My Vegan Journey

I have always been an animal lover but I have since learned how that particular self-concept fell short, in part, because of how and where I was raised. Born in the South Bronx, I never saw a lawn, a garden, or any animals other than dogs, gatti, pesce (in tanks), pigeons, rats and roaches. Lots of roaches. The only farm animals I knew about were from television, books or my See-and-Say toy (“the cow says Mooooo”). No association was ever made between those animals and the food we ate. The first challenges to my thinking came when I was older. I would say to someone how much I loved animals or that hunting was wrong and the person would ask, “Do you eat meat?” Answering that I did, the person would slap my face with my hypocrisy as I struggled to come up with a reason why eating meat was somehow different. Dopo tutto, I wasn’t killing the animals, giusto?

Life continued with these disparities. Ad un certo punto, I learned a bit about slaughterhouses and saw a clip here and there from which I turned my eyes away. I took up the saying that “if I had to live on a farm and see the animals that would become my dinner, I’d only eat vegetables.” I refused to eat lobster because “choosing one from the tank meant choosing which one lives and which one dies,” but all the while continued to eat meat.

In college, I worked several jobs including one at a medical school animal laboratory. My job was animal caretaker. I was the first female animal caretaker they had ever hired and I was proud of that. So naïve, I had no idea what horrors I was about to see but I worked there for several years, consoling myself that I was “taking care” of the animals. I fed them, gave them extra veggies for treats, broke rules here and there to let them have some time out from the cages and gave them attention and care that they normally wouldn’t get from the other workers. Tuttavia, I refused to kill a frog in biology class. In medical school, I dissected a human cadaver in anatomy class. While dissecting the gluteus maximus muscle, I stated, “This looks like roast beef.” My professor came over and said, “What do you think roast beef is?” I had never made the connection before but suddenly, eating was not just about taste. I could name the veins, bones, and ligaments in my food and I started to avoid certain items. My new motto was “I won’t eat anything that looks the same when it’s dead and cooked as it did when it was alive and running around.” I did not want to recognize, as Jeffrey Masson puts it, the “face on my plate.” So I ate nothing with a head, nothing with eyes, and nothing on the bone. But I was still eating animals.

I was also gaining weight, a lot of weight. Gli anni passarono con me proclamando il mio amore per gli animali, mentre io continuavo a mangiare li e aumento di peso. Fast forward e sono 268 pounds with a host of medical problems and a dozen prescription medications in my drawer. "Vorrei poter essere un vegetariano, ma io amo il pollo troppo. I could never give up chicken.” My new mantra but my world was about to change.

Mio marito, Tom, (fidanzato al momento) and I started Weight Watchers to lose weight. Diverse settimane nel programma, Ho ernia di un disco nella mia schiena e finito immobile, sul divano e senza lavoro da oltre un anno. Nel giro di pochi mesi, Ho perso il mio 14 anno vecchio cane, Poochie, di cancro così come ciò che rimaneva della mia famiglia. Depresso e nel dolore, Mi sdraiai sul divano a guardare la televisione. Privato del mio solito ingrasso, alimenti di comodità, Ho iniziato a guardare gli spettacoli cibo e la cucina su The Food Network, Il Travel Channel e altre emittenti locali. Sono diventato un grande fan Rachael Ray, paragonando la sua personalità al potenziale di miniera, quando non è afflitto da perdita personale. Per ore al giorno, Vorrei guardare programmi di cucina e tentare di "peso Watcherize" le ricette al fine di rimanere sul programma. Ho iniziato a ordinare libri di cucina e riviste di cucina. Stavo guardando il cibo, lettura di cibo e di pensare il cibo ogni ora di veglia.

Salute divenne una preoccupazione, come ho letto su alto contenuto di fruttosio sciroppo di mais, conservanti artificiali e MSG e ho pulito il frigorifero e la dispensa di tutto ciò che conteneva questi elementi. Abbiamo avuto niente in casa. Era incredibile come queste tossine erano infiltrati loro strada in quasi tutto. Ho anche cominciato a leggere sui cani e il cancro, come sopra 50% di cani e gatti muoiono di cancro e che questo non era vero anni fa. Dopo aver perso Poochie al cancro e di essere coinvolto con la splendida organizzazione Canine Cancer Awareness, Ho letto di ciò che effettivamente accade nel cibo per animali e sono rimasto inorridito. Poi capito ciò che accade dentro di noi ed è stato ancora più inorridito. Ridurre il nostro consumo di carne stava cominciando a sembrare una buona idea.

Poi ho trovato Christina Pirello dello show cooking TV "Christina Cooks."Lei ha mostrato come" ristrutturazione "cibi preferiti senza carne, senza latticini, senza farine e zuccheri raffinati, senza colesterolo o grassi saturi ed ero in soggezione di lei. Ho comprato i suoi libri, Io la guardavo religiosamente, Volevo essere lei. She mentioned the “V” word but I was not there yet, Non ero abbastanza consapevole per poter registrare. I knew I had always wished to be a vegetarian because I loved animals but there was still a block. Ho suggerito a Tom che abbiamo un paio di giorni senza carne ogni settimana, alla quale ha accettato. I learned how to cook delicious vegetarian meals and realized that the “side dishes” were always my favorite anyway. Fortunatamente per me, Ho amato le verdure e insalata era sempre un requisito con la cena. Con un paio di giorni vegetariano ogni settimana, la mia dieta era di nuovo in pista; then I ate meat and felt sick. The final hammer was about to come down and my denial was about to be stripped away.

