It’s my one year “veggie-versary”! Yayyyy me! One year ago August 25 (my daughter’s birthday) I made a commitment to eat plant-based for compassionate and health reasons, and I have loved every minute of it. A whole new world opened up for me!
The world of animal activism.
I did a lot of research while transitioning from vegetarian to vegan and it only took a few weeks for me to have one of those electric shock moments when I realized the horrific images of animals being slaughtered and abused was the same meat in the stores. That same meat that looks so innocuous and inert was, only days earlier, a living, breathing, sentient creature. An animal capable of feeling love, happiness, sadness, and pain. Like…..holy shit like my dog! My pet! My family! Even my freakin’ betta fish have soul, as I watch them cavort playfully, stalk predatorily, and interact with me for food.
All those years I ate meat, I was eating another living being. The connection was made and it was an abomination. I had been a pseudo-cannibal. Gross. And even worse, cruel.
I typically haven’t a cruel bone in my body; I cried at the Ugly Duckling cartoon, ffs – AS AN ADULT! So this truth hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks, with a couple of boulders thrown in just because.
But what could I do about it?
I became an activist. It started with Facebook: sharing posts about compassion, plant-based eating, and even the dreaded animal abuse articles (not many of those, as I’d rather teach and share with good news and positive energies to show a better way than clobber my friends, whom I love, with blood and guts). Then I joined some groups, Toronto Pig Save, and I went to some vigils
I spoke with Earthling Ed and James Aspey at one of these vigils, and was inspired by their messages. I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. Well not true: I wanted to be a writer, but there’s no money in that unless you produce a best seller, so in terms of a career, a vocation, a calling, I never really had a goal.
At age 58, I am an animal activist and a blogger/writer. There’s no money in that either, but I don’t care now. My kids are grown up; I’m not interested in the rat race of commercialism; I don’t want a lot of stuff, just the necessities. So this is the perfect vocation for me!
So on my veggie-versary, I attended the National Animal Rights March in Toronto, Ontario. I attended with new friends I met on Facebook who were also travelling alone. We met up on the subway and marched along with a thousand other vegans and compassionate people, including children.
It was an amazing event. It was powerful, gut wrenching, and emotional but so energizing at the same time. There was drumming, an organic pounding I felt deep in my being which gave me strength from somewhere inside; chanting which kept us focussed on why we were there and I knew what I was doing was right and good, as did we all.
I was inspired by families, parents and children alike, wearing t-shirts and walking with their signs, holding hands in solidarity. Their strength was in their convictions that they are contributing to changing the world and making it better for all living beings. The children may actually see that transpire, although sadly, those of our age may not.
People on the sidelines waved to us, cheered with us, filmed us, or ignored us. Far more connected with us than didn’t. I could see it in their faces as they stood quietly watching our procession; they read the signs, they looked at our faces, and I could see and feel their thoughts questioning reality. A seed was planted. It will sprout. Not today, maybe not tomorrow, but it is a strong seed, planted with love and compassion, watered with the tears of slaughtered animals and caring people, so it has no choice but to grow. That is life. That is reality.
I’m back home now, cloistered with my dog, my kittens and my four mean fish, my adventure is over. Hang on – no it’s not over! The abominations of animal slaughter, animal cruelty, factory farming, genetic modifications, animal testing are still taking place.
As the rally chant said: “We are unstoppable; Another world is possible!”