When I tell an omnivore that I'm vegan, I'm usually bombarded with a series of questions. We all know by now that the number one question on the top ten list of vegan questions is "where do you get your protein?" I'm all for inquiries and genuine questions for you never know, there may be an opportunity to learn something new on behalf of both the person answering and the person asking the questions. I find those questions which are borderline judgmental and accusatory are those which irritate me most. Between each cleansing breath, I feel as if I have to defend myself and vegans everywhere. As unrealistic as that is, the feeling is still there. I'm finding that there seems to be a group of questions that almost immediately follow the first one:
"Have you always been Vegan? "
"How long have you been Vegan?"
or my favorite, "Don't you MISS meat?"
The answers are "no", "not long", and "heck NO!". In an instant, I'm transformed into some sort of creature for inspection. If I hadn't said anything, would I look, act or be any different? In my effort to remain positive, I go into the same explanation of how I became vegan. For me, it was not a hard decision. It was my destiny.
|Know where you come from: My mother's|
Sweet Potato Pie
Vegan Version - "NO!" dairy
The statement is really powerful. In just a few short words, your entire life history, present, and future are captured. As I've said, I feel destined to be vegan. Meat has never been at the top of my list of favorite things. My earliest memory of rebuking meat was at the mere young age of five years old. As I've mentioned my post last month, "Back to Basics", my family grew up on a farm. Well, my father and uncles were quite comfortable with hunting and preparing "fresh killed" meats. When I was five, my uncles had gone hunting complete with blood hound dogs and guns. They brought back their "bounty" and eagerly shared with my parents who, now living in the city, were ecstatic for memories of "home". My uncle presented my father with a rabbit. My father took it into the basement. I was curious and asked to join him. My father was happy to see my interest - maybe I was going to be a second generation country girl after all... I watched in horror as my father skinned the rabbit and how the blood slowly dripped onto the floor. I asked him why was he doing that to the rabbit and he informed me it would be our dinner that night. "NO!" I told him I was not eating that rabbit. To this day, although I've consumed other meats, I am proud to say rabbit has never crossed my plate. To add salt to the injury, later that year, someone in my family gave me a "rabbit's foot" key chain as a gift. I remember feeling the toes, and bones under the fur and hated it. I threw it away and lied to my mother that I had misplaced it.
At twelve, I stopped eating all animal-organs and baby animal meat after I began to question my mother about every piece of meat that was presented to me. "What animal did this come from? What part of the animal is this?" I just couldn't "stomach" eating liver, veal, or lamb. It was also the age that I started cooking. I remember feeling nauseous when I smelled raw eggs and could not eat them if the little white connector between the yoke and the white hadn't been removed. I remember the shock and "gross-out" experienced when I went to a delicatessen with a friend and she ordered a beef "tongue" sandwich and it was really sliced tongue! By age 19, I could not eat a piece of chicken if I had to butcher an entire carcass into legs, wings, and breast prior to cooking it. I hated the feeling of the organs squishing in my hands as I reached in to clean out a turkey.
|"HECK NO!" - Whole head fish dinner|
The next step is to continue to evolve with decorum and civility. Let's look at the meaning:
A gradual process in which something changes
A gradual process in which something changes
into a different and usually more complex or better form
Hmmm...better form; more complex. Translation: to evolve is to develop or achieve a style of one's own gradually. I am ready to evolve. I am ready to move forward. Everyone realizes that we, as a species have evolved. Although we don't always act like it, we possess intelligence, the ability to have empathy, and compassion for our fellow animal beings of this earth, and we grow plants; why is so hard to realize that we no longer need to consume meat to continue to evolve.
|Intelligence, empathy, compassion for all beings, |
sole consumption of plant-based diet....
the need to evolve still exists
The next steps for me are to continue to learn, to grow and to forge deeper into this new wonderful experience. Taking the time to remember where I came from and helps me to know where I'm going.
Yoga: Anusara Style. Individually based, soft practice - to "follow your heart" with emphasis on balance, alignment and respect for personal limitations; to gradually evolve; to focus with organic energy.