Are you someone who gets irate when people tell you it is easy to be vegan? Is it similiar to asking for directions and, after driving up and down the road a dozen times, being told “You can’t miss it”?
However, in this instance, I have to say I agree: it is easy to be vegan. Let me first qualify this statement: it is neither a marketing ploy, nor is it a positive thinking mantra from ‘The Secret’. Yes, there will be obstacles and circumstances which will require effort from you. But, doesn’t every life choice require effort? Even going to the shop to buy your favourite ice cream treat involves effort. So, being vegan is a life choice that, like any other, will involve an input of effort from you.
A vegan lifestyle will require you to face confrontational people as most everyone will feel judged by the very fact there is a vegan in the room. Yes, you will be required to repeatedly answer all types of tedious questions like, “Where do you get your protein/iron/calcium?” and “Why don’t you care about plants?”. You will suddenly be expected to know everything there is to know about nutrition, animal rights and global warming. So, relative to your personality-type, there will be situations that you will find more or less challenging.
However, is that the kind of person you want to be? Would you give up your principles, just because it might cause you a little discomfort? Is the suffering and death of an animal worth your refusal to stand by them?
So how can we say it is easy to be vegan? Yes, you can find vegan options everywhere; in restaurants, in supermarkets, even in an omnivore’s kitchen. Yes, there are vegan substitutes for almost every food/meal you have ever enjoyed as an omnivore. Yes, vegan food is delicious, healthy and easy to prepare. However, the primary motivation behind this statement has everything to do with a shift in perception.
When you internalise the sentience of animals, their moral personhood, their life force, their desire and struggle to live; you undergo a shift in perception. Fish, chickens, cows, pigs, goats and their byproducts will no longer appear on your list of food choices.
Choosing a vegan ‘diet’ is not like going ‘on’ a diet. It is not about deprivation. It is not about carrying a long list of foods around with you that you now ‘have’ to avoid. It resides, in fact, on the other end of the spectrum. It is about feeling elated and relieved that you are no longer consuming animal pain and suffering. It is about discovering a whole new world of vegan meals. It is an adventure into a new way of living.
In truth, you are still ‘allowed’ to eat, wear and use anything you want to. The trick is, that you no long want to.
On a traditional diet, when a craving sets in for eg ice cream, you will engage in a battle of epic proportions between a stern “No!” and a pleading “But I want to”. Being vegan means saying “Yes!” to palate satisfaction, to pleasure, to adventure, to health, to life. So, “Yes!” you can have that ice cream. Just choose one made from coconut milk, cashew nut cream, soya or rice milk. In the aftermath, instead of experiencing an intellectual sense of pride over your abstinence, while remaining empty and unfulfilled on the inside; as a vegan, your appetite will be satiated and your heart will be filled with peace and joy over saving the life of yet another animal being. Now that isn’t difficult, is it?
How do you stimulate that shift in perception? Educate yourself on animal agriculture. Research the methods used to turn animals into the food that reaches your table. Watch videos. Listen to podcasts. Visit a farm sanctuary and meet a few farm animal personalities.
Then honestly weigh up the following question in your own heart:
“Do I feel comfortable with taking the life of this cow and her calf,
for the mere purpose of satisfying the desire I have for the taste
of her flesh, and her milk?”
Then, just take the plunge! Experience the joyful abandon of being vegan. You will be rewarded with a heart brimming over with peace, joy and compassion.
Do you have any questions about a vegan lifestyle?
Contact me. I look forward to hearing from you!