Freitag, 4. November 2011

going vegan?

When I recently did the Vegan Society's Vegan Pledge for a month, I really thought Veganism was not for me. At least not at the moment. As I have been writing before, I felt not ready for the implications of a truly vegan lifestyle, and I had certain qualms about some products etc. While I am far from having these resolved, I was astonished to see how small the step from my current vegetarian diet to a vegan diet was. And now they sent me the book "vegan stories". Reading all those stories, I realised that being vegan is what I have to work towards. Why? Unlike many people in those stories, I can't say I am that crazy about animals. But I have always felt an intrinsic connectedness with all of nature, which recently has received a more compassionate undertone with my becoming buddhist. So, those stories about the dairy and egg industry on our veg box's newsletter, ironically meant to convert people to buying organic dairy and egg (and sadly, meat), lodged in my mind and heart, and here we are... Much like my decision to finally go vegetarian was somehow "emotional" after I had my first baby, this seems the same - and like with so many things in my life, it feels like a necessary thing that follows naturally from where I am headed.
I have tried to vanish into thin air for years, but it didn't work, so now I have to find alternatives to tread lighter on the planet and to live more ethically. It feels like a futile attempt, but one that I have to make. Somehow I believe, no, I know, that even trying, making that attempt will be better than just to give up in the face of the odds. I know that I will not be able to make only "ethical" consumer and behaviour choices , I'm not enlightened. I won't always know where my food comes from. I can't grow it myself, or only to a limited extend. I can't buy only local, only seasonal. It will require the extra effort to find, e.g., shoes that are not leather but are also not the hazardous-waste kind of "plastic" shoes. I have yet to make up my mind about honey and beeswax, which I consider fantastic natural products, plus bees are needed to give me much loved and needed fruit... I am wary of taking supplements to make sure I get enough iron and Vit. B12, but it seems a small price to pay in order to avoid inflicting suffering. And that brings me to the Buddha. No, he wasn't, in all likelihood, vegan. But in his days, I assume, there was at least no large-scale industrial production of dairy products, so the overall impact on the planet etc. was so much less. Plus, he only ate one meal a day, reducing his need for resources, considerably. True, I find the prospect of carrying my resolve through quite daunting. But then in my heart I know there is no other way. I will probably do it gradually, if only to accustom my surroundings with the fact. I was equally "scared" of becoming a vegetarian, worrying about what my friends and families would say, but at that point 4 years ago, I simply had to do it. And so I know, I can go vegan, too.

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