Inspiration For The Mind
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If you haven't been following the "veganism is offensive" discussion, you can read my post on it here and/or see the on-going input on Facebook first here, then here, and here. In the multiple discussions, I received nearly 100 comments in 24 hours - clearly this is a hot topic.
I've tried to keep myself out of this for the most part and take the role as moderator, but since I started the discussion I've been brought into it. Some people thought I was asking if I came across offensive, but I was asking if vegans as a group did. For the most part I've received some really enlightening comments, but despite trying to keep it neutral, harsh or defensive comments arose from both "sides" (veg and non-veg). And, a few people commented that they think that I am "enabling abuse" by accepting everyone, and "propagating" the idea of vegans being offensive.
I do a lot of videos and writing on healthy food and lifestyle choices, but one aspect of wellness I don't explore often enough is the emotional side of it. That's why when I redesigned this website I created a section called "Feel" to focus in on holistic health care, fitness, everyday living tips and inspiration for the mind. I haven't created much content on these topics yet, so I was thrilled when Way Better Snacks asked their ambassadors to do an article around the phrase, "Eat Better. Live Better. Be Better." Clearly I have the first two elements covered, so I want to take an opportunity to delve a bit further into the third.
No wants wants to be considered selfish - that's a painful word. But the reality is that we spent the majority of our lives being selfish - it's simply in our nature. I guess the definition and use of the word is what really matters. To me, being selfish means doing something pleasurable at the expense of others, and unfortunately so much of what we do in American society falls into that definition.
I’ve been a vegan and environmentalist for over 5 years, and both passions took a while to develop. Recently, I realized why they were so important to me - they brought me closer to purity. However, I felt that I wasn’t living as purely as I could. According to the New Oxford American Dictionary, one of the definitions of the word pure is “without any extraneous and unnecessary elements”. When I stepped back and took a look at my lifestyle, I saw that there was a lot of nonessential elements - for example, I was eating food that wasn’t nutritious and was wrapped in a lot of packaging. I resolved to ask myself a question whenever I was making a decision: “do you truly need this?” In many cases, the answer was, “no"
Robert and I had some great conversations with Will & Madeleine Tuttle, on and off camera at Farm Sanctuary. Though I enjoyed listening to them speak, I especially liked the tour of their traveling home, which you'll see towards the end of the video. The Tuttles are truly living a eco-vegan lifestyle! Please check out Will's wonderful book, The World Peace Diet, which you can also get as an audio book. Will has some beautiful music on CD as well.
During a recent conversation with a friend we talked about the messages in Disney movies featuring animal characters. Some examples:
- Bambi's mother is shot by a hunter (and is later shot himself during a man-made fire)
- Dumbo's mother is put into chains in the circus
- Cruella De Vil wants to kill the puppies from One Hundred and One Dalmatians and turn them into fur coats
- Fox hunting in The Fox and The Hound
This really got me thinking - do Disney writers intentionally try to make us question how humans treat animals? Or, were these simply common script formulas written to pull at our heart strings, just like when humans kill/harm other humans in live action movies?
Let me start by saying, this post is not literally about turning shit into fertilizer, however, it is metaphorically. This post is about turning a bad situation into a good one.