I tend to look at my life as divided into two very distinct parts. Ok, yes, it’s probably more complicated and more divided than that, but for the sake of veganism, mind/body/soul, the divide is clear. My journey into the holistic world started when I was 18 with my first Philosophy class. I had the most amazing Professor who encouraged me to take class after class until…what do you know…I had taken all of his courses and gone on to a BA in Philosophy and Cultural Studies. I remember him speaking about Zen retreats and Buddhism. It was all so fascinating and spiritual. I knew it was something I wanted to try, but, as we all know, sometimes we live in a world/community not conducive to who we want to be and we end up being who we are at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with who we are at the moment, heck, it got us to who we are now, but at the moment doesn’t always mean in the moment. Living in the moment is a deeper sense of being and something that we all need to practice. (Meditation helps greatly with this.) It took me a while to understand that I could be both spiritual and religious at the same time and that they meant different things. The spiritual side of me now loves all things Buddha and Karma. I have prayer flags from Tibet and crystals from around the world. Ok, ok, so my kids call that being a hippie…I’m ok with that. I embrace my inner hippie! The religious side of me follows tradition and goes to Church and knows that it’s all ok.
Along with a spiritual transformation comes the realization that something else should be different. For my entire life, I never really ate meat. (Yes, I said it.) I looked up to a wonderful vegetarian friend and wondered what her world was like. After some planning, I decided to become vegetarian. I won’t lie to you. It took me two tries. The first time, I think I was eating like fries and oreos and got sick. The next time, I had studied, done my HW, and made it!!!! EXCITEMENT! Years later I came upon a group of Vegan Activists who handed me a PETA brochure and asked me to watch the videos on the site. Well, one video down and I was hooked! How could anyone eat friends after learning about what goes on? I won’t give you the gory details here, PETA has a great site for that, but know that it’s NOT good! We do not have the right to treat any sentient being that way. There’s so much that goes along with Veganism–compassion, activism, spirituality, environmentalism, and the ability to stand up for what you believe in and rally for some of the cutest, softest and most loving creatures on the Earth–the animals.
The division had been made….I went from the young religious omnivore to the older (Yes, the food divide happened in my thirties! It’s never too late!) religious, spiritual. vegan activist (and lovable hippie!)! Who would’ve thought I would find the place I belonged so late in life? The transformation and journey had begun…. What comes next will amaze you!