I believe we come into this world to learn things. What those things are depend on our individual circumstances. I doubt we came here to learn to conform. To me conforming means not being true to ourselves, doing what others think we should do, how we should act, be and say. This does no service to anyone.
There are days I would prefer to be just “normal.” What does that mean? Well, where I am living at this moment I think that means an office worker, most likely Catholic, omnivorous. She cooks, cleans, husband sometimes “helps” to some extent, but she bears the load of housework and childcare duties. She sends her kids to daycare and preschool so as to get back to work as soon as possible. The family needs the money after all. She goes to church most Sundays with her kids and possibly husband. Then to the in-laws’ for dinner consisting of fried pork chops, potatoes and some vegetable side such as sauerkraut or fried beets. Actually, when I define it like that I would never want to be “normal.”
I don’t fit in here. I know it. People often remind me that I am so strange, or at least different. When I think about it though, I didn’t quite fit in in the US either. My brother painfully reminded me of that on his last visit, repeatedly telling me that I am just weird. It’s true I am dancing to the beat of my own drum and sometimes it feels lonely.
The thing that ostracizes me the most is not eating meat. Luckily, I am not alone in this as my husband and son eat the same. But I have heard on numerous occasions that eating like this is impossible and inevitably leads to health problems. Funny, I haven’t taken antibiotics in over 6 years and haven’t had anything more serious than a cold, the flu or a sinus infection since I was 12 years old. (I stopped eating meat at the age of 13.)
Being vegan is easy for me though, despite the social stigma. First of all, I have support in my immediate family. Secondly, I know a lot of great vegans around the world and feel their support as well. But most importantly, I never lose sight of why I am vegan, which is for the animals.
Whenever I meet an animal, I see their soul through their eyes. I know they can feel. I have been around some animals that people told me not to approach as they don’t really like strangers or are aggressive. Never once has an animal attacked me. When I approach an animal, it is always with love and peace in my heart. And I know they feel my vibrations. I have had animals cry in front of me as I touched their face, cows let out wallowing moos when I enter.
Why? I believe animals can sense our intentions, our heart, and our vibrations. I know they can feel my love and empathy for them. I sometimes feel guilt that there isn’t more I can do for them. I give them loving rubs and try to calm them. I want them to know that there are people who are different in the world; people who aren’t indifferent.
What causes me the most pain isn’t that my thinking isn’t considered normal, it’s that I don’t get how other people just don’t see it. Or maybe they ignore seeing it.
The ones that are trying to ignore it I kind of get. The pain of realizing what we are doing to our earth brothers and sisters is sometimes unbearable. I can understand not wanting to feel that pain. The truth, though, is that we all feel it. We all carry that load. Some of us decide to see it and decide to do what they can to the best of their abilities, whether that means being vegan, vegetarian, an activist or something in between.
I believe in peace on this beautiful planet. I believe it is possible. Not only do I believe, I know. One of the ways we will achieve it – and we will achieve it, it is only a question of time – is through rejection of ALL forms of oppression. Animals are not here for our human pleasure. They have the right to be here. They should have the rights to liberty and pursuit of happiness just as we should. Love will win. I know it.
I remember a poster that hung in my 8th grade homeroom; it said: “Stand up for what you believe in, even if you’re standing alone.” Oftentimes I do feel alone, but I couldn’t live any other way. My conscience wouldn’t allow it. One day the sun will rise on a more loving planet. I hope I’ll still be around to see it.