The other day I realized September marks the month of me being 2 years meat-free!
Though this doesn’t feel like some accomplishment or anything, I do feel like once more pointing out what vegetarinism and veganism have done for me the past two years.
Two years ago I read the book ‘In defense of food’ by Michael Pollan (still my all time favorite book!) which changed my whole perspective on food, radically. At the time I was trying to recover, still, from an eating disorder. Though I was much better than before, I was still counting calories and gulping down low-fat/high protein anything (mainly, low fat dairy products and meats). This book showed me I was eating very little food and a lot of products. Shortly after, the book ‘Diet for a New America’ by John Robbins appeared on my path, to this date I still can’t remember how. The latter is not a fun read by any means. Two weeks later I decided to give the vegan diet a try – mind you, after living off of skim dairy, eggs and lean meats for a long time – for just a week. I went vegan overnight and for a solid year, didn’t look back.
The vegan diet (no meat, eggs, dairy or honey – yes, fish is meat fyi) propelled me into new ways of thinking about diet, health, nutrition and, over time, the environment, nature and most of life. It opened gateways of consciousness and it was the first step for me into a more spiritual awareness. Like I always say; veganism made me a better person. A happier one too.
For me, veganism was a great tool in recovering from an eating disorder and I certainly believe this could be the case for many people, though maybe not all. Though I believe there are many health benefits to a vegetarian or vegan diet – that is not the reason I choose to not consume animals or animal by-products. It is also not because I believe it is un-natural to eat meat, I honestly don’t know (though physiologically speaking I’d say humans are plant eaters). I choose to not eat animals for all of the above mentioned reasons. I believe eating plant-based makes us much warmer, compassionate beings, more in tune with animals and nature. I think our bodies become much more conductive for spiritual insights the moment we forego meat and other products that harm animals in one way or another. Through veganism we fulfill two very powerful spiritual pillars; ahimsa (no harm/viololence) and selfless service to others (in this case; animals and the environment, meat is still the #1 cause of air pollution!)
Oftentimes people seem to want to put a label on a persons diet (way of eating), including mine. I have concluded my way of eating doesn’t need labeling. Meat is the only thing where I really draw the line, so I guess you could say vegetarian, but not really. I also eat mostly raw (but not all), pretty much all organic, and I wouldn’t purchase/prepare anything with dairy or eggs myself. However, I do eat (raw, organic, unfiltered) honey, which was and is a very conscious decision. And last but not least, outdoors I am more lenient. If someone prepares something lovingly for me, changes are I will eat it. All in all, I’d say mine is a conscious diet.
That’s just how I roll.
This is why I say, happy anniversary to ME. Though I, as well as my diet, will always be changing, growing, evolving, I feel 2 years ago the real me was born, like a phoenix rising from the ashes.