Vegan Pledge, one week down

First and foremost, I am no saint.  I haven’t given up all my vices, I’ve just modified them.  I haven’t given up iced lattes.  I have cut back and now they are soy lattes…I have Brendan’s karate classes to pay for, which is much more important than my guilty pleasure, but give them up completely?  I’m just not ready.  And, I drank vodka and cranberry last night and got buzzed.  Ha!  Also, last night, I saw some salami on a platter of antipasta.  I thought out loud, I miss salami.  But now, being removed from the situation for about 12 hours, I realize that’s not true.  I don’t miss it at all.  That response was situational and if I ate it, I would have disrespected myself.  Nothing tastes good enough to disrespect one’s self.  Nothing.

Ate publically with a group of wonderful women last night.  There was some discussion regarding my dietary choices, and I suppose since I am not suffering from an allergy or a condition that forces me to avoid certain foods, my choices are just that, choices, but it seems to me (and I could be wrong) that in the eyes of some, that makes it less important.  Which causes me to wonder, why is that so?

I do not want to eat animals or their by products anymore.  Although there is not “law” in the Bible forbidding me to do so, it is a spiritual decision for me.  Animals are living and feeling creatures capable of creating bonds with each other and with people under certain circumstances.  Dogs and cats and even birds are pets in our society.  African Grey parrots have the mental capacity of a 5 year old.  What separates a parrot from a chicken?  I’ll take it down a big notch.  Brendan has a parakeet, Buddy the Budgie.  He is a small bird, probably has a small brain, but he enjoys being spoken to and he relates on a certain level – he will definitley let you know when he is irritated about something.  He is no longer a melodic little song bird, but a demanding screetcher, lol.  What separates a chicken from a parakeet?  Why is one food and the other a pet? Because the town ordinance says you can’t have a chicken for a pet?   Or a cow or a pig (well, you can have one of those little pot bellied guys) for a pet, for that matter.  Pigs are smarter than dogs.  Let’s not forget Charlotte’s Web.  I could go on and on, I bet you get the point.  For me, animals are off limits and it is no less spiritual for me than a Jew being kosher. 

There are not enough hours in the day to discuss the disgusting and unethical practices of factory farming, so I won’t go there now, but that doesn’t mean it may not come back into the thought process and blog at a later time.

Here is the nitty gritty, so to speak.  Since giving up animals and animal by products, I feel like a new person.  I have mental clarity I haven’t had in months.  I have energy (after prying myself out from under the blankets – hey, it is getting cold outside!) and except for a wicked run of PMS, I am happier. My depression is at bay – and let me tell you, life in this economy, raising a developmentaly delayed child, blah, blah, blah, feel sorry for me – is not any rosier than it was 3-4 months ago.  I attribute this in large part to making a healthy change in my diet.  Other major contributors to my well being include a deepening faith in God and practicing Yoga (which I definitely need to do more of!) 

Deep down, perhaps there is some underlying “allergy” and/or physical “condition” after all.  And why would I need to pay a co-pay for some doctor to confirm that, when it is all plainly in front of me: eating animals and animal by products makes me feel like crap!  Not eating those things helps me to feel strong, happy and healthy! It’s not rocket science people.  If you want to disagree with my rationale for making the change, that’s fine, it’s a free country and it’s your right to your opinion.  However, one cannot argue with the results.

I do my very best not to be preachy and not to inflict my beliefs on others.  I will leave you with this parting thought, though.  If I have discovered that making some simple dietary changes has made such a profound positive difference in my life – as a loving mother, daughter, sister and friend, why wouldn’t I want the same for you?

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