Rewind to Saturday night, one month ago, where I find myself standing in the middle of a packed Bourke Street staring at a computer screen held by a black-clad person in a Guy Fawkes mask. I’m just out of work and on the way to meet Tom for a movie and a burger but instead I find myself standing there transfixed by a little laptop screen that depicts the horrific treatment of some very terrified looking farm animals.
I’m in a hurry but time stands still; I’m completely unaware of the people around me, of the person behind the mask holding the laptop, of passers by and their reactions, until a sweet middle aged lady wearing a black vegan t’shirt comes up to me and *ping* time starts rolling again.
We chat, she tells me this is footage from Victorian abattoirs and my heart recoils. My previous tactic of being able to push this kind of footage off as ‘US slaughter house footage’ just doesn’t cut it with this experience any more, and my heart is left raw and open to change. I remember the scared ‘moos’ of the babies and mama’s being separated in the fields near Tom’s parents home and driving past the cargo lorries full to the brim of cows and sheep on their way to market or the abattoir.
The timing was perfect. I met my first ‘Cube Of Truth’, the name given to the protest tactics of Vegan movement Anonymous For The Voiceless, when I had been seriously considering not only my health but also the morality of my choice to eat meat and dairy. Recently I have been on a gentle journey of aligning my actions with my values and this was naturally starting to transcend into my diet choices too.
So fast forward to the present moment and I am a month into this new adventure. I’ve eaten so well, adjusting surprisingly easy to these new changes. Just as with most big changes I’m experiencing moments of complete insecurity and concern, questioning my choice and fearing the work that will be involved. When I relax however and let this fear past I get to see the reality of the situation, that I don’t need to live by anyone’s definitions, that I get to choose in each moment what I do and don’t eat or wear, and that I am unimaginably strong and capable of fulfilling any commitment I make to myself.
Some of the benefits that I’ve noticed so far are:
- I’m eating better! I have to plan my food more and can’t just grab junk food from the city at a moments notice.
- My digestion is settling down, I feel less bloated and sore after meals.
- I’m craving dark leafy greens. Who knew that when you eat more veggies you crave more veggies?!
- It’s really relaxing aligning your actions with your values, there’s so much less guilt.
It’s been pretty miraculous just how simple this transition has been; far less stressful and awkward then I previously thought. It feels wonderful to say no and remove myself from having anything to do with the suffering of those beautiful animals, and I’m starting to see that I can live a happy and wholesome life without consuming animal-based foods.
I can’t wait to share more about this journey in the near future,