So it's 2018 and I find myself on a new health journey.
It started back in November 2017 when all of a sudden I just had a thought, "I should go meatless for 30 days." I honestly don't know what I was thinking, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. In retrospect, I still don't regret it, but it did offer up a little fun come Thanksgiving.
November 2017 was a pretty hard month for me. On Bub's birthday, we lost Gin in a terrible accident which rocked my world. Then, on the day that we were going to celebrate Bub for being a veteran, was the same day that we had Gin's viewing and cremation. Then a few weeks later, we lost Alucard, one of Liona's kittens, due to a respiratory infection.
That same week, I was going to visit Bub at his house after I had gotten out of class. On my way there, I came across a dog who had been ran over. By the time I had gotten there, it was already too late. She had already passed but I just couldn't let myself leave her there in the middle of the street, her body continuously getting trampled and flattened by cars and people who just didn't give a damn. (I've been known to make full U-turns to make sure that items that are in the middle of the street are either animals or random debris that happened to fall). I pulled over.
Luckily, I happened to have some towels in my trunk because I keep an emergency kit in there. I moved her still warm body over to the sidewalk and tried calling LA's animal services. Little did I know that a dog that had already passed is actually handled by sanitation. As all bureaucracies go, it was an endless loop trying to get someone on the phone. In the meantime, I decided that I would try and flag down a passing cop if the opportunity presented itself, which it did. Unfortunately for my little heart who had already been through so much pet death, they told me that they would have to call the same number for sanitation and that what they usually end up telling them is to put them in a nearby trash can.
A trash can?
I was dumbfounded.
This was a life. How do you reduce it down to just putting it in the trash can? It deserves so much better than that.
I started crying. This might have been someone's pet. Someone's companion. This little black ball of fur could have been someone's saving grace, the way Gin had been for both him and I, and they said to put it in the trash can. I had an empty box in my trunk for some reason and I felt so bad because that was the best thing that I could do for her at the time. So I said a prayer as I was putting her in the box saying that I'm sorry that this happened to her, that she deserved better, and that I hoped she had a good life.
I feel like that was the last straw.
I guess the death's of beloved pets made me start thinking about other animals, but prior to November I was starting to feel guilty about eating meat. I couldn't enjoy it as much as I used to, which is why I guess it was so easy to give up when I did it.
About 3 weeks after giving up, just meat alone, I felt way less bloated than I used to.
Then I started reading. About the dairy industry, specifically. Then I was like, "Alright, no more cow's milk for me!" so it's been coconut, almond, soy, and cashew milk.
Next came eggs. I'm working on cheese right now, but I've picked up some soy-based cheeses and vegan cheese and I'm giving those a go.
Mind you, I'm not fully there.
I know it's a process but it's one that I'm working on. I've started to read labels. I'm still not sure about "scientific" names to look for on labels, but if it does say anything about eggs or dairy I've been putting it back and looking for alternatives. I'm on the cusp of vegetarian and vegan.
For me, the health aspect of going vegan wasn't my motivating factor. For me, it was the animals. The compassion and feeling that those animals deserve to be treated better than they currently are, and for me that makes all the difference. Giving those animals the respect that the natural world feels they deserve, which does not include solely being bred for our consumption.
It hurts my heart to walk into a grocery store and think that about half of that meat is going to get throw out simply because it passed a "sell by" date. Think about all those different parts of that animal. How many animals had to be raised and killed to literally be thrown out because nobody bought it in time? It's a waste of life, and that's not something that I can support.