Saturday, 19 September 2015

New Beginnings : Notebook Entry One

I want to try something new. This past year has inspired me to push myself and to reassess what is most important to me.

This year has been one of great changes. I decided to go vegetarian in February and went vegan a few months later. Contrary to what many may think, I did not change to a plant based diet for health reasons; I did it because I now believe it’s the right thing to do.  I found myself watching documentaries and reading articles about veganism, consumerism, sustainability, globalization, factory farming, among others and it opened my eyes. I have to be honest; I did not instantly feel the need to change. Like anything else, I felt inspired for a few hours after viewing or reading the content, and the feeling quickly dissipated.  It is not that I did not care, more so, reality would set in. I have been eating animals and their by-products my whole life, why change now?

It took a few weeks of research for my mind to open and the message to stick. Breeding, torturing and murdering animals for human consumption and vanity is not acceptable. We are abusing our status to exploit other beings. In today’s society, we have the means to strive without having to resort to this type of behaviour. Foods are at our disposal that we might not have had access to in the past.  We do not need to eat animals and their by-products to live a healthy and happy life.

Let me be clear on my stance, I feel strongly against the exploitation of animals via factory farming, not so much those that hunt and fish for their food. I grew up eating wild game. My grandpa would hunt, trap and fish and nothing would be wasted, nothing was exploited.  We did not hunt more then what was needed.

I also understand that hunting, trapping and fishing is part of many people’s livelihood and holds a large cultural significance.  Again, I am not against this. I understand that not everyone has the means or access to an abundance of fruits and vegetables.

With this said, I personally don’t see the need for me to consume this type of meat or any meat. With what I have at my disposal, I can strive and live a healthy life strictly eating plants. I don’t have to take an animal’s life to cater to my own. I have access to other means, and I will utilize those.

Veganism for me is all about intent. I’m not trying to abide to what others think being a true vegan should mean.  My intent is to reduce unnecessary suffering and exploitation. My intent is to eliminate my consumption of animals and factory farmed by-products. My intent is to not view animals as food, but as livings beings. My intent is to be more compassionate.

Almost half a year into my vegan journey, I can safely say that I have made the right life changes. I feel much better physically and mentally. I’ve noticed many positive changes and I’ve never felt better. However, I’ve started to fall in a vegan tunnel of junk food consumption.  At first, I focussed on eating whole plant foods and ate as little processed foods as possible. With the discovery of vegan snack foods, that changed. I allowed myself to start eating unhealthy foods, trying to validate it with the mindset that it’s vegan, so it’s ok. I have never allowed myself to eat chips, candy, chocolate, ice cream and pizza in such abundance before, so why now?

My primary focus on becoming vegan was not health, but I have to start making that a priory. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t like eating healthily or cooking healthy meals. I just became lazy. I think many people can relate to that. For me, taking liberties leads to taking more, until I don’t think about it anymore. I have to change my mindset and start thinking about what I’m putting in my body.

This brings me to the reason for writing this post. I just moved to a new town, I've started my career and endless possibilities await me. I want to challenge myself in order to become the healthiest I can be. I’ve decided to eliminate my consumption of most processed and pre-packaged foods. I personally don’t think this will be difficult for me since I love to cook and make up with new recipes. I just need to change my perception of priorities. I strongly believe this will bring positive changes to my health and well-being.

I am publishing this on my blog as a way to keep me accountable but also, to share my journey and recipes with those few who are interested in following it.

Talk soon,

Josée xx