Monday, December 11, 2006
As a professional dog trainer, I often use the term "desensitize" to describe the process of the dog recognizing something or someone to a point that no longer yields a reaction albeit barking, crying, jumping up, biting. As a new vegetarian or vegan, the usual reaction to others eating meat or questioning WHY they cut animals out of their diets is a visceral one. I would get really fired up, defensive or even cry when people would challenge me. I clearly needed desensitization. Its not something that happens overnight. After about 8 years of vegetarianism, 3 years of veganism, I know that the calm and knowledgeable approach usually makes much more of an impression than a "passionate " one. I think PASSION is a given when you are vegan. Cutting out all animal products including leather, dairy, all meats, certain sugars (ridiculous but most run of the mill sugars like C&H are processed through animal bones to remove the naturally occurring brown sugar cane color) and more speaks for itself when it comes to being dedicated to a cause.
A good example of this calming of the mind/body when it comes to what others choose to do happened yesterday at Whole Foods. My husband Darryl and I had to do some shopping, so I told him to get his lunch and sit and read the paper while I shop because I really don't mind at all. I ran into our neighbors who are vegan (awesome!) and told them to go chat with Darryl as he is eating his short ribs or something up front reading his paper. He has an exciting new job for TESLA MOTORCARS so I knew they would want to hear all about it. He told me later in a faux scolding tone that he was NOT eating short ribs, he had a veggie sandwich with cheese! I was so proud.
Yes, Darryl eats meat. With his new job though, the environment is downright environmentally aware and I notice some changes happening in ME and HIM even though I already think about this subject quite a bit. I try to use my cloth bags when shopping EVERY time, not just once in awhile. Now that I am back on the coffee wagon I bought a mug to bring with me so I don't waste a cup everyday by throwing the paper cup, plastic top AND lil' collar in the trash. I usually get one large shopping bag when I am buying clothes or gifts and put them all in that bag. I eat at home more often on plates instead of using TO GO boxes out at restaurants or grocery stores.
It is amazing how much waste we generate. All the products we use in one day? Write out a list one day, and be prepared to be blown away! Check that list against websites like the National Anti-Vivisection Society for animal testing. Check out what harmful chemicals exist in the cleaners you use at home. Is there trans fats/ hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup in your food? This is just shameful!!! One day at a time, learn a bit about yourself. You'd be surprised at who you really are.