Saturday, August 30, 2008

Going Vegan

About five days ago, after years of being a vegetarian, I decided to take the plunge that I had been putting off for so long and dedicated myself to living vegan. It is something I have considered many times, yet always felt a little intimidated by, with the level of commitment I envisioned was involved. I wondered how I would shop, what I would keep in my kitchen, how I would cut out *gasp* cheese and eggs. I always admired those in the vegan community, but just wasn't certain that I could climb aboard.

So something unexpected happened to me on Monday morning. Though the thought of going vegan was always in the back of my mind, I woke up earlier than usual that day with a really clear mindset and decided, pretty much on the spot, that I was going to the store to buy me some vegan-friendly groceries. And I did. I walked in not really knowing what I was looking for, but figured that if it was a fruit, vegetable or said "vegan" on it, that I was safe. Then I came home and emailed my husband to tell him about my new agenda.

That was the beginning of it all... and five days later, I must admit that I am quite surprised at how easy the transition has been. There was this moment of temptation when I was slicing mozarella cheese for my kids' pizza; but I resisted and stirred my tofu that was sizzling in the pan. I am now on a quest to learn all I can about not only EATING vegan, but truly living it, without hypocrisy. I want to truly make a difference: not only for the animals and the environment, but for myself.

I hesitate to allude to the idea that I am going through a "mid-life" (wait, I'm not at mid-life - so I don't know what the proper term would be) crisis, but I have been more reflective of the past, aware of the present, and most importantly, envisioning the future; than I can remember being for quite sometime. I feel like I am having a sort of awakening (there, that's better than having a "crisis," right?) with a lot of subjects, viewpoints, theories and understandings of how I see the world; of the person I am and want to become; of the things I do, the things that I don't do, and the things that I want to do. It's a good thing, as M. Stewart would say. It's long overdue and it's refreshing and energizing. I am a little intrigued and surprised at how just having a different mindset can change so much around me. This "new mindset" includes my little veganism transformation. It changes the way I view things and makes me more mindful of the earth and the cycle of life. It makes me more mindful of the corporate-brainwashing tactics of our society, which includes tricking us into thinking that we have to eat a certain way. It's liberating to take control of not only my diet, but my mind. Just as I went through a transformation and awakening when I let go of religion and reclaimed my rationality and thinking processes; I feel a similar metamorphosis taking place with my commitment to being a vegan. It opens my eyes to a lot that I wish I had discovered long ago. But just as with everything in life, it is never too late to become that which you wish to be. I guess there are just different steps, different progressions, different incriments in the journey of life, for each of these discoveries to take place. For me, I am happy to be on a new path right now. I am happy to make my own little difference in the world. I am happy to learn. I am happy to enjoy music again. I am happy to re-discover ME.

~ J-Boo

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