Dopo aver fatto un po 'di navigazione internet, Ho chiesto starter kit vegetariane PETA, Vegan Outreach e Compassione Oltre Uccidere. Poi ho guardato il video, "Meet Your Meat."Ho pianto per tutto il tutto e giurato che non sarei mai una parte di quella sofferenza di nuovo. Quando mio marito è venuto a casa, Lo feci guardarlo e lui pianto troppo. Abbiamo iniziato il cammino insieme e siamo diventati vegetariani. Non sapevo, c'era molto di più per noi fare. Ho letto diversi libri che hanno cambiato la mia visione: "Dieta per una Nuova America" ​​di John Robbins, "The Way We Eat: Perché le nostre scelte alimentari Matter "di Peter Singer e Jim Mason e" Rompere il cibo Seduction "da Dr. Neal Barnard. Ho imparato che non era sufficiente per rinunciare a carne; l'industria lattiero-casearia e uova ha causato ancora più sofferenze. Ci siamo fermati acquisto di prodotti lattiero-caseari e li ha sostituiti con alternative non-caseari. Questo è stato difficile per me, perché ero abituato a comprare a basso contenuto di grassi e prodotti non grassi per la mia dieta. Alternative non-caseari non hanno usato queste etichette e sembrava avere più calorie, ma ben presto ho imparato i benefici delle alternative non-caseari. Le uova erano la cosa più difficile per me rinunciare. I was used to my “healthy” egg white spinach omelet for breakfast and I did not like tofu yet but the sting of hypocrisy was too harsh to ignore and the eggs were gone.

Caspita! We did it! We were vegans!! Or were we? Che cosa, it’s not just about diet? It’s our shoes, i nostri vestiti, our make-up, our shampoo? There was still so much more to learn and at times, it felt overwhelming but instead of seeing it as sacrifices or giving things up, I see each item I learn about as an opportunity to help animals.

Gradualmente, we replaced our shoes, belts, vestiti, and toiletries. We became master label-readers. We continue to read numerous books (my favorites being “The Missing Peace” by Tina Volpe and Judy Carman and the aforementioned “The Face on Your Plate” by Jeffrey Masson as well as his “The Pig that Sang to the Moon: The Emotional Lives of Farm Animals.”). Tom and I joined several groups so we could meet other vegans and vegetarians and have attended rallies, protests, talks, and marched in the Veggie Pride Parade in New York City. Last week, we visited the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary which was a wonderful and humbling experience. Tom is currently organizing a library display at his job for Vegetarian Awareness Month in October. There is always so much to do, always more to learn.

Finora, Ho perso 87 lbs. e spero di perdere più. This all started with my deep-seated love of animals and a food addiction that got in its way. Then a quest for better health helped strip me of my denial. It has now become all about the animals, ethics, patrocinio, pride, and mostly, compassione. And I got better health in the bargain. Being a Vegan has given me a new focus and purpose in life. It is a journey I once never knew existed, let alone be able to travel. Now I cannot see myself going in any other direction.

(Visitato 85 volte, 1 Visite oggi)

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7 Le risposte alla My Vegan Journey

  1. vivagypsy Agosto 22, 2011 a 4:00 pm #

    What an Amazing Story!!! Grazie per aver condiviso la tua viaggio!!! Very inspiring!!!

    Hugs Viv

  2. Anonimo Ottobre 1, 2009 a 11:42 pm #

    You walk your path with Amazing Grace!! Your site and story are a wonderful inspiration to us all. You are a magnificent role model and guide for fellow seekers .You are a perfect educator.You guide with compassion, knowing and love. My Gratitude for all that you selflessly share with us all. Lynn

  3. Earth Mother Settembre 30, 2009 a 1:37 su #

    Incredibile, inspirational story! Thank you for sharing your journey, Rhea. I’ve really enjoyed exploring your blog.

    Many Blessings.

  4. Subversive Scrapbooker Agosto 25, 2009 a 5:25 su #

    I really enjoyed reading about your vegan and WW journey….very inspiring! 🙂

    Katy

  5. IslandReb Agosto 25, 2009 a 3:23 su #

    Beautiful and candid writing about an amazing psychological journey. Wow. Keep it up!

  6. Maddy Avena Agosto 23, 2009 a 2:17 pm #

    What a beautiful, powerful story! Blessings and camaraderie on your journey!

  7. sueherm Agosto 23, 2009 a 4:12 su #

    I loved reading your story. It’s a good reminder that the road to veganism can be long and winding, and we need to have compassion for people no matter where they are on that road.

    Grazie,
    Sue


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