Life as an advocate for the animals can be challenging at times for many reasons. The emotional burden of knowing what happens to the animals can weigh heavily on our shoulders, the occasional jokes at our expense, the knowledge that quite a few people think of us as kooks… Well the list goes on. However, this sadness that I often feel is nothing compare with the joy I get from living my life according to my values of compassion and non-violence. Recently, however, I have had extra reasons to be joyful.
Backstep… The actual definition of an advocate is someone who: ‘argues for, supports or defends a cause’ and this is something I try to do everyday and my aim is to try to do this as effectively as possible in a way that will make people listen, reflect and consider the issues at hand.
While I will continue to always work on my communication, if I go out there with the intention of planting seeds and leave them to grow, then I will never be sad, upset or dispondant because that person I spoke to didn’t wake up and become vegan overnight. I try to plant seeds everywhere I go and I have had some seedlings grow and bloom. The most obvious ones are my amazing boyfriend Seb who became vegan shortly after I did. My younger brother and his girlfriend who spent 3 weeks at our house and were open enough to listen to abnother way of looking at things. I feel so happy to know that somehow I have played a small part in their change of heart towards animals.
Recently though, I have had many reasons to smile. Some seeds that I have helped plant have sprouted and I wanted to acknowledge them here.
At my current place of work, I talk often about the health benefits of a high nutrient low calorie plant-based diet as a means to be incredibly healthy and lose weight. My line manager and friend took this challenge and has developed a real love for cooking. He brings in some of his delicious concoctions to work and he has lost lots of weight and he shares his knowledge with others the benefits of a losing weight this way. Following that success, I decided to write a weight loss guide which some of my circle and people at work have decided to give a try. Two women I work with have been following it, they even met up on a Saturday to cook up a Mexican feast.
Their enthusiasm for eating and cooking this way is so inspiring. Another of my work colleagues is also following the diet plan. He has lost 5 kg in 12 days.
More good news… Our head of junior school has just given an assembly (with my help with resources*) on how to make a healthy plate. Consumption of fruit and vegetables in the school dining room doubled overnight. While much of it might end up in the bin, it is a fantastic start but lots more work to do.
My friend Heather all the way over in Vancouver has recently committed to try going vegan for a month. You can read about her story on the first entry of her blog. I love the fact that she is blogging so all her people can see her journey. Already she is planting seeds of her own. Good luck Heather. I hope this month goes well for you and whatever you decide to do after this month is over, I think you are amazing for being open-hearted and willing to try to make changes for those animals and the health of you and your family.
Look at how joyful this vegan is!! Also, check out how ridiculous my cat Squeaky is!
*Scouring the internet for nutrition resources for children is terrifying. The amount that are sponsored by meat and the dairy industry is seriously alarming. I had to make my own resources.