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A Realist's Path to Veganism: Reckoning with Choice and Change


My hope extends beyond the dinner plate; I dream of a world where people no longer find it acceptable to wear animals. This vision marks the beginning of a deeper exploration into the ways we can harmonize our lifestyles with the principles of kindness and compassion.



We are running out of time to correct our course and foster a world that values every being's right to live free from harm. Despite centuries of civilization, humanity's evolution in terms of kindness and understanding toward sentient beings feels painfully slow.



The journey to veganism, for me, isn't paved with sudden epiphanies or overnight transformations. It's a deliberate, sometimes uncomfortable, reassessment of long-held beliefs and practices. My love for animals has always been a cornerstone of my identity, yet reconciling this with my dietary choices has been a complex process. Acknowledging my part in the consumption cycle—despite my efforts to choose small farms, organic, grass-fed products—has been a stark wake-up call to the inconsistencies in my logic and ethics.



I've grappled with justifications that, in hindsight, fall short of my principles. I imagined the meat on my plate came from animals who had lived full, natural lives, a comforting lie that glossed over the inconvenient truth. But realizations dawn, often harshly and the truth indeed sets you free—or, in my case, propels you into action.



It's impossible to unsee the reality of animal suffering once you've allowed yourself to really look. The muffled cries of animals and the silent screams of environmental degradation have become impossible for me to ignore.



My dietary journey has meandered through various phases, including a stint as a pescatarian, where even the minimal consumption of seafood began to conflict with my awakening conscience. The realization that the ocean's bounty isn't mine to deplete added another layer of complexity to my evolving ethos. Supermarket aisles, once mundane corridors, now trigger a visceral reaction, a testament to my growing awareness of the cost of convenience and the pervasiveness of plastic.



Yet, veganism, as I see it, is more than diet deep. It's an all-encompassing ethic that scrutinizes every choice and its footprint on this planet. It extends to how I interact with the world, from the cultivation of my garden to the broader impact of my consumption patterns. This journey has also led me to think about the diets of my hairy babies/pets, searching for ways to align their nutritional needs with my ethical stance without compromise.



Choose the Living: Transitioning to veganism is a nuanced, deeply personal process. It’s about making peace with past choices and striving for a future that aligns more closely with my values of compassion and sustainability. It's a decision to choose life in its myriad forms, to foster a world where the welfare of all beings is held in regard.



This path is punctuated by moments of doubt, but also by incredible revelations about the power of individual actions. As I navigate this path, I remain focused on the tangible steps I can take to effect change, grounded in the reality of what is possible and the hope of what might be.



Through this journey, I've learned that every choice, every meal and every consumer decision is an opportunity to 'choose the living,' advocating for a world where compassion overrides convenience and where every life is valued. My ultimate hope is that our collective actions will reflect a deepened respect for life, leading us away from wearing, consuming and exploiting animals, toward a more enlightened, compassionate coexistence.



Raising two orphaned baby mice was an experience that profoundly deepened my respect for all living creatures, revealing the unexpected depth of connection possible between humans and the smallest of animals. When their mother passed away, I took on the role of caregiver, nurturing them through their infancy. As they grew, the wild instinct inevitably kicked in for one of them, leading to his escape.


I harbored doubts about his survival in the wild, but, miraculously, three months later, our paths crossed again in a moment that felt like something out of a storybook. Using a familiar call, he momentarily came back to me, touching my hand before a flash of realization sent him scurrying back into the wild.


Discovering him peacefully passed exactly one year to the day since I had first taken them in was bittersweet, marking the natural lifespan of a mouse and closing a significant chapter in my life.


His brother's earlier departure from this world, possibly of a broken heart, left me with questions about the timing of their release. This experience taught me about the loyalty and emotional capacity of mice, creatures I had always respected but now felt an indelible bond with.


This connection was further highlighted as winter approached and while cleaning bird boxes in preparation for the season, I found new generations of mice seeking refuge in the nests.


Observing their tiny eyes peeking out, I chose to leave them undisturbed, recognizing these small sanctuaries as precious moments in time for them. This cycle of life and my role in providing safe havens, even if temporary, has filled my interactions with the natural world with a sense of magic and wonder, reinforcing a commitment to respect and protect even the smallest of lives.

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This is such a beautiful article. Love how you navigate through your internal evolution. An article so many of us need to read. 🤓

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