I've been a Vegetarian now for over 15 years and it's something that I've always been incredibly proud of myself for. Making a lifestyle shift of this nature and actually sticking to it is truly an accomplishment. I've faced backlash in my years whether through opposition of the lifestyle, jokes or crude comments related to animals, or the attack of the vegan who considers our efforts in vain.
Being a Vegetarian is something to stand up tall and be proud of!
Since starting to work in the kitchen at HEALTHY MAMA VEGAN CAFE (www.healthy-mama.com) almost a year ago, I've had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful, passionate people. I've been able to have deep, meaningful conversations with like minded people about animals which has been so amazing. It has also reminded me that there is always more to be done when fighting for a cause.
I have since cut out eggs almost entirely from my diet and only consume milk in my coffee. My biggest hurdles were, and always will be, CHEESE! Cheese is my achilles heel, I absolutely love it. Some days I feel like I'd never be able to survive without a creamy, delicious, rich cheese product in my life. This is why becoming a vegan has always been something I contemplated but never followed through with. And that's when I sort of realized, my own selfishness is preventing me from committing to an even greater, healthier lifestyle.
The health aspect of making this switch is super exciting but at the end of the day, it's all for the animals. I feel hypocritical saying I love animals and petitioning for their rights while also contributing to their suffering. Watching that video really reminded me why I became a Vegetarian over 15 years ago, I wanted to help animals. I wanted to be a part of a change in the way society and the government viewed animals. I have worked hard to fight for animal rights and want to feel wholly involved in this advocation. To do this, going Vegan is the next step in my journey.
I am leaving for Ireland in September / October and will be there for 2 years. During that time I will continue my journey as a Vegetarian and enjoy the experiences and challenges that will be presented to me. When I come back from this Working Holiday, my very first challenge to tackle will be making the switch to Veganism. It will not be easy for me but my love for animals and motivation to see them respected and treated better will be what fuels my success.
I love animals and I understand my role as an advocate so I'm ready to take the plunge and commit to a Vegan lifestyle!
Yesterday was a difficult day, 2 years since the passing of my wonderful mother. I spent the day reflecting while burying myself in work as a distraction. It's certainly eye opening how time can pass so very quickly without allowing time for any kind of healing. I've spent these two years wishing things had never happened the way they did while also slowly forgetting and locking away the memories. How time can work both in your favour and against you is quite strange.
Days like that certainly dig up those feelings and put them at the front of my mind. It's hard to think of all the wonderful things I'll be doing with my life in the next year and not having my mother there to witness any of it. Sometimes it's easy to feel like this is only happening to me but I try and remind myself that there are so many people at the same time going through exactly what my family did. It's not consolation that another family is suffering, rather puts my mind in check as far as feeling pessimistic about my own experiences.
I live my life every day with a smile and try to approach every situation with a positive attitude. If these two years have taught me anything, it's that time will fly by regardless of whether you are miserable and sad or a bucket of smiles, so I want to make every attempt to spread smiles. Negativity is as contagious as positivity and it's so easy to hurt someone or bring them down when we ourselves are negative.
I miss my mom every day but I also know that she wouldn't want any of us still suffering so I try to remember that. She was truly an amazing woman and I'll always remember how many fabulous memories I was lucky enough to make with her.