Not A Vegan Post

Sometimes, people make me sad.

No, I'm not talking about all the times I was bummed out or hurt by what someone did to me. I'm pretty sure none of us make it through life without someone disappointing us. I'm also not excluding myself from that statement.

What I mean is, there are a lot of people in the world. Every time I drive somewhere I notice how many people are headed somewhere to continue their story and how, most likely, if all the people I pass on the road were put into a big room, there wouldn't be too many that knew each other. And that's just within an average of 10-20 mile radius. So it's totally understandable to not only feel small and insignificant, but it honestly makes me want to take my little family and hide away on a secluded island away from all of them. Especially since every day I find more reasons to feel disconnected from most people.

It's not that I think I'm THAT different from any other human. But the way I see the world, other people, this country I live in, creatures other than humans, and the priorities of the future, I feel is, for the most part, quite different from a lot of people. At least I feel that way.

I love animals. I'm sure you know that by now. And I'm sure most people would agree with that statement.  What maybe not everyone may agree on is the fact that I include bats, mice, opossums, squirrels, deer, fish, pigs, cows, sheep, chickens, crows, vultures, all other rodent/scavenger/pest type mammals, reptiles and even bugs in that statement, not just puppies and elephants.

When I see a flattened frog on the road, I feel just as sad as seeing the remains of a deer, fox or even dog. I've only hit two animals since I started driving at 19, and both times I cried because I couldn't avoid them and my first thought was "I just ended that poor creature's journey." I've always said that if I ever somehow hit a cat or a turtle, that I am done driving. I still hold myself to that, so hopefully for all of our sake, that never happens ;)

What I'm getting at is I know that I seem super sensitive. And I am. I know it. And I am proud of it.
I'm glad that I can't handle watching undercover videos of factory farms and other animal abuse.  I'm glad that it doesn't take watching one to strive to change my lifestyle to one that ultimately causes the least amount of harm to others. 

I am not a vegan.
But I have taken steps. I officially cut out [cow] milk from my and my son's diet. I'm in the process of finding alternatives to cheese and baked goods next. Before I got pregnant with Jaxon, I had cut out pork and beef from my diet for about 7 years [I had a massive craving for a burger one time while pregnant and after that, I have only had a few bites of my other half's burgers occasionally since]. As my ONLY 2016 resolution, I have been cutting out poultry and most fish from my diet as well. 

I'm not telling you this to pat myself on the back. I actually wish I could say I'm vegan.
I'm telling you this to understand that I am a work in progress.

My ultimate goal is to be 100% vegan, yes. I mean, garden growing, bee keeping, bat house building, nutrition obsessing, animal rescuing, bath product making, all natural VEGAN.
Again, not to get a pat on the back, not to hold myself higher than you, and not to "hug a tree" [although, I have actually hugged trees and would highly recommend it ;) haha]. But because not only do I feel that most animal products are not necessary, but I truly believe that because there are so many people, that completely cutting out those products from my diet, body and wardrobe, is the best chance that abused, neglected and insignificant farmed animals have to be freed from their slavery.  Why?
Because if there is no demand, there is no product.

That's basic business. That's not me "shouting from my soap box."
It is a lifestyle that I WANT to live because to me, animals are worth it.

To bring this full circle...

This doesn't mean I don't care about people.
People are SO important. We have come SO FAR. We can EMPATHIZE. We can CONSTRUCT. We can DISCOVER. We can IMPROVE.
Yet most of us [including me at times] prioritize the animals, plants and our planet waaaaaaaaay down the list underneath technology, politics, and way below hunger.

I'm not saying we should ALL be 100% vegan [though I think a world like that where we worked WITH animals and our environments would be pretty freaking cool], but I'm saying that I am disappointed with the way humanity has chosen to prioritize the health and well being of our beautiful planet and all who inhabit it for the sake of greed and power.

The woman in the car behind me smoking her cigarette obviously has different concerns than I do about certain things. The young clerk on the other side of the check out counter is probably just trying to get by until he finishes his degree, then he can make a difference in life. The children playing with rocks by the lake aren't thinking about the horror and suffering happening to swollen and bruised dairy cows or highly intelligent pigs being farmed for a fatty, artery clogging strip of their flesh at this very moment.

Not everyone is meant to be an "activist."

But if I want to see a change in our society's attitude toward certain things, I need to change my attitude toward humans. I don't need to brag or judge. I need to empathize, educate, and build up.
Because even though there are countless atrocities occurring every moment of every day, people are worth it too. Because people are fully equipped to make changes, look beyond the surface, and take action.  We are capable.

So teach your children compassion for ALL life. Smile at someone who's not smiling. Do your homework before adopting a new pet. Do a few sit ups before bed tonight.

And spend a little more time savoring this life, instead of judging someone else's.

'Cause we could all do a little better.

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