If you do one thing today, please let it be this.
I came across a video this morning when I received an email about the volunteering I'm doing today with Farm Sanctuary. At the bottom of the email was a link to watch "Maxine's Dash for Freedom", which definitely peaked my interest. If you didn't hear about this unbelievable story, in 2007 a cow destined for slaughter had escaped her fate and was found in Queens roaming around the streets. A team rescued her, and she is now safely living out the rest of her life at Farm Sanctuary.
Maxine the amazing cow
This video will absolutely touch your heart. It definitely touched mine, and I am so thankful I came across it. It's only a few minutes long, and I really hope you'll check it out:
I started this blog almost a year ago because I wanted to share my ups and downs as I tried living as a vegan for the first time. I mostly wanted to share recipes and foods that interested me, so that other people could check them out and maybe try them too. Well, it's nearly a year later, and I am finding a much deeper reason in maintaining this blog - it is my hope that you will read what I have to say and one day considering going vegan. Not today. Not even tomorrow. But someday.
Kathy Freston (author of Quantum Wellness) has a great method for creating change in one's life. Once a smoker, meat-eater, and leather wearer, Kathy never made her changes overnight, but rather in very small steps. After taking lots of little steps over a long period of time, Kathy found that a huge shift of awareness began to occur in her life, and the changes that were once so hard to make were actually easier now (Kathy is now a non-smoking vegan). And I think that this is the best way to change your life - because as I've written before, change can be very scary indeed. For a long time, I myself was completely unconscious to the connection between what was on my plate and how it got there. It wasn't until a random occurrence - watching "Fast Food Nation" three years ago- that it really hit me: Why was I calling myself an animal lover, while at the same time taking part in something that was so cruel to animals? It was just that simple for me - one small experience that forever put the light of change inside of me.
My wonderful friend Molly wrote it best in her letter from my recent post - making these changes is not as big a deal as people think. You can still eat meat on some days, and find new vegan (or even just vegetarian) recipes to make on other days. You don't have to sacrifice everything right away. I didn't - I stopped eating meat the day after watching the film, but I still ate fish, dairy, and eggs for a year after that. It wasn't until the spring of last year that I stopped eating fish. And it wasn't until last October that I stopped eating dairy and eggs. I took my time, I researched about everything I was consuming, and I made slow and clear decisions along the way to better my life.
To be honest, once I gave up all animal products, I was very frustrated, because I felt I had given up so many things that I once loved to eat (especially cheese - man, that was tough). It's almost silly now to think about those first weeks as a vegan, because I am so confident now in my decision to do this. When I first began, I felt so scared to fully commit to this change. But like everything else I've learned, time was definitely on my side. Through a lot of trial and error, I learned that there were hundreds of combinations of foods that I had never even given a second thought to. I was missing out on so much awesome food that had always been there for me! And now, I wake up excited to eat - I'm excited to find meals for myself each day. It's so much more fun to eat now that I'm a vegan, because there is way more variety in my diet than ever before. And the funniest part of all of this? If you had asked me three years ago to go vegan, I would have laughed at the notion. It's amazing how in only a few years, my world has expanded so much.
So, maybe watching Maxine's story will help you to make a small change in your life today. Maybe you'll start putting soymilk in your lattes instead of cow's milk. Maybe instead of buying leather products, you'll look for alternatives. Whatever step it is - it is a step in the right direction.
And if you need more inspiration, I promise that next month, I will be posting many yummy and animal-friendly recipes for Thanksgiving!
Best wishes on your own journey. I wish you well in whatever stage of awareness you are at in your life. If you've read this post, you have already made a step in the right direction!