For anyone who sees the beauty in the philosophy, “Be the change you want to see in the world,” choosing to vegetarian and vegan foods seems like a fairly obvious decision, that is, if the change you want to see in the world has anything to do with wanting to see less violence and more compassion, less pollution and more environmental sustainability, or less disease and greater health. Because yes, amazingly, the vegetarian/vegan choice is way more compassionate and more compassionate (less violent) than other food choices involving harming or killing animals, it is more friendly (less harmful/destructive) to the environment(as generally producing animal products require 5x as many resources, along with many other environmental reasons, like the lost energy by ‘feeding our food,’ etc.), and it is way healthier for human bodies, assuming you’ve educated yourself on how to properly care for the body and mind (aka…a multi-vitamin can help, iron from leafy greens, protein and omega 3 fatty acids from hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax, etc.)
There you have it! Whether you’re wanting to be the change you want to see in the world via living more compassionately, more sustainably, or more healthily, the choice presents itself clearly. The tricky part is enduring the short-term pain of weening the taste buds off animal products. That requires patience – a virtue indeed! Which is no wonder why Sri Swami Satchidananda said that one of the first steps along the spiritual journey is taming the tongue. We’ve got to tame the tongue, so we control it and it doesn’t control us.
Anyway…what is this great benefit i mentioned in the title of the post?
For one, choosing vegetarianism / veganism is an ethical grand slam, and it certainly will enhance your peace of mind. And, at some point you may battle with self-forgiveness, wondering how you could have lived all those years eating harmless animals. At that point, just…forgive! We’re all ignorant anyway, so the only choice we ever have is to forgive, and ultimately to realize that there’s nothing to forgive…because we’re ignorant! 🙂
And now here’s the real benefit: you realize you’ve made the fundamental shift in your behavior that results in you no longer living off the lives and deaths of other beings. If there is one thing we seem to value as people, it’s life and death. By choosing vegetarianism / veganism, you grow in reverence for life and death, and become aware that you don’t have to live by the death of others. You can choose otherwise. You are free to live from the abundance of fruits and plants. No dead animals necessary! So this realization brings immense peace and liberation.
This decision, i’m convinced, is one of the ultimate life decisions for a person to make – one that strongly distinguishes people. Think about it – we enjoy food sometimes several times a day – so if every time you go to the table you bring your consciousness with you and ethically decide to eat one way over another, boom – that’s consciousness! And consciousness is awesome. And this awareness comes to you every time you consider putting food into the body. Deciding to live this way impacts you every single day, possibly many times throughout the day, which is why it’s such a powerful choice.
Because it’s such a powerful choice that ripples out vastly, you may come to the awareness that there isn’t much else for you to do. You may free yourself from thinking you’re obligated to do the 9 to 5 grind or endure doing work you despise. You begin to realize your own power to choose and create the life you want, regardless of what ‘others’ think. Come into your power! Even if you’ve had habits for decades, you realize you can upgrade them to more energizing habits and ways of being. The choice is always yours, and you are responsible!
So long as you keep being the change you want to see in the world – you’re golden. And you are responsible! No longer required to deal with other people’s stuff. You rise to levels of greater consciousness and compassion for all living beings, for the environment, and for the flourishing of the body and mind. Isn’t that just awesome!??!?! I’m stoked!!!
Empower yourself! Liberate yourself! You choose. Experience the abundance of benefits yourself.
p.s. The way i began eating vegetarian and then later vegan were both by 30 day challenges, that is committing to try it as a way for 30 days to see if i enjoyed the benefits. After experiencing greater vitality, connection, and peace, the choice to continue was easy.
Love and Gratitude 🙂
p.p.s. Don’t put up with anyone’s shit! You are responsible.