting to conjure my first vegan “meals,” if you can call them that, and telling my friends and family about my knew found joy. Like I said, I went vegan over night, so I had no idea what I was doing at first. I came up with the strangest looking meals just to make sure I was “getting enough nutritiooonnn.” Little did I know, going vegan would finally cure me of my severve anemia. Then, telling my friends and family was, let’s just say, eye opening. I mean, I knew I loved cheese before but I didn’t realize I had a proooobleeeem until EVERYONE I told about my going vegan had the same exact response which was, “Really? WAIT, WHAT ABOUT CHEESE?!!!” At that point I had yet another great reason to be happy with my decision. Based on my loved one’s reactions, it appeared I was on my way to experiencing death by cheese had I not just quit my debilitating cheese addiction.
The first few months were also about veganizing the rest of my life. It began with food but then I realized there were animal products in my closet. Then I realized there were animal products in my skin care, cleaning supplies, etc.. I took that time to do research, get rid of those things, and start aquiring vegan versions. Turns out there are plenty of amazing vegan options for everything! Especially the leather items I previously owned. I used to think that if a bag wasn’t made out of leather, it was something you’d have to have bought at Target or a department store and that if it was used consecutively, it would begin to peal and wither. I was overjoyed to discover brands like Matt & Nat, Gunas New York, and Pixie Mood that make synthetic, amazing quality, peaceful handbags and accessories.
Honestly, when I first went vegan I was a little saddened by the thought that I would no longer be able to enjoy going out to eat since it is something I really appreciated being able to do. It wasn’t long before I realized how much more fun it is to go out and spend way less moola on vegan versions of meals. Then there’s going to all vegan restaurants! At those we spend about the same as we used to at the non vegan places. Going to one is like visiting heaven. Knowing you can choose anything from the entire menu is just . . . sigh . . . I’m drooling just thinking about The Cider Press. My FAVORITE thing I’ve heard someone say during my first year vegan was at a beautiful rooftop vegan restaurant in Miami. I was going to ask our waiter if he knew of any other vegan places in the area but then I remembered that many of the servers we’ve encountered have not been vegan themselves. So I got our waiter’s attention and asked, “Are you vegan?” before continuing with my real question, and his response was, “of course.” I actually teared up a little. I smiled one of those ginormous smiles that end up hurting your cheeks and he went on to tell us all about the other places near by that we should try.
Being One With Nature
Ever since going vegan, I see nature more and more differently. Since I was little I’ve always seemed to find beauty in things that the average person doesn’t typically take notice to. Veganism has brought this to an entirely new level. You see, when you believe that you are a PART of nature rather than above it, you begin to see even more of its beauty. The beauty that is always there, silent and humble, waiting for you to be still and take notice. Once you realize that we as humans are actually a part of nature, and you see the raw ethereal beauty in it, you start to consider yourself lucky to be a part of something so incredible. You are humbled in a way that feels so insanely good it is unexplainable.
The Truth Hurts
I believe that our individual realities are based on two things: our intention and our attention. The intentions you set or don’t set for the day, that week, year, your life, and what you pay your attention to is what make up YOUR reality. Some people refer to this as your “lens” or “filter” but it’s just how you see the world around you. Before going vegan, I liked to think that I loved nature, plants and animals alike. Now, through living and learning in a vegan lifestyle I see how much damage I was actually doing to these things I was telling myself and others, I loved so dearly. We’re all against animal crulety and yet we pay people to mutilate, torture and slaughter animals… and it’s not for any necessity or because we need to for our health, it’s just because…. we like the way they taste. The idea that other living things are a product for us to use or that they are objects for our desire is actually insane and it takes conditioning and brainwashing to bring a person to believe that. We have society and the media to thank for that. No one wants to destroy the only planet we have to live on, and yet we all use plastic and drive cars, and create trash like we own the place when the truth is, we are just another PART of it. Just another piece of the magnificent puzzle.
We all live on this planet together, grow up in different places, are raised different ways, believe different things, and have our own personalities and tendencies. I believe it is our differences that contribute to the beauty and wonder of this world. I would never want to live in a place where everyone was the same or just like me. In a place where everyone was the same, there would be no art and life would be dull. That being said, I do believe that deep down, most of us share the same desires. Most of us want to be happy. Most of us want peace. Because veganism has brought me so much joy and because it came to me through seeking truth, I hope to encourage anyone reading this to just think about what you believe in and what you want. Then, do the research, find mentors or just people you admire and take the steps to actually live out your truth. It will bring you so much happiness and peace that once you actually make the changes in your life, you will feel as though your life has just begun again.
Oh right, I almost forgot to mention my one regret. My only regret is the same regret you’ll hear from every other vegan you encounter . . . and that is,
I wish I had done it sooner
THANK YOU TO THE MOON, PAST THE STARS AND MARS FOR READING.
I LOVE YOU.
With all the compassion I can muster,