Each year, on the second Monday of October, the Canadian Thanksgiving is celebrated. Five years ago today, in 2007, I sat down to a typical Thanksgiving dinner. Except that this Thanksgiving dinner sparked a major life change. It was the last time in my life that I consumed animal flesh, more commonly known as meat.
From that day forward, I began an amazing journey rooted in the highest level of self-love, respect and health, as well as compassion for all other living beings. It was a life changing moment that today gives Thanksgiving a whole new meaning for me.
The Steps Leading Up To a Vegetarian Journey
The decision to become a vegetarian was in no way consciously planned. I still laugh to this day as just a year or more before that, I was completely oblivious to the whole vegetarian “thing”. It was so far removed from my reality that I never fathomed I would ever live the life of a vegetarian. I did not even bring it to my conscious reality of what a life like that entailed. For the first quarter of my life I had no experience with vegetarianism whatsoever. I think I heard the word “vegetarian” albeit a dozen times in my life until then. No, I did not live under a rock. But I did come from a background, and lived in a city that was all about the mainstream way of life that is based on animal products, and of course this was all before my online life where I got exposed to so many amazing people, concepts and ways of being that were out of the traditional box. And although today, and in that moment, it seemed like an overnight decision, which it literally was, I know that the foundation for it was being set for some time, which is why it became a deeply meaningful and lasting change.
From the start of 2007 my husband and I began to make serious dietary changes. On my end, my educational background was coming undone, as I had to re-learn what *is* really healthy versus what our society conditions us to believe is healthy, from the perspective of nutrients and our body. From his end, it took one serendipitous online search of learning how animals who become our food are treated to make him reconsider ever consuming meat again. On its own, all of this would have been more than enough to stir in us a desire for a new way of life, but coupled with our spiritual awakening that was taking place since 2005, it was like putting together a puzzle where all of the pieces were all of a sudden making sense. And once we saw the bigger picture, there was no going back.
So that day, we both sat down to that Thanksgiving dinner, joined by several other members of our family. We saw the table, saw the dead, now cooked turkey bird in the middle, looked at each other and just knew. Our minds had awoken. Our hearts had opened. We didn’t even have to give it a second thought, as to what our next life steps entailed. And that was the last time we both ever consumed the flesh of another animal, embracing wholeheartedly a vegetarian way of life. As our awareness grew, so did our ability to envelop compassion on every level. Not only did our diet change, but many lifestyle habits as well. For example, every insect was seen as worthy of life, just like every other animal. None were ever again intentionally killed. And the more our hearts opened, the more our life took on a magical quality where beauty, inner-peace and joy were the predominant themes of each day.
The Journey of Compassion Continues
Of course, this is not the end of the story….for as my research continued to open new doors and as we continued to expand our consciousness, we began to examine every animal by-product such as dairy and eggs. Over a period of a few months went the milk, and then the cheese. The last to go were the eggs. Yes, we found a local farm that raised chickens for eggs humanely and naturally, but we were just not interested any longer. By then we knew that we did not want, or need any animal products in our diet whatsoever. It was so liberating to say the least, in that by January 2009 we were fully vegan. However, that is not quite where the story ends either.
From the beginning we were never fully comfortable with the label “vegan”, as we began to experience that many who used the term “vegan”, led diets based on processed food, or ones that were nutritionally inadequate, or who engaged in lifestyle choices that didn’t quite match who we were or what we stood for. So while that term loosely describes the gist of our life today, during that five year time was also when we most accurately defined our lifestyle. This is where the idea of Healthytarian was born, and this is the most complete description of how we live, as we take health seriously from a broad and complete perspective of the mind, body, soul and spirit.
Over the years, I had a few people ask me if I “miss” eating meat, or any animal product for that matter. Luckily I think I had less than a handful of these incidences, for to answer that question appropriately I would need to sit the person down for a few hours. You see, once your perspective changes, and I mean changes, about some “thing”, you never ever go back to seeing it as your old self used to. So asking me today if I miss eating meat or animal products, is like asking me if I miss killing, or torturing animals. The context is completely not what most expect, nor where most are coming from. Yes, some come up with the humane farm idea, but even that is often not what it appears to be.
Our society is so inundated by mainstream messages of pushing animal foods at every opportunity it gets, that our human family today lives from such a deep disconnect when it comes to the meat on their plate and the living animal being who was bred and killed for that purpose. Most kids have no idea that the piece of beef on their plate is from a cow like the one they were petting at a farm just the other day. We excuse it as some nutritional must, or as some basic happiness in life, or ancient birthright, or tastebud indulgence. However, once we allow ourselves to go on a journey of self-realization, of living from a state of compassion and with inner-peace, no excuse in the world works. And as I always share with people when they cite the “humans are meant to eat meat”, or “humans evolved on a meat diet” idea, it only makes sense to keep looking backwards, if we want to go that way. We have evolved in so many ways over the past hundreds and thousands of years, and I personally hold the human being and our potential to a much higher standard.
My Life Benefits from Going Veg
So for me, these last five years have included an amazing journey that continues with each day to take me deeper and deeper into a life lived with utmost reverence, compassion and humility for all life. The benefits have transformed my life, and continue to be like a gift that keeps on giving. I have become more spiritually mature in how I think, speak and act in my everyday life. I have become more environmentally conscious and globally sensitive. I get to enjoy the benefits of having a kitchen that is free from any animal product contamination and it feels amazing knowing that none of my dollars are going to support animal torture or slaughter. My health has been better than ever on a mental, emotional and physical level, where abundant energy and vitality is present daily from morning to night. I have no doubt as so many state, that when done from the heart, we truly do become less violent, more peaceful and loving when we no longer ingest the energy of violence and death through the animal products. When done from the Ego, yes I know, a whole other side of the human being can manifest.
And although I will be honest and say that I wish the whole world evolved to live from a space of love, peace and compassion for all humans, animals, plants and other life forms, I am well aware that this step is not for everyone, yet. It is not about being better or worse, higher or lower. Every person is simply at their own level of spiritual and personal evolution that needs to be honored, and anything forced on a person that isn’t ready only backfires sooner or later. So please do not take my sharing of my journey, as some action that you should be taking too. Only you know what is right for you at any given time when you listen to your heart, and live in alignment with your soul. By tuning honestly into that space, I simply learned what is right for me and chose to honor that path in my life.
And as for the nutritional claims about some people just needing animal products in their diet….well I could reply from the nutritionist’s stand point, or from an expanded view where I will leave you with this: you will always need what you think you need. In other words, when you change your thoughts and how you perceive things, everything will change and exist in your life in a new light. I could give you the whole nutritional spiel, but I know that you do not need it right now, and will find it when the time is right for you. Instead I will share that when we realize the power and potential of our mind, we never again live with any limitations in our life again. Remember, the body always follows the mind, so whatever the mind says goes. My only hope is that you put the most beneficial of thoughts into your mind, from which to work from daily.
So as I look back today, and honor this special anniversary, it is with such immense gratitude that I can say that going vegetarian those 5 years ago has been one of the best choices I ever made in my life. My love for myself, others, this planet and life has blossomed and continues to grow daily.
And even though I no longer celebrate Thanksgiving, at least not in the traditional sense, I now choose to live with gratitude daily, filling my life with the most meaningful and in alignment with my personal path experiences at every step of the way.
May you too, always choose with the utmost awareness from the heart, what is right for you at every step in your personal life journey as well. And above all, have the courage to live your truth openly.