Let’s Not Shame the Not Vegan Folks
I have recently became very intrigued by veganism. It fits very well with my “save the world” type of personality and it’s been very eye opening in many ways.
I’ve never been a save the animals type of person (even though I have been known to get involved with the occasional WWF project) but I definitely don’t condone cruelty or abuse in any way. I do believe in protecting the environment and changing our ways to sustain our planet (something that does align with veganism). And I do believe there are health benefits to being vegan when done right.
All that being said, I’m not vegan and I doubt I ever will be. Being not vegan is not something to be ashamed of and it doesn’t make me any less of a person. I’ve thought about it a lot and I’ll continue thinking about it but as of right now, I have not taken the plunge. Not every lifestyle works for everyone and there’s nothing wrong with that. As I addressed in my last blog post, none of us can do it all and to save our sanity (and health) we have to choose our battles.
In Case of Zombie Apocalypse
I grew up in the back woods of Alabama. Where my cousins and I were handed knives and guns at the age of 10 and more or less left to our own devices. We literally lived in the woods surrounding our family’s houses. After breakfast every morning, (usually biscuits, eggs and bacon or ham) we would venture out into nature, not to be seen again until nightfall.
We would spend our days hunting. Killing birds and squirrels, skinning them and cooking them ourselves. Or we would hike to the back of the woods, dodging cows, killing snakes to the pond for fishing. We woke up early during deer season and trekked the icy trail, climbed a tree and waited for Bambi’s mom or dad to come by us. This was our way of life.
I’ve always understood the price of this. That a harmless, peaceful animal was losing their life. But being a survivalist born into a family of survivalists, I also know that it’s an important skill that could save mine and/or my family’s life one day. I’m grateful to the creature, I see it fully and I honor it’s life.
“I was raised this way” is by far not an excuse. It’s a lifestyle that I know thoroughly and have chosen now that I know other options are out there. I no longer hunt or fish, but my family still does religiously and I happily accept the offerings they bring me regularly.
I Grew Up On Many Farms
Allow me to list them for you:
- My Papa has goats, sheep, chickens & has had various animals (cows, horses, guinea fowl, donkey, rabbits etc) throughout my whole life
- My Papa Joe has a horse ranch
- Uncle Dave had an ostrich farm my entire childhood, after one nearly killed my aunt, he opted for cows instead.
- Uncles Marshall and David have had nearly every animal under the sun and still do. Rabbits, Parrots, Farrets, Llama, Mules, Peacock, chicken, turkey, you name it.
- My dad has chickens (which nearly everyone around here has honestly)
So I know a lot about animals. No doubt, they have feelings and thoughts (sorta). but they’re also assholes. No doubt, not all of them. But they’re are good, kind animals and not nice ones just as they’re good, kind and not nice people. I’ve been charged by numerous cows. Flogged by numerous chickens, terrified by ostriches and somehow lucky enough to be trampled by horses and not hurt. I’ve seen people hurt and nearly killed by them by simply trying to help them. I have relatives who are paralyzed from them.
I’m not saying I hold a grudge and 2 wrongs don’t make a right and I don’t live an eye for an eye or anything. But I also know that they’re not as sentimental, heart centered and peaceful as some folks would have you believe.
I’m a Seafood Junkie
I could literally eat seafood for every meal. Especially sushi and crab legs. Even if I do eventually stop eating most meat, I highly, highly doubt I will ever give these things up. I do try to be mindful of where it comes from though. Opting for wild caught instead of farm raised.
It’s a New Transition
I was almost vegetarian when my husband and I met. Only because I had never been super impressed with meat. All I really new was chicken, I had never had a chicken wing, never had a cheeseburger, never had a decent steak. My mother in law straight up thought I was vegetarian for the first 2 years he and I were together. Being a huge carnivore, my husband introduced me to all kinds of meat I had never tried before, thus ending my nearly vegetarian ways.
I did set the intention almost a year ago to start doing a meatless one day of the week (It didn’t always fall on Monday) and have since been gradually cutting it out of my diet more and more. I don’t eat much meat these days and seem to be more and more repelled by it daily. I’ve already been mostly dairy free (I really like cheese but have been slowly cutting that back also) for over a year so at this point I’m not far from it. But as of right now, being sugar, dairy and gluten free are enough of a hassle for me. I’m currently still transitioning, learning and adapting.
I’ve been food conscious for at least the past 3ish or so years, transitioning to more whole foods, organic, non GMO, dairy free, gluten free. It’s been constant improvement in that area of my life and the biggest battle I’ve had to undertake. My entire family has met me with resistance at every direction, making something that’s hard, even harder.
Point being, I’m really good at keeping myself out of situations where the food isn’t in front of me (i.e. not ordering it at a restaurant, not cooking it at home, not buying it at the grocery store) but if it finds it’s way in front of me, I have a really hard time not eating it. It’s like a drug addict trying to quit the drug but having everyone constantly offering it to them, haha.
Explore who you are. Do you truly know what you want? What you like? Where you stand? #Clarity is key to effortless flow. & the hardest part
— Savannah Shea🕉Blake (@Vannasana) April 17, 2017
Who Knows What’s Written in the Stars?
Not me (I’m learning though). I’m constantly changing, improving, transitioning and learning. I think veganism is a great thing and I support anyone who wants to make lifestyle changes to be vegan. Maybe I’ll evolve that way, maybe I won’t. I just take it one meal at a time, making the best stress free decisions I can with whatever situations and circumstances I’m faced with at any given moment.
Some people have a super easy time with things like this. Some of us don’t. What’s important is that you’re trying to be better, do better. Don’t beat yourself up about not being perfect. Don’t shame yourself if you make a decision that you regret afterwards. Just be mindful and conscious of what you eat. Seek to improve for not only your own health and happiness but to help the world as well.
If you’d like some great resources on veganism:
Sophie Ollis: Veganism, Zero Waste & Minimalism
— Sophie Ollis Ⓥ (@SophsChoices) April 18, 2017
Mic the Vegan
If you have any other great resources for us, leave them in the comments below!
Best Vibes Always, S.S.Blake