Tag Archives: emotions

Day 30 – 30 Day Vegan Challenge – Live Vegan

Being a Joyful Vegan in a Non-vegan World

4bc98b7c9d24d2de8293f3ac731abf98-994cfb48456e223324103b0d6d76f2feIt’s up to each one of us to reflect our deepest values in our daily choices and in doing so create the healthful, compassionate world we all imagine. If not you, then who? If not now, then when?

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, 30 Day Vegan Challenge

Day 30 is the end of the book and the end of the challenge. The key message is to keep going. But how do you stay the course in a non-vegan world?

Personally, I am not worried about staying the course. I cannot now imagine myself not living vegan. As it is, I have 46 years of unintentional indifference and conditioned ignorance to make up for.

Sometimes I still find myself suspended in this strange in-between space where older thought patterns compete with new ones; moments when I hold two equally coherent but contradictory thoughts or impressions at once.

Continue reading Day 30 – 30 Day Vegan Challenge – Live Vegan

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30 Day Vegan Challenge – Day 24 – Eat Well With Others

Eating Confidently and Joyfully in Social Situations

4bc98b7c9d24d2de8293f3ac731abf98-994cfb48456e223324103b0d6d76f2feI often say that the food is the easy part of the lifestyle change – you learn some new recipes, you re-stock your kitchen, you read labels as though it was second nature. Then you’re in a social situation and you’re asked to defend your new way of eating. … When you state ‘I am vegan’ you aren’t simply saying ‘I eat vegetables’. … I call this phenomenon “being the vegan in the room”, which I think is a powerful and privileged position to be in.

Colleen Patrick Goudreau, 30 Day Vegan Challenge

‘Being the vegan in the room’ can be an interesting position to find yourself in. It isn’t the practical, logistical side of things which challenge me, but the emotional and social aspects.

For the most part, I deal with the social aspects by not talking about it and not being very social. I tend to enjoy my own company or hanging out at home anyway, but when I do socialise it can become an issue for me because cooking for and eating with people used to be one of the single most enjoyable ways to spend time. It made me happy, and now it doesn’t.

Even as vegetarian, it was still fine because I believed the whole ‘free range’ myth and I just didn’t think about it very deeply.  Now, I am more fully aware of what it means when I sit at a table with animal products; it turns my stomach. I look at those plates and I don’t see food. I no longer feel myself relaxing, happy and fully connected to this enjoyable social moment around food and people.

It is not just the food itself, it is also the conversation. When people eat they talk about food, how great it tastes, reminiscing about other meals. I can no longer engage with those conversations with any honest enjoyment. I stay silent and let everyone else have their fun.

Occasionally, it will come up that I am now vegan. For others, vegan is a health fad diet or an exotic, personal lifestyle choice, so they assume its a suitable dinner table topic of conversation. Yet, I know they don’t want me to tell them where the dead body they are slicing into came from, or the real story behind the cheese they are eating.

Of course, there are always the few clowns who pretend the broccoli is screaming, or the time someone moved the dead chicken body around, “Save me Debbie. Save me.”   In my minds eye, I see that chicken in the moment of her death, when the blade or the knife slices her throat, and all that her life was leading up to that moment; now her dead body is sitting on my lunch table, an object for eating, her life and death a joke I can no longer even pretend to find amusing.

But it’s hard to let it go. I have lost something I used to love. Yet, at the same time I wouldn’t swap this new awareness for anything. What I do with it going forward I am still not sure, but I do know this – vegan is the only ethical and moral option possible. Once I understand that other non-human animals value their own lives in the same way I value mine, they are sentient beings not objects for me to use. How that works out practically in the world is a quandary, but for the things I have control over, I am morally obligated to exercise that control. The very least I can do is not eat them.

30 Day Vegan Challenge – Chapter 5 – Part B

4bc98b7c9d24d2de8293f3ac731abf98-994cfb48456e223324103b0d6d76f2fe“Every journey begins with the first step of articulating the intention, and then becoming the intention.”

Bryant McGill, Voice of Reason

Chapter 5 has a series of questions for the reader to answer before diving into the challenge. Here I reflect on more of these questions: before I started the vegan journey, my experience during the first six months, and how I would answer the question now.

Here are the second and third questions, with my thoughts.

Continue reading 30 Day Vegan Challenge – Chapter 5 – Part B

30 Day Vegan Challenge – Chapter 5 – Part A

4bc98b7c9d24d2de8293f3ac731abf98-994cfb48456e223324103b0d6d76f2feIntentions create a framework of awareness, a motivation for why and how you want to approach something.They’re more about the process than the end result.

Goals, on the other hand, are about end results, and there is nothing more satisfying than returning to a list of goals and crossing off the accomplishments you set out to do.”

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, 30 Day Vegan Challenge

This chapter has a series of questions for the reader to answer before diving into the challenge. I reflect on each of these questions: before I started the vegan journey, my experience during the first six months, and how I would answer the question now.

Here is the first question, with my thoughts. I went on longer than I expected. Continue reading 30 Day Vegan Challenge – Chapter 5 – Part A

30 Day Vegan Challenge – Get Ready – Chapter 2

4bc98b7c9d24d2de8293f3ac731abf98-994cfb48456e223324103b0d6d76f2fe“Being vegan is not an end in itself, it’s a means to an end. And for me that end is unconditional compassion: doing everything we can to make choices that cause the least amount of harm – both to ourselves and others.”

Colleen Patrick Goudreau, The 30 Day Vegan Challenge

Chapter 2 – Definitions

I thought this would be the quick and easy chapter, but instead I got side tracked reading up on Pythagoras and Buddha (more on that later).

In Chapter Two Colleen defines ‘vegan’, giving her readers a clear understanding of what she means when she uses the word. Definitions can be slippery. It is all too easy to assume everyone will understand the meanings of words in exactly the same way you do.

Until I started thinking about and reading further on some of the references in the chapter, I hadn’t really clicked to how important figuring out what ‘vegan’ (as a label or as a word) really means to the process I am now involved with.

What do we mean when we use the word 'vegan'?  What do I mean?  Are we saying something profoundly different when we say, "I am vegan." Or, "I am on a vegan diet."?
What do we mean when we use the word ‘vegan’? What do I mean? Are we saying something profoundly different when we say, “I am vegan.” Or, “I am on a vegan diet.”? (c) Herriest

Continue reading 30 Day Vegan Challenge – Get Ready – Chapter 2