Are We Vegan?
It’s an obvious question considering how we, Graham and I, live and considering in particular the nature of the food we make available via the work we do. The answer, however, is no. If you are vegan, I urge you not to run away at this point, assuming the worst, in fact can I ask you to stay a while longer? There’s something I’d like to say to you.
The ‘no’ is because veganism isn’t big enough (this is not to be confused with not good enough; action based on compassion is always good enough). Like so many people, we were driven to make changes to what we eat essentially for selfish reasons, to better our health, and we have done just that. In doing so, our food choices have transformed significantly from what they once were and these changes have brought with them new realisations that extend way beyond our own personal health. What seemed to be borne primarily out of self-interest now looks more like an act of self-love, something the British, at least, are culturally uncomfortable with to the point of failing to recognise it as such. But there are clues that shine out like neon lights when kindness to ourselves is true kindness rather than indulgence and these are the reverberations of our actions (especially when combined with others acting similarly). By eating mostly plants, in a mostly natural and unprocessed state, improved health becomes much more likely. This isn’t just the absence of poor health, it’s energy and feeling good more often. It’s increasing the likelihood of being less reliant on a health care system that can no longer cope. It’s putting beauty into food and eating, replacing the ugliness of industrialised food, some of which has once lived a life, but not the life they would naturally have chosen. And by virtue of its scale, the commoditization of these animals for food is impacting so harshly on the planet we call home that it simply cannot continue in this way. More people eating more plants more often will change the world! Quite literally.
So if you are vegan, I make this plea to you; please ensure that your life choice is also good for YOU, first and foremost because you’re important, but secondly because what you’re doing is worth doing well, and if you’re bursting with vibrant health, then maybe your way of life will encourage others to at least dip a toe in the water, and the habitual detractors will be less able to support their rather baffling objections to your compassionate life choice. A shift has already begun and you could well be at the forefront of it, driving it forwards, especially if your words and actions are encouraging and compassionate to those who don’t see the world as you do. You’re amongst life’s ‘up-streamers’, those who, in all sorts of ways, are willing to make real changes to improve the world even if that sometimes means being misunderstood and criticised for doing so.
But maybe there is room for more optimism anyway: there is one unifying factor shared by most of us and that is to feel better whether in respect of our consciences or our physical selves and the starting point doesn’t matter; truly kind and compassionate actions have reverberations no matter where they begin. So eat more plants by creating beautiful meals from nature’s garden. Start where you are and progress at your own pace, but do it; change the world.