The more I travel, immerse in nature and witness awe inspiring landscapes, the more I desire to preserve them. I have long considered myself an environmentalist – a person who desires to improve and protect the quality of the natural environment – and I believe my desire is no different than that of every other person on this planet. Don’t we all wish to preserve awe inspiring landscapes? While that may be a sincere wish, I believe we have to LIVE the values we desire to uphold.
Anyone who has ever had a relationship will agree that compromise is one of the qualities at the foundation of a long lasting, healthy accord. Consider that in order to maintain a long, healthy bond with nature we have to compromise, and perhaps change, our activities and habits.
If we want to see nature live and thrive, not just sustain and survive, we have to be flexible.
Nature has already given a lot for us to be here, and I believe it’s about time we give a little…
Thanks to a number of incredible Forward Thinkers and resources (that I will note at the end) I’ve learned ways I, and society as a whole, can preserve, protect and contribute to the growth of this natural Source that perpetually fuels us. While most initially jump to the ideas of recycling, taking shorter showers and biking to work, there’s a method that has an even BIGGER impact… Assuming a Plant-Based/ Vegan lifestyle.
Now, I’m sure many of you think Vegans are a bunch of tree-hugging hippes and Plant Based eaters are sheep, so I want to take a moment and break down some terms, then invite you to consider some delicious food for thought…
First, what is Plant-Based (PB)? PB is a diet based on foods derived from plants, including vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fruits, but excludes the consumption of animal products. Some people would attribute PB to be the same as Vegan but to clarify, Vegan is considered a practice which abstains from the use of animal products in diet; as well, it’s a philosophy deeply rooted in animal rights. Those who consider themselves a Vegan, eschews animal products from not only their plates but their entire life, ie. no fur, wool, silk, and leather are worn and other animal-free measures are practiced. But overall, both have the same mission; to protect the environment, animals and wildlife, and enhance one’s health.
My transition to living what I consider a PB lifestyle was a gradual process because really, the thought of living without cheese, ice cream and salmon was uncanny! But the cool thing about life is humans are constantly evolving, learning and growing.
Everyday we have this amazing opportunity to re-create ourselves, make different choices and change our habits.
Think about it, we’re kind of like magicians; we have the power to make certain things appear and disappear from our life simply through our choices. That’s pretty magical if you ask me…
My goal through this transition was never to be an animal rights activist or an outspoken enviro-hippie; I simply wanted to discover my best possible Self. And I understood that during the process of becoming this developed version of my Self, I may encounter ideas and philosophies that didn’t necessarily align with what I knew, or parallel the perspectives upon which I was raised. Like many of you, I followed The Food Pyramid and was determined to get those grain, dairy and meat servings in!
I’ll be the first to admit, that I wasn’t initially in agreement with everything that I heard, watched or read about PB/ Vegan living. As far as I knew, calcium came from milk and protein came from meat. No one likes when their lifestyle is questioned; especially if you’re still alive and consider yourself to be a relatively healthy, active individual. But, I have always been committed to this notion of expanding my mind to new possibilities; as such, I decided to keep an open mind and heart.
Eventually, I realized that,
… what I was gaining and who I was becoming through this new way of living was much more valuable than what I was supposedly ‘giving up’.
Actually, I no longer feel I am giving up anything; rather, giving BACK to the Source from which we all came. Not only am I fueling its (Mother Nature’s) growth and development, I am living my values and am 100 times more energetic (ya, I didn’t know that was possible)! With the rise of the PB movement, incredible new products and recipes have emerged in the market. For a small fee, amazing companies such as Vegan Cuts will gather all kinds of vegan products and snacks and send them to your front door anywhere in the world each month saving you the trouble of hunting things down!
As for my love of ice cream and cheese, I’ve learned to recreate the same tasty treats using healthy ingredients that not only benefit me, but benefits the environment, animals and planet. As I say, if I can’t read it, I don’t eat it! Next time your in the grocery store see how many ingredients you can read on the ice cream bucket…
As true as they may be, facts detailing the reality regarding “what’s happening” in the world never really persuaded me to transform my habits and activities, even if I always cared about the oceans, forests and creatures on this planet. What inspired me most was following this feeling of how living a PB life made me feel… And I feel amazing – not just physically but mentality as well. Additionally, I am so proud of the life I am living. Everyday I find myself empowered by my choices since each one is contributing to the goal.
There is no greater power than living your stand.
Actions speak louder than words, and it was my actions, not necessarily words, that are keeping these awe inspiring landscapes (ie. MOUNTAINS) I deeply cherish alive! And that means sooo much to me.
I have grown from my initial reasons for assuming a PB way of living and now extend my stand to sharing and educating others about the positive effects our food choices can have on animals, the environment and our health.
Sharing provides access for others and see and discover a new layer within ourselves.
Thanks to the sharing of several Forward Thinkers, I got access to my best possible Self; as such, it is my intent to continue the food sharing movement. The links I have posted below don’t only reference Vegan/ PB eaters, they are individuals who are supporting a healthy lifestyle and encourage that we lean into alternate ways of thinking, living and eating.
Recognize that I’m not declaring what I have experienced is the ONLY way or the BEST way to live your life. I’m simply exposing all that has contributed to my life in a positive way and how it’s strengthening and enhancing our global community.
In closing I have a request:
Take a moment to assess your present life which includes your habits and choices. Consider where and in what you indulge and then ask yourself, are your choices and habits serving you, and a larger goal that benefits all beings, in a positive, constructive way?
Whether or not you believe your habits and choices are serving you and the community at large, I invite you to check out the links I have attached below. These are some of the incredible people who have greatly influenced and supported my growth and development these last few years. Even if you don’t necessarily want to change anything about your life right now, consider there’s always room to expand your awareness. Do comment and share your insights and resources. You never know the impact your thoughts could have on another and as I mentioned earlier, I love to learn!
“If you put yourself in another’s place you will realize how destructive it is to hurt or kill another, even an insect.
Life is Life, and every being wants to live.”
– Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche
For those who wish to have a few facts, recently this was posted by the amazing Fully Raw Kristina on Instagram…
- Eating ONE PB/Vegan meal can save approx. 3000 gallons of water.
- Eating ONE PB/Vegan meal a day can save 1.4 billion animals each year.
- Eating ONE meatless meal a week for a year can save up to 29% of the world’s fresh water reserves.
- Producing ONE pound of beef uses as much water as taking 60 showers.
- If people reduced their meat intake just by 10%, approx. 100,000,000 people could be fed by using the land, water and energy that would be freed up from growing livestock feed.
ONE MEAL MATTERS – Just try it! You may discover you like it!
Some of my favourite people:
Some eye opening films: