A couple of weeks ago, I decided - not for the first time - to stop eating animal products.
Some would call this veganism, but I'm finding that a) being vegan encompasses so much more than what I'm doing. It's not only not eating animal products for whatever reason, but also not consuming ANYTHING animal, which also means medications and cosmetics that were tested on animals, or animal conpanionship for assistance, such as guide dogs - and well, considering that one day I might need a guide dog, I'm not sure I'll ever be vegan in the proper sense of the word. But also, I'm not sure about the whole "no wool" thing, as my main issue is with consuming death, and as far as I know, sheep aren't routine killed for their wool...
Anyway, that wasn't really the point of this blog, but rather all the varied reactions I've experienced from close friends through to strangers...
Changing your diet for something other than life threatening allergies doesn't seem to sit well with a lot of people, and even to the point where I've felt that somehow my decision to not eat animals and their products has been viewed as my just trying to make other people's lives difficult or not as enjoyable.
Really, I'm not trying to do this, and as much as I can, I'm trying to "bear the weight" of this lifestyle choice as much as I can myself. My boys (including Dh) still get their 3-4 animal product dinners a week, and I'm making the effort to find tasty recipes for them to eat the other nights (so far, so good, no complaints).
I'm baking (ME!!! That's right!) vegan cakes and what not to take to afternoon teas and get togethers.
I'm definitely NOT expecting anyone to accommodate me, or do what I do.
So, why do I feel that somehow this choice is not acceptable to a lot of people? That I should apologise for it, or "get over it and eat animal" because others don't really "believe" in what I'm trying to do for myself - lighten my spirit a bit by not consuming what I perceive as fear sodden products? I don't mind at all that other people don't feel this way about the same products or that it doesn't affect them the same way.
I guess it's one of those Western things though. Spiritual well-being is not weighted the same as physical well-being. If eating dairy made me violently physically ill due to lactose intolerance, people might understand better (it does affect me, btw, just not violently, though it's certainly not comfortable). If eating meat or eggs caused me to stop breathing, again, I think people would understand.
That these products make me feel spiritually unwell, heavy, depressed, chaotic, well that's just nonesense, or so it seems.
I'm finding that aspect of not eating animal products much harder than the actual changes in diet, and even harder than not just being able to walk into a food court and pick something warm and tasty to eat like I have in the past (I do love "fast food")...
Dave and the boys have been supportive - probably because it hasn't impacted them at all. I don't know how supportive the rest of my family will be though.
Not all the reactions have been negative, mind you. I've had a few people say they admire me, LOL, which is kind of strange to me, because I don't feel what I'm doing is that hard, now that I've made the decision (except when I worry about other people feeling put out), and I don't want anyone else to feel like my choice is in any way a judgement on them, because I'm doing this because of how animal products impact on my well being. Just as not every is allergic to bee stings, I don't expect everyone to be impacted by animal products the way I feel impacted.
Ayway, one week of dedicated non-animal product eating (I should call it NAPE, hehehe), and feeling good!
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