Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Today I am celebrating is my 2-year vegan-niversary! No, I'll not blow my own trumpet, but it's hard not to have a frisson of pleasure at reaching this milestone. I'm sure as the years roll by it will become less of a source of pride, but right now I am dang pleased!
It's been a great 2 years, the best of my life so far. My eyes have been opened to reality and it's been an education, a source of intense sadness and grief at learning of our egregious and unconscionable treatment of non-human animals and of our profit from their suffering. My world view has changed completely, irreversably, and permanently: I no longer look at people through the same lens, but struggle to see past the inherent selfishness and greed that underpins our willingness to contribute to and look away from animal abuse and exploitation. Each day, a hundred jagged reminders, a thousand reproaches and still no change in sight.
But is has also been a source of tremendous joy and pleasure. I have feasted with the animals, not upon them.
I have met new people along the way, teachers who have guided me and mentors whose patience and friendship has helped me through the trauma of awakening.
I'm now part of a community so much more vibrant, creative and compassionate than I ever dreamed of. It is almost a full-time job keeping up with volunteer activities and online activism - and I love it! It's been my privilege to witness dramatic changes close to home: my mother has adopted a vegan diet; my husband's proved himself more willing to adapt, open-minded, accepting, and loving than I had any right to expect. Thank you, Geoff.
Always a 'foodie', I am no longer conflicted about my choices of ingredients and, through a renewed interest in cooking and nutrition, enjoy every single meal, every last bite. My skills have grown (as has my waistline, or - at least - it has not shrunk!) as I've rediscovered an almost childlike joy at the alchemy which is baking. From co-workers to friends to family, I try to ensure that everyone around me feels the benefits directly, and I suspect they are quite happy!
And of my non-human companions, I have reached a depth of closeness with them that is born of no longer feeling guilt at the arbitrary distinction of 'pet' vs 'food'. In recognising the moral personhood of all animals, I can now look at 'my' dogs and see them for who they truly are - extraordinary souls with their own agendas, interests, joys and pleasures. And I am able to love them just that little bit more too!
I don't yet know how this next year will unfold. More reading, talking, thinking, grieving and more activism. More understanding, more anguish and more joy - this is certain. And I am profoundly grateful for it all.
Stay Vegan, Friends!