Call me crazy, but I want to change the world. When I lost Isabel, I wanted to affect change somehow, both on a small and large scale. I struggled to find the right thing, and was searching for months. And I knew that whatever I was meant to do would somehow find me, and it did. I began this process doing little things, I recycled like crazy, began composting, started buying more things second-hand, buying local, and donated to different disaster relief and aid groups. It didn't feel as if it was enough. Being only one person made it difficult for me to see any impact those things had. I continue to do these things with a passion, and feel that I might not be making a huge difference in the world, but I am making a difference in my world, and that matters to me.
I once heard someone say in a talk that life isn't about you. And it completely resonated with me. We find meaning through others, and specifically in helping them. I found a movement that not only thinks about others, but it also thinks about the world, and every individuals impact on it. Environmentally, I feel as I am helping on a larger scale, because I am not just one person doing this, I am part of a larger purpose that allows me to live in the most healthful, and gentle way, while not hurting any lives. This way of living can prevent common known diseases, unnecessary use of environmental resources, and unnecessary suffering.
I chose to become vegan.
This way of living immediately felt nourishing to my mind, body and spirit. Intense grief doesn't always allow for proper nutrition or health, so when I found veganism, I was amazed at how different my experience became. My mood started improving, my body wasn't so tired as often, and I felt like I could think much more clearly. All the things I struggled with before. Not only was this way of eating better for my physical and mental health, it gave me a deeper connection to humanity and living beings. And taught me that life isn't just about us, and our needs. No being needs to be harmed or resources don't need to be sacrificed to live a life on earth. Animal agriculture has been so exploited, and the production has changed completely. Not only is it unhealthy, but it is inhumane. It is not necessary to thrive, and is actually a huge detriment to health and the world. Do we need to use animals in furniture, fashion, medicine, food, entertainment, etc? No. That's just how it's always been. But it has to stop, and I know it won't, but the good thing is, there is much more awareness now, and this trend towards veganism is increasing. Heard of global warming? Well it's real, and factory farming and animal agriculture are the number one cause. Not pollution, or transportation emissions, but eating and producing animal products!
With all that said, you can be vegan and not experience all the health benefits. You can be vegan and eat fast food, or junk food. What I am talking about is a whole foods, plant-based diet that doesn't include or limits processed foods. I have been trying to follow Dr. Joel Fuhrman's nutritarian diet; it's a way of eating focused on getting essential and complete nutrition from a number of plants. It's a very reasonable, and simple way of eating, that allows for a lot of variety. On a vegan diet, you really enjoy food more, because it comes from a place of intention, an intention to make a positive choice for yourself and others. Before I was vegan, I was quite picky, however, now the rule is if it's vegan I will eat it (except if it's raw tomatoes, mushrooms or cilantro...lol).
It's changed my life so much. And it provides me with so much more compassion. I couldn't be more thankful that it found me when it did. I hope we can all change the world in little ways, and think of just not ourselves in how we choose to live. And that we choose to learn how our imprint impacts the world and the lives of others. We don't know what the future will be like, but we can try to leave it better for our children.
Peace & love.