Over the past 6 months I have been on a journey towards more conscious living. Really, that journey started years ago. I have always seen and felt the world’s problems on a personal level and have always found purpose in living in a way that advocates for change. I used to ignore my diet – I was one of those people who was annoyed with vegans and vegetarians, I never really heard them out and simply laughed and said “I could NEVER do that”. I ate Chick-Fil-A 4 times a week in college and have never thought about food in terms other than my own satisfaction and convenience. But as I grew and developed and began to process my life and my story – I began to see how I fit into the larger story of the world. I began to understand my privilege and my blissful ignorance to the harsh realities of the world.
Suddenly, I couldn’t ignore the facts. The developed world has largely operated on systems of exploitation and injustice. I could no longer ignore the COs emissions from agriculture, the way animals are tortured in factory farms, the knowledge and gut feeling that this is in no way sustainable with a rising population and middle class. Once you know something, you can’t un-know it. I knew something had to change.
I also started studying the Bible differently. I read about the garden in Genesis and how beautiful and sustainable it was and how sin completely destroyed it. I learned about a God who loved humans but also animals and also the earth and was reconciling us all back to shalom. I was empowered by the way I was called to participate in this – how they way I live actually matters.
But I was also intimidated – its hard to break any habit, especially one which you have had your entire life – I knew in order to do it well, I would have to go slow. I started with cutting out meat, just for a week! I found that it wasn’t so bad so I kept it going, its now been 6 months! I have also slowly been cutting out other animal products, this has been much harder. I am learning how to grocery shop/meal prep/cook and its kind-of a nightmare, so I will definitely be sharing that journey with you all!
In general – this has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. It feels like freedom to say “yes, that looks good, I want to eat it… but no, I choose not to”. It has opened up the gate to so many great conversations. It has also allowed me to learn so much more about why this matters, there are so many great reasons to pursue a vegetarian/plant based lifestyle!