(Personal (vegan)note:I became a vegetarian in 2001 and maintained this lifestyle until 2007. Subsequently, I returned to being a meat eater for a few years due to its convenience, both when eating out and at home. Although I personally desired to return to a vegetarian lifestyle, it presented certain difficulties because those around me, including my cohabitants and colleagues, did not seem to offer much encouragement or support. (I am not attempting to put the blame on anyone else for my decision.) After some time, I reverted to being a vegetarian and subsequently adopted a vegan lifestyle for the first time roughly five years ago)
My journey towards becoming a vegetarian began with a traumatic experience. While travelling, I found myself behind a truck carrying buffalos that were being transported to a slaughterhouse. The animals were cramped inside and their heads were tied up, causing some of them to already be dead or unconscious. Seeing the pain, fear, and suffering in their eyes left a deep impression on me. In the same week, I also witnessed a man transporting chickens on his motorbike, with some of the birds bleeding from the friction caused by the wheel. These incidents made me realize how inhumane and barbaric the treatment of animals in the food industry can be. Consequently, I decided to give up meat and become a vegetarian.
Upon living alone, I seemed to have lost sight of my previous beliefs and ultimately transitioned towards carnism for approximately seven years. However, on a specific Boxing Day, I chose to revert back and transition to vegetarianism gradually until I reached the point of adopting a full-time vegan lifestyle.
Veganism, what is it?
As we evolve, we become more conscious about what we eat and how it affects our health and the world around us. Veganism is one of the trends that has gained momentum in recent times.
A vegan diet consists of plant-based foods free of any animal products, including meat, eggs, milk, and honey. While many people choose to adopt this diet for ethical and environmental reasons, a growing number of individuals are embracing veganism as a part of their spiritual practice too.
For many people, eating meat and animal products has become synonymous with the exploitation of the planet and its resources. In contrast, veganism is often seen as a more ethical, respectful, and sustainable way of life that reflects our deep respect for life in all its forms, thus leading to an increased sense of gratitude for everything around us.
Spiritual traditions from around the globe encourage people to treat all life forms with kindness and respect as a way to show gratitude and love for the created world. Therefore, adopting a vegan diet aligns with these values and can be seen as a way of honouring these spiritual values in everyday life.
The practice of veganism not only promotes external peace and kindness towards animals but also offers an opportunity for inner peace, clarity of mind, and purity of the heart. It is believed that changing one’s diet and lifestyle can lead to profound transformations in one’s values, beliefs, and attitude towards life. After all, we are what we eat.
Additionally, a vegan diet has been linked to reducing diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart diseases, and certain cancers, which can have a significant impact on a person’s overall well-being. The feeling of being healthy and mindful of our actions can bring a sense of peace and calm, allowing us to connect with the present moment and our surroundings more deeply.
Living a vegan lifestyle encompasses more than just abstaining from certain foods; it allows for a clear conscience in all aspects of life. While everyone has the freedom to choose their own lifestyle, it is beneficial to consider the impact of our food choices. In other words, it is worth giving our food (and lifestyle) a thought.