For those who really know me, it would probably surprise them to know that one of my favorite meals as a child was the veal schnitzel that my Dad used to make. I also loved spare ribs.
One day, shortly before my 14th birthday, my family and I were vacationing on Waikiki Beach in Hawaii and were eating at a beach restaurant where you could cook your own ribs on a long grill beside the buffet. I sat down to eat "my" ribs, and....just couldn't. I decided from that moment that I would never eat ribs or a flank of steak ever again.
I am not quite sure why I suddenly made the connection between the ribs and the pig who had to suffer and die for it.
Everyone I knew ate animals. It was "normal". I had never heard of Ahimsa, which in Sanksrit means showing respect for all living beings and avoidance of violence. It would be almost 25 years later that I would decide to become a yoga teacher and learn that practicing Ahimsa is part of the moral code of yoga. A moral code that was deep within me already as a child. In fact, I think it is deep within everyone but masked by our social conditioning.
There was no internet and I was uneducated. I had never read a book about factory farming or ever seen the videos I watched years later about animal beings skinned alive, calves torn away from their mothers, or other standard practices.
I had no clue about the positive health impact of leaving animals off my plate.
I just knew in my heart that I didn't want other living beings to have to suffer on my behalf. And so it started.
It would take many more years of practicing cognitive dissonance (eating meat and trying to ignore the ethical and emotional conflict within) for me to cut out burgers, chicken, fish and eventually all animals products like dairy, eggs and honey. I have since learned about the positive benefits for our health and environment. My only regret is that I didn't do it sooner.
But this also means I understand the internal struggles many people face when considering making lifestyle changes to align with their values. If you want to learn more about the why behind veganism, or the connection between yoga philosophy and veganism, please let me know and I will share educational films about the animal, environmental, health and social factors behind it. If you are on the path and need support, I am here for you. If you are already vegan, share your story! 💗💗💗
Michelle Borner, a mom on 23 missions, blogs about her Deep Thoughts on a wide range of topics from parenting to conscious living to lessons from brain cancer.
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