Why...(thinking and sighing)?
Why...(still thinking and still sighing)?
I've been a vegetarian for over two years, and for the longest time I had pondered going vegan. In fact, I tried it a couple of times, but I always came back to the same conclusions. I enjoyed eggs, and I justified eating them because I bought cage-free ones. I rarely ate dairy products except for cheese. I really didn't think I could do go to a vegan diet.
I finally realized what I have always known. Any habit change requires a compelling enough reason in order for follow through to happen.
When I became a vegetarian, I saw a former neighbor and his son drag a dead wild boar across their backyard to prepare it for roasting. I couldn't believe my eyes, and it just sickened me. I gave up eating meat that day and never looked back.
The compelling reason for me to go vegan came in a blog post, A Loving Guide to Going Vegan, by Leo Babauta.
Leo's post got me to see that there is still suffering involved in the production of milk and eggs. (See his post at zenhabits.net if you're interested in reading the specifics.) However, what really hit home with me is when he wrote about how we don't tolerate "their (referring to dogs and cats) abuse and horrible killings," but we will tolerate it when it comes to animals that are eaten.
Once I read that, it's all I needed.
Even though I'm only into day number three, I know it will stick this time. It's different, because I have a strong enough reason. Before, I caved early because I thought I craved eggs and cheese. It wasn't a craving at all.
It had more to do with really thinking through and comparing my dog, cat, and guinea pig to other animals that aren't domesticated. Being a pet is not a justification. An animal is an animal, and they feel pain. I can't imagine hurting my pets, so why would I think it was okay to do cause pain to any other animal?
At that point it was a simple life decision for me.
I use this example to illustrate what I wrote earlier. In order for any habit change to stick, we need a compelling reason. Sometimes a quote will work. Other times we need a step-by-step process. And then there are the times when a visual does the trick.
Whatever the habit change is, there is also another component once the reason has become clear, and that's commitment. It's not something to try out for awhile and then go back to the old ways of doing things. It's for the long haul.
It's why I haven't had a pop (soda, carbonated beverage, whatever you want to call it) in over seven years.
It's why I gave up eating meat two and a half years ago.
It's why I'm now vegan.
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.